Myanmar is an incredible country to visit – the pagodas, people, landscapes, food and culture all make Myanmar one of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular countries. However, unlike neighbouring countries, Myanmar doesn’t have the tourism infrastructure to support the budget backpacker, with most accommodation options offering only single or double hotel rooms at $40 a night.
So not only does that make it difficult to stick to a budget but it makes it difficult (but not impossible) to meet other travellers and make friends on the road. Everyone who’s travelled solo knows that the easiest way to find company is to start up a conversation with a dorm mate, or over a coffee in the common room, or meet other travellers during quiz and game nights in the hostel bar.
While I’m hoping that will change for Myanmar’s tourism industry in the years to come, I had to make do with what is currently available. The good news is that among the few hostels that have popped up in recent years, there are some real gems – and Myanmar’s hospitality is among the best in the world. Wherever you stay, you’ll feel most welcomed.
I always book all my accommodation through Hostel World, it’s the most painless way of travelling. I found that it takes a long time to get anywhere in Myanmar so looking for a hostel once you arrive in town is exhausting and the best accommodation gets snapped up fast. Book ahead when and where you can.
All prices are in $USD, which is the preferred currency for paying for hostels and hotels in Myanmar. Bring notes in pristine condition, I had notes rejected at some hostels for having a slight crease in them, most hostels prefer to be paid in USD but will still accept the local currency Kyat at a standard rate of 1300k per US$1 as of 2017.
Yangon - Scott @ 31st street
This well-placed hostel situated in the culture, sightseeing, and shopping area of Yangon, provides a nice little spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With just nine rooms, Scott @ 31st street is cosy and laidback with an onsite café for relaxing and socialising.
6 bed dorm: $12 per night
Mandalay - Ostello Bello Mandalay
I stayed at the Bagan branch of this chain hostel group and whoever designed these hostels knows exactly what backpackers are looking for. Ostello Bello offers free breakfast, Burmese cigars and tamarind sweets, board games, a travel desk to book onwards travel, a rooftop restaurant where you can down a couple of Dagon beers in a social atmosphere not to mention daily game nights to bring travellers together. I really cannot fault this hostel.
8 bed dorm: $10 per night
Bagan - Lux pillow
Bagan is extremely overpriced but one hostel stands out as solid value. Lux pillow has a green garden out front to meet travellers from around the world and a beautiful balcony on the second floor that provides a soft breeze and fresh air.
4 bed dorm: $14 per night
Inle lake (Nyaungshwe) - Song of Travel
I didn’t stay here personally, but it was highly recommended by a fellow traveller (the hostel I did stay at was just lousy). With complimentary, daily changing breakfasts, welcoming staff, capsule style dorm beds (so everyone has their own pod with a charging point, light and curtain) - and ideally located to pop to the Red Mountain winery for wine tasting – this is the hostel I wished I stayed at.
16 bed dorm: $12 per night
Ngapali Beach - WEStay @ chillax house
Ngapali beach is full of resorts and luxury villas – a place where the wealthy citizens of Myanmar come to play. So believe me when I say you really can’t beat the value of WEStay (who also have a handful of other hostels in their chain dotted around Myanmar).
This hostel offers you some respite from cities, routines, and long bus rides so you can enjoy the pleasant vibes of Ngapali beach.
4 bed dorm: $15 per night
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and for each purchase you make, I receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. HostelWorld is the only hostel booking website I use and is the best way to search for and book budget accommodation.
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