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Accommodation in Yangon

 
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tpm11260



Joined: 15 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: The Gulf

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:35 pm    Post subject: Accommodation in Yangon Reply with quote

I have been offered a teaching position in Yangon with a housing allowance of 500 USD. I've done an online search and it seems apartments for that rent are rare. The only ones which are available are walk ups (8 floors) which are very basic (no hot water or air conditioning). I am not willing to share so that is not an option. Has anyone experience of living in these apartment blocks? Any advice? Thanks.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1991
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that--as is the case in much of the developing world--you're not going to find much via a web search. You'll likely need to wait until you're in-country and can make personal inquiries and get recommendations via word-of-mouth.
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tpm11260



Joined: 15 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: The Gulf

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:51 pm    Post subject: Accommodation- Deciding Factor Reply with quote

Thanks for your response and advice. The type of accommodation available will help me make a decision as to whether or not to accept the job offer. The salary is okay, but not great. However, I am interested in the job and it would be a good opportunity. I am only concerned about the compromises I might be required to make in terms of housing.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 7249
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also ask on one of the popular general expat forum sites for suggestions/advice. Do a search on expat forum yangon.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will not be able to find or rent a place of your own for a housing allowance of only $500/Month iin Yangon....you will most likely have to share a place with another teacher. If you want your own place expect to pay at least US$800/Month for a basic, most likely unfurnished apartment.... Shocked Shocked Shocked
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mfinna



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 32
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a search here. Went on a long, possibly entertaining, rant about housing when first arrived in which I and another guy broke down what one of those walk up apartments is like and cost. I was confounded by the accommodation situation here as well until further researched.

P.S. EFL guy is incorrect on what you would get for 800(?) no furniture? Well, if it's a mansion or really big, yes, but that information is not a good baseline to work from. Look for my old post from 2013. My first apartment was a no furniture, no-facilities walk-up for less than $200. Things haven't changed much and if anything prices are coming down, so I have heard.

P.S.S. Facebook groups dedicated to expats in Yangon are littered with messages/advertisements for apartments with pictures, amenities and prices. The market is full of "brokers" (local middlemen) and you can definitely find them and their offerings on FB.

-fin
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namdak



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that bloke who offered you the job and the $500 is misleading applicants in his ad (I take it is "Brainworks")...he says,

"...because of the low cost of living in Myanmar they can live a far easier and more affluent lifestyle in Myanmar than they can on a teachers salary in their own country."

Not so...it was like that ten years ago when I was there and the place was not opened up...but now, forget it...it is expensive to live there...unless you want to live in a slum full of mold, rats, and giant cockroaches...we're talking tropical heat and monsoon nights...really need air con and good apartment to get a good night's sleep...infrastructure is poor and electricity cuts...along with water...depending on what you rent...
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 664
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rents in Myanmar have skyrocked due to construction projects mainly by human greed and the Chinese investors who have pushed rental prices up, up and away..... On an EFL salary one cannot afford one's own private accomodation...unless you don't mind living in a squator ghetto like a refugee!!!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked
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mfinna



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 32
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all relative as to what is acceptable to the individual. Apartments are available for less than $500.

From what I have gathered, very few teachers want to live "concrete box" style as I do. I currently pay about $210 per month and live alone. No furniture, no facilities, kind of like a refugee, but neither roaches nor rats. It's the tropics, so not expecting to see a roach now and again, especially during the rainy season, is ridiculous. I will admit, so as not to mislead that I am not typical from what I know of other teachers' accommodations.

Here is a good breakdown from my research in 2013 with additional comments from an old hand who says $300 is considered a "good price" these days for teacher accommodation that is presumably a step up from refugee/concrete box style. His breakdown of how you go from $200 concrete box style with no amenities/facilities up to $500+ and the amenities you could expect to add is both clever and informative.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=98996&highlight=

Rents did skyrocket but word has it rents are coming down. Would only say that to make a blanket statement that $500 is not enough to have a place of your own is very misleading, because you don't know what the individual may mind and not mind. $500 is more than enough, for me. My gut tells me most teachers would not live semi-refugee style as I do. Depending on what the OP is willing to tolerate/sacrifice, $500 could be enough. It's more than double what I pay. Maybe the question should be what do most teachers get as a housing allowance? Have heard as high as $700 but not more.

