Yangon -Bago (Myanmar) trip on low budget-31k, 5 days all inclusive-details

I am just returning home from Myanmar trip. My 5 days trip to Myanmar cost me about 31000 INR everything inclusive.  (7 days inclusive of travel, thanks to a cancelled AirAsia flight) This was largely made possible by a cheaper Air Asia flight ticket. I spent 3 nights in Yangon, one night each in Bago and MoeYunGyi (a wetland sanctuary 35 kms north of Bago)- I didn't visit north Myanmar like Bagan, Inle, Mandalay etc. In this post I am explaining my trip expenses, so that you can plan a visit to Myanmar in budget.
Below table gives a quick snapshot of my Myanmar trip expenses
#
Category
Expenses
Total (INR)
Remarks
1
Travel
Flight-12800 INR
12800
There was an even cheaper ticket at 8600
2
Visa
50 USD
3500

3
Stay
100 USD
7000
3 night hostel stay- 6-7 USD/night
2 nights in resorts-40 USD/ngight
4
Local travel
20000 MMK
1000
Yangon-Bago 1200 MMK, Bike taxi, city bus etc, Dala ferry 4000
5
Food
94000 MMK
4700
Proper meals in Indian restaurants- 10-13k MMK per meal
6
Others
40000 MMK
2000
Entry fee: Shwedagon -10k, Bago 10k MMK, Some shopping


Total
31000

Reference: 1000 MMK is roughly 48 rupees (you can consider 50 for simplicity)

1. Flight to Yangon Myanmar- 10-12k
Flight will be the most expensive cost while planning your trip to Myanmar. I booked my ticket for about 12800 from Chennai to Yangon during an Air Asia sale. This booking was done last year September, almost one year ago. Last year November, I saw another sale where Chennai Myanmar was being sold for Rs 8600. So essentially I had paid 4k more. If you don’t book under a sale, a return ticket to Yangon could easily cost 20-30k INR- my entire trip cost- so plan well, wait for a sale and book your tickets by not spending more than 10-12k INR (15 max). Myanmar is not a ‘Must visit’ destination that you should book at any cost- if tickets are not cheaper, wait for next sale or next opportunity. I don’t see any point spending 20K + to visit Myanmar. You can stay tuned to my Airlineblog, where I will update if I see any super cheap airline sale or deals.

There aren't many direct flight between India and Myanmar-except between Delhi-Yangon and Gaya (in Bihar). From most cities the cheaper option would be to fly via Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur on some of the low cost airlines, whenever you manage to grab cheap tickets. Direct flights with full service airlines tend to be almost twice as expensive.

Domestic flights are very expensive- if you have lots of time, you might want to fly in to Yangon and fly out from say Mandalay in north Myanmar and cover in between by road/train. If pressed for time and not keen on Pagodas, you might also skip Yangon altogether and stay focused on Mandalay-Bagan-Inle area. Read more about Myanmar's domestic flights

2 eVisa- 50 USD
Myanmar e-visa costs 50 USD. Thus flight+ visa alone constitutes more than 50% of the trip expenses. Thus it is extremely imperative not to spend too much on flight to keep your overall cost low.

3. Stay- Less than 1000 INR per night
Myanmar has good availability of hostels and hotels. I spent 5 nights in Myanmar- three nights were in a hostel- I paid just under 6 USD for hostels in Yangon downtown (1 night in Little Yangon Hostel, another in Traveller’s world) and USD 10 for one night in Roly Airport hostel. I also spent one night in Bago and another in Mon Yun Gyi wetland resort- these two I splurged a bit- USD 40 a night approx.. Because of this my total stay expense is around 100 USD for 5 nights- could have been as low as USD 40-50 if I had limited to hostels and not spend on resorts.

I found hotels and hostels were of decent standards, although streets they are located could be crowded and dirty. Stay tuned to detailed review of some of the places I was in.

4. Food-INR 600 for a good veg meal.
Myanmar has lots of cheap street food. If you’re non vegetarian and enjoy street food, then your food expense will be a lot lower. I am a vegetarian and I went in search for Indian restaurant/veg food at least once per day. There’re many good Indian restaurants in Yangon- a proper meal including 3-4 items would easily cost upward of 12000 MMK or INR 600 which is reasonable. My food bill for the entire trip- including proper meals, supermarket purchase of fruits, coffee, tender coconut etc came to little less than 5k INR. If I was little more careful I could have ordered a few items less and saved another 1000 INR here.

