Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Tourist Attraction Crossword
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been 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 nation’s previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Other names were likewise altered, 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 and also Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are commonly three seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather condition is warm yet not stifling, and also draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the limited lodging choices difficult to secure as well as will indicate attempting to book ahead or face paying for the much more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar as well as upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of travelers that makes it very easy to book accommodation but it is exceptionally hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa web site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as 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 stands for 90- days from the day of issue and enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy might be more affordable– if you want to save some money, getting a visa through your local Myanmar consular office might be less costly. For instance, the cost is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, 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 as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration web site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the common choice for tourists as the first mode of entrance, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– surrounded 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 multiple methods for land entrance, although not every one of them are advised due to safety.
No matter, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes exactly how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a list of options, from which you will certainly need to pick 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula as well as the cluster 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 town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to adhere to the one you initially mentioned when possible to avoid any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be stated up front. In addition, you might leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is less expensive and has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives might be aggravating but the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is budget-friendly so it might be your better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional method by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking individuals off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport as well as getting your bag off a trolley by the airplane and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And also a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing firms and also a variety of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, but isn’t so terrific for rest. Also, you’ll have a tendency to reach at weird times in the morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Consider if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same night to sleep immediately.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will 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 hours for a food and toilet break– a bit discouraging if you’re attempting to rest 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 as well as tacky music videos until the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a vehicle driver regarding he time of arrival. As a result of superstitions based upon a belief system of nats (spirits) that existed before Buddhism came to the fore, asking when you will get to a location invokes bad spirits as well as is taken seriously. The result? You won’t obtain an answer.
You will mostly reserve buses through your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will normally bill a cost but understand that the cost can vary dramatically.
Check whether pickup is included in your ticket price – this actually does differ depending on destination, mode of traveling as well as company. Try to find a business that does include pickup as taxis are expensive.
Booking buses online is more difficult– There isn’t one helpful online booking portal and the ones that do exist have a limited number of tickets. If you’re informed they’re sold out, it does not always mean the bus is full. Attempt reservation somewhere else.
If the company has a Facebook web page, message to book without fees.
Buses are almost always faster than the trains, yet bus rides are bumpy– you may take into consideration taking tablets for motion sickness. Boats are additionally an option for some routes; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular among tourists.
There are no international car-rental firms, however the majority of travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– along with guesthouses as well as hotels somewhere else– can arrange cars and drivers.
Myanmar’s Local Transport
Myanmar is still developing and this is most frustratingly evident in the local transport.
With minimal public transport, taxis will be your major means of getting around particularly for getting to and from flight terminals as well as within cities like Yangon and Mandalay.
Taxi prices are beyond extortionate– rates are established on the spot (after a quick ‘how much can I get away with’ computation) and also you’re going to have to negotiate hard. It’s not unusual to hear prices of $1-$2 per kilometre. Typically the taxi to as well as from the airport/bus will certainly be more than you spent for your flight or intercity bus.
1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate amount for taxi fares.
Taxis for the day may be your far better bet– it can be about $35 for a day of sightseeing and tour in Bagan as well as $28 for a couple of hrs in Mandalay.
Distance is a much bigger variable than time in dictating the price of hiring a driver: a 12 hr journey around Yangon can set you back USD 70 while taking a trip further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hour drive each way, can be quoted at USD 200. Gas is expensive in Myanmar and is a big contributing element to the cost.
Everyone intends to take you to a craft shop, a silk manufacturing facility or a nut manufacturer throughout your sightseeing and tour journeys. Do not be afraid to say no when you’re paying for your own personal transport. Nevertheless, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the other hand, several of the side journeys can be intriguing and drivers may take you to some cool locations that aren’t on your plan and you may be happy you chose their recommendations!
Hiring bikes as well as e-Bikes (electrical motorbikes) outside the cities is much cheaper yet beware of the dust– Myanmar is without a doubt one of the dustiest areas, and also mostly all visitors develop a dust cough. Pack sunglasses and something to cover your mouth.
Do not take an e-Bike if you can’t handle it– otherwise you’ll be one of the lots of tourists walking around toting head to foot road rash and also bandages.
The big cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has some of the worst traffic. 1.5 hours to cover 15 kilometres ought to provide you an idea. The time suggested for reaching the bus station (22km far from the centre) is 2.5 hrs.
Car quality is hit and miss so do not count on air-conditioning and leather seats– that 1.5 hr trip in Yangon could all be done in 38 degree heat with nothing more than the heat of the engine fan to ‘cool’ you down.
Get ready for the unforeseen. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the extremely early hrs of the morning, your only choice to get to my hotel may be via horse and cart. There is still a bargaining procedure to be had, however given that this is the major form of visitor transportation here it is only natural that they are awaiting new bus arrivals.
