At the time of our first trip in 2012, accommodation was a challenge. Guesthouses and hotels were sparse, not always accessible for foreign visitors, and the mere absence of internet facilities made it into an adventure to see whether there would be somewhere to stay when we arrived in a city of village. More than once we had to arrange a truck to transport us to the next town, where something would be available. Apparently, we weren’t like the assertive, gutsy kind of cyclists we met later on: some manage to stay at monasteries or just pitch their tent somewhere. We brought our tent, but never felt comfortable enough to pitch it for wildcamping.
This completely changed during that five years that followed. Mobile internet was implemented rapidly and hotel booking sites became operational in the tourism industry of Myanmar. Many new hotels and guesthouses were built, and the existing ones got competition, leaving more value for money for visitors. Still, there are hotels and guesthouses only accessible for domestic visitors, but those are easily identified by the prefix ‘Burmese only’ at booking- or search sites.
In addition, a ban on offering tourists a homestay was lifted. Therefore you’ll find locals offering you a place to stay, or more willing to help you out when no hotels are available.