We were pleasantly surprised with how nice Myanmar actually is. It’s still rural and has its laid-back charm, and the touts and scams were not an issue. We had read up some things before we went, so we hope these Myanmar travel tips will serve you as well!

Airport to Yangon centre:

Our backpacker instinct was strong… We were thinking of getting the local bus for 300 kyat, which is like 8 baht total (almost nothing in usd). The information guy at the airport was super informative and he explained the thousand steps how to catch each bus on which corner and how many times to cross which street.
The problem was it was getting dark and we know by now that the public transport hassle can take hours, just to save two dollars. We took a taxi: no meters in any car, just verbal agreement. 10,000 kyat for 1 hour drive to the city centre. If you’re nice, it’s 8,000. And by nice, I mean can be bothered bargaining for an unknown amount of time.

PRO TIP: Make sure you don’t pay until you’re out of the car and got all your stuff, and count the money out loud and make sure the receiving party is watching. It’s the best way to avoid any cash scam.


When you see a pack of boys with tank tops walk by, and they’re all wearing skirts… you feel pretty safe. Some people look more aggressive than others, but they are friendly, and they want to help. The taxi drivers may charge more, but they won’t scam you big time.

Watch the cars, and… books:

When we were walking in the market area some guys were unloading a truckload of books, and as I was walking past slowly making sure one of them saw me, I got hit with a sack of books thrown by the other guy.

Motorbikes are not allowed in Yangon (ftw??) so there are a lot of cars in narrow superparked streets. If it’s green light it doesn’t mean anything.

PRO TIP: If cars sound the horn – move.

Before the trip:

-sort the visa confirmation letter online, print it and bring it with you. We paid like 1,500 baht each and it was confirmed in like an hour. If you have a visa exemption, good for you. You should know if you have it or not – not the immigration officer.
-bring CRISP USD/EUR/SGD bills. Online research shows old bills may be rejected, so we didn’t want to risk it. Some local notes look like they have been in circulation for so long that it makes you wonder if the same note was used to buy dinosaur meat.

At the airport:

-exchange kyat into smaller notes like 1,000 or 2,000’s to have exact change and avoid being overcharged. If you get “scammed” buying an apple, there’s a chance you will get the wrong change paying for a tour.

Food stuff:

-bring your own tea and coffee, this is not Milan. There are coffee shops but nowhere near as many as, let’s say, in Thailand.
-bring a flask. Just like in China, some places have hot water machines.
-for special dietary needs, ask hotel staff to write what you can or cannot eat. People here are simple and probably won’t understand what the hell is gluten. Heck, I don’t even know what it is.

Bargaining :

Yes and no. Take a few minutes walking around and asking for drinks / food prices. Some things were cheaper on the street than in the supermarket in Yangon, so you know not all vendors have cosmic prices.

In Bagan however, we visited a super local market in Nyaung-U and every single lady was charging double the Yangon prices. You can see it’s fun for them though, they have a bit of Indian bargainer charm in them. We walked around and managed to bargain the price down in an instant: a small bag of poor tomatoes was 1,000 and in Thai baht that’s like 30 baht (never paid that much for tired vegetables). Given this town’s local clientele, that’s ten times the normal price. We said 500 and they instantly had a happy sale.

An apple for a foreigner will cost 500-1,000 kyat for the same one, but we bought 3 for 1,000 from a nice lady, but just because we walked around for a few minutes.

-rent an ebike.
-don’t ride poor little horses
-don’t be an idiot and don’t litter
-bring a scarf, mask to avoid sand everywhere (we got caught in a sand storm)

You can read all about Bagan sunset temples here, or about a fun bumpy train ride from Yangon to Bagan here.

Back to Yangon :
We took the night bus from Bagan to Yangon, 9 pm departure time. We managed to catch another sunset as we were only picked up by the company at 8 pm.
Whoever said the night bus is better than the train clearly hasn’t taken the train… It was just as bumpy!
The seats were comfy, with reclining leg space, towels, eye-sight worsener (small crappy tv), blankets, and one toilet stop. (no loo on board). Arrived on time though, 6 am. This was the first time we spent 24 hours in a basic cheap hostel without actually leaving the room.

We only spent one week here, but if you’ve never been, I hope these Myanmar travel tips have been useful.

P. S, I was the star if the town as everyone called me Ibrahimovic from Manchester United. Not because of my insane….ly crappy football skills, but because of the top knot and the moustache.

P. P. S, I was trying to post a review of the awful Myanmar Internet, clicked submit, and… The Internet disconnected. It’s a thing this Myanmar Internet.