Myanmar (Burma) is a country in Southeast Asia that has become a popular country for backpackers in recent years. The amount of accommodation options is increasing in line with the amount of tourists, but in many places it might be good to reserve your Myanmar (Burma) hostel in advance if you really want to stay in one particular hostel.
Most backpackers do approximately the same round trip and visit Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Hsipaw, and Inle Lake. Yangon is a surprisingly modern city which is developing extremely fast. Well worth a visit are the Shwedagon pagoda and the Central Market. There is really good street food, and Nineteenth Street gets crowded with both tourists and locals during the evening hours. Bagan is a must-visit with more than three thousand pagodas spread out over a big plain. It is easiest to visit the pagodas with an ebike, which you can rent at every hostel in Bagan. Mandalay is not the most-liked city in Myanmar, but you can easily spend two days driving around the smaller villages in the area. Hsipaw is a world class destination for hiking and Inle Lake is a place to relax and see some traditional arts and crafts. Other destinations that are worth a visit, but are a bit more off the beaten track are Mrauk Oo, Pyin Oo Lwin, Hpa-An, and Mawlamyine. Golden Rock is also famous, but hard to get to, and therefore it doesn't attract a lot of foreign visitors. The cost of traveling in Myanmar is low, but Myanmar (Burma) hostels are more expensive than in other countries in Southeast Asia. Food and transport are approximately the same price as in neighboring Thailand. Bargaining is accepted at the markets and souvenir shops, but not so much in restaurants.
The two main tourist cities are Yangon and Mandalay. These cities have international airports and the majority of Myanmar (Burma) hostels can be found here. Yangon especially has many hostels and all are of very good quality. The price usually includes bed linen, a towel, and breakfast. Some Myanmar (Burma) hostels in Yangon offer tours and all hostels can book taxis and public transport to basically every other city in Myanmar. Mandalay, Bagan, and Hsipaw offer a handful of hostels each and the standard is the same as in Yangon, but a bit more pricey. In other cities there are often no Myanmar (Burma) hostels, but some guesthouses and hotels offer shared dorm rooms.
Especially in Bagan, there is a shortage of budget accommodation and it is advisable to book your stay a few days before arriving. In other cities, you should book ahead in the high season (December to February). In the low season, you don't have to book in advance, unless you really want to stay in a particular Myanmar (Burma) hostel or room.
It is easiest to get around the country by bus and train and all Myanmar (Burma) hostels can book transport for their guests. Some Myanmar (Burma) hostels are not willing to book for you if you don't stay with them for the night. Prices vary, so it is worth checking out some other travel agencies as well. Also, popular day trips and motorbike rental can always be booked at your Myanmar (Burma) hostel reception, but also here the price may vary.
Hi, I'm Paulien,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Myanmar (Burma) hostels. Welcome.