Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Visa Uk
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally called Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t 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 country’s previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Other names were likewise 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 also Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are normally 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather condition is warm however not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the limited holiday accommodation alternatives tricky to secure and will indicate attempting to book in advance or deal with paying for the a lot more expensive choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and also approaching rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of tourists which makes it easy to book lodging but it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also 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 is valid for 90- days from the day of issue and permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office might be cheaper– if you want to save some money, requesting a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be less costly. For example, the cost is simply , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not neglect to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the latest at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the common alternative for travellers as the very first mode of entry, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. But, considering where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several for land access, although not all of them are advised because of safety.
No matter, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will certainly be given a list of options, from which you will certainly require to select among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Crossing at Land Boundary 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 most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula as well as the collection 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 border town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
Actually, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stay with the one you originally stated ideally to prevent any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not need to be mentioned up front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper and also has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options might be discouraging yet the long distance propositions are a lot more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is economical so it may be your better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional way by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking individuals off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing businesses as well as a series of luxury levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so terrific for rest. Also, you’ll often tend to reach at odd times in the morning and also will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same night to rest immediately.
Buses are very cold, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a covering but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a bit discouraging if you’re trying to sleep 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 more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and also cheesy video until the very early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State and also Tenasserim area are typically out-of-bounds to vacationers unless you have requested a government visa beforehand. In some places you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is tough– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure indicates that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go otherwise. Trying to do otherwise may be very expensive.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is popular for its daybreaks and also sunsets, which likewise matches well with staying inside (probably for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day warmth.
Anticipate to go barefoot a great deal in temples on seriously unclean floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply views for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– individuals will certainly be praying.
Anticipate to pay an entrance cost for Bagan and Inle Lake– this cost is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The costs are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, indicating you can sleep in more inexpensive accommodation than you could a few years back. Things are slowly getting better for solo tourists, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet captivating. The accommodation provides a feel for what a local house may be like, basic but magnificently decorated in teak) and also the breakfast was normally exceptional. And also, it’s nice to place money right into the hands of the residents, not some big brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels as well as guesthouses provide a towel yet you might have to provide a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will also provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels as well as guesthouses do also, however it can’t be counted on.
Be cautious about the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve accommodation and transportation ahead of time during peak season. The tourist sector in Myanmar seems to have experienced a boom which the facilities has actually failed to maintain pace with. A lot of resorts are small and also boutique like so if there’s someplace particular you wish to stay it’s important to book in advance. It is particularly necessary to book ahead during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take tourists in for a small charge if there are no spaces available. Yet don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and also 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 restaurants and also an amazing array of curries as well as salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous pieces of cutlery are cleaned with a not so fantastic looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are a suitable alternative.
Tell the staff if you do not eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes specify just how much spice you like as the cooks have a tendency to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is delicious and a terrific, fresh alternative in the majority of restaurants.
There is quite a great deal of sugar in the food and also drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), make sure you request ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus but don’t expect a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt and also lime juice and don’t usually feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar as well as you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia yet you can discover it and also it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can’t consume the water yet most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply cost-free water either in bottles in your room or via a huge water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is extremely inexpensive.
Alcohol is extensively available with beer, rum and also scotch being prominent alternatives.
Beer stations are simple to discover and also fun areas to get a drink with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a dining establishment.
Be aware 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 country where meditation at daybreak is much more preferred than late night alcohol consumption.
Large chains can not be found as well as brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brand names like Coke and Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brand names as well as eating from local restaurants.
Shops are small, family owned affairs– you will not discover a 7-Eleven. There are a few equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated around, however primarily you’re going to purchase snacks as well as drinks from little, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Don’t fret, just step in, they want your business.
There are people smoking indoors- this can be a surprise if you come from a country where smoking cigarettes in public places has actually long been prohibited.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an unbelievably safe area– a lot of the populace is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are incredibly low.
Still, you ought to take the usual safety measures of using 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 dirty and also there isn’t always soap in washrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, many travellers use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is very easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. Nevertheless, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a seller that has kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
A lot of government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has caused the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the nation stay shut to foreigners as a result of problem in between the government as well as different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, as well as far from the major traveler locations.
Accurate details on conflicts and also closed locations can be difficult to find. Check your government’s guidance prior to taking a trip, and also inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the heat, and also you will certainly make everyone more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as often enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Everyone wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Numerous travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so grab an inexpensive one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Getting in pagodas means going barefoot and also flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Battling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach however somewhere else it’s much less usual.
The local individuals are exceptionally genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be irritating, warm and also slow-moving however remember: you selected 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. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents that wish to talk. Tourists are no longer a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Usually the people are charming as well as are happy to appear in photos and also attempt and also talk with minimal 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 (hi 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 excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, small parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| due to the fact that it provides a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as cab drivers commonly roll down the window in slow-moving 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 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, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as additionally functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as locals make use of the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing audio so don’t be alarmed!
The two essential expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it polite, however it is well received. Be ready for many locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand as well as is billed per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed as well as unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really require washing and clean your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are very 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 very typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t manage anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area 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 have to overcome 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 street and the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network selections below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it completely free– and the net is currently spreading tofarther areas. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power blackouts can make using the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, as well as do not anticipate to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up many high staircases isn’t far better.
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