Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Der Tour Myanmar Entdecken
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t until 1989 that the ruling military junta altered 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 previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous 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 and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are commonly 3 seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal accommodation choices challenging to secure as well as will mean attempting to book ahead or face paying for the a lot more pricey options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar and also impending rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of tourists that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation however it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll need to upload a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins 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 is valid for 90- days from the day of issue and also enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you want to save some money, obtaining a visa through your local Myanmar consular office might be less expensive. As an example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK but $40 in the United States, so do your research and do not fail to remember to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal choice for travellers as the first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and also India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entry, although not every one of them are recommended due to safety and security.
Regardless, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be given a listing of options, where you will need to select among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border 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 boundary town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stick to the one you originally stated ideally to avoid any type of 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 because your exit point does not need to be mentioned up front. Additionally, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is cheaper as well as has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices might be irritating but 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 much better option.
You can still reserve flights the traditional way by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. As well as a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing firms as well as a series of high-end levels.
Many buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so terrific for sleep. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at odd times in the early morning and will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to rest immediately.
Buses are extremely cold, the high-end buses will certainly give you a covering but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit aggravating 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 location around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and cheesy video until the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding he time of arrival. As a result of superstitious notions based on a belief system of nats (spirits) that existed before Buddhism came to the fore, asking when you will arrive at a location invokes bad spirits and is taken seriously. The outcome? You will not obtain an answer.
You will mostly book buses via your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will usually charge a fee but know that the charge can vary drastically.
Check whether pickup is included in your ticket price – this really does differ depending upon destination, mode of traveling as well as company. Try to find a company that does include pick-up as taxis are outrageously priced.
Reserving buses online is harder– There isn’t one handy on-line reservation portal and the ones that do exist have a minimal number of tickets. If you’re informed they’re sold out, it does not always mean the bus is full. Try reservation in other places.
If the company has a Facebook web page, message to book without charges.
Buses are generally faster than the trains, however bus rides are rough– you could consider taking tablets for nausea. Boats are additionally an option for some paths; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular among travellers.
There are no international car-rental agencies, but many travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– along with guesthouses and hotels elsewhere– can arrange cars as well as drivers.
Myanmar’s Local Transport
Myanmar is still developing as well as this is most frustratingly obvious in the local transport.
With minimal public transport, taxis will certainly be your main method of navigating particularly for getting to and from flight terminals as well as within cities like Yangon and Mandalay.
Taxi prices are past extortionate– rates are established on the spot (after a quick ‘how much can I get away with’ calculation) and also you’re going to need to negotiate hard. It’s not unusual to hear rates of $1-$2 per kilometre. Usually the taxi to as well as from the airport/bus will be greater than you spent for your flight or intercity bus.
1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate quantity for taxi prices.
Taxi cabs for the day might be your much better bet– it can be about $35 for a day of sightseeing and tour in Bagan and also $28 for a few hours in Mandalay.
Distance is a much larger factor than time in determining the cost of hiring a driver: a 12 hr journey around Yangon can cost USD 70 while travelling further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hr drive each method, can be quoted at USD 200. Gas is expensive in Myanmar as well as is a big contributing factor to the expense.
Everyone wants to take you to a craft shop, a silk factory or a nut manufacturer throughout your sightseeing and tour trips. Do not be afraid to say no when you’re paying for your own private transport. Besides, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the other hand, several of the side trips can be fascinating and also drivers may take you to some cool areas that aren’t on your itinerary and you may be happy you went with their recommendations!
Hiring bikes and also e-Bikes (electric motorbikes) outside the cities is much less expensive however beware of the dust– Myanmar is without a doubt among the dustiest places, and mostly all tourists establish a dust coughing. Pack sunglasses and something to cover your mouth.
Do not take an e-Bike if you can not manage it– otherwise you’ll be just one of the numerous travelers walking around toting head to foot road rash and also bandages.
The huge cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has several of the worst traffic. 1.5 hours to cover 15 kilometres 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 don’t count on air-conditioning as well as leather seats– that 1.5 hour trip in Yangon could all be done in 38 degree heat with absolutely nothing more than the heat of the engine fan to ‘cool’ you down.
Get ready for the unexpected. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the extremely early hrs of the early morning, your only choice to reach my hotel may be via horse and cart. There is still a bargaining process to be had, yet considering that this is the major form of traveler transport here it is just natural that they are waiting for new bus arrivals.
