Because I have been asked many times how much I spent in my travels, I decided to have a Budgetarian Travel section. For those who are wondering, I normally set my budget to be at USD 200, except when I’m traveling to more expensive cities, like Singapore.
This time, I challenged myself to spend only USD 200 for our Myanmar trip. My friend and I spent 5 fantastic days touring around Bagan and Yangon. I would love to stay longer in Bagan, but my dust allergy was already acting up (note to self: don’t forget to bring antihistamine).
Myanmar’s local currency is Kyat (or MMK). My research shows that their lowest banknote denomination is K5, but what we experienced is that the locals round off the amount. But, like in Cambodia, USD is widely accepted. That’s why I’d list my expenses in Kyat and in USD:
Expenses in Kyat:
Expenses in USD:
Grand total: USD 195.03 (includes breakfast before departure) / approx Php 10,200.
Some budget tips:
– Because our Manila-Kuala Lumpur flight was on a Friday night, and our Kuala Lumpur-Yangon flight was on a Saturday morning, my friend and I decided to book a hostel before we left Yangon on Saturday night. However, we didn’t know that the Aung Mingalar bus station is near the airport area. We could have save some $$$ if we just booked a hostel in this area instead of staying in Downtown Yangon as we ended up sleeping the whole afternoon.
– Tourists only have to pay the Bagan entrance fee once. Ticket is valid for 5 days. Just don’t lose the ticket stub.
– My expenses already included souvenirs (a painting and some postcards). Pro tip: haggle
– Book your bus seat directly on their website (we booked directly with JJ Express). Based on other tourists, hotels charge a service fee if they are the ones to book it. They paid around USD 21-22 instead of USD 19.
– On our return trip from Bagan, we booked a hostel near the airport even though we had time to go around Yangon. JJ Bus Express provided a small bus to drop passengers in Downtown Yangon free of charge. This time, we could have save more if we stayed in Downtown Yangon as we could just walk around instead of taking a cab to/from the hostel.
More Bagan photos in this post.