Internet Cafe in Myanmar

Like all other nations in South East Asia, people in Myanmar are also enjoying the internet access to the world. Internet has become part of the daily life of some of the Burmese living in the large cities. However, the speed of the internet in Myanmar is usually quite slow, individual access is also quite expensive and mostly available to major cities. Apart from Yangon and Mandalay, most other cities in Myanmar have to rely on ipStar satellite link for internet access. Broadband is only available to Yangon and Mandalay, and dial up, although available in other cities and towns using the telephone line, is painfully slow and disconnection is too frequent. For individual users, monthly payment plans are quite expensive. Broadband access is granted only to companies and businesses and the installation fee (about US$ 2,000) is very expensive. For most Myanmar people, this is beyond their means. To fill this gap, internet cafes sprung up all over Myanmar.

Majority of internet cafes are in Yangon and Mandalay where ADSL broadband service is readily available. In Yangon alone, there are more than 100 internet cafes with new ones opening every week. In Mandalay, although the number of internet cafes is not as high as in Yangon, people are also enjoying the same kind of privilege. In other cities across Myanmar, people are not so lucky. Most of the time, it is quite difficult to find one internet café even in large cities outside Yangon and Mandalay (except the new capital Naypyidaw). Some large cities, even though they are economically well off, don’t have even a single internet café. Most cities have only one or two internet café. The connection is also slower than in Yangon and Mandalay, as they mainly rely on satellite access. The fee is also two to three times higher.

Most internet café in Yangon and Mandalay charge the customers about 400 to 600 kyats ( 0.30 to 0.45 US$) per hour. If the electricity is cut off, which is quite usual, the shop will run the electric generator, and an extra charge of 100 kyats (about US$ 0.08) per hour is usually added to the normal fee. In other cities, the charge might be as high as 1,000 to 1,500 kyats (US$ 0.08 to 1.30) per hour. (In Hakha, Chin State, I had to pay 2,000 kyats per hour to use the internet!)

As many popular websites and domains (like blogger) as well as all popular web mails are banned by the Myanmar internet service provider, almost all internet café provide some way to by pass this firewall. This is either in the form of proxy software or a proxy website. Gmail users and use https protocol to access their emails while Yahoo users can use the mobile version of Yahoo mail. For other web mails, you have to use the proxy.

There are now rumors that some internet café in Myanmar install key loggers and screen capture. Although not confirmed, you should bear this fact in mind while using the internet at the internet café in Myanmar.

20 thoughts on “Internet Cafe in Myanmar”

  1. EdZee – Philippines – I am an early sexagenarian who regularly surfs the Net. I started blogging in January 2009 and has no plan of quitting now.

    I am testing G-Lock Blog Finder when I come across your site. True enough, it’s quite a good software.

    I am happy to read that the Internet café business has come to Myanmar although with all the kinds of limitations one can think of. If you want to know how the business is faring in the Philippines you can read them at Owning a Café.

  2. Hello
    How do you do? I would like to introduce myself. I am computer student.
    I would like to get your opinion about internet cafe.
    I’m interesting to open cyber cafe.
    Please reply me.
    Aye Thiri Myat

    1. I am interesting to open internet shop.But I have not many.If you open interesting shop,I coming.Where do you live?I am interesting comouter subject.Are you teaching me?Thank you Friend.

  3. Doing internet cafe business in Myanmar is not an easy business. The main problem is the electricity. If the electricity is 24 hours normal, it would not be so much problem. However, with black out common in Myanmar, you need to run generator to run your internet computers. With every hour on generator, the profit margin shrink. Before starting the internet cafe business, you should try to find out how the others are coping with this problem and how much profit they are making. In my opinion, the profit margin would be quite small compared to your investment.

  4. Hello,

    I have booked my tickets for a two week holiday in Yangon, Inle, Mandalay and Pyin U Lwin from the second week of September. What I am worried is I would not be able to keep in touch with my family/home during my travel due to the scarcity of internet cafe’s in Inle and Pyin U Lwin.

    One option is to get a prepaid sim card – will that allow incoming calls from overseas. The card has a validity of one month – so can I call within Myanmar – Unlimited [???] or does the card go dead after a certain amount of calls.

    I have my own notebook – would the internet cafe owners allow me to plug into their connection and also would Skype be available in the cafe’s.


    1. Prepaid sim cards have validity of one month. You can accept incoming calls from foreign countries as well as making out going overseas calls. For local calls, it is US$ 0.30 per minute and US$ 0.05 per minute for accepting calls. For making overseas calls, the usual overseas call rates apply (for example, to call to Thailand, it is around US$ 1.70 per minute).

      You can use skype at the local internet cafe. They might also have other internet phone options available. However, I don’t think they will allow you to use your laptop with their connection due to security risk. Ask the owner to use either skype or gmail. They will assist you to overcome the government firewall.

      Please see Prepaid mobile GSM phone cards in Myanmar, Prepaid mobile phone SIM cards available in City Mart Supermarkets in Yangon, Telecommunication in Myanmar and Gmail, Yahoo mail and Myanmar to get some idea.

      1. Bamarlay,

        I have returned from my Myanmar trip last month and was bowled over by the extremely hospitable people. My SIM card had a balance of $3 left over [after receiving calls from home] at the end of the stay that I gave to my guide/translator.

        I have booked tickets to be there again in December!

  5. dear sir
    will u kindly provide me with the correct yangon mandalay v.v. mandalay lashio v.v. train timetable and prices
    bus yangon to mandalay v.v.
    is there bus services mandalay lashio v.v. ? prices time

  6. Hello,
    I am looking for a place in Yangoon where you can get a “normal” internet access : I use internet to check my mail on yahoo or hotmail or google and it is a very painfull process here, it sometimes doesn’t work at all or can take up to one hour to send a short mail. I also need to do a few banking operations, and authentification always fails.
    Ready to pay more than the usual 500 k / hour.
    Thanks for useful hints !

  7. hi, I’ve been out of Myanmar for over 28 yrs and I was just wondering if it is possible to use video phones in Myanmar via high speed internet (not web-cam). If not, why?

    1. It is possible to use video phone if it is via wifi, but not with 3G or GPRS/EDGE. Myanmar does not offer internet on phone lines. However, the speed might not be fast enough for proper video data.

  8. Hi all of you,
    I’m a foreign person.
    My company is planning to co-operate with MPT for broadband BCC projiect.
    So, I have to study about Broadband market in Myanmar.
    Please guide me, comment me every things you know.
    Thank you so much.
    I hope that we can contribute little effort to promote Internet development in Myanmar in the coming years.
    Do not hesitate to contact and communicate with me via the address

    Thanks again and kindly regards.

  9. Are there any internet cafes near the Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township in Rangoon?

    I have a friend here (Mount Orab, Ohio, USA) from Rangoon who works at the local grocery store and would like to surprise him with a chance to possibly contact family or friends back home.

    Thank you.

  10. I am looking for a freindly interpeter who must be computer literate and has knowledge of the Jatakas, Ramayana, Nat worship and Burmese arts and culture who can assist me with interpretations of works of art. An art student with exellent english would be ideal.

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