I am here, working, if you have any further questions. Please do check the link first though.

More resources--

Google group - Yangon Expat Connection
FB group - Yangon Connection, Expats in Yangon,

Here is a message from Yangon Connection group on FB (can't figure how to post the link)

There is a very nice 2bedroom flat going a few mins walk to Thamine Junction Citymart,about 5 mins drive to 8 Mile junction. It's located on a quiet street behind the main road (Kyayk Wine Pagoda road) next to KBZ bank.

Very bright and very spacious. Going for 450,000 mmk per month, part furnished with a sofa, a bed, a dressing table and some sideboard/chest of drawers not sure. Price seemes negotiable when we were interested.
Possibility of renting the flat above it too (smaller but with v spacious rooftop balcony!) flr a total 600,000mmk.
If anyone is interested PM me and I ll give you their number.


450,000 kyats is a little less than 450USD. The message was posted today. This sounds unusually low and atypical but maybe location a factor. Not out in the sticks and in a popular area for businesses, NGOs and expats but miles (8?) from downtown and possibly most teaching work.

Hopefully this info helps. Pardon the borderline rant, but it was these arbitrary numbers being thrown around before that sent me into a research and fact finding frenzy to find my own accommodation when first arrived.

-Fin


Last edited by mfinna on Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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mfinna



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 32
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rarely do I see links on Dave's but here goes:

These are from my $210 refugee style concrete box apartment in Yangon:


https://www.dropbox.com/s/6pfldi03eg1ihv5/IMG_20141114_170222.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mh0mofrqofzflxv/IMG_20141114_170303.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lqq928ezrgngdai/IMG_20141114_170531.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gcjbymnq9iq22cb/IMG_20141114_170610.jpg?dl=0

Wooden floors? Not in many refugee camps, but it does have it's draw backs: no hot water, no A/C, no shower head, electricity cuts out. To put it in perspective, this is what your everyday Myanmar person rents...
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1991
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mfinna wrote:
Wooden floors? Not in many refugee camps, but it does have it's draw backs: no hot water, no A/C, no shower head, electricity cuts out. To put it in perspective, this is what your everyday Myanmar person rents...


As do people in many other parts of the world. If you aspire to teach in the developing world, chances are very good that this is how you'll be living. If you're looking for first world amenities . . . well . . . then . . . you might want to seriously consider looking for work elsewhere.
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mfinna



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
Posts: 32
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Esl_prof and it has always been a strategy that has worked just fine for me in more than a few developing countries.

The only caveat being if you do in fact want to live in a western style apartment in Myanmar you can, but at this point in time it can be relatively expensive on a teaching salary. Many teachers do pay what amounts to a ridiculous amount of money on rent here though. My goal was to disseminate housing information to others, so people are not discouraged by arbitrarily high figures without a concrete value for money breakdown.

Another apartment, true "concrete box style" and very typical, for approximately $180 at today's exchange rate. Apartments like these are everywhere, all over Yangon. This apartment was 20x60 feet with a balcony in front and back. It's the standard size for most of these walk ups. It may not be pretty, but that's huge.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rgu6eqdkjxnxrz9/Picture%20170.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mzafucovqxx1d3m/Yangon%2020%20x%2060.jpg?dl=0

It's not for everyone, but it is possible to find accommodation here, albeit closer to local standards of living, for a reasonable price.

OP has probably moved on to another country by now lol


Last edited by mfinna on Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1991
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mfinna wrote:
My goal was to disseminate housing information to others, so people are not discouraged by arbitrarily high figures without a concrete value for money breakdown.


You've done an outstanding job of that. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I greatly respect your willingness to live by local standards rather than by what might be perceived by locals as a promiscuously wealthy western lifestyle. I have no doubt that living that way has greatly enriched your experience in Myanmar.
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