Reminder of our itinerary for Myanmar:
Hpa-An (2 days) → Yangon (2 days) → Mandalay (3 days) → Hsipaw (7 days) → Kalaw (4 days) → Inle Lake (4 days) → Bagan (4 days) → Mandalay (3 days).
In total we spent 28 days in Myanmar, the maximum allowed by the visa. With a little hindsight we would have preferred to spend more time in the south especially on the side of Hpa-An which for us was a favorite.
We heard that Myanmar was expensive, we’ll say no! It is our cheapest country since we left, so yes it is partly due to the fact that we slept several times in a local house during the treks and spent 4 nights by bus but the country is still very affordable.
On average the rate during our stay was 1€ for 1404,95 Kyats. As for the other Asian countries, we had planned 20€ per day and per person, which is 1120€ for both of us. In reality, we spent 17.31€/day with big expenses for Christmas and New Year where we enjoyed ourselves with good meals, a more comfortable hotel room and a massage in an institute. If we remove the influence of the holidays, our average is around 15.50€/day for one person, which is very reasonable for a country called expensive. For both of us, the total expenditure amounts to €969.29, a saving of €151 compared to the budget.
To this we must add the Burmese visa, made at the Bangkok embassy it cost us about 21€ per person.
The average budget per day for one person is as follows: €4.51 for transport, €12.48 for accommodation, €9.31 for food, €6.81 for visits and €1.51 for extras.
TO KNOW ABOUT MYANMAR
No need for dollars we can pay everything in Khyats
Burmese people don’t get their driver’s license, they buy the license!
They are often in “pajamas”.
Wifi is not good throughout the country
These are hotels and not inns so toothbrush and breakfast included
In some restaurants there will be additional taxes that are not indicated
They always honk in big cities… and even in small ones for that matter!
They dress a little like in Sri Lanka, so we found the famous sarong
Take plastic bottles for soft drinks and not cans, you will pay half as much.
We drive on the right with a right-hand drive (following a traffic change announced by the government recently), convenient to overtake!
Sites such as Bagan or Inle Lake see their entrance prices increase from year to year
In Bagan tourists are not allowed to rent a gas scooter so you will be allowed to rent an electric one. The same is true for Inle Lake where it is strictly forbidden to rent a scooter for tourists, so cycling is mandatory.
They chew Betel and spit it out on the ground all the time, which gives pretty red spots on the ground. Watch your step! Watch your step!
Women and even some men wear tanaka
Many people clear their throats extremely hard all day long (it makes them want to throw up!)
HOW TO GET AROUND?
A little like everywhere in Asia, we find the same types of transport such as buses, tuktuks, taxis, trains, etc. Bus lines are well developed and serve most major cities and tourist sites. The buses are correct and we are entitled to a bottle of water and snacks for the journey. On the other hand, think about covering yourself (in general we have a cover available) because it’s cold! For us, either we had no luck or driving at night is dangerous in this country. By taking 4 night buses we had 2 accidents including one where the bus was destroyed.
The train is also a good experience, it goes very slowly and moves in all directions, you have the impression of being on a boat on a rough sea, but you will quickly forget this inconvenience by admiring the landscapes along the way. Then, in the cities you can take the tuktuks which are still as expensive as ever, rent scooters or bicycles. But you can also travel by cart or pickup truck.
WHAT TO EAT?
Some say we eat well and others don’t, for us we had a really hard time with the food. The fault lies in the fact that they cook everything with oil, but really too much oil! Most of the people we met were sick from the food, while our stomachs held up.
We find classic dishes like fried rice or fried noodles (with so much oil that it quickly becomes disgusting!) for a derisory price of about 1€. You will often find chicken curry, which is a rice dish (necessarily) served with different assortments of spicy vegetables or also a salad with green tea leaves and peanuts. All these dishes can be found in the dinette-style boui-bouis on the side of the road. Depending on the region, there are variants such as the Shan noodles typical of the Shan region, which consists of a bowl of noodles with a tofu and vegetable sauce.
Don’t worry, there are also restaurants with European food!
WHERE TO SLEEP?
Most of the time we sleep in hotels and not guesthouses because this principle is not really developed here. Prices are higher than average in Asia but you will be entitled to hygiene accessories such as shampoo, toothbrush etc., and breakfast included which often consists of tea/coffee with toast, eggs and fruit. We didn’t have any big surprises, we always had relatively clean and comfortable rooms. We just advise you to book at least one night in advance for the Bagan site if you arrive on weekends or public holidays. Don’t throw yourself on the first room you find, there will probably be a cheaper one and not indicated on your guide a few blocks away.
OUR IMPRESSIONS OF MYANMAR
We really enjoyed the country because of its cultural diversity and enchanting landscapes. So yes at the end we started to get tired of the pagodas but we will remain impressed by their incalculable numbers all over the country. We will have gone through several emotions between the fear of the bus crash, Khon’s sharing and meeting, the hundreds of smiles crossed in the street and the serenity that emerges in front of the landscapes. You will have understood that we loved this country and we do not regret staying there for 28 full days! So go ahead, go for it!