Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourism Minister
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation formally known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it wasn’t till 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 former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were likewise altered, 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 made use of interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are usually three periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted holiday accommodation alternatives difficult to secure and also will mean trying to book in advance or deal with paying out for the a lot more pricey options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and approaching rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of visitors which makes it very easy to book holiday accommodation but it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is available to visitors from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and pay a charge 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 arrive and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter is valid for 90- days from the date of issue and also allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be cheaper– if you intend to save some cash, requesting a visa by means of your local Myanmar consular office might be more affordable. As an example, the expense is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as don’t neglect to consider 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 also at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual option for visitors as the very first mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and Laos to the east and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land access, although not all of them are suggested because of safety and security.
Regardless, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a list of alternatives, where you will certainly need to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 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 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 go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stick to the one you originally mentioned preferably to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints because your exit point does not need to be specified up-front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is more affordable and has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be discouraging but the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is cost effective so it may be your far 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 list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as getting your bag off a cart by the airplane and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and 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 economical with competing businesses and also a range of deluxe levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so terrific for sleep. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to reach at weird times in the morning and will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to rest straight away.
Buses are very chilly, the deluxe buses will certainly give you a blanket yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit irritating if you’re trying to sleep 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 music videos till the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, crime levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal preventative measures of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female travellers should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is gross and there isn’t always soap in washrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, numerous tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients in this way. Nevertheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
The majority of government advisories advise against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has resulted in the mass displacement of countless people. A few other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners due to problem in between the government and also various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major visitor locations.
Accurate info on disputes as well as closed areas can be hard to find. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of news from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders as well as legs despite the high temperatures, and also 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 attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also usually enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Everyone uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so pick up an inexpensive one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Struggling with shoelaces 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 clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet in other places it’s less usual.
The local people are extremely genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be aggravating, warm and slow-moving but remember: you picked to see Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents who want to talk. Vacationers are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are lovely as well as are happy to appear in pictures and try as well as speak with minimal common words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a whole lot which is usually best managed by providing a smile as well as 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 pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it delivers a hit that amounts to 6 mugs of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also cab drivers typically roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the children. 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 and additionally works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as dining establishments as citizens make use of the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to determine the place of the kissing noise so don’t be distressed!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, yet it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and also is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really require washing and also wash your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really common in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 North American 2-pin connects as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, far better still, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at many flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the road as well as the shop staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more regarding your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘rapid’ link, do not anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it free of charge– and also the net is currently spreading tofarther locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as do not anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering as well as out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up lots of high stairs isn’t far better.
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