Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed 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 also Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were likewise 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 used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This short article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are generally three seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
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 yet not stifling, and also attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal accommodation alternatives difficult to secure and will indicate trying to book in advance or face paying for the much more pricey choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar and upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of vacationers that makes it easy to book accommodation however it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also you should get 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 permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be cheaper– if you wish to save some money, getting a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be less costly. For instance, the cost is just , 14 in the UK but $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not fail to remember to consider mailing costs.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual alternative for travellers as the initial mode of entry, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land entry, although not every one of them are suggested due to safety.
No matter, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a list of alternatives, from which you will need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to northern Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the southernmost 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 Region 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).
Actually, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stay with the one you initially mentioned if possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. Additionally, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is more affordable and has extra connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport choices might be frustrating but the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is inexpensive so it might be your much better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school way by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a cart 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. As well as a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing companies and also a variety of high-end levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so great for rest. Also, you’ll often tend to arrive at strange times in the early morning and also won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to take a nap immediately.
Buses are really chilly, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a blanket however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit irritating if you’re trying to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that 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 as well as cheesy music videos till the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding fate, crime levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you need to take the normal precautions of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Women tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in washrooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth as well as nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, several visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories advise 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 brought about the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. Some other parts of the country continue to be shut to foreigners as a result of 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, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, as well as far from the significant traveler locations.
Precise information on conflicts as well as closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to taking a trip, and also inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and also legs regardless of the high temperatures, as well as you will certainly make everyone a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tees are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also commonly enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Everyone puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so grab a cheap one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are vital! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear option. Dealing with laces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local people are incredibly genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be discouraging, warm as well as slow however bear in mind: you chose to check out Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by locals that wish to talk. Travelers are no more a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally the people are wonderful as well as more than happy to appear in photographs and also attempt and also converse with limited typical words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is typically best managed by offering a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard and also if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing 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 amounts to 6 mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and cab drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving 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 great post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as additionally acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also restaurants as residents make use of the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to identify the location of the kissing audio so do not be distressed!
The two crucial expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be ready for the majority of citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
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 show up with your clothing washed and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you truly require washing and also clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very common in developing nations where the plumbing system can not deal with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at most airport terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the street and also the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos any time. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi becoming the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it totally free– and also the internet is now spreading tomore remote areas. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power blackouts can make using the internet a discouraging exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Luggage aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up several steep stairs isn’t much better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association