Unless you are planning to stay in Yangon for a while (like I did once), then you will probably just land at Yangon’s Airport and then stay for a night or two before heading to other areas of Myanmar. I think a stay in Yangon is worthy of 2 nights. 3 nights may be pushing it a little bit, as the price of accommodation here is a little on the hefty side (as is the case elsewhere in Myanmar).
First things first, though: if you are planning to catch the night bus from Yangon to Bagan then that VIP bus usually leaves around 8pm, so you don’t need to worry about accommodation that night – you will sleep on the bus (or try to!). Furthermore, if you plan to arrive in Yangon early morning on your flight, then you will have some time to pass before you can get your hotel room (usually hotel rooms have a check in time of 2pm/3pm).
In a city like Yangon, which is not too favourable for the budget-conscious backpacker, you could perhaps only need to book 1 night in your hotel, and save money for other things. I find that arriving early to the hotel, checking in, leaving your luggage safely at the hotel (most hotels and hostels will allow this free of charge) and then doing a few hours’ worth of tourism in the city BEFORE actually heading back to the hotel to your room is a good way of doing some “free sightseeing”. If you think about it, you can see a few of the sights in Yangon (perhaps even the Shwedagon Pagoda?) before you even use your hotel room. You can do the same thing when you check out, say at noon. Leave your bags at the hotel, head out to do some more tourism, and then come back for your luggage in the late afternoon ready to head to the bus station for your journey to Bagan.
There are new mid-range hotels popping up in Yangon all the time, and thankfully, they are getting better and better, even for budget travellers. These mid-range hotels won’t be as cheap as in, say, Bangkok or Siem Reap, but they are still good quality, which is important to consider in Myanmar, as hygiene and power blackouts are still a problem even in 2016!
On my most recent trip to Yangon, I stayed at Hotel Accord, which is a very new 4* hotel with great rates. I think I paid the equivalent of £37 per night, for a 2 night stay. This hotel gets great reviews on TripAdvisor, which is where I actually found out about it! Other great value hotels in Yangon include Jasmine Palace Hotel, Taw Win Garden Hotel, and the Hotel Grand United 21st Downtown. For American travellers, you may be pleased to know what there are also a few Best Western hotels in Yangon!