Budget For Myanmar (Burma) Backpackers

Last updated on: 20 Comments
Cheap food on the streets of Mandalay. Budget for Myanmar
Cheap food on the streets of Mandalay.

Our Daily Breakdown Of A Backpacker’s Budget For Myanmar (Burma)

We tried to keep a pretty strict budget for Myanmar while we were travelling there for nearly a month. It quickly became one of our all-time favourite countries we have ever visited. It often gets ignored by travellers who are afraid of the difficulties of travelling in Burma, as well as concerns about the average cost. Here is a complete breakdown of our budget for Myanmar, how we spent our money and where.

Note: This is by no means an absolute ‘shoe-string’ budget. We drank when we wanted to, did the activities that most interested us (trekking, Inle Lake boat tour, etc) and were also in the country during the Thingyan festival which increased our costs. You could definitely get by spending a bit less if you truly wanted to be tight on your money. The Burmese Kyat is around 1000 to US$1.

Stats Of Our Budget For Myanmar

  • Amount of days in the country: 24
  • Number of people: 2
  • Total cost: $1,228 AUD (Including visa- $55 – $27.50 each)
  • Spending (not including visa): $1,173
  • Average per day: $49 ($24.50 per person per day)

 

Breakdown Of How We Spent Our Money

[visualizer id=”1225″]

  • Accommodation – $434 (average $18 a night or $9 each)
  • Food – $188
  • Drink – $104
  • Transport – $240
  • Attractions – $198
  • Misc – $9
  • TOTAL = $ 1,173

 

AVERAGE DAILY BREAKDOWN FOR 2 PEOPLE

 

  • We would only have 2 meals a day, plus snacks (juices, fruit, etc).
  • We have not included transport in these daily budget breakdowns, but have included activities.
  • This is not our total spendings for everyday in each city. Just what an average day could cost in each place.

 

BAGAN

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, shared bathroom, A/C 20’000 20
Rent Bikes- 1,500 each 3’000 3
Water (6 pack) 1’500 1.50
Lychee Juice (300 each) 600 0.60
Ice cream (300 each) 600 0.60
Fried rice with vegetable & pineapple 1’500 1.50
Fried noodle with vegetable 1’500 1.50
Mango juice 1’000 1.00
Watermelon juice 1’000 1.00
Chicken masala + rice 2’500 2.50
Sweet and sour vegetable + rice 2’500 2.50
Beer on tap (3 each @ 600) 3’600 3.60
TOTAL 39’300 $39.30

There is a US$15 entrance fee to the ancient city of Bagan although this can be avoided.

The temples of Bagan. Budget for Myanmar
The temples of Bagan.

 

MANDALAY

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, private bathroom, A/C 20’000 20.00
Hire a scooter plus fuel 14’000 14.00
Water (4 bottles) 1’200 1.20
Fried noodles with vegetable 1’500 1.50
Large bottle of beer 2’000 2.00
Chicken biryani 2’000 2.00
Chapalti (400 each) 800 0.80
Chicken curry (small portion) 800 0.80
Lamb curry (small portion) 800 0.80
Strawberry smoothie (1000 each) 2’000 2.00
TOTAL 41100 $41.10

 

U-Bein bridge in Mandalay. Budget for Myanmar
U-Bein bridge in Mandalay.

 

YANGON

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, shared bathroom, A/C 12’000 12.00
Breakfast (1500 each) 3’000 3.00
Vegetable biryani with rice 2’500 2.50
Coconut vegetable rice 1’500 1.50
Corn (2 for 500) 500 0.50
Strawberries (3 punnets for 500) 500 0.50
Sugarcane juice (300 each) 600 0.60
Entry into Pagodas
Sula (3000 each) 6’000 6.00
Shwedagon (8000 each) 16’000 16
Taxi home 3’000 3
TOTAL 45600 $45.60

 

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Budget for Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

 

INLE LAKE

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, private bathroom, fan 20’000 20.00
Boat tour (20,000 split between 5 people) 8’000 8.00
Water (6 pack) 1’500 1.50
Coffee and snack 2’000 2.00
Mango lassi 1’500 1.50
Fresh ginger tea – pot 1’000 1.00
Tea salad with rice 1’500 1.50
Chicken curry with rice 2’500 2.50
Large bottle beer 1’800 1.80
Chocolate (300 each) 600 0.60
TOTAL 40’400 $40.40

There is also a US$10 entry fee to the Inle Lake region

Trekking

A 3 day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake cost us AU$48 each including guide, food, accommodation and drinks.

