Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Hotel And Tourism Training
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country formally known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been 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 country’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally changed, which is why you will certainly 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 also Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are typically 3 seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime period
May to October: Damp, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm but not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted accommodation alternatives tricky to secure as well as will certainly mean 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 increases in Myanmar and also approaching rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of travelers that makes it very easy to book holiday accommodation however it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is available to visitors from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and pay a cost 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 as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be less costly– if you intend to save some cash, requesting a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be less costly. As an example, the expense is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research as well as don’t forget to consider mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the typical alternative for visitors as the first mode of entry, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land access, although not all of them are encouraged because of security.
Regardless, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a listing of options, where you will certainly need to pick one of 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 Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern 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 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 boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stick to the one you originally stated when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be stated up front. In addition, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is more affordable and also has extra links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options may be frustrating however the long distance propositions are a lot more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and also flying is inexpensive so it may be your better option.
You can still reserve flights the traditional method by wandering 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 and getting your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing companies and also a series of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so great for sleep. Also, you’ll tend to arrive at weird times in the morning as well as won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same night to rest straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the deluxe buses will offer you a covering yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hrs for a food and toilet break– a bit frustrating 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 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 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 ever ask a driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State as well as Tenasserim region are usually off-limits to tourists unless you have requested a government visa beforehand. In some places 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 established routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go otherwise. Trying to do otherwise might be very pricey.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its sunrises as well as sunsets, which likewise matches well with staying indoors (probably for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day warmth.
Expect to go barefoot a great deal in temples on seriously unclean floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and also dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re exploring 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 clean off some after each visit.
Be a mindful temple visitor, most of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for travelers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs as well as keep your voice down– people will certainly be praying.
Anticipate to pay an entry cost for Bagan and Inle Lake– this charge 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 up, implying you can rest in affordable accommodation than you could a couple of years back. Things are slowly getting better for solo tourists, though expenses are still much more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but captivating. The accommodation offers a feel for what a local house could be like, basic yet magnificently decorated in teak wood) and the breakfast was normally superior. Plus, it’s nice to place cash into the hands of the residents, not some large brand chain.
Many hostels, hotels and guesthouses provide a towel but you could need to offer up a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will certainly also provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do too, but it can not be relied on.
Beware 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 accommodation as well as transport ahead of time during peak season. The tourist market in Myanmar seems to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has fallen short to maintain pace with. The majority of hotels are tiny and also boutique like so if there’s somewhere specific you intend to stay it’s necessary to book in advance. It is especially essential to book ahead during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take tourists in for a small charge if there are no rooms readily available. However do not count on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the best selection. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as a fantastic range of curries as well as salads
Use chopsticks: Several items of cutlery are wiped with a not so excellent looking water supply and dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are an optimal option.
Inform the staff if you don’t eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state how much spice you like as the cooks tend to go easy on tourists!
The fish is tasty as well as a great, fresh option in the majority of restaurants.
There is quite a lot of sugar in the food and beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), ensure you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections however do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice and also do not normally feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other areas in Southeast Asia however you can locate it and also it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can not drink the water but most hotels, hostels and also guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your area or by means of a huge water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is extremely cheap.
Alcohol is extensively offered with beer, rum as well as bourbon being preferred choices.
Beer stations are easy to find and also fun locations to get a drink with the locals if you don’t intend to sit in a restaurant.
Realize that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. and bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at sunrise is much more preferred than late night alcohol consumption.
Huge chains can not be found and also brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond beverage brand names like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brands and also eating from local dining establishments.
Stores are tiny, family owned affairs– you won’t find a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops populated about, but mostly you’re going to purchase treats as well as drinks from small, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not fret, just step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a surprise if you come from a country where smoking in public areas has long been outlawed.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an exceptionally safe area– most of the populace is Buddhist and also with an idea in karma, criminal activity levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you should take the usual safety measures of utilizing hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. Consequently, many tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. Nonetheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, look 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.
The majority of government advisories warn against traveling 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 nation remain closed to foreigners as a result of problem in between the government and also various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin and Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, as well as far from the significant traveler destinations.
Accurate details on conflicts and also closed locations can be challenging to find. Check your government’s recommendations prior to taking a trip, and ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs despite the high temperatures, as well as you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also t-shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged and commonly enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Numerous tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so grab an inexpensive one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Entering pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach however elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local individuals are extremely genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, hot as well as slow but keep in mind: you picked to visit Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. However, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that intend to talk. Tourists are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Normally the people are wonderful and also are happy to appear in pictures as well as attempt and also talk via limited usual words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a lot which is generally best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red discolored teeth and taxi drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this great article 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 also serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and restaurants as locals make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to determine the location of the kissing noise so don’t be startled!
Both crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be ready for most residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand as well as is charged per item instead of kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered and also unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly need washing and also wash your smaller 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 really common in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t manage anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 also North American 2-pin plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, far better still, buy a local SIM. You can obtain one at most airports when you land or in among the stores in the street and also the shop staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more regarding your network choices here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘rapid’ link, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it for free– as well as the internet is currently spreading tomore remote areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power outages can make using the net a discouraging exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Luggage aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up many steep stairs isn’t far better.
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