Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Visa Application In Singapore
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially called Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been until 1989 that the ruling military junta altered 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 previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Other names were likewise changed, which is why you will 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 made use of interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are typically 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited holiday accommodation options difficult to secure and also will certainly imply trying to book ahead or deal with paying for the more expensive options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and also upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of travelers that makes it very easy to book accommodation yet it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa website. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes 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 permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office might be less expensive– if you intend to save some money, getting a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be less costly. As an example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research and don’t forget to consider mailing expenses.
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 boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for travellers as the very first mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land access, although not every one of them are advised due to safety and security.
No matter, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes just how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a list 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 (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Crossing at Land Boundary Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to north 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 as well as the collection 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).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you originally specified when possible to prevent any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints because your exit point does not require to be mentioned up-front. Additionally, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is less costly and has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be frustrating but the cross country propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is inexpensive so it may be your better choice.
You can still reserve flights the old-school means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking people off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport as well as grabbing your bag off a cart by the plane and also flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing firms and also a variety of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, yet isn’t so great for rest. Also, you’ll have a tendency to reach at weird times in the early morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to sleep straight away.
Buses are extremely chilly, the high-end buses will offer you a covering however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit frustrating if you’re trying to rest 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 even more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and also tacky video until the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State and also Tenasserim area are generally out-of-bounds to vacationers unless you have actually requested a government visa ahead of time. In some locations 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 implies that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go any other way. Attempting to do otherwise may be really costly.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its dawns and sunsets, which likewise matches perfectly with staying inside (probably for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day .
Anticipate to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously grubby floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you just have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, the majority of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for tourists. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs as well as keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Anticipate to pay an entry charge for Bagan and also Inle Lake– this charge is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The fees are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Lodging in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, implying you can sleep in low-cost accommodation than you could a couple of years ago. Things are gradually improving for solo travellers, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay somewhere else in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but captivating. The accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house may be like, basic yet magnificently decorated in teak) as well as the breakfast was normally remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to place cash into the hands of the residents, not some huge brand chain.
A lot of hostels, hotels and also guesthouses provide a towel but you could have to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will additionally provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and also guesthouses do too, however it can’t be relied on.
Be careful about the curfew– some guesthouses might lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve accommodation and transport beforehand during peak period. The tourist sector in Myanmar appears to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has actually fallen short to maintain speed with. Most hotels are little as well as boutique like so if there’s someplace certain you intend to stay it’s important to book ahead of time. It is specifically necessary to book in advance during high period (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take visitors in for a small charge if there are no areas available. But don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food as well as 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 and a remarkable selection of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Many items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so excellent looking water supply and dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are a perfect option.
Inform the staff if you do not eat something. If you like a little spice in your meals specify how much spice you like as the cooks have a tendency to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is tasty and a terrific, fresh option in many dining establishments.
There is rather a great deal of sugar in the food and beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an alternative to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), make sure you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on menus however do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice as well as don’t typically include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you could get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other locations in Southeast Asia yet you can find it and also it’s great. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can not drink the water however most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply totally free water either in bottles in your room or using a big water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is really low-cost.
Alcohol is extensively offered with beer, rum and also bourbon being prominent choices.
Beer stations are easy to find and also fun places to get a drink with the locals if you don’t wish 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. and bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at dawn is a lot more prominent than late night drinking.
Huge chains can not be discovered and also brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond beverage brands like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names as well as eating from local restaurants.
Stores are little, family owned affairs– you won’t find a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores dotted about, yet primarily you’re going to purchase snacks and also beverages from small, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Don’t worry, just step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a surprise if you come from a country where smoking cigarettes in public areas has actually long been prohibited.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe country– most of the population is Buddhist and with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are exceptionally low.
Still, you should take the typical precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty and there isn’t always soap in restrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly 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 nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your immune system with nutrients in this way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a vendor that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
A lot of government advisories advise against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually caused the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. Some other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners as a result of dispute between the government and also different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the major visitor destinations.
Accurate details on problems and also closed locations can be challenging to find. Check your government’s recommendations before travelling, as well as inquire about the situation when 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
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the heat, and also you will make everybody a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also t-shirts are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also often enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Everybody wears 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 ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so grab a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Entering pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Struggling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less common.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, hot and also slow yet remember: you picked to see Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens who wish to chat. Vacationers are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are wonderful and also are happy to appear in photos as well as try and converse through limited usual words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a lot which is usually best managed by offering a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re paying for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it delivers a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth and cab drivers usually roll down the window in slow traffic to spew 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 youngsters. Why not? Read this fantastic post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as likewise works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and restaurants as citizens make use of the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the area of the kissing sound so don’t be upset!
The two crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand as well as is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered and also unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you really require washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by however tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very common in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t manage anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin plugs as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, much better still, buy a local SIM. You can obtain one at the majority of flight terminals when you land or in one of the stores in the road as well as the shop staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more regarding your network selections here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘rapid’ link, don’t expect to be downloading videos any time. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it totally free– as well as the internet is now spreading tofarther places. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power outages can use the internet an aggravating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also don’t 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 suitcase. Suitcases aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up several high staircases isn’t much better.
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