Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Travel & Tourism
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally called Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but 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 seen as a relic of the nation’s former British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were also changed, which is why you will certainly 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 Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are usually 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
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 attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the limited accommodation choices challenging to secure as well as will certainly imply attempting to book in advance or deal with paying out for the a lot more expensive 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 limited number of visitors which makes it very easy to book lodging but it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa internet site. You’ll need to upload a passport photo and pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply as well as you should obtain 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 date of issue and enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office might be more affordable– if you wish to save some cash, obtaining a visa through your local Myanmar embassy may be more affordable. As an example, the price is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not neglect 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; and at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for visitors as the very first mode of access, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land entrance, although not every one of them are encouraged because of security.
No matter, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of alternatives, from which you will need to choose among 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 Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to northern Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region of northwestern Myanmar on the border to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the boundary town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
Actually, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stick to the one you initially specified preferably to prevent any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not need to be mentioned up front. In addition, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is more affordable as well as has more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation options may be frustrating yet the cross country propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is economical so it might be your far better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school method by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking people off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the airplane and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing firms and a variety of luxury levels.
Many buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so excellent for sleep. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to reach at strange times in the morning and also won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to sleep straight away.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly provide you a covering yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit discouraging if you’re attempting to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, although 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 tacky music videos up until the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a driver about fate, criminal activity levels are incredibly low.
Still, you need to take the usual preventative measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean and also there isn’t always soap in restrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, numerous travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Most government advisories alert against travel 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 thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the nation stay shut to foreigners due to conflict between the government and various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major traveler destinations.
Accurate details on disputes and closed locations can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before travelling, and also inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and legs regardless of the high temperatures, and also you will make everybody a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and t-shirts are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged and also frequently enforced for entering the temples and also pagodas.
Every person puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so get one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are necessary! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Dealing with laces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach yet elsewhere it’s less typical.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travel can be discouraging, hot and also slow-moving but bear in mind: you selected to check out Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens who intend to talk. Vacationers are no more a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are charming and also are happy to appear in pictures and try as well as converse with limited usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a whole lot which is typically best dealt with by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and also if you’re spending for a guide, make certain they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels which contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| since it provides a hit that amounts to 6 cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spat out, many 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 spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the children. Why not? Read this brilliant post 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 and additionally acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as restaurants as residents use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to determine the area of the kissing sound so don’t be alarmed!
Both most important phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, but it is well received. Be ready for most locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand as well as is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your garments laundered and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is extremely usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not manage anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and also 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, better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at most airport terminals when you land or in among the stores in the street and the store personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more about your network options below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading video clips any time. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it for free– and also the net is currently spreading tomore remote areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and power failures can make using the internet an irritating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also do not anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a luggage. Suitcases aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up several steep stairs isn’t far better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel & Tourism