The cost of living in Myanmar is fairly reasonable, and with a lucrative salary package, you can live a comfortable life in the country. Mercer’s 2024 Cost of Living Survey ranks Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon, 183rd out of the 226 cities surveyed, making it one of Southeast Asia's most affordable cities for expats.

Apart from housing, utilities and high-speed internet are likely to be your biggest expenses in Myanmar. The country suffers chronic power outages, which necessitate backup generators. While the internet infrastructure has developed recently, high-speed internet is still quite costly.

Cost of accommodation in Myanmar

Accommodation in Myanmar is one of the priciest 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.

If you're a price-conscious expat, you can look for housing in the areas and suburbs further out of the city, although the buildings may be older and have varying standards. In addition to monthly rental fees, you should budget for utilities, which can become costly when factoring in backup power.

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 and for 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. If you're looking to explore further afield in the country, you will find that flying is often the best mode of transport, and fortunately, flight tickets are priced competitively.

Cost of groceries in Myanmar

Myanmar is home to many markets where fruit and vegetables are available at low costs. Basic grocery staples such as eggs and milk are accessible and largely inexpensive. For dairy and meat products, you should shop at supermarkets to ensure you get the freshest quality food that won’t lead to illness. You can find imported Western foods at select supermarkets, but these will set you back significantly more than you may be used to.

Cost of entertainment 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. Although hygiene standards at these establishments can be questionable, street food is plentiful and affordable in Myanmar.

Entertainment and leisure activities in Myanmar are largely affordable. Cinema tickets and alcoholic drinks at local bars are cheap, while outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming and cycling are free or low-cost. You will pay high tourist prices if you're looking to visit local temples and historic sites, but this will likely still remain within reach for expats.

Cost of education in Myanmar

Public schools in Myanmar are underfunded. 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 pricey international schools.

These schools typically offer high-quality facilities and qualified teaching staff, who are usually native speakers of the school’s language instruction, so you will find the cost of international schools well worth it. You should negotiate school fees and related costs into your relocation package to minimise your expenses.

Cost of healthcare in Myanmar

The public healthcare system in Myanmar is still under development. You will likely find the level of care inadequate for your healthcare needs and will often use qualified private healthcare facilities. Some of these private hospitals and clinics cater specifically to expats and have English-speaking staff members.

To access these healthcare facilities, secure comprehensive private health insurance that offers medical evacuation. Most expat employers will cover this insurance. If you need to secure it on your own, be aware that the cost varies depending on your age, whether you smoke, drink and exercise and if you have any pre-existing health conditions. 

Cost of living in Myanmar chart

Prices vary depending on product and service provider across Myanmar – these are the average costs for Yangon in April 2024.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centreMMK 3,200,000
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centreMMK 2,400,000
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreMMK 1,600,000
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreMMK 500,000
Food and drink
Dozen eggsMMK 3,350
Milk (1 litre)MMK 4,300
Rice (1kg)MMK 2,600
Loaf of white breadMMK 2,090
Chicken breasts (1kg)MMK 3,900
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)MMK 5,550
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantMMK 69,000
Big Mac MealMMK 8,450
Coca-Cola (330ml)MMK 1,700
CappuccinoMMK 4,750
Bottle of beer (local)MMK 5,750
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)MMK 45
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)MMK 25,000
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)MMK 180,000
Taxi rate/kmMMK 1,900
City-centre public transport fareMMK 375
Gasoline/Petrol (per litre)MMK 1,500

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