Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Must Visit Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the nation’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was viewed 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 country. 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 modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are commonly 3 periods in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
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 attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited holiday accommodation options difficult to secure and will certainly imply trying to book in advance or deal with paying out for the a lot more costly options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and also upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers that makes it easy to book lodging but it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is offered to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes 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 date of issue as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy may be less expensive– if you want to save some cash, getting a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be more affordable. For example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK but $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research as well as do not forget to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the current at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal choice for tourists as the very first mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are suggested due to security.
Regardless, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of choices, from which you will certainly need to select among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to northern 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 the collection of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the border 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).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you originally mentioned ideally 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 also Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is less expensive and has extra connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be irritating however the cross country propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is budget friendly so it may be your far better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional way by wandering 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, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the aircraft and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. As well as a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing firms and also a series of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so terrific for sleep. Likewise, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at strange times in the morning and also won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to take a nap straight away.
Buses are extremely cold, the high-end buses will certainly offer you a blanket yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit irritating if you’re trying to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, even though these are the buses which bring you to your destination around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and also tacky video up until the early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a vehicle driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State and also Tenasserim region are generally off-limits to travelers unless you have requested a government visa beforehand. In some locations you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is challenging– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go differently. Attempting to do otherwise may be very costly.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is well-known for its daybreaks and also sunsets, which additionally corresponds nicely with remaining indoors (maybe for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day .
Expect to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously unclean floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and also dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a great deal of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you just have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, the majority of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for visitors. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs and keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Expect to pay an entrance cost for Bagan and also Inle Lake– this cost is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The fees are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, implying you can sleep in affordable accommodation than you could a few years ago. Things are gradually getting better for solo visitors, though prices are still much more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but charming. The lodging gives a feeling for what a local house may be like, basic but wonderfully decorated in teak wood) as well as the morning meal was usually exceptional. And also, it’s nice to place cash into the hands of the locals, not some huge brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels and also guesthouses supply a towel but you may have to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will certainly also provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do also, however it can not be counted on.
Be cautious 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.
Reserve accommodation and also transportation beforehand during peak season. The tourist sector in Myanmar appears to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has fallen short to keep pace with. A lot of resorts are little and boutique like thus if there’s someplace certain you intend to stay it’s necessary to book ahead of time. It is especially important to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small charge if there are no areas offered. Yet don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is constantly the best selection. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants and a fantastic range of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Several items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so fantastic looking water supply and also dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an excellent option.
Tell the staff if you do not consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state how much spice you like as the cooks tend to go easy on travelers!
The fish is delicious and also a wonderful, fresh choice in most restaurants.
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, freshly blended juices), make sure you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus but do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are marinaded as well as seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice as well as don’t usually feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar as well as you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other locations in Southeast Asia but you can find it as well as it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can’t consume the water however most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply totally free water either in bottles in your area or through a huge water dispenser at reception. Or else, bottled water is really economical.
Alcohol is commonly available with beer, rum as well as bourbon being preferred options.
Beer stations are very easy to locate and fun places to get a drink with the locals if you don’t intend to sit in a restaurant.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. as well as bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at sunrise is more popular than late night alcohol consumption.
Large chains can’t be discovered as well as brand names are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains as well as beyond beverage brand names like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brand names and also consuming from local restaurants.
Shops are little, family owned affairs– you will not find a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated around, however mostly you’re going to purchase treats as well as drinks from tiny, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Do not fret, simply step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where smoking cigarettes in public areas has actually long been outlawed.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an incredibly safe country– the majority of the populace is Buddhist and with an idea in karma, criminal activity levels are extremely low.
Still, you ought to take the normal precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is dirty and also there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth as well as nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. Nevertheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, search for a vendor that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Many government advisories alert against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has brought about the mass displacement of countless people. A few other parts of the country remain closed to foreigners as a result of dispute between the government and also different ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the major vacationer locations.
Accurate details on disputes as well as closed areas can be challenging to find. Check your government’s advice before taking a trip, as well as inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the high temperatures, and also you will make everybody a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as usually enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Many travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so pick up one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Going into pagodas means going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet elsewhere it’s less common.
The local people are exceptionally genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travel can be aggravating, hot and also slow-moving but keep in mind: you picked to check out Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by citizens that intend to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are wonderful and also are happy to appear in pictures and attempt as well as converse with limited common words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a whole lot which is usually best handled by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re paying for a guide, ensure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 mugs of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spat out, many times onto the ground.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as cab drivers often roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this great write-up 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 product in Myanmar and additionally works as a sun block.
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 an ask for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to recognize the place of the kissing noise so do not be upset!
The two most important phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be ready for most citizens to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and also is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothes laundered and unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually require washing and also wash your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not manage anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange 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 numerous adaptors for European as well as 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, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at a lot of flight terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road and the shop staff will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more regarding your network options below. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘fast’ link, do not anticipate to be downloading video clips whenever. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it free of charge– and also the internet is currently spreading tofarther places. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can make using the web a discouraging exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and do not 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 luggage. Luggage aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up many high stairs isn’t far better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Good Places In Myanmar