Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Travel Agents List
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country formally called Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the nation’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was seen as a relic of the nation’s former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Various other names were also changed, 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 and also Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are commonly 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and also attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted accommodation alternatives challenging to secure and also will certainly imply trying to book in advance or face paying for the more costly choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar as well as impending rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of visitors which makes it easy to book accommodation yet it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and you should get 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 also permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you wish to save some money, getting a visa through your local Myanmar embassy may be less expensive. For instance, the expense is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research as well as do not fail to remember to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to get in 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 site for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the typical alternative for travellers as the first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple methods for land access, although not every one of them are recommended because of safety and security.
Regardless, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a list of choices, where you will require to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Crossing 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 boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary 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 border town 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” but it is best to stick to the one you originally stated preferably to avoid any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be specified up front. Additionally, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is less costly as well as has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options may be irritating yet the long distance propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving as well as flying is budget-friendly so it may be your far better option.
You can still book flights the traditional method by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking people off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the plane as well as 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 a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing businesses and a variety of high-end levels.
Most buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so terrific for sleep. Additionally, you’ll often tend to reach at weird times in the early morning as well as won’t have the ability 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 certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to rest straight away.
Buses are really cold, the high-end buses will offer you a blanket however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit aggravating 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 destination around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and tacky video up until the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a vehicle driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State as well as Tenasserim region are typically off-limits to visitors unless you have made an application for a government visa beforehand. In some places you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is challenging– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Trying to do otherwise might be really expensive.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is renowned for its sunrises and sundowns, which additionally matches perfectly with remaining inside (perhaps for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day .
Expect to go barefoot a lot in temples on seriously unclean floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and also dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you just need to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for visitors. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and also keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Expect to pay an access charge for Bagan and also 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 gradually opening up, meaning you can sleep in economical accommodation than you could a few years back. Things are gradually getting better for solo visitors, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet enchanting. The accommodation offers a feel for what a local house could be like, basic yet beautifully decorated in teak) as well as the breakfast was typically remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to put cash right into the hands of the residents, not some large brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and guesthouses supply a towel however you might need to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will likewise supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do as well, but it can’t be depended on.
Beware the curfew– some guesthouses might lock the door at night, leaving you unable to get to your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Book accommodation as well as transportation ahead of time throughout peak season. The tourist industry in Myanmar seems to have actually experienced a boom which the facilities has actually failed to maintain pace with. Many hotels are tiny and also boutique like thus if there’s somewhere particular you intend to stay it’s essential to book beforehand. It is particularly necessary to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small charge if there are no rooms readily available. However do not count on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as an outstanding variety of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Lots of pieces of cutlery are cleaned with a not so excellent looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an ideal choice.
Tell the staff if you do not eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state just how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on travelers!
The fish is tasty and also an excellent, fresh alternative in many dining establishments.
There is rather a lot of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), see to it you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections however do not expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated as well as seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice as well as don’t usually include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar as well as you might get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other places in Southeast Asia yet you can locate it and also it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can’t drink the water yet most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply cost-free water either in bottles in your room or by means of a big water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, bottled water is very economical.
Alcohol is extensively available with beer, rum and also scotch being preferred choices.
Beer stations are very easy to discover as well as enjoyable places to get a drink with the locals if you do not intend to being in a restaurant.
Understand that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. and bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at dawn is a lot more prominent than late night alcohol consumption.
Huge chains can not be found and brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brand names like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names as well as eating from local dining establishments.
Stores are tiny, family owned affairs– you won’t locate a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops populated about, however mainly you’re going to buy snacks as well as beverages from tiny, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Do not worry, just step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a surprise if you come from a nation where smoking in public locations has actually long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an incredibly safe country– a lot of the populace is Buddhist and with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are incredibly reduced.
Still, you should take the normal preventative measures of using hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women tourists should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty and there isn’t always soap in washrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
The majority of government advisories advise against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has resulted in the mass displacement of countless individuals. A few other parts of the country stay closed to foreigners as a result of conflict between the government as well as various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, and also far from the significant traveler locations.
Exact information on disputes as well as closed locations can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, and ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great resource of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the high temperatures, and you will certainly make everybody more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as often enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Everybody wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Several travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so pick up an inexpensive one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Dealing with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach however somewhere else it’s less usual.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travel can be irritating, warm as well as sluggish but bear in mind: you picked to check out Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens who intend to chat. Visitors are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are charming and more than happy to appear in pictures and also try and also speak through minimal common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is typically best dealt with by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard as well as 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 spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| because it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, most times onto the ground.
Great deals of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also taxi drivers frequently roll down the window in slow traffic to spew after chewing 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 great write-up by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as additionally works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops and also dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to determine the location of the kissing noise so do not be startled!
The two essential phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be ready for many locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your clothes laundered as well as unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually need washing and also wash your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can not manage anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, much better still, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at many flight terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road as well as the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more regarding your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading videos whenever. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it totally free– as well as the web is now spreading tofarther locations. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power outages can make using the internet a discouraging exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up many high staircases isn’t better.
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