Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Travel And Tour Directory
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation formally referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been until 1989 that the ruling military junta altered the nation’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 also Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were additionally changed, 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 and Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are usually three seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Damp, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather is warm yet not stifling, and attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal lodging alternatives difficult to secure as well as will mean attempting to book ahead or face paying for the much more pricey choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and also approaching rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of travelers that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation however it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also 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 arrive and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter stands for 90- days from the day of issue and also enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be more affordable– if you want to save some money, making an application for a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be less costly. For instance, the price is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and also don’t neglect to consider 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 site for the most up to date at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual option for tourists as the initial mode of entry, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and also India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous for land access, although not every one of them are encouraged due to safety.
No matter, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be given a listing of alternatives, from which you will require to choose among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across 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 Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region of northwestern Myanmar on the border 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 boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stick to the one you initially mentioned if possible to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints given that your exit point does not need to be stated up front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is less expensive and also has much more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be discouraging but the cross country propositions are far more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is budget-friendly so it might be your far better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school means 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 list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a cart by the airplane and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing companies as well as a range of deluxe levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, but isn’t so wonderful for rest. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at strange times in the morning and also won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will certainly be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to sleep immediately.
Buses are very chilly, the high-end buses will certainly offer you a blanket yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a bit irritating if you’re trying 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 song CD’s and tacky video till the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding fate, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you ought to take the common safety measures of utilizing hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Women visitors should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is gross as well as there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, numerous visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. Nonetheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually brought about the mass displacement of countless people. A few other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners as a result of dispute between the government as well as various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and Thailand, and also far from the major vacationer locations.
Precise details on disputes and also closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, as well as ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of news from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the heat, and you will make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as t-shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as usually enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody uses 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 warmth and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so get an affordable one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are crucial! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwanted interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach yet somewhere else it’s much less common.
The local people are exceptionally genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travel can be discouraging, hot and also slow however 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 citizens. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by residents who wish to chat. Visitors are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Usually the people are beautiful and also more than happy to appear in photos as well as attempt as well as converse with limited typical words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is usually best dealt with by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard and also if you’re paying 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 wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, many times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and taxi drivers typically roll down the window in slow traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the children. Why not? Read this fantastic article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as additionally functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as restaurants as locals utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to identify the place of the kissing noise so do not be upset!
The two most important phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be ready for many residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and also is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your clothing laundered and unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very common in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t cope with anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 numerous adaptors for European and North American 2-pin plugs along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, far better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at the majority of flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the road and also the shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more concerning your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading video clips whenever. Online access has improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it absolutely free– and the net is now spreading tomore remote locations. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and power interruptions can make using the internet a discouraging exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and also do not anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Luggage aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up numerous steep stairs isn’t much better.
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