Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Delight Travel Agency
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation formally known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it wasn’t 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 country’s former British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many 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 utilized interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are generally 3 periods in which you can visit 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 weather condition is warm but not stifling, and brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited lodging alternatives difficult to secure and also will indicate trying to book in advance or face paying out for the much more expensive choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar as well as impending rains are due. There is a limited number of travelers which makes it very easy to book accommodation but it is exceptionally 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 upload a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also 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 stands for 90- days from the date of issue and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you want to save some money, obtaining a visa via your local Myanmar consular office might be less costly. For example, the expense is simply , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research as well as 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 and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the typical choice for travellers as the first mode of access, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entrance, although not all of them are recommended due to security.
Regardless, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of alternatives, where you will require to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to north Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster 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 boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stay with the one you originally stated preferably to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not need to be specified up-front. In addition, 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 and also has more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives might be aggravating however the long distance propositions are much more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is budget friendly so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school way 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 listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as grabbing your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing businesses and a variety of high-end levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so terrific for sleep. Also, you’ll tend to arrive at odd 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 hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. 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 extremely cold, the deluxe buses will give you a blanket however, use 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 toilet break– a bit aggravating if you’re attempting to sleep 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 song CD’s and also cheesy music videos till the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding reaches of the southern Mon State as well as Tenasserim area are normally out-of-bounds to visitors unless you have requested a government visa in advance. In some places you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off the beaten path is challenging– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go differently. Attempting to do otherwise might be really expensive.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is well-known for its daybreaks and sundowns, which also matches well with staying indoors (probably for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day .
Anticipate to go barefoot a great deal in temples on seriously grubby floorings. 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 need to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, most of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not just sights for travelers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators as well as keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Expect to pay an entrance charge for Bagan as well as Inle Lake– this fee is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The costs are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are gradually opening, meaning you can rest in economical accommodation than you could a couple of years ago. Things are gradually getting better for solo visitors, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet lovely. The lodging provides a feel for what a local house might be like, basic yet perfectly decorated in teak) and the morning meal was usually remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to place money right into the hands of the residents, not some large brand chain.
A lot of hostels, hotels and also guesthouses give a towel but you may have to provide a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will likewise provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do as well, yet it can’t 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.
Reserve lodging and transportation ahead of time throughout peak season. The tourist sector in Myanmar seems to have experienced a boom which the facilities has failed to maintain pace with. Many hotels are small as well as boutique like so if there’s somewhere specific you intend to stay it’s necessary to book beforehand. It is especially important to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take tourists in for a small charge if there are no areas readily available. But don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the very best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments and also an incredible variety of curries and also salads
Use chopsticks: Several pieces of cutlery are wiped with a not so terrific looking water supply and dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an ideal choice.
Tell the staff if you don’t eat something. If you like a little spice in your meals specify just how much spice you like as the cooks have a tendency to go easy on tourists!
The fish is tasty as well as a fantastic, fresh alternative in the majority of dining establishments.
There is quite a lot 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, newly blended juices), make certain you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections yet do not expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated and also seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice and also don’t normally include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are low in Myanmar and you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia but you can locate it and also it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can not consume the water yet most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply totally free water either in bottles in your area or through a large water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is very low-cost.
Alcohol is widely offered with beer, rum and scotch being preferred options.
Beer stations are very easy to find as well as fun areas to get a drink with the locals if you do not wish to being in a restaurant.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. and bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at dawn is more preferred than late night alcohol consumption.
Big chains can not be discovered as well as brand names are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and beyond drink brand names like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brands and also eating from local dining establishments.
Stores are small, family owned affairs– you will not find a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated about, but mostly you’re going to buy snacks and also beverages from tiny, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Don’t fret, simply step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a nation where smoking in public places has long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an exceptionally safe country– the majority of the populace is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are incredibly low.
Still, you ought to take the usual precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Women travellers should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is gross and also there isn’t always soap in restrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Also take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, several tourists use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
A lot of government advisories advise 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 thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the nation remain closed to foreigners due to conflict between the government and also different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, as well as far from the major visitor destinations.
Exact details on disputes and also closed areas can be challenging to find. Check your government’s recommendations before travelling, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of information from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as 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 and t-shirts are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and often enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Several vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so grab an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Going into pagodas implies going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Struggling 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 country so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but in other places it’s less common.
The local people are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be irritating, warm and slow-moving but bear 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. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by locals that want to talk. Tourists are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually the people are charming and are happy to appear in pictures and attempt and also chat with minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is generally best managed by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and taxi drivers commonly roll down the window in slow traffic to spit 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 kids. Why not? Read this great write-up 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 product in Myanmar and likewise works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as dining establishments as locals make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to identify the place of the kissing audio so don’t be surprised!
The two crucial expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, yet it is well received. Be prepared for many residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really need washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are 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 usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t cope with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and North American 2-pin plugs as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, much better still, buy a local SIM. You can obtain one at many airports when you land or in among the stores in the road and the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more regarding your network selections below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading video clips at any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it absolutely free– and also the web is currently spreading tofarther locations. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can make using the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Luggage aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up lots of steep stairs isn’t much better.
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