Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Famous Place Of Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it wasn’t 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, as well as Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were also 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 as well as on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are usually 3 seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather condition is warm but not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation options difficult to secure and also will indicate attempting to book in advance or face paying for the a lot more pricey options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature rises in Myanmar as well as approaching rains are due. There is a limited number of travelers which makes it easy to book lodging but it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins 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 as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be cheaper– if you wish to save some cash, requesting a visa by means of your local Myanmar embassy might be cheaper. For instance, the cost is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not forget 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 border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for visitors as the first mode of entry, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. But, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous for land entry, although not all of them are recommended due to safety.
Regardless, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of alternatives, where you will need to pick 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 and Yangon)
Crossing 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 border of the Thai Peninsula as well as the collection 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 truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stick to the one you originally mentioned when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints because your exit point does not need to be stated up front. In addition, you may exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is more affordable and also has more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport choices might be discouraging but the long distance propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is affordable so it might be your far better option.
You can still book flights the old-school 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 individuals off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as getting your bag off a cart by the plane and also flight announcements are made by a person 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 don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing companies and a range of deluxe levels.
Many buses travel overnight which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so excellent for rest. Also, you’ll tend to reach at strange times in the early morning and also will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to rest immediately.
Buses are extremely chilly, the high-end buses will certainly provide you a blanket however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hrs 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 destination around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local music CD’s as well as cheesy video up until the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a driver about he time of arrival. Because 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 destination conjures up bad spirits and is taken seriously. The outcome? You will not get an answer.
You will primarily book buses through your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will normally bill a fee however understand that the charge can vary drastically.
Check whether pickup is included in your ticket price – this truly does vary depending upon destination, mode of travel as well as company. Search for a company that does include pickup as taxis are extortionate.
Reserving buses online is more difficult– There isn’t one helpful online booking portal and also the ones that do exist have a minimal number of tickets. If you’re informed they’re sold out, it does not always imply the bus is full. Attempt reservation elsewhere.
If the company has a Facebook page, message to book without charges.
Buses are almost always faster than the trains, yet bus rides are bumpy– you might think about taking tablets for motion sickness. Boats are also an alternative for some paths; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular among travellers.
There are no international car-rental firms, however the majority of travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– as well as guesthouses as well as hotels somewhere else– can organize cars and drivers.
Myanmar’s Local Transport
Myanmar is still developing and this is most frustratingly obvious in the local transport.
With minimal public transport, taxis will be your main method of navigating particularly for getting to and also from airports and within cities like Yangon as well as Mandalay.
Taxi prices are beyond extortionate– rates are established on the spot (after a fast ‘just how much can I get away with’ calculation) and also you’re going to have to negotiate hard. It’s not uncommon to hear prices of $1-$2 per kilometre. Frequently the taxi to as well as from the airport/bus will certainly be more than you paid for your flight or intercity bus.
1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate quantity for taxi fares.
Taxi cabs for the day might be your better bet– it can be about $35 for a day of sightseeing in Bagan and $28 for a few hrs in Mandalay.
Distance is a much bigger aspect than time in dictating the expense of hiring a driver: a 12 hour trip around Yangon can cost USD 70 while travelling further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hr drive each method, can be estimated at USD 200. Gas is pricey in Myanmar and is a significant contributing element to the price.
Everyone wishes to take you to a craft shop, a silk manufacturing facility or a nut producer during your sightseeing and tour trips. Do not hesitate to say no when you’re paying for your own private transportation. Nevertheless, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the other hand, a few of the side trips can be interesting as well as drivers may take you to some cool areas that aren’t on your schedule and you may be happy you went with their recommendations!
Hiring bikes and e-Bikes (electric motorbikes) outside the cities is much less expensive however beware of the dust– Myanmar is without a doubt one of the dustiest locations, as well as nearly all vacationers establish a dust cough. Pack sunglasses and also something to cover your mouth.
Don’t take an e-Bike if you can not manage it– otherwise you’ll be among the lots of vacationers walking around toting head to foot road rash and plasters.
The large cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has several of the worst traffic. 1.5 hours to cover 15 km should give you an idea. The time advised for getting to the bus terminal (22km far from the centre) is 2.5 hours.
