Finding budget accommodation in Yangon (Burma) for under $5 per person is not easy…
Huge demand by increased tourism, combined with inflation in Myanmar has pushed a lot of prices up in the last couple of years. It’s now hard to find competitively priced accommodation like you can in other parts of South east Asia.
Be aware it is cheap because the condition of rooms and bathrooms is very basic, if you are squeamish about a bit of dirtiness then this place is not for you… saying that, most of Yangon is probably not for you if you feel that way. For everyone else, we were very happy with our $10 double room (with air con! although most rooms have a fan instead – so phone in advance and request the air con – April 2013).
Please note that prices in Myanmar have been increasing fast! We expect a 20%-30% increase at Mahabandoola guesthouse for 2014. UPDATE: June 2014 Rates: $4 per person dorm bed. $6 per person for double or single rooms.
If you know of anyone else who can provide an air con double room for $10 in Yangon, leave a comment below, it’s rare we think! Here are the major pros and cons:
1. Very cheap – as cheap as $3 a night to sleep on the kitchen floor (with, allegedly, all the rice you can eat!), $4 a night for a dorm bed (3 to 4 people, mattress on the floor), and $6 per person for single or double rooms – fan and air con same price.
2. Amazing Location – Right opposite Sule Pagoda which is the centre of down town and about 10 minutes walk to “Beer Street” (19th street) and 5 minutes walk to the train station.
3. Very friendly staff with good enough English to book on the phone and to help you with information about Yangon whilst here.
4. Good community/backpacker vibe. Obviously depends on the individuals, but most people hang around out the front being sociable
5. Clean sheets, no bed bugs, and our bed was comfortable enough. Towels and soap included.
6. 300 kyat water (1 litre), so at least as cheap as street prices. 100 kyat per minute local phone calls, to book your next guesthouse.
7. Relatively secure – you can put your own padlock on the outside of the door, plus someone is in reception 24/7 (The owners kids sleep down there and will let you in late at night). If you are staying in a dorm then you will not have a secure space.
8. Three Western Toilets, albeit quite dirty ones.
9. They have a generator if the power goes out, which it will occasionally, but don’t expect air con whilst the power is out.
1. Very Basic. Judge from the photos for yourself, you get a place to sleep, at $5 thats good enough for Yangon.
2. Noisy. Very thin walls and right next to a busy street and mosque (with early morning prayers!). However, with our ear plugs we still got plenty of sleep.
3. The showers and toilets are all functional but scungy. Backpacking novices will be a little concerned…
4. No hot water. But who needs hot water in this climate!
5. Dilapidated. Like much of Yangon, its rundown. We favour price over Aesthetics ourselves though.
6. No Email. So you must book by phone or just turn up. During high season they will be busy, so it’s worth booking. When we were there mid April 2013 quite a few people got turned away because they were full.
Contact Details for Mahabandoola Guest House:
You can contact the Mahabandoola guest house by phone: +95 1 248104
Address: no.453/459 (2nd Floor) Mahabandoola Road (Corner of 32nd st) Pabedan Township Yangon
Its right next to Sule Pagoda, so VERY easy to find and direct the taxi to. Taxi from Yangon airport will cost up to $5 per person, depending on how hard you barter. From the Mingalar Bus terminal you can pick up a bus to downtown for 300 kyat ($0.35) per person.
We loved Myanmar so much we wrote a guide book about it! The must have, up to date alternative to Lonely Planet.