Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Travel Information Yangon
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma acquired 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 viewed as a relic of the nation’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally altered, which is why you will 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 as well as on the world stage. This article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are normally 3 seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm but not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation alternatives difficult to secure and also will certainly indicate attempting to book ahead or deal with paying out for the much more costly choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar as well as impending rains are due. There is a minimal number of visitors that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and you should get 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 enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office might be more affordable– if you wish to save some money, making an application for a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be more affordable. For instance, the price is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and also don’t fail to remember to factor in mailing expenses.
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) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration web site for the most up to date at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for tourists as the initial mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple methods for land entry, although not every one of them are recommended due to security.
No matter, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be given a list of choices, from which you will need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to north Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula and the collection 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 boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stay with the one you originally mentioned if possible to avoid any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be stated up-front. Additionally, you may exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is less costly and also has more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives may be aggravating yet the cross country propositions are a lot more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving as well as flying is cost effective so it might be your better option.
You can still reserve 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 listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and getting your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing companies and a variety of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so fantastic for rest. Additionally, you’ll tend to arrive at strange times in the morning as well as won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same evening to rest immediately.
Buses are really chilly, the high-end buses will certainly offer you a covering however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit discouraging if you’re attempting to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, although these are the buses which bring you to your destination around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s as well as tacky music videos till the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding reaches of the southern Mon State and also Tenasserim region are typically off-limits to travelers unless you have actually gotten a government visa ahead of time. In some places you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is tough– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go differently. Attempting to do otherwise could be really costly.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its dawns and also sundowns, which also corresponds perfectly with remaining indoors (probably for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day heat.
Expect to go barefoot a lot in temples on seriously unclean floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re exploring Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off some after each visit.
Be a mindful temple visitor, the majority of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply views for travelers. 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 as well as Inle Lake– this fee is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The costs are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Holiday accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are gradually opening up, implying you can sleep in low-cost accommodation than you could a few years back. Things are gradually getting better for solo visitors, though expenses are still much more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet lovely. The lodging gives a feel for what a local house might be like, basic but wonderfully decorated in teak) and also the morning meal was generally superior. And also, it’s nice to put money into the hands of the locals, not some huge brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels and also guesthouses provide a towel however you could have to offer up a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will certainly additionally provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and also guesthouses do as well, however it can not be counted on.
Be careful about the curfew– some guesthouses might lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve lodging as well as transport ahead of time throughout peak period. The tourist industry in Myanmar seems to have actually experienced a boom which the facilities has actually failed to maintain pace with. The majority of hotels are small and boutique like thus if there’s somewhere certain you wish to stay it’s vital to book ahead of time. It is specifically essential to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small cost if there are no spaces 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 always the very best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as a fantastic range of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so terrific looking water supply and dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are a perfect option.
Tell the staff if you do not eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes specify just how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on travelers!
The fish is scrumptious as well as a wonderful, fresh choice in a lot of dining establishments.
There is rather a great deal of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an option to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, newly blended juices), ensure you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections however do not expect a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice as well as do not usually feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you might get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other places in Southeast Asia however you can discover it as well as it’s great. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can not drink the water however most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply cost-free water either in bottles in your room or via a big water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is really low-cost.
Alcohol is widely available with beer, rum and scotch being popular alternatives.
Beer stations are easy to discover and also enjoyable areas to get a beverage with the locals if you don’t want to being in a restaurant.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. as well as bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at sunrise is more prominent than late night alcohol consumption.
Big chains can’t be discovered and brand names are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond beverage brands like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be getting local brands as well as consuming from local dining establishments.
Stores are tiny, family owned affairs– you will not locate a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops populated about, but primarily you’re going to buy snacks and beverages from tiny, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Don’t fret, simply step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where smoking cigarettes in public places has long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe area– most of the populace is Buddhist and also with a belief in karma, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the usual safety measures of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Women visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is gross and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will 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. Additionally take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, lots of travellers use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories advise against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has brought about the mass displacement of countless individuals. A few other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners because of problem between the government and also different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the significant traveler locations.
Accurate information on disputes and closed locations can be challenging to find. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs regardless of the heat, and also you will make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tees are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also often enforced for entering the temples and also pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so get one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are vital! Getting in pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Struggling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwanted interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach but elsewhere it’s less typical.
The local people are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be discouraging, hot and slow-moving however remember: you picked to go to Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by locals that want to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Normally the people are lovely and also are happy to appear in pictures and try and also converse via minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a whole lot which is generally best dealt with by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard and if you’re spending for a guide, ensure 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 which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| since it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as cab drivers typically roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this great write-up by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as also acts 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 an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to determine the area of the kissing audio so do not be surprised!
Both crucial expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, yet it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your garments laundered as well as unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually require washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not cope with anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, better still, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at the majority of airports when you land or in one of the stores in the road as well as the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network choices here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos any time. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it free of charge– and the internet is currently spreading tomore remote places. But tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power failures can make using the web a discouraging exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and do not expect to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Suitcases aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up numerous steep staircases isn’t far better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel Information Yangon