What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
We have two adults and two children in our household, and we live in the Shangri-La serviced apartments. Maid service is provided 6 days a week and is included in the price of the lease. The Shangri-La also brings cakes and flowers on anniversaries and birthdays. The apartment grounds are immaculate and the pool is the best in Yangon. Both the main and children's pools are saltwater. Our actual apartment is 4 bedrooms plus a room without A/C designated for live-in staff to occupy (we use the space for storage). Overall the apartment has plenty of storage for an apartment. It takes 20-30 minutes to get to the Embassy in in the mornings and afternoons. Mid-day and late evening it takes 2-3 times as long. - May 2019
We lived in a serviced apartment and really like it; great pool, lots of people to hang out with, and awesome support from staff. Many include daily housekeeping. The downside is that there is no storage and the building will not remove anything (couches, forks, nothing!) of theirs, so you need to bring as little as possible. Also, most serviced apartments do not allow pets. Houses tend to be large and exactly what you dream about for Southeast Asia, but they are maintenance nightmares: mold. bugs, water damage, snakes (this stuff is real here). Prepare to spend a lot of time getting things fixed. Overall, everyone seems fairly happy with housing. Commute times vary but are generally under 30 minutes, but do your research on this, because some intersections can add 15 minutes to your commute every day. Walking commutes are rare due to lack of sidewalks and challenging weather. Bicycles are technically illegal in Yangon but expats get away with using them, although it's pretty dangerous due to the insanity of the roads here. - Mar 2019
The housing is an even mixture of serviced apartments and stand-alone residences. Most families of four or more are in the stand-alone style, but there is a high demand for the serviced apartments. Commutes can vary, but most seem to range between 15-30 minutes. Traffic is somewhat unpredictable and can be quite heavy at times. - Sep 2018
We live in a free-standing single family home with a small yard. Many families here with a dog or multiple kids end up in houses; we have a dog, which is why we ended up in a house. Our house is moderately sized--plenty for two people and a dog, with room to host houseguests as needed. The house is one of the further north properties in the city, putting us farther away from the downtown area, but ultimately not far from the embassy.
Our commute times are not always consistent. More recently, the commute to work has been made inconvenient by the city's decision to erect concrete barriers running up the middle of the road we take to work; we now can't turn left out of our road and instead have to travel almost an additional 1 mile each way to get turned in the right direction, which has added 10-15 minutes to the morning commute. The evening commute can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on traffic. - Mar 2017
The serviced apartments are the best kept secret!They are like living at a hotel with pool, gym, concierge services, daily maid service and super attentive maintenance (can call a taxi, arrange deliveries, etc.) Apartments are 2-3 bedrooms with a small balcony. Best views of Shwedagon pagoda and the sunrise and sunset. Plus wonderful community and great commute time (one is located closer to downtown which makes for a longer commute to the Embassy but closer to lovely downtown and Kandawgyi park).
Most single family homes are in Golden Valley area with a commute time of 10-30 minutes to Embassy and they are a mixed bag. Some have serious pest or mold problems. Most have quirky layouts and construction that makes you scratch your head. Yard space is rare- most have walled in courtyards that are good to park your car in and little else. Several are within walking distance to International School of Yangon. The American club compound also has 5 residences. They are beautiful and spacious with lots of green space though dated and with serious maintenance issues. Commute time can vary from 20 minutes- an hour at rush hour. - Feb 2017
There are houses and serviced apartments. The serviced apartments are very fancy (pools, gyms, restaurants, etc.). The U.S. Embassy is moving toward only using houses near the embassy, as traffic is getting worse in the city due to fast economic growth. Most people have a 15-30 min commute. - Oct 2016
Serviced apartment, 15-40-minute commute, depending on traffic - May 2016
Given the wider range of facilities, serviced apartments are more comfortable in general. The commute isn't unacceptable if you manage to live in the same neighborhood where you work. - May 2016
Housing is expensive, though with increasing competition, costs are coming down. - May 2016
Golden Hill is close to the International School of Yangon & French school (Joseph Kessel) and only a 8-minute drive to the U.S. Embassy. The landlords seems to raise the rent drastically every year. There is a lake behind the U.S. Embassy. Most expats seem to live somewhere close to the lake if not in Golden Hill. U.S. Embassy Housing will be in a well-maintained house or an apartment with swimming pool. U.S. Embassy houses do not have pools. But the American club is a max of 20-minute commute for most and has a nice pool. - Apr 2014
Golden Valleys is popular and so are parts of downtown. About 20-30 minutes commute-time - downtown is getting more popular because it's cheaper. Expat housing has skyrocketed, into a few thousand dollars a month for a multi-room apartment or house. - Feb 2014
Expat houses are big, but with little closet space. Some have huge yards. One of the apartment complexes is not as nice as the others, but not that bad. - Jul 2010
Expats tend to live in serviced apartments near Golden Valley. All the options are decent, but some are nicer than others. There are houses with generators and water filtration systems that make living in certain neighborhoods very easy. - Apr 2009
Large colonial houses for families, serviced apartments for singles. - Nov 2008