Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Tour Myanmar Từ đà NẵNg
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation formally known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was seen as a relic of the country’s previous British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally changed, which is why you will certainly see Rangoon now referred to as Yangon.
For tourism, Burma travel is Myanmar travel. Same same, as they say in Southeast Asia.
Both the names Burma and Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This short article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are normally 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation options challenging to secure and also will certainly indicate trying to book in advance or face paying for the a lot more expensive options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and also upcoming rains are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers that makes it very easy to book accommodation yet it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll need to upload a passport photo and pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply as well as you should obtain authorization within 3 working days.
Print out your e-Visa letter, show it when you get here and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter is valid for 90- days from the date of issue and enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you intend to save some cash, obtaining a visa by means of your local Myanmar embassy might be cheaper. As an example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research and don’t forget to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration site for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for travellers as the first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous methods for land entrance, although not all of them are recommended because of security.
No matter, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes just how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of options, from which you will certainly need to pick one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to north Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the border town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
Actually, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to adhere to the one you initially specified when possible to prevent any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not need to be stated up front. In addition, you might exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is cheaper and also has extra connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives might be frustrating but the long distance propositions are much more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and flying is inexpensive so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the traditional method by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking people off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport as well as grabbing your bag off a trolley by the aircraft and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing businesses as well as a variety of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so terrific for sleep. Additionally, you’ll often tend to arrive at strange times in the early morning as well as won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are really chilly, the high-end buses will certainly give you a covering yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a bit aggravating if you’re attempting to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, although these are the buses which bring you to your location around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and also cheesy video until the early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about he time of arrival. Because of superstitions based on a belief system of nats (spirits) that existed before Buddhism came to the fore, asking when you will reach a location invokes bad spirits and also is taken seriously. The result? You will not get a response.
You will mainly book buses through your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will generally bill a cost but understand that the fee can differ drastically.
Check whether pick-up is included in your ticket price – this really does differ depending on destination, mode of traveling as well as company. Look for a business that does include pickup as taxis are exorbitant.
Booking buses online is harder– There isn’t one handy on-line reservation site and the ones that do exist have a limited number of tickets. If you’re informed they’re sold out, it doesn’t always indicate the bus is full. Attempt reservation somewhere else.
If the company has a Facebook web page, message to book without costs.
Buses are generally faster than the trains, but bus rides are bumpy– you could take into consideration taking tablets for nausea. Boats are additionally a choice for some paths; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular among tourists.
There are no international car-rental firms, however a lot of travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– as well as guesthouses as well as hotels somewhere else– can arrange cars as well as drivers.
Myanmar’s Local Transport
Myanmar is still developing and this is most frustratingly evident in the local transport.
With minimal public transportation, taxis will be your primary method of getting around especially for getting to and from flight terminals as well as within cities like Yangon and also Mandalay.
Taxi prices are beyond extortionate– rates are set on the spot (after a quick ‘just how much can I get away with’ computation) and also you’re going to need to negotiate hard. It’s not uncommon to hear prices of $1-$2 per kilometre. Typically the taxi to and from the airport/bus will certainly be more than you paid for your flight or intercity bus.
1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate amount for taxi fares.
Taxi cabs for the day might be your better bet– it can be around $35 for a day of sightseeing and tour in Bagan as well as $28 for a couple of hrs in Mandalay.
Distance is a much larger factor than time in determining the cost of hiring a driver: a 12 hour trip around Yangon can cost USD 70 while taking a trip further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hr drive each means, can be quoted at USD 200. Gas is pricey in Myanmar as well as is a massive contributing variable to the cost.
Every person wishes to take you to a craft store, a silk manufacturing facility or a nut manufacturer during your sightseeing and tour journeys. Don’t be afraid to say no when you’re paying for your very own personal transport. Nevertheless, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the flip side, some of the side journeys can be interesting as well as drivers may take you to some cool locations that aren’t on your schedule and you may be happy you opted for their recommendations!
Hiring bikes and e-Bikes (electrical motorbikes) outside the cities is much less expensive but beware of the dust– Myanmar is by far one of the dustiest locations, as well as mostly all travelers establish a dust coughing. Pack sunglasses and also something to cover your mouth.
Don’t take an e-Bike if you can’t manage it– otherwise you’ll be one of the numerous tourists walking around toting head to foot road rash and also plasters.
The large cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has several of the worst traffic. 1.5 hrs to cover 15 km ought to provide you an idea. The time advised for reaching the bus terminal (22km away from the centre) is 2.5 hrs.
Car quality is hit and miss so do not count on air-conditioning as well as leather seats– that 1.5 hour journey in Yangon could all be done in 38 degree heat with nothing more than the heat of the engine fan to ‘cool’ you down.
