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SEA 2014

South East Asia again!

We were there for 2 months, with Burma and Cambodia as our main destinations.

This was our first time in Burma where we spent 4 weeks and of course, being so near to Cambodia, we could not resist a visit to Angkor.

Read on to learn what we saw and experienced!

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Burma Budget



Final budget — Spring 2014The table to the left shows our daily budget for two persons and includes solely in-country expenses excluding flights and visas (Spring 2014).

Just for info, we flew from Bangkok to Mandalay with AirAsia (a company we recommend) and bought our tickets on-line with one checked bag for 38.5 £ per person.

We applied for our visas in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), price was 20$ per person at the time of travel.

We spent 25 days in Burma, visiting the big four (Mandalay, Bagan, Inle and Yangon) before moving south to cross overland into Thailand via the Mae Sot crossing (we flew in to Mandalay from Bangkok) and spent much less as we had anticipated.

We were in the country at the tail end of the season (March 10th to April 4th), so this probably made an impact, but we believe that even in the high season, we would have fared pretty well.

Also, we made the three long journeys from Mandalay - Bagan - Inle and Kalaw to Yangon with night train/buses, which saved us the cost of three hotel nights.


During the season in which we travelled , we had no problems at all finding a room. We simply showed up without a reservation and had always more than one hotel with vacancies to chose from. We had not often luck at bargaining, it was mostly a case of accept the price or leave it.The friendly breakfast crew at the River Wood Inn, Nyangshwe The friendly breakfast crew at the River Wood Inn, Nyangshwe


Our favourite stop for snacks in Yangon Our favourite stop for snacks in Yangon We were amazed at how cheap and tasty the food is in Burma. We ended up spending an average of 3,500 Kyatt (roughly 2.2£/3.6$/2.7€) per day for the two of us. However, our eating patterns while on the road are not to everyone's taste, so we are probably not the best benchmark on this one:

Local Transport

We travelled by train, bus and pick-ups. We love walking, walk a lot (also with back-pack when searching for hotels) and very very rarely take taxis or tuk-tuks. When we landed in Mandalay after an Air Asia flight from Bangkok, we found it very convenient indeed that the Air Asia shuttle into the town centre was free of charge for their customers. That was a good start!

Train: we took the train four times and were positively surprised. First, we must say that we are used to sleeping almost anywhere, local night buses or ordinary class trains, so maybe you should take our experience with a pinch of salt, but for us, the Burmese Railways were perfect, cheap and a good way to mix with locals. On the other side, it is definitely not something for people with back problems.You will need your passport to get a ticket You will need your passport to get a ticket

Local Buses: we travelled the long distances with buses.

Pick Ups:Not quite full yet, waiting for more passengers in Mandalay Not quite full yet, waiting for more passengers in Mandalay

Trip from Moulmein to the Thai Border:

Entry Fees

We won't go into the discussion whether it is ethical or not to dodge entry fees in Burma. Let's say that we managed quite easily to see most of Mandalay's pagodas and the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon without paying.

As far as Bagan is concerned, since we walked from the train station to the city and it was before dawn, there was no one to stop us at the entrance of Nyaung U for the entry fee. However, because we wanted to roam through Bagan without having always to watch for a separate entry or potential wardens, we decided to pay the entry fee the first time they would ask for it at one of the temples (15$ per person).

Well, we regretted it at the end: first because we only got asked for it twice or thrice and every time it would have been a child's play to simply take a side entrance. But what made us really unhappy was the fact that we got the feeling that wherever the money goes to, it is not to sustain the site: toilets are to be paid extra, signs on the road are quite erratic and the conservation programmes, well…

Want to read more? Go back to John Denver in Buddha Land or go on to Pre Travel Budget or go up to Blog

$updated from: Blog.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:30 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$