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Eighteen days backpacking in Myanmar; detailed expenses and itinerary

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The moment I  knew I wanted to visit Myanmar and started doing research on the web, I
realised that the more I read about peoples experiences the more confused I was  becoming. If you, like me, do reach the internet to help you plan trips and  design possible itineraries, you know what I’m talking about here!
There seems  to be out there a lot of confusing information about Myanmar, especially regarding the budget (very expensive versus not expensive at all) and some  other “hot topics” like money/currency, etc…
 Worse of  all, so much information on the web has not been updated recently and given that Myanmar is experiencing big changes at the speed of the light, my info here may come to be very relevant to help you plan your trip accordingly.
The good  news is that I have just returned from Myanmar two days ago so everything you
will find in this and other posts that I will be publishing within the next few  days, are last minute updates, happening as I’m typing. Of course, read me again in two years’ time and I may be a little bit outdated.
Here’s is  for your information and help a very detailed list of expenses of eighteen  intense days in Myanmar.Of course you can see more, do more and spend more than I did but I think this as a  guideline is not bad for now.
A few things
to consider though, before you keep reading;
.     travelled alone (my expenses were  higher as I did not split the accommodation charges with anyone)
. I   don’t drink or party much (if you do, then you must add some additional cash)
. I  did not completed my twenty-eight  days visa allowance (I chose to stay eighteen days instead)
      In Bagan the cheapest accommodation  is found in Nyaung Oo
. I  did my Myanmar visa in Bangkok  (quite inexpensive)
. I  did not bring any new dollars notes  but were in OK condition (better if you do, just in case but not absolutely  necessary)
.     90% of the Guest Houses/Hotels  include breakfast in their price (egg and  toasts, mostly)
.     ATM machines are VERY widely available  everywhere (temples included!) . You can (and often should) book your transportation  directly with the Guest Houses you are staying (often they pick you up)
.     The famous new road that connects Myawady in the Thai border with other destinations  in Myanmar is unofficially open and tourists are not allowed yet (I have spoken though  with some tourists that travelled in cars  with black windows and the driver, for a small fee, accepted to go through the new road closing all the windows so the police along the road could not see them)
.     You  can pay everything with the local currency (kyats=MMK). The  exchange rate these days is like this;
1.000MMK=0.00091 $
1.000MMK=0.00084 Euro
1.000MMK=0.00060 £
.     Many  (MANY) places do an exchange rate of 1.000MMK to 1$
.     Dorms  are still uncommon in Myanmar (you can find some in big cities like Yangon)
The  following was my itinerary:
 
Myawady (border town) – 1 night (spent the
night here because the when I arrived the traffic was coming inwards to Myawady
through the old road)
Yangon -2 nights
Night bus
between Yangon and Bagan (no accommodation required)
Nyaung Oo (Bagan) -2 nights
Mandalay – 2 ½ nights (first night arrived at
3am but paid hotel full price)
Hsipaw – 1 nigh
Nyaung Shwe (for Inle Lake) – 2 nights
Night bus
between Inle Lake and Kin Pun (no accommodation required)
Kin Pun (via Bago for Golden Rock) – 1 night
Mawlamyine -1 night
Hpa An – 3 nights
Myawady –leaving on the same day
MAIN EXPENSES
 

Bus Chiang Mai to Mae Sot (Thai border): 319 THB

Songthaew (taxi)  from Mae Sot Bus Station to the border: 20THB

GH (Guest  House) MWD in Myawady (1 night): 8.000MMK

Local Bus  Myawady to Yangon: 15.000MMK

Taxi from  Yangon Bus Terminal to Sule Pagoda area (where the cheap acommodation is  located): 6.000MMK (I split it with another person but he had to negotiate hard  as is very far away)

Dorm in  Okinawa GH (2 nights): 10.000MMK per night

Entrance fee  to visit the Shwegadon Pagoda in Yangon: 8.000MMK

Night Bus Yangon to Bagan: 15.500MMK

Taxi from  the Sule Pagoda area back to the Yangon Bus Station: 9.000MMK (split by 4 of us)

Mandatory  entrance fee in Bagan: $20 or 22.500MMK (I heart that if you take a taxi andoffer to pay him more, he can take a different route to avoid paying the  entrance fee. Worth trying…?)

Horse cart  Bagan Bus Station to Nyaung Oo: 1.000MMK (split by 2) don’t take a horse cart, it takes forever!!

Cherry Pann  GH in Bagan (2 nights):7.000MMK per night

E-bike rent  to see the temples for 1 ½ days: 9.000MMK

Minivan  Bagan to Mandalay: 9.000MMK

Fortune Hotel in Mandalay (2 nights): $20 (split by 2, I paid 9.900MMK per night)

Victoria  Hotel in Mandalay (1 night): 12.000MMK (Note that  the area with cheap accommodation was located somewhere else in Mandalay)

Entrance to  Mandalay Archaeological Palace (combine ticket for other attractions, too): 10.000MMK

Taxi to  Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset (split by 2): total 10.000MMK

(Note that  you can walk to the Mandalay Hill but it was extreme hot and we decided against it)

Bus from  Mandalay to Hsipaw: 6.000MMK per night (and 2.000MMK additional that I had to  pay as I missed my pick up so I took a moto taxi to the bus terminal)

Yee Shin GH  in Hsipaw (1 night): 6.000MMK

Bus Hsipaw to Nyaung Shwe in Inle Lake: 15.500MMK

Entrance fee to Inle Lake: 10.000MMK

Princess Garden Hotel in Nyaung Shwe (2 nights): 10.000MMK per night (I negotiated therate as they were asking for 15-20.000MMK)

Bicycle hire  for one day: 1.000MMK

Inle Lake  boat trip: 15.000MMK (all boats cost 15MMK or 18.000MMK if you want to see something else outside the standard route) I paid 5.000MMk as I was sharing the boat with other people

Bus Inle Lake to Bago: 15.000MMK

Bus Bago to  Kin Pun (1 nights): 7.000MMK

Guest House  in Kin Pun (can’t remember the name but sounded like Chinese, NOT recommended):  7.000MMK

Bus Kin Pun  to Mawlamyine: 7.500MMK

Breeze GH in Mawlamyine (one night): 8.000MMK

Local bus  from Mawlamyine to Hpa An (only two hours): 1.000MMK

Soe Brothers GH in Hpa An (three nights): 7.700MMK per night

Motorbike  rent for two days): 8.000MMK per day

Total  petrol: 3.000MMK approx.

Transfer to Bat Cave for sunset: 2.500MMK (the GH will offer it on your arrival day but don’t take if you are thinking to rent a motorbike the next day as you will see it,  anyway)

Minivan  transfer from Hpa An back to Myawady for the border through the old road: 10.000MMK

Other expenses not mentioned here include food, tons of gallons of water, sweet treats like biscuits and other refreshments.

GRAND TOTAL OF 18 DAYS BACKPACKING IN MYANMAR

 420 Dollars

274.00 Pounds

382 Euros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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