How to Travel for Cheap in Yangon, Myanmar [Guest Post]
Tun is a keen adventure who explores the world differently. All his travels are more or less for
authentic local life which results in insightful experiences. Tun carries his humor along the
road with a pair of earphones. See more of his travel guides at here.
Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, is a little known attractive destination. It boasts traditional charm through pagodas & ancient heritages while also offering a slowly more modernized city life. The city has so many things to offer for its visitors from stunning Shwedagon stupa to exotic Indian streets or bustling China town.
It is used to be an expensive place for budget travelers yet things has been changing since 2012 when it opened its doors to the world.
In this guide, I will show you how to enjoy Yangon in the most cost-effective ways :
When you should visit Yangon
Yangon is costly during its tourism season from November to April. Traveling off season means you will benefit very much the service quality and your money!
Summer is the cheapest time to travel to Yangon but if you want to see less rain, head there for shoulder season which is May and October.
Flights to Yangon
The presence of low cost carriers now allow us to grab some of the best deals for Yangon. Air Asia offers cheap flights from Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore to Yangon.
Vietjet Air is another good option for the flight from Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi to Yangon. The flight can be as cheap as $19/ 1 way.
Transfer from Airport to downtown
For an ordinary taxi ride from Yangon International airport to downtown, it costs about $10 and sometimes you need to negotiate with the taxis who do not have counters. A better option which costs only half of that price does exists : Yangon Airport Shuttle.
It is door to door service and they are willing to deliver you to many hotels in the city.
Yangon has wide range of hostels. Honestly, for the same amount of money, you should not expect the same quality of hostels like in Bangkok or Malaysia. Yangon`s hostels is still a young industry and since the local currency is still at good value, the price is just acceptable.
Here are some of the best choices for hostels according to travel bloggers :
Once in Yangon : the most prominent advantage of this hostel is probably about its building which was build in 1950s, a big recall to the British Era. With a free breakfast, it costs about $6/ night.
BaobaBed Hostel : this hostel charges about $10/ night with breakfast included and you pay what you have. The decoration is cozy and nice. The reception operates 24 hours. Baobabed is recommended for his cleaniness, professionalism as well sleeping quality.
Lotus Bed & Breakfast : the reason why backpackers choose the Lotus is more about its local hospitality than just its service. This reflects perfectly the friendliness of Burmese people.
The owner can also help you to arrange other travel services in town if you request.
Like some big cities in the world, Yangon locals also welcome foreigner with some free sightseeing. Here are some choices:
Yangon Free Walks : Every Monday and Wednesday, this tour is operated during 2 hours from 4.00pm till 6.00 to show you the British Colonial Heritage part of Yangon.
Yangon Free Sightseeing: If you own a blog, you can register for a private free tour with Authentic Asia Tours who also provide discount coupon for bloggers who are interested in their marketing cooperation campaign.
Explore downtown with Ye HTun : this dedicated tour guide bases in Yangon. His insider knowledge of Yangon is very infectious. You will be captivated by the beauty of Yangon through his 2 hour guided town !
Yangon Heritage Trust : an organization who aims to protect the British Architect in Yangon have been opening their free tours 3 times per week : Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
The tour normally costs at least $50/ person can be free with their volunteer. It covers the most highlighted monuments of Yangon including Sule Pagoda, the City Hall, the High Court, and the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue*—the only synagogue in Myanmar.
Some Other Ways to Save Your Money
The very first thing you may care about your travel in Yangon is food. Do not stop by the well-decorated restaurant, Yangon`s street foods are delicious. A noodle at Latha Street costs only about $2. A good BBQ dinner by 51st street of China town with fresh beer is about $7/ person. If you are really here for traditional Burmese food, then Feel Restaurant is a perfect choice.
For transportation, you can opt some local buses from the hostel to some famous attraction. Waiting time may be long but full of fun with the locals. Taxi is good to share in case.
It is advisable to acknowledge that internet is not at high speed in Yangon. Check your mails during the night time, internet will be faster from 11.00pm till 6.00am. Internet shop is not expensive for a call back home !