5. Local transport- super cheap
Myanmar local transport is super cheap- for all 5 days included, my local transport expense was about 1000 INR.
  • Yangon airport to Sule Pagoda by airport bus is 500 MMK or INR 25.
  • Sule Pagoda to Shwedagon Pagoda by bus 30- 200 MMK or INR 10
  • Yango to Bago train: 1200 MMK or INR 60
  • Bike taxi hire for 4 kms- 2000 MMK or INR 100 (can be negotiated)
  • eBike hire from resort- 1000 MMK (INR 50) per hour
  • Yangon to Dala boat ticket- 4000 MMK or INR 200 return for foreigners.
  • Yangon circle train- 200 MMK or INR 10
I managed a lot with walking where possible, used buses and trains otherwise. Hired bike taxi some 3 times, spending only INR 200. Didn’t hire regular taxi. Thus for my entire Yangon-Bago trip, local transport expense was just about 1000 rupees- that is about 200 rupees a day on an average.

Others:
1 GB sim card- 3500 MMK, bought 2 tshirts for 2000 MMK each, had to buy an umbrella (3500 MMK, a lock-1000 MMK). Bought some stamps n post cards and ATM Cash withdrawal cost me a fee.

Entry tickets- Bago-10000 MMK, Shwedagon pagoda- 10000 MMK.

Total- About 2000 INR for other miscellaneous expenses.

Thus all these add up to around 31000 INR. I think it is a fair amount to spend on a 5 day international trip. Could have easily spent another 5000-6000 less if I had booked even cheaper tickets, avoided resorts and ordered food little more carefully.

What I did not do (but you may wish to)
Extend your trip to northern Myanmar to visit Bagan, Inle lake, Mandalay etc- local flights are very expensive, bus/train will take lots of time. Thus I couldn’t visit northern Myanmar this time- may be a separate trip in future.

Hire taxi- I managed to walk a lot- because most attractions were  like 1.5-2 or 3kms apart and I had lots of time, I did lots of walking- only my last day I walked about 13 kms between Shwedagon Pagoda to Airport hostel- not everyone may be able to do this- you may have to spend a bit on taxi.

I also walked all of Dala on a 6 km walking trail, didn't hire a taxi or cycle rickshaw. Details soon.

Alcohol: I don't drink so don't have to spend on Alcohol. Depending on your habits you may have to factor some budget for this.

Golden Rock Pagoda- this is one of the popular attractions, but a bit far- 120 kms from Bago- you can get a taxi to go here and come back for about 50 USD (from Bago) or try other cheaper options- but it will be 3-4 hours one way, few hours there and then return- almost takes one full day- hence I decided to skip it.

There're many lesser known towns 200-300-500 kms away-such as Taungoo, Mawlamyine, Kalaw etc- due to my limited duration trip I had to limit to Yangon n Bago- if you're doing a longer duration trip you can probably visit all these places.

Adventure: Though Myanmar is not known for adventure activities, there are some adventure/additional activities available- such as hot air balloon ride, boating, puppet show, diving, trekking, snorkeling etc can be tried in various parts of Myanmar.

No frills flight- I managed with a 7 kg cabin bag, not having to buy check-in bag. Also didn't buy anything in-flight- carried some food from home/managed with some bare minimum food at airport. If you can't do all these add another k or two for these expenses.

Let me know if you have any questions about Myanmar trip. I will try to answer. Will add some pictures once I reach home. More posts coming up in future days. Particularly, I will review the places I stayed, will explain how to explore Yangon using public transport, which places are worth visiting, how to manage veg food and so on.

Similar: Vietnam trip on extreme low budget * Japan trip on low budgetAndaman on low budget *

14 comments:

  1. Waiting for your detailed post, with pictures. Basically I want to know if it's a uncrowded tourist destination, worth visiting Also would like to know if motorcycles are available for rent for sight seeing. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crowd not much.
      I didn't see any shops advertising motorcycles for rent. But the hotel where I stayed in Bago was offering one (INR 600 for 8 hours). So if you search for one you should be able to get- but bus, train and bike taxies are good enough- you can manage with these

      Delete
  2. Very detailed information. Really useful, I appreciate it. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very informative. Will keep your points in mind when I plan the trip to Myanmar.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Finally read your post on Myanmar trip. Very useful info's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the quick post, just wondering if the air fare sales apply for the domestic flights as well..could one monitor and try to book when cheap. You may have already monitored and expored this, so wanted ask. 50 usd visa fee seems a bit expensive for a country with non existentent tourism infrastructure. By the way, how easy is it communicate with the locals, are there any indian languages or is English widely spoken?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've written a separate post on Yangon domestic flights - check this http://www.airlineblog.in/2018/08/myanmar-airlines-airports-domestic-flights-network.html

      Yes 50 USD is high but almost at par with what other countries in the region charge

      Communication with locals is a problem- but there were many instances where someone else would walk in and try to help. I could use google to show photo of the destination I would like to visit or item I want to buy etc- makes it simpler...

      Staff at hotel, hostel etc knew decent English. Found a few tamil speaking people but not as many as you may find in say Malaysia

      Hope this helps

      Delete
  6. A comprehensive post. Quite a helpful one, Shrinidhi.

    ReplyDelete

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days.Use Anonymous option if you don't wish to leave your name/ID behind- Shrinidhi

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