Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Tourist Locations
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it wasn’t until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the nation’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was viewed as a relic of the country’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Various other names were also altered, 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 as well as Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are generally three periods in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Damp, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm but not stifling, and also attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the minimal holiday accommodation alternatives challenging to secure as well as will certainly imply trying to book in advance or face paying for the much more costly alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of vacationers that makes it very easy to book lodging yet it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is offered to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as you should obtain approval 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 permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you wish to save some cash, requesting a visa using your local Myanmar embassy might be less costly. As an example, the expense is simply , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research and also don’t fail to remember to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual alternative for tourists as the very first mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east as well as India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entry, although not all of them are suggested due to security.
No matter, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a listing of choices, from which you will certainly need to pick among 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 as well as Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border 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 most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula as well as 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 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” but it is best to stick to the one you originally specified ideally to prevent any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. Furthermore, you may exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is cheaper as well as has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be aggravating but the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is affordable so it might be your better option.
You can still reserve flights the traditional means by wandering right 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, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a trolley by the airplane and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing firms and a range of high-end levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, but isn’t so wonderful for sleep. Also, you’ll tend to reach at weird times in the early morning as well as will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Consider if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to take a nap straight away.
Buses are extremely chilly, the deluxe buses will offer you a covering but, use 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 also toilet break– a little bit discouraging 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 song CD’s and tacky video up until the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding fate, crime levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal preventative measures of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is dirty and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch 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 a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels 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, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Most government advisories caution 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 actually caused the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the country remain closed to foreigners as a result of problem between the government and various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the major vacationer locations.
Exact details on disputes and closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, as well as 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 legs despite the high temperatures, and also you will certainly make everyone more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and t-shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged and also often enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Several travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat 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 indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the best footwear selection. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but somewhere else it’s less usual.
The local people are exceptionally genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travel can be aggravating, warm and slow however bear in mind: you picked to check out Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by residents who intend to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Typically the people are lovely as well as are happy to appear in photographs as well as attempt and talk with minimal common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is generally best dealt with by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it provides a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth and cab drivers often roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this brilliant post 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 additionally acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops and also restaurants as residents use the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to identify the place of the kissing sound so do not be startled!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, yet 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 generally done by hand and is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and also unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually require washing and also clean your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can not handle 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 several adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, much better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at most flight terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road as well as the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more concerning your network selections right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘fast’ link, don’t expect to be downloading video clips whenever. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it for free– and the internet is now spreading tomore remote places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power interruptions can make using the net an aggravating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home very frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a suitcase. aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering as well as out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up numerous high staircases isn’t much better.
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