Plan for the unforeseen. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the very early hrs of the morning, your only alternative to reach my hotel may be by means of horse and cart. There is still a bargaining process to be had, yet because this is the main form of visitor transport here it is only natural that they are waiting for new bus arrivals.
Money and ATM Machines in Myanmar
You can use 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars as well as the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).
If you’re going to utilize dollars, they need to be immaculate. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased as well as more recent than 2006. Each individual note is reviewed for flaws, discolouration and creases at the currency exchange booths. You could likewise have trouble changing notes with the AB/CB serial numbers.
Some vendors demand payments in US bucks so you can bring some United States dollars to spend.
Using kyat is likely to be cheaper because the USD currency exchange rate is informal– someplace in between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the currency exchange rate is normally applied on the spot, most likely relying on just how rich you look.
There are ATM machines and also they mostly function but see to it you have money prior to turning up at more remote areas like the beach. Occasionally they may be out of service.
You’ll pay an ATM charge of about $4 for every single withdrawal which is in addition to any kind of fees your bank could bill. And also you most likely will not have the ability to withdraw more than $150 at a time.
ATMs give kyat only. There are plenty of exchange places around, yet mostly the transactions are to change immaculate dollars into local money.
Wait for the large cities orinternational airport to change money back to dollars.
Some hotels do not have credit card machines as well as require cash payment. If you have reserved your hotels beforehand online this may save you taking extra money for holiday accommodation.
Credit cards are accepted mostly just in top-end resorts. Some travel agents in Yangon and also Mandalay also take them, usually charging a tiny fee, for purchasing flights.
Cost of travel in Myanmar
Myanmar is a great deal more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia– infrastructure is still being constructed. That includes guesthouses and restaurants. Businesses are recovering their expenses.
A dorm bed will set you back around $20-$30 a night. You can get a basic personal room with en-suite from around $35 for a single bed. In traveler hotspots like Bagan, you can pay US$35 to US$40 for a dull, no-frills room.
For hotels, high-end resorts can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the Inle Princess Resort being a fine example where luxury comes with a price of $250 per night) with other very good options being available at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which costs around $120 a night). A modern hotel can set you back USD 75-80 a night (the Smart Hotel in Mandalay).
Popular ‘package vacationer’ locations like Ngapali coastline can set you back as much as $100 a night for a 2-star hotel (though there are a number of hostels there as well). On the bonus side, you generally obtain a cost-free breakfast with your accommodation.
Street food is most budget-friendly– around $1-$2 for a plate of something basic. Local restaurants cost around $2-$4 a meal. Anything remotely western (air-conditioning or featuring something like pizza) will cost $7-$12.
Bottled water is economical, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is likewise low-cost at a number of dollars per bottle.
Sightseeing and tour costs
The tourist dollar is king. Expect to spend for the benefit of being a foreigner and also utilizing squat toilets, entering pagodas, storing shoes and taking photos. ‘Foreigner payments’ are prominent in the more touristy areas.
It’s possible to negotiate on costs of products like mementos but if you haggle too hard the locals lose interest and also leave.
Tipping is not common practice in Myanmar, and it’s just foreigners who tip.
Sightseeing and tour in Myanmar
We were up and out most days for dawn and out cold by 10pm! The heat is commonly intolerable during the peak sunshine hours and the arrival of the visitor buses make it harder to get amazing photos as well as move around easily.
Not anywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far north, mountainous location of Myanmar, alongside the western Chin State and the far, crime levels are extremely low.
Still, you should take the common preventative measures of utilizing hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nonetheless, as it’s often pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
The majority of government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually brought about the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the country remain shut to foreigners because of dispute between the government and various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the significant vacationer locations.
Precise information on conflicts and also closed locations can be hard to find. Check your government’s advice prior to taking a trip, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great resource of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs despite the heat, as well as you will make everyone a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tees are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as typically enforced for entering the temples and also pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so get one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Going into pagodas means going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Struggling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but elsewhere it’s much less common.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travel can be aggravating, warm and slow-moving but keep in mind: you selected to see Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by residents that intend to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Normally individuals are beautiful as well as are happy to appear in photographs and try and chat with minimal typical words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a lot which is normally best managed by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, small parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers frequently roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this fantastic post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and additionally serves as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and restaurants as locals make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to determine the location of the kissing noise so don’t be distressed!
The two crucial phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be ready for most residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your clothing laundered and also unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually need washing as well as clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, much better still, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at most airport terminals when you land or in one of the stores in the road and also the store staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more concerning your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it free of charge– as well as the web is now spreading tofarther places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can use the internet a frustrating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and do not expect to Skype home very frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a suitcase. Travel suitcases aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up many steep staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Tour Myanmar Từ đà NẵNg