A fisherman on Inle Lake. Budget for Myanmar
A fisherman on Inle Lake.

 

KALAW

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, private bathroom 14’000 14.00
Water (6 pack) 1’500 1.50
Ginger salad with rice 1’500 1.50
Chicken vegetable curry with rice 2’500 2.50
Fresh orange juice 1’000 1.00
Sweets from bakery 2’000 2.00
Coffee/tea 600 0.60
Samosa (3 for 200) 600 0.60
TOTAL 23’700 $23.70

 

The view of Kalaw just outside of town. Budget for Myanmar
The view of Kalaw just outside of town.

 

HSIPAW

 

ITEM
Kyat
US$
Accommodation – Double, shared bathroom, fan 10’000 10.00
Fruit shake (800 each) 1’600 1.60
Sweet and sour vegetable with rice 2’000 2.00
Spicy and sour chicken with rice 2’500 2.50
Beer on tap (3 each @ 600) 3’600 3.60
Water (6 pack) 1’500 1.50
Cookies 1’200 1.20
TOTAL 22’400 $22.40

 

 Trekking

A 2 day trek to visit a hill tribe village cost us AU$21 each including guide, food, accommodation and drinks.

Farmland in Hsipaw. Budget for Myanmar
Farmland in Hsipaw.
If you have any questions or tips, please leave a comment below.

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award winning writers and photographers behind this blog, and we have been travelling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is our passion, and through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I’m amazed at how you got all of these together! Great job! I’ve been to Myanmar and it was beautiful, I wanna go back and reading through your article gives me ideas on things I can improve for my next visit!

      It is a beautiful country. We would love to head back too one day. Thanks for your comment Angess. Happy travels and we hope you get back soon. 🙂

    Great post. So hard to find a blog that’s so informative towards a budget breakdown. I will be in Myanmar next week. Been planning this trip for what seems like an eternity.

    You guys managed to actually spend a reasonable amount! I don’t know how you kept up to date with your expenses – I always forget!

      We were really strict for about a year and then slacked off. It is usually Alesha that records everything. She is good at that. 🙂

    Interesting cost breakdown. I wish I’d read this before I went. My wife and I travelled Myanmar last month. We got caught out in Yangon because it was Independence Day and we hadn’t booked in advance. Ended up paying 70USD per night.
    Apart from that our costs were pretty similar to these.
    Loving the photos by the way.
    Pete

      Thank you so much. Sorry about the very late reply. It can get expensive. There is so much information out there now on Myanmar and it is now apart of the Southeast Asia “Banana Pancake” trail. We are glad you had a great time in Myanmar. 🙂

    hey very nice info. Thanks for being detailed. May I ask how did you arrange trips going out of myanmar?

      Hey Ray. Thanks for reading. We just organised everything as we went along. We didn’t really pre-book anything. Now that the country has opened up for tourism it is quite easy to just book transport, accommodation and tours from inside the country as you go.

    Hi,
    Thanks for the post and it helps me a lot for preparing my trip to Myanmar.

    I am travelling Myanmar from early November for about 2 weeks, and could you tell me where you stayed (the name of backpackers or hostels) in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle lake?

    Brian

    This is great! I am going out to Kalaw in October for 2 months — and this is exactly the sort of info I need.

    Guys this is so great that you put down all the prices. I was looking for something like this for hours. Thank you so much.

      No worries, Wesley. Glad you found this article useful! Let us know if you are after any other advice for Myanmar!

    This is an excellent and detailed breakdown of your expenses in Myanmar dudes and shows how much work you are putting into your blogging, and what an excellent service you are providing to other travellers. Keep up the good work, and thanks for reminding me to spend more time keeping track of my own expenses haha.
    Duncan

      Thanks very much Duncan. Appreciate the kind words. Hopefully this will give other backpackers an idea of the costs of travelling in Myanmar and can help create their own budget, or at least be know what to expect. Only problem with keeping track of your expenses is the shock at what you end up spending, haha. Cheers mate.

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