Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourism Federation
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country formally known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been up 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 viewed 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 also 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 Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are usually 3 seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summertime period
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather condition is warm yet not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted lodging choices challenging to secure and also will mean attempting to book in advance or deal with paying out for the much more pricey choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar as well as upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of visitors that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is offered to travellers from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and also you should get approval 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 day of issue as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be cheaper– if you want to save some cash, applying for a visa via your local Myanmar consular office may be less expensive. For example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and don’t fail to remember to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal alternative for travellers as the first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. But, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and Laos to the east as well as India and Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple for land entrance, although not all of them are encouraged due to safety and security.
Regardless, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a list of options, from which you will need to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and 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 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” yet it is best to stay with the one you originally mentioned when possible to avoid any type of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be stated up front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is less expensive and has much more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives might be irritating however the long distance propositions are a lot more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and flying is affordable so it may be your better choice.
You can still book 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 entails ticking people off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and grabbing your bag off a cart 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 do not let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing businesses and a range of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so terrific for rest. Likewise, you’ll tend to reach at odd times in the early morning as well as will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will certainly be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to sleep immediately.
Buses are really chilly, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a covering yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit frustrating 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 even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and also tacky video until the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding fate, criminal activity levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you need to take the normal safety measures of using hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nonetheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, look for a seller that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Most government advisories alert against travel 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 people. A few other parts of the country stay closed to foreigners due to dispute between the government as well as various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major vacationer destinations.
Exact details on conflicts as well as closed locations can be tough to come by. Check your government’s recommendations prior to taking a trip, as well as ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great resource of information from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs despite the high temperatures, and you will make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as frequently 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 tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so grab a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Entering pagodas means going barefoot as well as flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Struggling with laces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting 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 strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach but in other places it’s less usual.
The local people are exceptionally genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travel can be frustrating, warm and also slow-moving yet bear in mind: you picked to visit Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. However, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that want to talk. Tourists are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually the people are wonderful and also more than happy to appear in photographs and try as well as chat through limited typical words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a whole lot which is generally best dealt with by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard and if you’re paying 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 eating betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. Yet, 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.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as taxi drivers typically 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 kids. Why not? Read this brilliant short article 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 and likewise works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops as well as dining establishments as residents make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to recognize the area of the kissing noise so do not be distressed!
Both essential phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your clothing laundered and unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller 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 paper or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything other than 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 multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects along with 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 obtain one at most airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the street as well as the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. 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 access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it free of cost– and also the web is now spreading tofarther areas. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can use the web a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and do not anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a luggage. Travel suitcases aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up many high staircases isn’t much better.
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