Money as well as ATMs in Myanmar
You can make use of 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars and the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).
If you’re going to use dollars, they must be immaculate. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased and more recent than 2006. Each specific note is reviewed for problems, discolouration and creases at the currency exchange kiosks. You may likewise have difficulty changing notes with the AB/CB identification numbers.
Some vendors demand payments in US bucks so you can bring some United States dollars to spend.
Utilizing kyat is most likely to be less costly since the USD currency exchange rate is casual– someplace between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the currency exchange rate is generally applied on the spot, most likely depending on how rich you look.
There are ATM machines as well as they mostly work however see to it you have cash before turning up at more remote places like the coastline. Often they might be out of service.
You’ll pay an ATM machine cost of about $4 for every withdrawal which is in addition to any kind of costs your bank might charge. And you possibly will not be able to withdraw more than $150 at once.
ATMs dispense kyat only. There are plenty of exchange places about, however mainly the transactions are to change pristine dollars into local money.
Wait for the big cities orinternational airport terminal to change cash back to dollars.
Some hotels do not have credit card machines as well as require cash payment. If you have actually reserved your hotels in advance online this may save you taking extra money for accommodation.
Credit cards are accepted primarily only in top-end resorts. Some travel agents in Yangon and also Mandalay also take them, typically billing a little charge, for purchasing flights.
Cost of travelling in Myanmar
Myanmar is a lot more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia– infrastructure is still being constructed. That includes guesthouses and restaurants. Businesses are recouping their expenses.
Holiday accommodation costs
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 tourist hotspots like Bagan, you can pay US$35 to US$40 for a drab, no-frills room.
For hotels, deluxe hotels can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the Inle Princess Resort being a good example where luxury comes with a cost of $250 per night) with various other great options being available at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which costs around $120 a night). A contemporary hotel can cost USD 75-80 a night (the Smart Hotel in Mandalay).
Popular ‘package vacationer’ destinations like Ngapali coastline can cost as much as $100 a night for a 2-star resort (though there are a couple of hostels there also). On the bonus side, you usually get a totally free morning meal with your holiday accommodation.
Street food is most economical– around $1-$2 for a plate of something basic. Local restaurants cost around $2-$4 a dish. Anything remotely western (air-conditioning or featuring something like pizza) will certainly cost $7-$12.
Mineral water is affordable, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is also low-cost at a couple of bucks per bottle.
The tourist dollar is king. Anticipate to spend for the benefit of being a foreigner and using squat toilets, entering pagodas, storing shoes as well as taking photos. ‘Foreigner payments’ are prominent in the more touristy areas.
It’s possible to negotiate on costs of things like mementos but if you negotiate too hard the locals lose interest and leave.
Tipping is not usual technique in Myanmar, and also it’s only foreigners who tip.
Sightseeing in Myanmar
We were up and out most days for sunrise and out cold by 10pm! The heat is typically unbearable throughout the peak sunshine hours and the arrival of the vacationer buses make it harder to get amazing photos and also move around easily.
Not anywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far northern, mountainous area of Myanmar, along with the western Chin State and the far, crime levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you should take the typical 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 and there isn’t always soap in shower rooms 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 carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Likewise take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients in this way. Nonetheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Many government advisories alert against traveling 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 brought about the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the country continue to be shut to foreigners as a result of conflict between the government and various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin and Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, as well as far from the major tourist locations.
Accurate info on conflicts as well as closed areas can be tough to come by. Check your government’s advice prior to taking a trip, and ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders and legs regardless of the heat, and you will certainly make everyone a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also typically enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Many tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so get an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are necessary! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwanted distraction. 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 dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however in other places it’s less common.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be discouraging, warm and slow but remember: 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 citizens. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by locals who intend to talk. Tourists are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are lovely as well as more than happy to appear in photos and also try and chat with limited usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is typically best handled by offering a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and also taxi drivers often roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this fantastic short article 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 product in Myanmar and likewise functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and dining establishments as locals utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to identify the place of the kissing audio so don’t be startled!
Both crucial phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand as well as is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually require washing and also clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very typical in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t manage anything aside from 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 connects along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, much better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at the majority of airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the road and the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more about your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘fast’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading videos at any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it completely free– as well as the net is now spreading tomore remote areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and power blackouts can make using the net an aggravating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Suitcases aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and also out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up lots of high stairs isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Der Tour Myanmar Entdecken