How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Myanmar?

I’d heard time and time again that it’s more expensive to travel in Myanmar than most countries in South East Asia. Truth is, it is and it isn’t. Cities like Bagan, that thrive off of tourism, are expensive. My hostel there cost $26.00, almost twice the price of any other hostel I’ve stayed in thus far. But things balance out. In Yangon, I’d eat a feast for under $2.00. In the end, I almost stayed on budget. I spent an average of $32.36 a day which came in slightly over my $30.00 a day budget.

cost myanmar bagan hot air balloon budget

My Itinerary

6 nights Yangon – My 6 nights in Yangon helped keep my budget on track, but there wasn’t much to see there. I always give myself a couple extra days in my first city to adjust and get my bearings before heading out into the unknown.

6 nights Bagan – Originally, I had planned to spend less time in Bagan and more time in Inle Lake. I decided to stay in Bagan longer to match my schedule up with a friends so we could travel together. I wouldn’t actually recommend spending 6 nights in Bagan due to the high prices.

1 night Kalaw – I decided to trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake. I opted to travel the day before and spend a night in a hotel rather than take the night bus. I’m glad I did because the road was pretty scary. You can read about it on my blog here. I don’t think I could have slept on the bus.

2 nights Kalaw to Inle Lake Trek – This was a great way to save money. The trek cost $30 and included 7 meals, 2 nights of accommodations, and a 3 day trek. It was also one of the highlights of my trip.

3 nights Inle Lake – Inle Lake was surprisingly cheap and incredibly beautiful. I wish I’d spent more time there.

3 nights Mandalay – Full disclosure, I had a cold in Mandalay so I barely left the hotel. I honestly can’t tell you how much it cost here.


Average Prices Per Day

Breakfast $0.52 – Most of the time my breakfast was included with my hostel. It was also included with my Inle Lake trek.

Lunch $2.98 – Lunch was actually cheaper than this. I spent extra money on mango lassi’s. Can you blame me? They were only $1.00

Dinner $3.45 – Again, dinner was normally cheaper than this, but there were a few days I craved Western food and ended up spending more on a burger and fries.

Shelter $14.53 – Due to the $26 a night I spent in Bagan, this seems pretty high. Most of the time, my hostels cost between $9.00 and $11.00 and they were really nice.

Transportation $3.00 – This includes buses, taxis, trains, renting e-bikes, etc. This does not include airfare. I got my flights for free using points.

Tourism $5.30 – This includes the entrance fee for the city of Bagan ($20) and the entrance fee for Inle Lake ($10). It also includes my Kalaw to Inle Lake trek ($30), cooking class ($14), tours, temple entrance fees, donations, etc.

Other $2.58 – This was money spent on items not listed above. Mostly it was laundry, souvenirs, and my SIM card



Hot Air Balloon $330.00 – I created an extra budget for special experiences on my trip. One of those experiences was taking a hot air balloon over the temples in Bagan, which was totally worth it. I did not include the $330 in my breakdowns for this post because it skews the data a lot.


Total Spent Over 3 Weeks – $679.60

*None of this includes the hot air balloon

Breakfast – $11.08

Lunch – $62.59

Dinner – $72.39

Shelter – $305.22

Transportation – $62.90

Tourism – $111.22  ($441.22 including the hot air balloon)

Other – $54.20

Total – $679.60  ($1,009.60 including hot air balloon)


Average per day – $32.36

I’ve read about a lot of people who travel for $10 a day or even $20 a day, but I feel like it would be impossible to enjoy yourself on that kind of budget. I had a $30 a day budget plus I put aside $350 for the hot air balloon before leaving home. Even on $30 a day, I felt like I struggled a little. A lot of times I would choose soup or noodles over dishes with protein like fish curry. That being said, there wasn’t anything I really wanted to do and felt that I couldn’t. Everything was within reach. Some days I went over budget and spent $40 but other days I barely spent $15. Even if I did go over budget by $2.36 a day, it was totally worth it!


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How much it costs to travel in myanmar - backpacking budget

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  1. Natalia says:

    I found the entrance fees and taxi prices into certain areas a bit of a shock. Food and accommodation are cheap, yes. But Bagan and Lake Inle cost me $70 together. I was alone and had to pay for the taxi inside Lake Inle myself. The taxis to the bus stations are also usually a lot more than Thailand or Laos. etc. I think if you travel slower it evens out like you said.

    1. fulltimeexplorer says:

      Hey Natalia. I was completely shocked by the entry fees too! I thought I was being ripped off at first. I actually forgot about the overpriced taxi from the bus station. I was lucky enough to see two other backpackers struggling to negotiate so we joined forces and the three of us split the cost which definitely helped.

  2. TrungP says:

    For Kalaw to Inle tour, I find the cost is much higher for 3D2N tour (three time more expensive for the group of 9+, 100$ for group of 5)
    Could you share the tour agency, pls
    And did you experience in Pathein or Bengal Bay beach near Yangon?

    1. fulltimeexplorer says:

      Hello! If you are searching online, you are likely going to be ripped off as western companies with websites charge a lot more. I always book in person or on the phone a few days before the trip. We went with Jungle King. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to any of the beaches. My friend went to Nepali Beach and loved it though. Hope this helps and feel free to reach out with any other questions!

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