Money and also ATM Machines in Myanmar
You can utilize 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars and also the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).
If you’re going to use dollars, they must be pristine. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased and also newer than 2006. Each individual note is reviewed for imperfections, discolouration as well as folds at the money exchange kiosks. You might likewise have trouble changing notes with the AB/CB serial numbers.
Some vendors insist on payments in US dollars so you can bring some United States dollars to spend.
Using kyat is likely to be less costly because the USD exchange rate is informal– someplace between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the currency exchange rate is normally applied on the spot, probably depending on exactly how rich you look.
There are ATM machines and they mostly function but see to it you have money before showing up at more remote places like the beach. Occasionally they may be out of service.
You’ll pay an ATM machine charge of about $4 for every withdrawal which is in addition to any type of charges your financial institution might bill. As well as you possibly will not be able to take out greater than $150 at a time.
ATM machines give kyat only. There are a lot of exchange places around, yet primarily the transactions are to change pristine dollars into local money.
Wait for the big cities orinternational airport to change money back to dollars.
Some hotels do not have credit card machines and call for cash payment. If you have actually reserved your hotels ahead of time online this may save you taking additional cash money for accommodation.
Credit cards are accepted mainly just in top-end resorts. Some travel agents in Yangon and Mandalay also take them, usually billing a small fee, for purchasing flights.
Cost of travel in Myanmar
Myanmar is a great deal more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia– facilities is still being built. That includes guesthouses and also restaurants. Businesses are recovering their costs.
Holiday accommodation costs
A dorm bed will certainly set you back around $20-$30 a night. You can get a basic personal room with en-suite from around $35 for a single bed. In traveler hotspots like Bagan, you can pay US$35 to US$40 for a dingy, no-frills room.
For hotels, luxury hotels can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the Inle Princess Resort being a good example where luxury comes at a rate of $250 per night) with various other great alternatives can be found at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which sets you back around $120 a night). A contemporary hotel can cost USD 75-80 a night (the Smart Hotel in Mandalay).
Popular ‘package visitor’ destinations like Ngapali coastline can cost as much as $100 a night for a 2-star hotel (though there are a number of hostels there as well). On the plus side, you usually get a cost-free breakfast with your holiday accommodation.
Street food is most budget friendly– around $1-$2 for a plate of something basic. Local restaurants cost around $2-$4 a meal. Anything remotely western (air-conditioning or featuring something like pizza) will set you back $7-$12.
Mineral water is economical, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is also economical at a couple of bucks per bottle.
Sightseeing and tour prices
The tourist dollar is king. Expect to pay for the privilege of being a foreigner as well as making use of squat toilets, getting in pagodas, storing footwear and taking pictures. ‘Foreigner payments’ are prominent in the much more touristy areas.
It’s possible to negotiate on prices of products like mementos however if you negotiate too hard the locals lose interest and leave.
Tipping is not typical practice in Myanmar, and also it’s only foreigners that tip.
Sightseeing in Myanmar
We were up and out most days for dawn and also fast asleep by 10pm! The heat is often intolerable during the peak sunshine hrs and the arrival of the traveler buses make it harder to get impressive photos and also move around easily.
Not anywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far northern, mountainous area of Myanmar, along with the western Chin State and also the far, criminal activity levels are extremely low.
Still, you should take the normal precautions of using hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female visitors should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is gross as well as 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 hot. As a result, numerous travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Many 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 actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of people. A few other parts of the country stay shut to foreigners due to dispute between the government and different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, as well as far from the major traveler destinations.
Precise info on problems as well as closed areas can be hard to find. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, and 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
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the high temperatures, and also you will make everyone more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as often enforced for getting in the temples as well as 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 vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth as well as tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so pick up a cheap one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are important! Getting in pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear option. Dealing with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local people are exceptionally genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be irritating, warm as well as slow however keep in mind: you selected to check out Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents who wish to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually the people are charming and also are happy to appear in photographs and also try and converse via limited typical words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is usually best managed by offering a smile and 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, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| since it supplies a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. However, 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.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as cab drivers frequently roll down the window in sluggish 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 great 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 and likewise functions as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes as well as dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing sound so do not be surprised!
The two 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 respectful, but it is well received. Be prepared for many residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and also is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed as well as unless you want to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really need washing as well as wash your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t deal with anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd 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 several adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin plugs as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, much better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of airports when you land or in among the shops in the street as well as the shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more concerning your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ link, do not expect to be downloading videos at any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi becoming the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it totally free– and the internet is currently spreading tofarther places. However tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power interruptions can use the internet an aggravating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home very frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a suitcase. Suitcases aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up lots of steep stairs isn’t better.
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