Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Famous Places In Kalaw Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t up 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 former British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Other names were additionally changed, 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 and also 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 the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are usually 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 period
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal lodging alternatives challenging to secure and also will certainly imply attempting to book ahead or face paying for the a lot more expensive options 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 vacationers which makes it very easy to book lodging but it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as you should get 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 date of issue and also allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy may be cheaper– if you wish to save some cash, applying for a visa through your local Myanmar embassy might be more affordable. As an example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the USA, so do your research and do not neglect to consider mailing costs.
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 Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the current at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for tourists as the very first mode of access, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are recommended because of security.
Regardless, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a list of choices, from which you will require 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 and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also the collection of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the border village 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” yet it is best to stay with the one you initially specified ideally to prevent any type 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 because your exit point does not need to be stated up front. Furthermore, you may exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as 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 discouraging however the long distance propositions are much more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving as well as flying is economical so it may be your better option.
You can still book flights the traditional means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as getting your bag off a trolley by the plane and also flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing firms and a series of high-end levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so excellent for rest. Additionally, you’ll tend to reach at weird times in the morning and also won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are extremely cold, the high-end buses will certainly give you a covering however, wear 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 bit aggravating if you’re trying to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, even though these are the buses which bring you to your location around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and cheesy video up until the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a driver about reaches of the southern Mon State and also Tenasserim area are usually out-of-bounds to tourists unless you have actually gotten a government visa beforehand. In some areas you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off the beaten path is hard– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure indicates that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go differently. Trying to do otherwise could be extremely costly.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is renowned for its dawns and also sundowns, which likewise matches nicely with remaining inside (possibly for a nap or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day heat.
Expect to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously grubby floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a mindful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not just views for tourists. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and also keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Expect to pay an access fee for Bagan as well as Inle Lake– this fee is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The charges are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening up, indicating you can sleep in low-cost accommodation than you could a couple of years ago. Things are slowly improving for solo tourists, though costs are still far more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic however enchanting. The accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house could be like, basic but beautifully decorated in teak) as well as the morning meal was generally remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to put money into the hands of the residents, not some big brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and also guesthouses supply a towel yet you might need to provide a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will certainly also provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels as well as guesthouses do also, however it can not be relied on.
Be careful about the curfew– some guesthouses might lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Book holiday accommodation and also transportation beforehand throughout peak season. The tourist industry in Myanmar seems to have experienced a boom which the facilities has fallen short to maintain speed with. Many hotels are little and also boutique like so if there’s someplace specific you wish to stay it’s necessary to book in advance. It is especially vital to book ahead during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take travellers in for a small fee if there are no areas available. But don’t rely on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the very best selection. There are noodles during the night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments and also an amazing range of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Lots of items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so great looking water supply and dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an excellent option.
Tell the staff if you do not consume something. If you like a little spice in your meals specify how much spice you like as the chefs often tend to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is tasty and a terrific, fresh choice in many dining establishments.
There is quite a great deal of sugar in the food and also drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, fresh blended juices), ensure you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections yet don’t expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated and also seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice and also don’t normally include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you might get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia yet you can find it and also it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can’t drink the water however most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your area or through a large water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is really economical.
Alcohol is widely available with beer, rum as well as bourbon being preferred choices.
Beer stations are easy to locate and also fun locations to get a beverage with the locals if you do not want to being in a restaurant.
Know that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. and also bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at dawn is much more preferred than late night alcohol consumption.
Large chains can not be found and also brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brand names like Coke as well as Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names as well as eating from local restaurants.
Shops are tiny, family owned affairs– you will not locate a 7-Eleven. There are a few comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops dotted around, yet primarily you’re going to get snacks as well as drinks from small, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not worry, just step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a nation where smoking in public areas has long been outlawed.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an unbelievably safe area– most of the population is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you need to take the usual preventative measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female visitors should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Additionally take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, several tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nonetheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, search for a seller that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
The majority of government advisories advise against travel 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 stay closed to foreigners as a result of problem in between the government as well as different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China and also Thailand, as well as far from the major vacationer locations.
Exact details on problems as well as closed areas can be hard to find. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs despite the high temperatures, as well as you will certainly make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as usually enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so pick up an affordable one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Getting in pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the best footwear choice. Dealing with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwanted interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach yet elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local individuals are exceptionally genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be irritating, hot and slow-moving yet remember: you picked to see Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens that want to talk. Travelers are no longer a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are wonderful and more than happy to appear in pictures as well as attempt and speak with limited usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a whole lot which is normally best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to six mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spat out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth and also taxi 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 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 women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and also functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops as well as dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to determine the location of the kissing sound so don’t be alarmed!
The two essential expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be prepared for most locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand as well as is billed per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing laundered and unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly require washing and also wash your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is extremely usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple 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 get over it or, much better still, get a local SIM. You can obtain one at a lot of airports when you land or in one of the shops in the street and also the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network selections right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ link, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos whenever. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it absolutely free– and also the web is currently spreading tofarther locations. However tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power outages can use the web a frustrating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home very often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a luggage. aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up several high stairs isn’t much better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel Agent