Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Responsible Tourism
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been 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 country’s former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were additionally changed, 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 and also Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are commonly 3 periods in which you can go to 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, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted holiday accommodation options challenging to secure and will certainly mean trying to book ahead or deal with paying out for the much more pricey choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar and also upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of travelers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll need to upload a passport photo as well as 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 day of issue and also allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy might be less costly– if you want to save some cash, applying for a visa using your local Myanmar embassy may be less expensive. For example, the cost is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and also 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 as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration web site for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual option for travellers as the initial mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land entrance, although not all of them are advised because of safety.
No matter, you have to 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 options, from which you will require to choose among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border 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 border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula as well as 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 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” but it is best to adhere to the one you originally mentioned when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be stated up-front. In addition, 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.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives might be frustrating yet the long distance propositions are much more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and also flying is economical so it might be your much better choice.
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 includes ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and getting your bag off a trolley by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing companies and a variety of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so great for sleep. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to reach at strange times in the early morning and also will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to take a nap immediately.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly offer you a blanket yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food and 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 song CD’s as well as tacky music videos up until the very early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a driver regarding fate, criminal activity levels are remarkably low.
Still, you need to take the common safety measures of making use of hotel storage 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 filthy and there isn’t always soap in washrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Keep an eye 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 air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, several travellers use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, look for a vendor that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure 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 as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the nation stay shut to foreigners due to conflict in between the government as well as various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin and Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the major visitor locations.
Exact details on disputes and closed areas can be hard to find. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, and also inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and legs regardless of the high temperatures, and you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as typically enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Every person wears skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so pick up an inexpensive one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Getting in pagodas implies going barefoot and also flip flops are the most effective footwear choice. Struggling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach but elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local people are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, warm as well as slow-moving yet remember: you chose to visit Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by residents that want to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Normally individuals are charming as well as more than happy to appear in pictures as well as try and also talk through minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a whole lot which is typically best managed by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard and if you’re paying for a guide, ensure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to six mugs of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and cab drivers commonly roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this fantastic write-up 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 acts as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and restaurants as locals utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to determine the area of the kissing sound so do not be upset!
Both most important phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand as well as is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your garments laundered and also unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually require washing as well as wash your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by however tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really common in developing nations where the plumbing system can not manage anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd 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 several adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, much better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at many flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the street and the shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can learn more about your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading video clips whenever. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi becoming the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it free of charge– and the web is currently spreading tofarther areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can use the web an irritating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and also 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. aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up many steep staircases isn’t far better.
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