Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Travel Package
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation officially referred to as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t 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, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally 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 Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal 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: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather is warm but not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal holiday accommodation options tricky to secure and also will imply attempting to book in advance or deal with paying out for the much more expensive alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar as well as approaching rains are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee 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 get here and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter is valid for 90- days from the day of issue and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be more affordable– if you wish to save some cash, requesting a visa through your local Myanmar embassy may be more affordable. For example, the price is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as do not forget to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual option for travellers as the first mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east and also India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous for land entrance, although not all of them are recommended due to safety.
Regardless, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes exactly how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a listing of options, where you will certainly require to select 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 as well as Yangon)
Crossing 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula and the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the border 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 enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stay with the one you originally mentioned when possible to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports and Land Border 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 entry from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is more affordable and also has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives might be irritating however the cross country propositions are much 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 reserve flights the old-school way by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking individuals off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the aircraft and 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 great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing businesses and a series of deluxe levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so excellent for rest. Additionally, you’ll often tend to arrive at weird times in the early morning and also won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to sleep immediately.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly offer you a covering however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food and toilet break– a bit discouraging 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 more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and cheesy music videos up until the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southern Mon State and also Tenasserim region are generally out-of-bounds to travelers unless you have actually requested a government visa in advance. In some areas you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off 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 struggle to go otherwise. Trying to do otherwise might be very costly.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its daybreaks and also sunsets, which also corresponds nicely with staying indoors (perhaps for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day warmth.
Anticipate 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 expect to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re checking out 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 clean off some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, the majority of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not just views for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs as well as keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Anticipate to pay an entrance cost for Bagan and also Inle Lake– this cost is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The costs are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Holiday accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening up, implying you can rest in economical accommodation than you could a couple of years ago. Things are slowly improving for solo tourists, though expenses are still a lot more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but lovely. The accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house may be like, basic however wonderfully decorated in teak wood) and the breakfast was generally superior. And also, it’s nice to put cash right into the hands of the locals, not some big brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and guesthouses supply a towel however you may have to offer up a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will additionally supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do also, yet it can not be depended on.
Be cautious about the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to get to your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Book accommodation and also transportation ahead of time during peak season. The tourist market in Myanmar appears to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has actually failed to keep pace with. Many hotels are tiny and also boutique like so if there’s someplace particular you wish to stay it’s essential to book in advance. It is specifically essential to book ahead during high period (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take travellers in for a small charge if there are no areas offered. However do not depend on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food as well as Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the very best selection. There are noodles during the night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as an outstanding variety of curries as well as salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous pieces of cutlery are wiped with a not so great looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are an optimal option.
Tell the staff if you do not consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes mention how much spice you like as the chefs tend to go easy on travelers!
The fish is scrumptious as well as a fantastic, fresh alternative in a lot of restaurants.
There is quite a great deal of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an option to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, newly blended juices), see to it you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus but don’t expect a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned and also seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice and also don’t normally feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you may get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia but you can discover it and also it’s great. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can’t drink the water but most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply complimentary water either in bottles in your area or by means of a huge water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, bottled water is extremely cheap.
Alcohol is commonly offered with beer, rum and also whiskey being preferred options.
Beer stations are easy to locate as well as fun areas to get a drink with the locals if you don’t intend to sit in a dining establishment.
Understand that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. as well as bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at dawn is a lot more popular than late night drinking.
Large chains can not be located and also brands are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains as well as beyond beverage brands like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brands and consuming from local restaurants.
Stores are small, family owned affairs– you won’t discover a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops populated about, but mostly you’re going to purchase snacks and drinks from little, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not worry, simply step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a country where smoking in public areas has long been prohibited.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe country– most of the populace is Buddhist and with an idea in karma, crime levels are incredibly reduced.
Still, you ought to take the common safety measures of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women visitors should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is unclean and also 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 really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, lots of travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. Nonetheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories caution 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 led to the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners due to dispute in between the government as well as different ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, as well as far from the major visitor destinations.
Precise details on conflicts and also closed locations can be tough to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, as well as ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders as well as legs regardless of the heat, and also you will certainly make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also commonly enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Everyone puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Numerous tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so grab a cheap one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Entering pagodas implies going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local people are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, warm as well as sluggish but keep in mind: 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 residents. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens who intend to chat. Tourists are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are lovely and more than happy to appear in pictures and attempt as well as talk via minimal typical words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is normally best managed by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard and also 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, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| since it provides a hit that’s equivalent to six cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as cab drivers frequently roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the children. Why not? Read this great write-up by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar and also works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and also restaurants as locals use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the area of the kissing noise so don’t be upset!
The two crucial expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, but it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and also is charged per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed as well as unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually need washing as well as clean 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’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t manage anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin plugs 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 get one at the majority of flight terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the street as well as the store staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more about your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘rapid’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it absolutely free– as well as the internet is now spreading tomore remote locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power blackouts can use the web a frustrating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, as well as do not anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Travel suitcases aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up lots of steep stairs isn’t far better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel Package