Agga Guest House demonstrates that Yangon is gradually becoming more backpacker friendly. The walls here may be thin in true budget fashion, but this clean and cheap joint located just west of central downtown reaches international standards in a way that few other Yangon budget options do.
Down one of the quieter streets in downtown middle-block, and with that new-hostel smell, Agga has friendly staff overseeing their air-con single rooms, double rooms, and dorm. Sheets on the new mattresses are clean and are of better quality than you will find in most other budget accommodation. With no curfew, noise might be an issue in this compact building, especially in the six-bed mixed dorm downstairs. Still, with a price tag of US$11 for a bunk bed, US$16 for a single and US$25 for a double, booking ahead is important as such good value beds are few and far between in the city.
We weren’t allowed to see any of the rooms since they were all occupied (constantly), but guests say the photos on Agoda.com are a fair representation. Shared bathrooms though poorly painted are fairly well kept, boasting Western-style toilets and hot water showers. They’re happy to provide towels if you’ve forgotten to bring one along.
Guests using the free WiFi in the carpet-covered lobby tend to be eager to join in on any outings, so put on a friendly face. The included breakfast is served 07:00- 09:30 and consists of the usual toast and eggs. Services include an 8,000 kyat airport transfer, laundry, safes for valuables and a storage room for luggage. Be warned that the sign on the door that says “we accept Mastercard / Visa” only means that you can book with a credit card online – not in person.
Location is one of the better features of this hostel. Agga stands just west of the city centre in Chinatown, where the nightlife is one of the downtown’s most active. Kheng Hock Keong temple, the oldest Chinese Buddhist and Taoist temple in Yangon, is down the street and seems to always be hosting festivals – you’ll often see celebrations parading down the street with people in dragon suits or trucks packed with blaring megaphones and music.
19th Street Chinatown is only a few streets away from Agga, so it’s just a short stumble home when you have a belly full of barbecue and draft beer via the late night fruit market. Other locations within a decent walking distance include the photogenic Warden Jetty and Sule Pagoda.
By Christopher Smith
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.