Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Hospitality & Tourism Conference Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially known as Burma gained 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 viewed 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 nation. Other names were additionally altered, 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 as well as Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are typically 3 periods in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm yet not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation choices tricky to secure and also will certainly imply trying to book ahead or deal with paying for the a lot more expensive alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and also upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of travelers which makes it very easy to book accommodation but it is extremely hot.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo and pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also 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 date of issue and permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be less expensive– if you intend to save some money, obtaining a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be less expensive. As an example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK but $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and don’t neglect to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in 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 web site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual alternative for travellers as the very first mode of entry, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. But, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entrance, although not every one of them are recommended due to safety and security.
No matter, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a listing of options, where you will certainly require to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Crossing 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 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 Region of northwestern Myanmar on the border 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 border of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you initially specified preferably to prevent 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 Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be stated up-front. Additionally, you might leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is less expensive and also has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives may be frustrating but the long distance propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is affordable so it may be your far better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school means by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking people off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the airplane and also flight announcements are made by an individual 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 budget-friendly with competing companies as well as a variety of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, but isn’t so terrific for sleep. Also, you’ll often tend to reach at strange times in the early morning as well as will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will certainly be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to rest straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the luxury buses will certainly give you a covering however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit discouraging if you’re trying 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 more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and also tacky music videos until the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding fate, criminal activity levels are extremely low.
Still, you ought to take the normal safety measures of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Women visitors 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 shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth as well as 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 however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a vendor that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many 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 caused the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners because of conflict in between the government and also various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin and also Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major visitor locations.
Precise info on conflicts and also closed locations can be hard to find. Check your government’s recommendations before travelling, and also inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of information from visitors 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 make everybody more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also frequently enforced for getting in the temples and pagodas.
Everyone uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat as well as tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so get an inexpensive one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Getting in pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the best footwear option. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local individuals are exceptionally genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be irritating, warm and slow-moving however remember: you selected to go to Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens that wish to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Normally individuals are lovely as well as more than happy to appear in pictures and also try as well as chat through limited typical words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a lot which is generally best handled by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make certain they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as cab drivers commonly roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this brilliant article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and also works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and restaurants as citizens make use of the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to identify the location of the kissing noise so don’t be startled!
Both crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be ready for a lot of residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand as well as is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered and also unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly need washing and clean your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple 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 overcome it or, far better still, get a local SIM. You can obtain one at a lot of airports when you land or in among the stores in the street and the shop personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more regarding your network options below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ link, don’t expect to be downloading video clips at any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it completely free– and the net is currently spreading tofarther areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Suitcases aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up lots of steep staircases isn’t much better.
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