How To Budget For a Trip to Myanmar
So how do you budget a trip to Myanmar? Very, very carefully is my advice, because as I said in the previous post on carrying money in Myanmar – if you run out you don’t have very many options. There are rumors that a rare high end hotel will give you a cash advance charging somewhere between 10% and 30%. Well it’s cheaper than flying to Bangkok which is your other option. Seriously, yes it’s pretty bad.
Working Out A Myanmar Budget
Do how have I budgeted my up coming trip? Pretty much I came up with a figure and added in a LOT of slack. I am traveling to Myanmar in November 2012 which may well be it’s busyest season for many , many years.
After a LOT of research and checking returning tourists opinions I came up with the following ballpark prices:
Hotel: $20-$35 night – for a double. This is the area that is going up very fast – as hotel prices are very much a reflection of supply and demand. How bad this is very unclear and I hope that we will paying in the $20-$25 range, although I have already booked a $48/night hotel in Yangon for the first few nights. We are also taking sleeping mats in case there is literally no room at the inn. You cannot stay with locals, or camp in Myanmar, or indeed some hotels (they must have a foreigner license). So if we end up on the floor we will have some padding.
Food: 10,000 kyat for 2 people for each of lunch and dinner (breakfast is included in the room rate of most hotels). That’s about $10 – but I’m quoting kyats because I needed to budget not just an overall amount but also for the money that I’d change to dollars (large notes, in my case Euros) and those that I’d spend directly – US$ in a range of denominations. These seem resasonable prices for meals on the streets or local restaraunt. Note we could pay a GREAT deal more (think $40+) eating in tourist restaraunts, but that would also increase the likelihood of us getting ill (really, always eat locally with the locals for the cleanest food), plus it includes a beer or two.
Taxis/ Local transport: 5000 kyat. We don’t live in a tropical climate, and neither of us feel particularly fit so we are budgeting some local transport, it appears 2000kyat will get you a taxi across town in Yangon so I assume this will work in smaller towns too.
Longer Haul Transport 10,000 kyat. This is a bit harder to estimate but given that we will be in country for 28 days I believe that I’ve OVER estimated this based on 15,000 kyat for a long-haul bus (e.g. Yangon – Bagan) or $9 for a train (Yangon – Moulmein). To come up with the average I assumed that we would spend significant money on a long-haul trip every 3 days so 2x 12,000 kyat plus 7,000 for a taxi (many bus stations seem to be remote, the trains are my preference and are more central but more expensive so that should average out!
Water/Miscellaneous 1000 kyat / day
Government Fees : total around $100 for two – all the major sites e.g. Bagan, Mandalay, major pagados have a compuslory tourist fee. These haven’t changed much and I just added up the reported fees of every conceivable place we may go to – we probably won’t get to them all, and I’m quite keen to avoid paying if at all possible
Average Daily Spend in Myanmar
All of the above taking the hotel at $35 addus up to $75/day. I rounded this up to $100/day for two people. Then I added on two extra items:
$600 for Balloons over Bagan (2 people). We’re keen to do this – but also know we should have booked months ago, so we will try out luck stand by when we get to Bagan.
$500 for internal airfares (each hope around the country seems to be around $110 – so this is two flights for two people) .
We may very well not take any flights, but we will have the money with us.
It all adds up to around $4000 of which approximately $1000 we may change to kyat.
What Are Others Spending In Burma
I know someone else who travelled in September/October as a couple and ended up spending $60/day for two. I also know that if you use local agents to arrange a trip you can easily be spending upwards of hundreds a day (some of the better hotels are $200-$400 range). This option is still much cheaper than booking a trip with an overseas tour company though – where you will probably be paying around $200/day per a person.
Figures current October 2012
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