Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Exotic Myanmar Travel Reviews
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally called Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been up 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 seen as a relic of the nation’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were also altered, which is why you will 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 and Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are typically three periods in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm but not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the minimal holiday accommodation options difficult to secure and will certainly imply trying to book in advance or face paying for the a lot more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar as well as approaching rains are due. There is a minimal number of tourists which makes it easy to book accommodation yet it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is offered to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should get 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 date of issue and also 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, getting a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be cheaper. For instance, the expense is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research and also do not fail to remember to factor in mailing costs.
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 three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for tourists as the very first mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east as well as India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land entrance, although not all of them are recommended due to safety and security.
Regardless, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be given a list of choices, where you will need to choose among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to northern 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 and 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 boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you initially stated if possible 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 Land Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be specified up front. Furthermore, you might leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is cheaper and also has extra links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be frustrating yet the long distance propositions are a lot more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and also flying is budget-friendly so it may be your better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school method by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as getting your bag off a trolley by the airplane as well as 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 also a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing businesses and also a range of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so fantastic for rest. Likewise, you’ll tend to arrive at weird times in the morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same night to sleep immediately.
Buses are really chilly, the high-end buses will certainly provide you a covering however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food and toilet break– a bit aggravating if you’re attempting to rest 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 music CD’s and tacky music videos up until the very early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding fate, crime levels are incredibly reduced.
Still, you should take the normal precautions of using hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female tourists should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean and there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories alert against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually caused the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the country continue to be closed to foreigners as a result of conflict between the government and various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China and also Thailand, as well as far from the significant tourist destinations.
Precise info on problems and closed areas can be hard to find. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, and also ask about the situation once 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 also cover their shoulders and legs despite the high temperatures, and you will make everybody much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as typically enforced for getting in 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 visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so pick up an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Getting in pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the best footwear choice. Struggling with laces in the blistering heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach yet elsewhere it’s much less common.
The local individuals are exceptionally genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, warm and also slow-moving but bear in mind: you chose to see Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by residents who want to chat. Travelers are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are beautiful and are happy to appear in pictures as well as try and also converse via limited typical words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a great deal which is usually best managed by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and cab drivers commonly 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 should not give to the children. Why not? Read this great post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and additionally functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as residents make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to recognize the location of the kissing sound so do not be distressed!
Both essential phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, yet it is well received. Be ready for many residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand as well as is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your clothes washed as well as unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really need washing and also wash 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 not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is extremely typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can not cope with anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours 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, better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at the majority of airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the road as well as the store staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can learn more concerning your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ link, do not expect to be downloading videos any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it absolutely free– as well as the web is now spreading tofarther places. But tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power outages can use the web an aggravating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and 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 backpack than a suitcase. aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up lots of high stairs isn’t far better.
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