Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Travel & Tour Website
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation formally called Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t 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 viewed 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 nation. Other names were additionally 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 and also Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically three periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm yet not stifling, and attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the minimal accommodation alternatives challenging to secure and will certainly indicate attempting to book ahead or deal with paying out for the more costly options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar and impending rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of tourists which makes it very easy to book holiday accommodation however it is extremely hot.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and 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 as well as enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be cheaper– if you wish to save some cash, obtaining a visa using your local Myanmar embassy might be cheaper. For example, the price is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research and also do not forget to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration web site for the latest at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual option for tourists as the initial mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous methods for land entrance, although not all of them are advised because of safety and security.
No matter, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a list of options, where you will need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border 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 border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the boundary 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 boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you initially specified ideally to avoid any type of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up front. In addition, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is less costly and also has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options might be irritating yet the long distance propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is budget friendly so it may be your better option.
You can still reserve flights the traditional means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking people off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and getting your bag off a trolley by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and 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 economical with competing companies and a range of deluxe levels.
Many buses travel overnight which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so wonderful for rest. Also, you’ll have a tendency to reach at strange times in the early morning and also won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Consider if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to take a nap straight away.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly offer you a blanket but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food and toilet break– a bit frustrating if you’re trying to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that these are the buses which bring you to your location around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and also cheesy music videos until the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, criminal activity levels are remarkably low.
Still, you need to take the typical safety measures of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Women tourists should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. Consequently, numerous visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s usually pre-cut, look for a vendor that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
The majority of government advisories warn 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 actually brought about the mass displacement of countless people. A few other parts of the country continue to be shut to foreigners as a result of conflict in between the government and various ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and Thailand, and far from the significant tourist locations.
Accurate info on disputes as well as closed locations can be difficult to come by. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders as well as legs despite the high temperatures, and also you will make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and t-shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged and frequently enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Every person wears skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so get one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Getting in pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear choice. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwanted distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach but elsewhere it’s much less typical.
The local people are exceptionally genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, hot and also slow-moving yet keep in mind: you picked to visit Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by residents that want to chat. Visitors are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Generally the people are beautiful as well as more than happy to appear in photographs and also attempt as well as talk through minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is typically best managed by offering a smile as well as a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels which 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 mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as taxi drivers usually roll down the window in slow traffic to spit 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 children. Why not? Read this fantastic write-up 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 as well as likewise works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and dining establishments as residents use the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the place of the kissing noise so do not be distressed!
The two essential phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, however it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand as well as is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your garments washed as well as unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually need washing and clean your smaller sized 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 tissue or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t manage anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual 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 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, far better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of airport terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road and also the store staff will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more regarding your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ link, do not anticipate to be downloading videos any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it for free– as well as the web is currently spreading tofarther locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the internet an aggravating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and also don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Travel suitcases aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up several high staircases isn’t better.
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