Nyaung U's main road has many more cheap, practically identical guesthouses than those that are listed here, which offer singles/doubles for about $5/8. For that price you can expect a boxy room with mint-green walls, a lazy ceiling fan, concrete or tiled floors and attached bath with (supposedly) hot water, and sometimes even an old air-con unit. Some are not really geared towards foreigners but will happily accept you. Many travellers prefer the quieter guesthouses off Restaurant Row.
All of the following come with free breakfast and most drop their prices a dollar or three off-season.
Inn Wa Guest House : If you just need a cheap bed (and a little English), this three-floor, 16-room choice near the market should keep you happy: minigolf green carpets in boxy rooms and simple attached bathrooms with hot water. Ask for rooms 206 or 306 for more window light (and less street noise). Breakfast is served on the open roof deck. Fan-cooled singles/doubles on the ground floor with shared bathroom are $3/6.
Golden Myanmar Guest House : Part-time air-ticket agency, full-time guesthouse. The Golden Myanmar is more bare-bone than its neighbour Inn Wa. Go with room 108: it's got more light and is apart from the rest of the rooms.
Eden Motel : Split in two by the busy road towards the airport, Eden isn't exactly a garden party. The rooms in the hewer Eden Motel TI have bigger, tiled rooms and an over-touted bathtub, but we prefer the ones in the original - particularly the ones with all-bamboo walls and hardwood floors (from $6/8, hut the 'satellite TV sound will likely filter through the walls).
New Heaven : The price is way right for these clean, compact rooms with small decks looking over laminated waterfall photos on the walls.
Winner Guest House : No-one stays out here (yet), but this little family-run guesthouse on the road to Old Bagan isn't a bad choice: it's nearer the temples, there are appealing roadside restaurants around, and the simple concrete-floor rooms with an air-con unit and tiled bathroom attached are just as good as the cheapies in town.
May Kha Lar Guest House :The best kept of the main-road budget choices, the 35-room May Kha Lar's ground-floor, gaudy-tile rooms are compact, with air-con, ceiling fan and attached bath. It's worth shelling out another dollar or two for the upstairs options (which have wooden floors and TV).
Golden Village Inn : Behind New Heaven (and of the same ownership), the Village is another shady spot near the restaurant strip, with comfort-able bungalow-style rooms. Higher-priced ones add TV, desk and tub.
New Park Hotel : Perhaps the best of the bunch on the leafy backstreets off Restaurant Row, the 24-room New Park has two classes. The older rooms, with bungalow-style front decks for afternoon journal writing, are comfortable, wood-floor jobbies, with spic-and-span bathrooms (a big upgrade from the main road choices). The recently opened new wing gets you more space, a fridge and a TV.
Aung Mingalar Hotel : Popular as a 'midrange lite' choice, the Aung Mingalar complex is right across from several small pagodas and is spitting distance from the Shwezigon Paya. Its three types or rooms all have patios; those with TV have wood floors.
Golden Express Hotel :With cartoon colours and some pagodas next door, this complex features four bright motel-style units. The best value of the four classes are the superior single/ double rooms ($23/28), with wood floors, a bit more space and tubs. There's a nice pool and a big buffet breakfast served on the grounds.
Thante Hotel ; South of the market, just off the main road, is the 37-room Thante Hotel. It offers roomy bungalows on shady grounds and has a decent swimming pool ($3 for nonguests). The rooms are starting to show a few nicks but they're spacious and come with satellite TV, twin beds, refrigerator, bathtub, wooden floor and deckchairs on the small porch. The hotel's staff members are very welcoming, plus there's a good bakery and restaurant on site.
The only topend choices in Nyaung U gel some European tour groups, but we recommend avoiding both. The Sagan Golf Resorl is run by the government, and the remarkable (and remarkably pricey) Aureum Palace, a mile or so southwest of town, is owned by Taj Za. Its infamous Towrer Restaurant -a blight on the Bagan plain - is overpricec but has views.
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