In the short space of the last couple of years the Yangon hostel scene has transformed from a collection of overpriced, unclean shacks to a flourishing scene of funky, fresh and inexpensive places to stay with all conveniences the worldly backpacker needs. My Magical Myanmar is proud to give you this review, so you can check out the best of the rest.
Pickled Tea Hostel
As of this writing, Yangon’s own Pickled Tea Hostel stands as Tripadvisor’s #1 specialty lodging in the city. Though not very obvious from the street, once at the door guests are welcomed by greenery and beanbags. Pickled Tea’s location in Myaynigone is walking distance to Shwedagon Pagoda but a taxi would be required for the other sites around Yangon.
The hostel is particularly clean in pleasant contrast to the rough-and-ready surrounding streets. A small Myanmar-style breakfast of sticky rice, spring rolls and bean cake is served in the outdoor seating area. The private single room is generous in size compared to other hostels though it will set you back $38 per night.
A nice touch is the hostel’s guide book for the local area that provides specific information about the best street food in the locality as well as religious diversity of the surrounding streets among other useful information.
Regarding the hostel’s unusual name, Hostel Manager Erik explains: “Perhaps nothing better represents Myanmar hospitality, sharing and friendship than pickled tea. We think it makes for the perfect inspiration behind our hostel’s name.”
Rooms: 4 and 6 bed dorms, 1 private single (shared bathrooms). Price range: $15 to $18 for dorm beds, $30- $50 for private room. Location: 11 Myaynigone Zay Street, Sanchaung Tsp., Yangon
Scott Hostel is probably the best hostel option in the downtown area. It is located on 31st Street (upper block) close to everything a visitor may want to see in Yangon as well as being on the doorstep of the culinary delights of Chinatown and the Indian quarter.
The street is fairly quiet and clean with lots of book stalls and a Hindu temple. The building is at least 60 years old and had been used as a book storage facility until just over a year ago when the engineer-owner began renovations. Now, contemporary furniture and artful decorations make the lobby-cafe area a great place to hang out and meet other travelers. A lot of thought went into the interior design which puts Scott Hostel a step ahead of competitors for style. Being open only a year is perhaps the only reason it doesn’t sit at the top of Tripadvisor’s specialty lodging list.
Facilities include personal curtains and electronic lockers for each bed. A continental buffet breakfast is served in the morning and there is fast wifi everywhere in the hostel. The roof terrace is another comfortable place for relaxing with a book or sharing travel stories.
“What makes our hostel special is the awesome design. We also provide great service. Our beds and bed linen quality are at hotel standards but for hostel prices,” Operations Manager Win Myat Thu told us.
Rooms: 3, 4, 5 and 6-bed dorms. Price range: $13 to $18 per night. Location: 31st Street (upper block), Yangon.
Little Yangon Hostel
Using ‘Lil’ and “Little’ in the title interchangeably, this hostel is not really small at all. The 39-bed business is located in a bustling part of downtown which is excellent for travelers who want to get in thick and deep with Yangon life. From the upper balconies or seats at street level, travelers can watch the whirl of locals going about their business and street sellers hollering out to sell their wares. The exterior makes the most of the building’s colonial style while the interiors are modern and fresh.
A strong point is the common area. The comfy couches enable you to spend time chilling out here in the perfect setting for making friends and travel buddies in a laid-back atmosphere while the other guests chat, read and plan their days. There is also a cute thanaka application station in the common area for you to spruce up Myanmar-style.
On the two upper levels there are 6-bed and 8-bed dorms ranging from $13 to $18 per night. Beds have thick curtains for guests’ privacy and personal reading lights at each bed. Shared bathrooms with hot water showers are available on each level.
Rooms: 6-bed and 8-bed mixed dorms, 1 private single. Price range: $13- $22 per night. Location: 39th Street (lower block), Yangon