Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Visa Process
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it wasn’t up 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 viewed as a relic of the nation’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Various other names were also altered, 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 Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are commonly 3 periods in which you can see 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 weather condition is warm but not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the limited accommodation choices challenging to secure and also will imply trying to book ahead or deal with paying out for the a lot more costly 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 minimal number of vacationers that makes it easy to book lodging but it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also you should get authorization within 3 working days.
Print out your e-Visa letter, show it when you get here and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter stands for 90- days from the day of issue and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you wish to save some cash, applying for a visa through your local Myanmar consular office might be cheaper. For example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research and do not neglect to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration site for the current at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal alternative for travellers as the first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– surrounded 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 multiple avenues for land entrance, although not every one of them are recommended because of safety.
No matter, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a listing of options, from which you will require to pick 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 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 the cluster 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 boundary 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 initially stated 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 Boundary Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be mentioned up front. In addition, you may exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is more affordable and also has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be aggravating however the cross country propositions are far more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and also flying is inexpensive so it might be your far better choice.
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 includes ticking individuals off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also grabbing your bag off a cart by the aircraft and flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. As well as a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing companies and a series of high-end levels.
Many buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so great for rest. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to reach at weird times in the early morning and also will not 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. Consider if it will certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are very cold, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a blanket yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hours for a food and also toilet break– a bit discouraging 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 tacky video 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 shut off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the common safety measures of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female travellers should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy as well as there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Look 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 a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, several tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s often pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually 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 caused the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. Some other parts of the country remain closed to foreigners due to dispute in between the government and various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, as well as far from the major visitor locations.
Precise information on conflicts as well as closed areas can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, and ask about the situation once 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
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and also legs regardless of the high temperatures, and you will certainly make everybody more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and t-shirts are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and often enforced for getting in the temples and pagodas.
Everybody uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing so pick up an inexpensive one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are essential! Entering pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the best footwear choice. Struggling with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less usual.
The local people are extremely genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, warm and also slow yet bear in mind: you chose to go to Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by locals who wish to talk. Vacationers are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are beautiful as well as are happy to appear in photos and also attempt and also chat with minimal typical words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is usually best handled by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hello 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 pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably 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, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also taxi drivers usually roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this brilliant post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as additionally serves as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and restaurants as residents utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to recognize the location of the kissing audio so don’t be alarmed!
Both crucial expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, but it is well received. Be ready for many locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and also is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your garments laundered and also unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly need washing as well as clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy 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 extremely common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not deal with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, much better still, get 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 shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more concerning your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘quick’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading video clips whenever. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it absolutely free– and also the net is now spreading tofarther areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and do not anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a travel suitcase. aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up numerous high stairs isn’t much better.
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