Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tour From Hong Kong
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country formally referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t 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 nation’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were also altered, which is why you will see Rangoon now referred to as Yangon.
For tourism, Burma travel is Myanmar travel. Same same, as they say in Southeast Asia.
Both the names Burma and Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are usually three periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer season
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 draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation alternatives challenging to secure as well as will mean attempting to book ahead or deal with paying for the much more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar and approaching rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of vacationers which makes it easy to book accommodation however it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should obtain approval 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 day of issue and also permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy may be more affordable– if you want to save some cash, making an application for a visa by means of your local Myanmar embassy might be cheaper. For example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as do not neglect to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the typical choice for travellers as the first mode of access, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple methods for land entrance, although not all of them are advised due to safety.
No matter, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of choices, 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)
Going Across 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and the collection of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary 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).
Actually, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stick to the one you initially specified preferably to avoid any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be mentioned up front. In addition, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is more affordable and also has more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be aggravating but the cross country propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and also flying is economical so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book 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 involves ticking people 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 a person holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing businesses and a variety of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so fantastic for sleep. Also, you’ll tend to reach at odd times in the morning and also will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to rest straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the high-end buses will offer you a blanket however, use 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 little bit aggravating if you’re trying to rest 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 music CD’s and tacky video until the early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding fate, crime levels are exceptionally low.
Still, you should take the common precautions of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is dirty and also there isn’t always soap in restrooms so utilize 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 nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, several tourists use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nevertheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, look for a vendor that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make certain 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 also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has caused the mass displacement of thousands of people. A few other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners because of dispute in between the government as well as 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 and also Thailand, as well as far from the significant traveler locations.
Precise details on conflicts as well as closed areas can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and also ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great resource of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the heat, and also you will certainly make everybody a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged and also commonly enforced for getting in the temples and also pagodas.
Everyone uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Numerous tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so pick up an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are important! Going into pagodas means going barefoot as well as flip flops are the best footwear choice. Battling with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation 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 but somewhere else it’s much less usual.
The local people are incredibly genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be irritating, warm as well as slow-moving yet bear in mind: you chose to visit Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents that intend to talk. Tourists are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are lovely as well as more than happy to appear in pictures and try and talk through minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a lot which is usually best managed by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard and also 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 also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers often roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this fantastic write-up by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as also works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops as well as dining establishments as residents use the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to recognize the area of the kissing audio so do not be startled!
The two crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be prepared for most residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and also is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your clothes laundered as well as unless you want to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you truly need washing and also wash your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual 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 several 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, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at many airport terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road and also the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more regarding your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘rapid’ connection, do not expect to be downloading video clips at any time. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it free of cost– and also the web is currently spreading tofarther areas. But tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power blackouts can use the web a discouraging exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and don’t anticipate to Skype home very 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 optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up numerous high stairs isn’t much better.
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