Burma on a Budget
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 10:30 PM Last Post By: grvngr
Jan 11, 2013 11:10 AM
Burma on a BudgetHappy New Year Everyone!
I've been reading a lot of forums lately that have given me the impression that Burma is no longer as inexpensive as it once was. (I've visited once before in 2000).
I'm planning a trip from 2/7-2/20 and am wondering if recent travelers have found accommodations for under $10US. We've planning on staying 2 nights in Yangon before busing it up to Bagan for a few nights. Over to Kawal and then to Inle Lake. We were hoping to do it on less than $30US a day. Thoughts?
Jan 11, 2013 12:21 PM
Jan 11, 2013 1:14 PM
Jan 11, 2013 2:07 PM
Jan 11, 2013 2:21 PM
4I doubt it you'll get away with under$10. I was there in November. Prices have soared for accommodation. I am more a flashpacker than a backpacker, but in some places I had little choice. As an example, Wonderful guest house in Thazi cost me $20 for a single; the Moonlight next door was a bit cheaper, but I was happy to pay the extra when I looked at both.
I booked the Eastern Paradise Motel in Kalaw for $15 months in advance. While I was there I was asked not to mention that to other guests because the lowest rate is now $30-$35.
Jan 11, 2013 5:45 PM
5You can try for $30 a day, but the problem is if you run out of money even somewhere remotely remote, then there are no ATM's to top up. There are some ATM's in Yangon etc, but it's still in it's infancy, so safest bet is still to take a pile of crisp US$100 bills. So to me Burma would be one of the more problematic places to run out of money.
Jan 12, 2013 7:42 AM
6#3 I've paid more than 15 USD for a (single) room only once during my nov/dec trip. And that was only because I've chosen to stay in a cozy bungalow in Kinpun - cheaper options were available. Apart from Kinpum, the prices ranged from 5000 chyat (monastery dorm in Nyaungshwe) to 15 USD.
Back to the first poster: In general, you will be able to find a single room for 15 USD or less virtually everywhere, including Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan etc. It definitely makes sense to ask you guesthouse to call ahead and make a booking for your next stop. If you give them your maximum budget, they will find something suitable and make the arrangements.
As for daily budget - traveling solo, backpacker style, and not really saving on anything, my daily budget (again, nov/dec 2012) was 31.30 USD. W/o beer and souvenirs 26.54 USD (including transportation by bus, boat or train). So if you choose carefully where you eat (i.e. places catering to the locals or street stalls), you will be able to fit in 25 USD. 20 USD is not realistic IMO.
Jan 12, 2013 7:55 AM
7YES, it is possible to get rooms under 10$. However it depends where you are staying. I do not know where those people stayed that are active in this forum. It does not seem that they are any budget tourist.
Try mahabandoola guesthouse in Yangon at Sule Pagoda very near to Okinawa. It costs 10$ for double and 3$ for dorm. But do not expect anything from it. The people are nice. The rooms and dorms are not that clean.
In Mandalay I stayed at the Royal Guesthouse for 10$ single room. You will get it cheaper if it is a double room.
However I was there in early morning around 6am and there was only one room left.
In Bagan, in Nyaung U, I paid 10$ per night in a double room in Guesthouse Piso duban on the main road or so. After bargaining. It usually costs 25$ for double.
Inle Lake: Try Big drum. You have a dorm for 5$. Doubles are a bit more expensive but way under 20$.
in Chaungtha I stayed at Williams for 10000kyat a night, after bargaining during independence day; so high high season. It is usually more expensive. I met people paying for the same room 20000.
In Hpa-an at Soe brothers for single room 5$.
In Kalaw I stayed at Golden Kalaw Inn. First night for free at the couch and second night for single room 7$, for double room it is 9$.
Overall I spent around 20€ per day. However I did most of the eating at the street stalls.
Jan 12, 2013 8:46 PM
8We visited in November and have had friends send us prices in December and I'm not sure where you'll find that cheap. #7 may be right, but not how old the information is... or if they were really just couch surfing?
The government recently capped the rate that the hotels could charge to stop them inflating much more but you're still looking at at least $18 a night.
Jan 13, 2013 3:39 AM
9There are plenty of budget tourist on this forum, but if you want a nicer guesthouse, in nice location, then you have to realize $10 in a big city is not going to cut it. I cant Believe Royal GH in Mandalay is still $10, that is how much it was in 2007...they could of charged $25 and I would of not complained.
Jan 13, 2013 8:36 AM
10#9 We've heard mixed reports about Royal Guest House suggesting that it isn't as good as it was 6 years ago.
Rooms now start at $15 and the hotel staff aren't as hospitable as they were back in the day.
Sometimes those few extra dollars go a very long way so don't be put off by a $20 room it may just be worth it, and chances are it is more than twice as good as a $10 room. You'll save your money on your dinner :-)
Jan 13, 2013 6:52 PM
11Thanks everyone for the great tips.
We're going to be in SE Asia for a total of six weeks. Initially I we were planning on arriving in Bangkok, getting our visas, and heading to Burma first thing on February 7th for roughly 2 weeks. Is February still considered high season. Do you think we'll have better luck visiting Burma at the end of our trip (we leave Bangkok March 18th). My other concern is carrying around $1000USD and keeping it in pristine condition while traveling....
Jan 13, 2013 9:19 PM
12Re Royal Guest House Mandalay, I stayed there Sept 2012 for 3 or so days, single room with private bath was either $20 or $25. Just average sort of accommodation, same level as any other Burmese $20 place in a major city. Cosy room for breakfast. Was sort of in a non-descript area of Mandalay, was one or two other hotels nearby and a restuarant or two nearby, but the general area seem to lack any atmosphere, but maybe that is Mandalay generally.
Jan 14, 2013 4:35 AM
13As for Royal GH - I've spent three nights there in Nov 2012. I've paid 15 USD for a single room w/bathroom and a little balcony overlooking the street. The room was all right, however the staff seemed a bit bored and not very proactive.
#12: as for lack of atmosphere - agree and would blame Mandalay. Not really a jewel of the east.
Jan 14, 2013 4:52 AM
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