Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourism India
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t 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 nation’s former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were also altered, which is why you will certainly see Rangoon currently referred to as Yangon.
For tourism, Burma travel is Myanmar travel. Same same, as they say in Southeast Asia.
Both the names Burma as well as Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This short article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are typically three periods in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, and also attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted lodging options difficult to secure and will certainly imply attempting to book ahead or face paying out for the more pricey options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of vacationers that makes it very easy to book accommodation but it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and 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 stands for 90- days from the date of issue as well as allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be cheaper– if you wish to save some money, obtaining a visa via your local Myanmar embassy might be more affordable. As an example, the cost is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the United States, so do your research as well as don’t neglect to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the typical choice for tourists as the first mode of entry, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are several for land entry, although not every one of them are encouraged because of safety.
Regardless, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be given a listing of options, from which you will need to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to northern 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 Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stick to the one you initially specified preferably to prevent any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up front. Furthermore, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper as well as has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives may be aggravating yet the long distance propositions are far more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is inexpensive so it may be your much better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school way by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing businesses and a series of high-end levels.
Many buses travel overnight which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so wonderful for rest. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at odd times in the early morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to sleep straight away.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly give you a covering but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hours for a food and toilet break– a bit frustrating if you’re attempting to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that these are the buses which bring you to your location around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and also tacky music videos till the very early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State and also Tenasserim area are usually out-of-bounds to travelers unless you have actually applied for a government visa beforehand. In some locations you’ll need a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off the beaten path is difficult– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure implies that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Attempting to do otherwise might be very costly.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is popular for its daybreaks as well as sundowns, which additionally corresponds perfectly with staying indoors (probably for a nap or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day warmth.
Expect to go barefoot a great deal in temples on seriously unclean floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a great deal of animal faeces while you’re checking out Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you simply need to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Expect to pay an access charge for Bagan and Inle Lake– this cost is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The charges are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Holiday accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, meaning you can rest in economical accommodation than you could a couple of years back. Things are slowly improving for solo travellers, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but enchanting. The holiday accommodation gives a feel for what a local house could be like, basic however beautifully decorated in teak) as well as the breakfast was generally superior. And also, it’s nice to put cash right into the hands of the residents, not some large brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels and guesthouses give a towel but you could need to provide a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will additionally provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels as well as guesthouses do too, but it can’t be depended on.
Be cautious about the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Book lodging as well as transport beforehand during peak period. The tourist market in Myanmar appears to have actually experienced a boom which the facilities has fallen short to keep speed with. A lot of resorts are tiny and boutique like thus if there’s someplace particular you want to stay it’s important to book in advance. It is especially essential to book in advance during high period (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small fee if there are no rooms offered. However don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is constantly the best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments and a remarkable variety of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous pieces of cutlery are cleaned with a not so great looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are an ideal alternative.
Tell the staff if you don’t consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state how much spice you like as the cooks tend to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is tasty and also a fantastic, fresh alternative in many dining establishments.
There is quite a great deal of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, fresh blended juices), make certain you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus but don’t expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinaded and also seasoned in oil, salt and also lime juice as well as don’t typically feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are low in Myanmar and also you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other places in Southeast Asia but you can find it as well as it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can not consume the water however most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your space or via a large water dispenser at reception. Or else, bottled water is extremely economical.
Alcohol is extensively available with beer, rum and whiskey being popular options.
Beer stations are easy to find and enjoyable locations to get a drink with the locals if you do not intend to being in a restaurant.
Know that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. and also bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at dawn is more preferred than late night drinking.
Large chains can not be discovered as well as brand names remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains and beyond beverage brand names like Coke as well as Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be getting local brands and consuming from local dining establishments.
Stores are tiny, family owned affairs– you won’t discover a 7-Eleven. There are a few equivalent ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated around, yet mainly you’re going to buy treats as well as beverages from tiny, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Don’t fret, simply step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where smoking cigarettes in public places has actually long been prohibited.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an exceptionally safe country– a lot of the populace is Buddhist and with an idea in karma, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal preventative measures of using hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female travellers should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty and there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth as well as nose when cycling around. Also take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, many visitors use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperatures can make you unwell.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. However, as it’s typically pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
The majority of government advisories caution against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the nation continue to be closed to foreigners as a result of dispute in between the government as well as various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and far from the major vacationer destinations.
Accurate details on problems and closed locations can be tough to find. Check your government’s advice before travelling, as well as inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs despite the high temperatures, as well as you will make everyone a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as t-shirts are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as often enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Everybody uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so grab an inexpensive one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Entering pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Struggling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwanted distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet in other places it’s much less usual.
The local people are exceptionally genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travel can be frustrating, warm and also sluggish however remember: you chose to visit Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by locals who want to talk. Travelers are no more a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are wonderful and also are happy to appear in photographs and also attempt and also talk via limited usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a whole lot which is usually best handled by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re spending 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 chewing betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it provides a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also cab drivers usually roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this great post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic 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 noise in the coffee shops as well as dining establishments as residents use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to identify the place of the kissing audio so don’t be surprised!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be prepared for most locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and also is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothes washed and also unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really require washing and also wash your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, better still, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at many airports when you land or in one of the shops in the street and also the shop personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more about your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not expect to be downloading video clips whenever. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and also cafes have it for free– as well as the internet is now spreading tomore remote areas. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a backpack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up several steep staircases isn’t better.
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