Car quality is hit and miss so do not count on air-conditioning as well as leather seats– that 1.5 hour journey 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 unforeseen. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the very early hrs of the morning, your only choice to get to my hotel may be through horse and cart. There is still a haggling procedure to be had, however because this is the major form of vacationer transport here it is only all-natural that they are waiting for new bus arrivals.
Money and ATMs in Myanmar
You can make use of 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars and also the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).
If you’re going to make use of dollars, they must be pristine. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased and also more recent than 2006. Each specific note is reviewed for flaws, discolouration as well as folds at the currency exchange stands. You may likewise have problems changing notes with the AB/CB serial numbers.
Some vendors insist on payments in United States bucks so you can bring some US dollars to spend.
Utilizing kyat is likely to be less expensive because the USD currency exchange rate is casual– somewhere between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the exchange rate is generally applied on the spot, most likely depending upon exactly how rich you look.
There are ATM machines as well as they mostly work however ensure you have money prior to showing up at more remote spots like the coastline. In some cases they might be out of service.
You’ll pay an ATM fee of about $4 for every withdrawal which is in addition to any kind of charges your financial institution might charge. And also you probably will not be able to withdraw greater than $150 at once.
ATM machines dispense kyat only. There are lots of exchange places around, yet mainly the transactions are to change immaculate dollars into local money.
Wait for the large cities orinternational flight terminal to change cash back to dollars.
Some hotels do not have credit card machines and also require cash payment. If you have actually booked your hotels ahead of time online this may save you taking additional cash money for holiday accommodation.
Credit cards are accepted mainly only in top-end hotels. Some travel agents in Yangon and also Mandalay also take them, generally billing a tiny fee, for purchasing flights.
Cost of travelling in Myanmar
Myanmar is a great deal more costly than the rest of Southeast Asia– facilities is still being developed. That includes guesthouses and dining establishments. Companies are recovering their costs.
A dorm bed will set you back around $20-$30 a night. You can get a basic private 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 dull, no-frills room.
For hotels, high-end resorts can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the Inle Princess Resort being a fine example where luxury comes at a rate of $250 per night) with other excellent choices can be found at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which costs around $120 a night). A modern hotel can cost USD 75-80 a night (the Smart Hotel in Mandalay).
Popular ‘package visitor’ locations like Ngapali coastline can set you back as much as $100 a night for a 2-star resort (though there are a number of hostels there also). On the bonus side, you typically get a cost-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 including something like pizza) will set you back $7-$12.
Mineral water is cheap, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is also cheap at a number of dollars per bottle.
The tourist dollar is king. Anticipate to spend for the benefit of being a foreigner and using squat toilets, getting in pagodas, storing footwear and taking pictures. ‘Foreigner payments’ are preferred in the more touristy locations.
It’s possible to negotiate on costs of things like mementos but if you haggle too hard the locals lose interest and also leave.
Tipping is not typical method in Myanmar, and also it’s only foreigners that tip.
Sightseeing in Myanmar
We were up and out most days for dawn and also fast asleep by 10pm! The heat is typically intolerable during the peak sunlight hours and the arrival of the visitor buses make it harder to get fantastic pictures as well as move freely.
Not everywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far northern, mountainous area of Myanmar, alongside the western Chin State and the far, criminal activity levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal safety measures of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in restrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, many 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 in this way. Nevertheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Many 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 brought about the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the nation continue to be closed to foreigners because of dispute in between the government and different ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, and far from the significant visitor locations.
Accurate details on problems as well as closed locations can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, and inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the high temperatures, and you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged and often enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Many visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so grab an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot as well as flip flops are the best footwear choice. Dealing with laces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and at the beach however somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local individuals are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be frustrating, warm and also slow yet keep in mind: you picked to go to Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. However, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that intend to talk. Travelers are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Typically the people are beautiful as well as are happy to appear in photographs and also attempt and also converse via minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is normally best managed by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| due to the fact that it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also cab drivers usually roll down the window in slow traffic to spew after chewing 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 children. Why not? Read this great short article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar and likewise acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and also restaurants as locals use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the location of the kissing noise so do not be upset!
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 polite, but it is well received. Be ready for many citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand and also is billed per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing laundered and also unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you truly 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 require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the street and also the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more regarding your network selections here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading video clips any time. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it free of charge– and the net is currently spreading tofarther places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can make using the web a frustrating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up many steep staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel Boycott