Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Travel Uk
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify 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 seen as a relic of the country’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were also 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 Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically 3 seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather condition is warm yet not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited holiday accommodation options tricky to secure and will certainly mean attempting to book in advance or deal with paying for the more costly choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and approaching rains are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers which makes it very easy to book accommodation yet it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa 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 get authorization within 3 working days.
Print out your e-Visa letter, show it when you arrive 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 consular office might be cheaper– if you want to save some cash, obtaining a visa through your local Myanmar consular office might be more affordable. For example, the price is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research and don’t neglect to consider mailing costs.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the most up to date at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the common option for visitors as the initial mode of entry, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous methods for land entrance, although not every one of them are encouraged due to safety and security.
No matter, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be given a listing of choices, where you will require to pick one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay as well as 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region 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 boundary town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stay with the one you originally mentioned ideally 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 Boundary Checkpoints given that your exit point does not need to be stated up front. Furthermore, 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 as well as has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives may be irritating however the long distance propositions are much more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is economical so it might be your better option.
You can still book flights the traditional means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals 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 a person holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. As well as a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing firms as well as a series of luxury levels.
Most buses travel over night which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so fantastic for sleep. Also, you’ll often tend to reach at strange times in the morning as well as 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 more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are extremely cold, the deluxe buses will certainly offer you a blanket however, 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 discouraging if you’re trying 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 song CD’s and tacky video until the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about fate, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the common safety measures of using hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female tourists should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty as well as there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth as well as nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is very easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually caused the mass displacement of countless individuals. Some other parts of the country stay closed to foreigners due to dispute between the government and also different ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin and also Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the significant traveler locations.
Accurate info on disputes and also closed locations can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, as well as inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs regardless of the heat, and you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged and frequently enforced for getting in the temples and pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and 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 vital! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear option. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but elsewhere it’s much less typical.
The local people are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travel can be discouraging, warm and slow-moving but remember: you chose to see Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that want to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Normally individuals are lovely and also more than happy to appear in pictures and try as well as talk via minimal usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is typically best handled by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make certain they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that amounts to six cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit after eating 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 children. Why not? Read this brilliant short article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar and likewise works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and restaurants as citizens make use of the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to determine the place of the kissing sound so do not be alarmed!
The two most important expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, yet it is well received. Be prepared for many residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and also is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your clothing washed as well as unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you truly need washing as well as clean your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not deal with anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours 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 have to overcome it or, much better still, buy a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of airports when you land or in among the shops in the road and the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network selections right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘rapid’ link, do not expect to be downloading videos any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it free of charge– and the internet is currently spreading tofarther areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a luggage. Suitcases aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up numerous high staircases isn’t better.
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