The cost of living in Myanmar is fairly reasonable and with lucrative salary packages, expats can live a comfortable life in the country. Mercer’s 2023 Cost of Living Survey ranks Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon, 204th out of the 227 cities surveyed, making it one of the most affordable cities for expats in Southeast Asia.

Apart from housing, utilities and high-speed internet are likely to be an expat’s biggest expenses in Myanmar. The country suffers chronic power outages, which necessitate backup generators. While the internet infrastructure has developed recently, high-speed internet still costs a pretty penny.


Cost of accommodation in Myanmar

Accommodation in Myanmar is one of the most expensive in Southeast Asia, especially in major cities such as Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Rent in new buildings is steep, but these new constructions offer luxury features, including gyms and swimming pools.

Price-conscious expats can look for housing in the areas and suburbs further out of the city, although the buildings may be older with varying standards. 


Cost of transport in Myanmar

Buses are the cheapest and most reliable mode of transport in Myanmar, but they are also quite uncomfortable and overcrowded. The rail system in the country is known for constantly being behind schedule as well as its ageing infrastructure, so most expats do not use train services. Most expats in Myanmar will use taxis, which are relatively affordable given that passengers can negotiate a price with the driver before beginning the journey.

Expats looking to explore further afield the country will find that flying is often the best mode of transport and fortunately, flight tickets are priced competitively.


Cost of groceries and eating out in Myanmar

Myanmar has a vibrant and diverse culinary scene, with everything from Japanese, Indian and Italian cuisine on offer. Eating out can be pricey, though, especially in luxury high-end restaurants. Expats looking to get more bang for their buck should consider street food, although these establishments can be unhygienic. 

Basic grocery staples such as eggs, milk and fresh produce are accessible and largely inexpensive. Expats can find imported Western foods at select supermarkets, but these will set them back significantly more than they may be used to.


Cost of education in Myanmar

Public schools in Myanmar are underfunded and Burmese is the language of instruction in these institutions, making them a largely unsuitable option for expats who are in the country on a short-term assignment. For that reason, most expat parents choose to enrol their children in exorbitantly priced international schools. Expat parents should negotiate school fees and the related costs into their relocation package to minimise their expenses.


Cost of living in Myanmar chart

Prices vary depending on product and service provider across Myanmar – these are the average costs for Yangon in January 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent in good area)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

MMK 1,626,240

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

MMK 690,870

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

MMK 1,696,860

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

MMK 698,199

Groceries

Dozen eggs

MMK 2,975

Milk (1 litre)

MMK 3,903

Loaf of bread (white)

MMK 1,618

Chicken breasts (1kg)

MMK 3,966

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

MMK 4,531

Utilities/household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

MMK 76

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

MMK 26,921

Basic utilities (average for a standard household)

MMK 159,183

Eating out and entertainment

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant 

MMK 54,095

Big Mac Meal

MMK 6,334

Cappuccino

MMK 4,573

Coca-Cola (2L)

MMK 1,416

Local beer (500ml)

MMK 1,837

Transportation

Taxi rate per 8km

MMK 13,060

Monthly city-centre transport fare

MMK 20,221

Petrol (per litre)

MMK 1,723

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