Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tour Package From Chennai
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 viewed as a relic of the country’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as much more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were likewise 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 used interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are generally three periods in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, as well as brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the limited holiday accommodation alternatives difficult to secure and will certainly imply trying to book in advance or face paying for the a lot more expensive choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar as well as approaching rains are due. There is a limited number of visitors that makes it very easy to book lodging however it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also pay a cost 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 arrive and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter stands for 90- days from the date of issue as well as allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy may be less expensive– if you wish to save some money, looking for a visa via your local Myanmar consular office may be cheaper. For example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research as well as don’t neglect to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to enter 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 Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the current at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for visitors as the first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. But, considering where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are encouraged due to security.
No matter, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of options, from which you will require to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Crossing at Land Boundary Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border 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 border of the Thai Peninsula as well as the cluster 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 border of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stick to the one you initially mentioned ideally to prevent any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be stated up front. Furthermore, 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 less expensive and has extra connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport options might be aggravating yet the cross country propositions are far more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is cost effective so it may be your much better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school method by wandering right 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, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing businesses and also a range of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so wonderful for sleep. Additionally, you’ll often tend to reach at weird 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 awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will certainly be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to take a nap straight away.
Buses are very chilly, the high-end buses will certainly provide you a covering yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit irritating if you’re attempting to rest 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 even more, some still play their funky local music CD’s as well as cheesy music videos until the very early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State and also Tenasserim region are generally off-limits to visitors unless you have made an application for a government visa beforehand. In some locations you’ll need a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is tough– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure indicates that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Attempting to do otherwise might be extremely pricey.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is renowned for its daybreaks and also sundowns, which also matches well with remaining indoors (perhaps for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a great deal in temples on seriously unclean floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a lot 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 simply sights for tourists. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Anticipate to pay an entrance charge for Bagan and also Inle Lake– this charge is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The fees are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Holiday accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are gradually opening up, meaning you can sleep in more inexpensive accommodation than you could a couple of years earlier. Things are slowly getting better for solo travellers, though prices are still a lot more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet lovely. The holiday accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house may be like, basic yet wonderfully decorated in teak) and also the morning meal was usually remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to place cash into the hands of the locals, not some large brand chain.
Many hostels, hotels and also guesthouses offer a towel however you may have to provide a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will likewise supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do too, but it can not be counted 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 lodging and also transportation in advance throughout peak period. The tourist industry in Myanmar appears to have actually experienced a boom which the facilities has fallen short to keep speed with. The majority of resorts are tiny and boutique like thus if there’s someplace particular you intend to stay it’s necessary to book beforehand. It is specifically necessary to book in advance during high period (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small fee if there are no areas readily available. Yet don’t depend on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food as well as 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 as well as a remarkable range of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Many items of cutlery are wiped with a not so wonderful looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an excellent choice.
Inform the staff if you do not eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state just how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on travelers!
The fish is scrumptious and a great, fresh option in a lot of dining establishments.
There is rather a lot of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an option to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, fresh blended juices), ensure you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections yet don’t anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned and seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice as well as don’t typically include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other places in Southeast Asia however you can find it and also it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can not consume the water but most hotels, hostels and also guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your space or using a big water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, bottled water is very affordable.
Alcohol is extensively offered with beer, rum and whiskey being popular options.
Beer stations are easy to discover as well as enjoyable locations to get a beverage with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a dining establishment.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. and also bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at daybreak is much more prominent than late night alcohol consumption.
Large chains can’t be discovered and brand names remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains and beyond beverage brand names like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names and also eating from local dining establishments.
Shops are small, family owned affairs– you will not discover a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops populated about, but primarily you’re going to get treats as well as drinks from little, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Do not fret, just step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where smoking in public areas has actually long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe area– most of the population is Buddhist and also with an idea in karma, crime levels are extremely reduced.
Still, you should take the typical safety measures of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth as well as nose when biking around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, many travellers use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. However, as it’s typically pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Most government advisories alert against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the country stay shut to foreigners because of conflict between the government and also different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, as well as far from the major visitor destinations.
Accurate details on problems and also closed areas can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s advice prior to travelling, and inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs regardless of the heat, as well as you will make everyone 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 often enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so pick up a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Struggling with laces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach however elsewhere it’s less typical.
The local people are exceptionally genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, hot and also slow yet keep in mind: you chose to see Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents who intend to talk. Tourists are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are wonderful as well as more than happy to appear in pictures and also try and also converse with limited typical words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a lot which is generally best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard and if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks 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 probably popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as taxi drivers frequently roll down the window in slow 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 shouldn’t give to the children. Why not? Read this brilliant 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 product in Myanmar and likewise serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and restaurants as residents make use of the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing noise so don’t be distressed!
Both crucial expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be prepared for many residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed and also unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really need washing and wash your smaller sized items yourself 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 paper or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t cope with 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 several adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin plugs as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, much better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at most airports when you land or in one of the stores in the road and also the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more concerning your network selections here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading video clips at any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it totally free– and also the net is now spreading tofarther places. However tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power blackouts can use the internet an irritating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Travel suitcases aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up many steep stairs isn’t better.
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