Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourism Warning
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially called Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been till 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was seen as a relic of the nation’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Other names were also altered, which is why you will certainly 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 as well as Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are generally 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 season
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm yet not stifling, as well as draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the limited lodging choices tricky to secure as well as will certainly imply attempting to book ahead or deal with paying for the more expensive options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of tourists which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as you should get 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 day of issue and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you wish to save some money, requesting a visa using your local Myanmar embassy may be less costly. As an example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as don’t fail to remember to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration site for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the typical alternative for travellers as the initial mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern as well as India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land access, although not every one of them are suggested because of safety and security.
No matter, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a listing of options, where you will need to choose among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and also the collection 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 border 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” however it is best to adhere to 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 one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. In addition, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is less expensive and also has extra links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport choices might be irritating however the cross country propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and flying is budget-friendly so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the traditional method by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking people off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also grabbing your bag off a cart by the airplane and flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing businesses as well as a variety of luxury levels.
Most buses travel over night which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing, yet isn’t so fantastic for sleep. Also, you’ll often tend to reach at strange times in the morning as well as will not have the ability 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 certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will provide you a blanket but, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs 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 song CD’s and tacky video till the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a driver about fate, crime levels are exceptionally low.
Still, you ought to take the common safety measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women tourists should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is unclean and there isn’t always soap in washrooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, numerous travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, search for a vendor that has kept the flies away and 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 between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has led to the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. Some other parts of the country stay closed to foreigners because of conflict in between the government and also different ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the significant traveler destinations.
Exact information on problems and also closed areas can be difficult to find. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, and also ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of news from visitors 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 high temperatures, and you will make everybody much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged and also commonly enforced for entering the temples and also pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so pick up a cheap one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are important! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but in other places it’s less common.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, warm and also slow-moving however remember: you selected to check out Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by residents that intend to talk. Tourists are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually the people are beautiful as well as more than happy to appear in photos and also attempt as well as speak through minimal common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is typically best handled by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, make certain they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting 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| since it delivers a hit that amounts to six cups of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, most times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as taxi drivers often roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this fantastic short article 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 product in Myanmar as well as likewise serves as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and restaurants as locals utilize 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 upset!
Both essential expressions 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 a lot 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 usually done by hand and also is charged per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly require washing and also clean your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hrs in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, far better still, acquire a local SIM. You can obtain one at most flight terminals when you land or in one of the stores in the road and the shop staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can learn more about your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it for free– as well as the internet is now spreading tofarther places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power interruptions can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a travel suitcase. aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and also out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up lots of high stairs isn’t much better.
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