Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourism Rate
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been 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, as well as Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Various other names were also changed, which is why you will 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 as well as Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically 3 seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm yet not stifling, as well as draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted holiday accommodation options challenging to secure and also will indicate trying 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 level climbs in Myanmar as well as impending rains are due. There is a limited number of tourists that makes it easy to book accommodation but it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and 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 is valid for 90- days from the date of issue and permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office might be less costly– if you wish to save some cash, making an application for a visa by means of your local Myanmar consular office may be less costly. For example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research and do not fail to remember to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration web site for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for travellers as the first mode of entry, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. But, thinking about where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and Laos to the east and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous for land entry, although not every one of them are recommended because of security.
Regardless, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a listing of alternatives, where you will certainly require to choose 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 and Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also 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 border village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, 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 prevent 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 Boundary Checkpoints because your exit point does not need to be mentioned up-front. In addition, you might exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper and has extra connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options might be frustrating however the cross country propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is budget-friendly so it might be your better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking people off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also getting your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing businesses and a range of high-end levels.
A lot of buses travel overnight which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so great for sleep. Likewise, you’ll tend to arrive at strange times in the morning and won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours 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 same evening to take a nap immediately.
Buses are extremely cold, the high-end buses will give you a covering but, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hours for a food and toilet break– a little bit frustrating if you’re attempting to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that 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 early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southern Mon State as well as Tenasserim area are generally out-of-bounds to travelers unless you have gotten a government visa in advance. In some places you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is hard– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure indicates that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Trying to do otherwise may be really expensive.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is popular for its sunrises and sunsets, which also corresponds nicely with remaining inside (probably for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a lot 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 simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, most of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not just views for visitors. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and also keep your voice down– individuals will be praying.
Anticipate to pay an access fee for Bagan and Inle Lake– this fee is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The charges are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Lodging in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, implying you can rest in low-cost accommodation than you could a couple of years ago. Things are gradually getting better for solo travellers, though prices are still much more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet captivating. The lodging gives a feeling for what a local house could be like, basic but perfectly decorated in teak wood) and also the breakfast was generally exceptional. Plus, it’s nice to put money right into the hands of the citizens, not some big brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and guesthouses offer a towel yet you may have to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will likewise supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and also guesthouses do too, but it can’t be depended on.
Beware the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve holiday accommodation and also transport in advance throughout peak season. The tourist market in Myanmar appears to have experienced a boom which the facilities has failed to maintain speed with. A lot of resorts are small and boutique like thus if there’s somewhere certain you wish to stay it’s essential to book ahead of time. 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 charge if there are no areas available. Yet don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the very best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants as well as an incredible variety of curries and also salads
Use chopsticks: Many pieces of cutlery are wiped with a not so wonderful looking water supply and dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are an ideal alternative.
Tell the staff if you do not consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state how much spice you like as the cooks often tend to go easy on tourists!
The fish is scrumptious and also a wonderful, fresh choice in many restaurants.
There is rather a great deal of sugar in the food as well as beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an option to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, fresh blended juices), make sure you ask for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections however do not expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated and also seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice and don’t usually feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are low in Myanmar as well as you may get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia however you can locate it as well as 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 however most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply complimentary water either in bottles in your space or via a large water dispenser at reception. Or else, mineral water is really affordable.
Alcohol is commonly offered with beer, rum and also whiskey being popular options.
Beer stations are simple to find as well as fun places to get a drink with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a restaurant.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. and also bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at daybreak is more prominent than late night drinking.
Big chains can not be discovered and also brand names are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brands like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names as well as eating from local restaurants.
Stores are little, family owned affairs– you won’t discover a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops dotted about, but mainly you’re going to get snacks and drinks from small, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not worry, just step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where cigarette smoking in public areas has long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe country– a lot of the populace is Buddhist and also with a belief in karma, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you should take the common precautions of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in washrooms so use your sanitiser before 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 air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
The majority of government advisories alert against traveling 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 led to the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the country remain closed to foreigners because of problem in between the government and also different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the significant traveler destinations.
Accurate details on disputes as well as closed locations can be tough to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to taking a trip, and inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of news from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and also legs regardless of the heat, and also you will certainly make everyone much 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 strongly encouraged and also frequently enforced for entering the temples and also pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Many tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so get an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Going into pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the best footwear choice. Struggling with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach but elsewhere it’s much less common.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, hot and also sluggish however keep in mind: you picked to visit 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 whole lot by locals who wish to chat. Travelers are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are lovely and also are happy to appear in photos and also try and also speak through limited typical words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a whole lot which is normally best handled by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, make certain they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it delivers a hit that amounts to six cups 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 citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as taxi drivers often roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this brilliant post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and also functions as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes as well as restaurants as locals utilize the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to recognize the location of the kissing audio so don’t be distressed!
The two essential phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be ready for many citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand and also is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothes washed and also unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually need washing and also clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not manage anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hrs in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, better still, acquire a local SIM. You can obtain one at many airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the road and the shop staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more concerning your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not expect to be downloading video clips any time. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it completely free– as well as the net is now spreading tofarther areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power blackouts can make using the web an aggravating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up numerous steep staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Tourism Rate