Myanmar formerly known as Burma during colonial time is now hottest tourist destination among Asia since it has diverse cultures, climate zones and landscapes and difference taste of tourism attraction. Past decade, Myanmar was under dictatorship military regime and high restriction to travel when human rights and freedom of political were violating. After reforming of new people elected government party (National Democratic Party which is leading by Iconic Noble Peace prize laureate Aung San Su Kyi) in 2012, Myanmar tourism is swinging up as double each year till now.
Due to lack of Tourism expertise, human resources, infrastructures and foreign investments, the host is not ready enough to provide the enough tourism supply to the demand. The consequences nowadays facing higher cost for all travelers to get same value in ASIA tourism market comparing to other SEA countries. However, from the experiences and studying of Myanmar tourism, this article could give you some tips of how to travel the Myanmar main highlights by cutting the cost.
Although new Myanmar government is trying to amend the unpractical rules and regulation which is not reflecting to today situation, accommodation sector is also the main issue of Myanmar tourism nowadays.
Due to unbalance between supply and demand nowadays, the hotel tariff are higher than other ASEAN countries.
Foreign visitors are not allowed to stay in home during their visit in Myanmar that is by law. But some exemptions, they are being allowed to specific time with specific informed program such as overnight trekking. It is claimed for the security reason of host country and protection of culture but on the other hand, restrictions have been lifted as Bed and Breakfast lodging are permitted throughout the nation.
Mostly Myanmar Hotel room rates are different from local and foreigners. Big destination has more choices of hotel category from budget to luxury. The rate starts from $20-30 per room per night for basic budget hotel and luxurious hotel starts from $150 to $400 per room per night. Rates also different between high and low season.
Advanced booking is recommendable and online booking websites are quite useful for those searches.
Domestic flights also have different rates between local and foreigners so do the supply shortage is interfering for the booking. Earlier bookings are advisable. Nowadays more flight options are available between Big four cities (i.e Yangon, Mandalay, Inle and Bagan). All flight tickets starts from $60 to $100 approximately vary from time by time.
However, if you are fit enough to travel and cut the travel cost significantly, traveling with the overnight buses are best options.
Newly imported and modernized luxurious overnight bus operates to and from Yangon. But don’t expect the same service buses between the rest of the cities. Overnight bus tickets rate starts from $15 per person per way.
Exploring around each city is also costly for small group traveling since only Yangon has SIC operators.
For Bagan renting E-bikes for full day would only cost $15 so that you can explore around the famous temple with guided maps.
For Mandalay, Motorbikes are widely use but foreigners are not allowed to drive. However, you can use motorbike taxi services with local driver which starts from $10 per day.
For Inle lake sightseeing, private charter boat is the only option to do sightseeing which cost 25-$30 per boat per program.
Try local but no the street food. But that doesn’t mean all of the street for are not hygienic. You will see mushrooming local tea-shops nationwide so do the beer station. International and tourist restaurants can be found mostly in Big cities. Most of the hotel will provide you good breakfast however $4 maximum per meal for local cuisine.
Visitors should aware of zone fees and attractions entrance fees. Bagan, Mandalay and Inle lake zone fees are for one time and covers most of the main attractions which is starts from $10 per person. So be wisely to choose which you would like to visit most to cut the cost.
Traveling within Myanmar with lower cost is possible if you have more time. However, budget travelers should avoid visiting to Myanmar while especially in April’s Myanmar New Year (Water festival).
Booking through reliable travel agents are advisable for some components such as bus tickets, transportation for sightseeing and local tourist guides.
However, it is not as worry free as using travel agency for complete packages.