Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Visa Work History
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country formally known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the nation’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was viewed as a relic of the country’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were likewise 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 as well as Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are normally three seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer season
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm but not stifling, and also attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the limited holiday accommodation choices tricky to secure and also will certainly indicate trying to book in advance or deal with paying out for the a lot more costly choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and impending rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins 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 day of issue and enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy may be more affordable– if you intend to save some cash, making an application for a visa using your local Myanmar consular office might be cheaper. As an example, the cost is simply , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as do not fail to remember to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the latest at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal choice for travellers as the first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, thinking about where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and Laos to the east and India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple for land access, although not every one of them are encouraged due to safety and security.
Regardless, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes exactly how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a list of choices, where you will certainly need to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary 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 border village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the border of Southeastern India).
Actually, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to adhere to the one you originally specified if possible to prevent any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints because your exit point does not require to be mentioned up front. Furthermore, 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 also has much more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be discouraging however the cross country propositions are much more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is affordable so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the traditional means by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking people off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also getting your bag off a trolley by the plane 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. And a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing companies and also a variety of luxury levels.
Many buses travel overnight which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, but isn’t so excellent for sleep. Likewise, you’ll have a tendency to reach at odd times in the morning and also will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours waiting on a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are very cold, the high-end buses will certainly offer you a blanket however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food and also toilet break– a little bit aggravating if you’re attempting 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 even more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and cheesy music videos until the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding he time of arrival. Because of superstitious notions based upon a belief system of nats (spirits) that existed before Buddhism came to the fore, asking when you will come to a location invokes bad spirits and is taken seriously. The result? You will not obtain an answer.
You will mostly reserve buses via your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will generally bill a fee yet be aware that the charge can vary substantially.
Check whether pick-up is included in your ticket price – this really does differ depending upon destination, mode of travel and also company. Try to find a firm that does include pick-up as taxis are exorbitant.
Reserving buses online is more difficult– There isn’t one useful on-line reservation website as well as the ones that do exist have a limited number of tickets. If you’re told they’re sold out, it doesn’t always mean the bus is full. Try reservation somewhere else.
If the company has a Facebook page, message to book without costs.
Buses are usually faster than the trains, however bus rides are bumpy– you could consider taking tablets for motion sickness. Boats are also an alternative for some routes; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular amongst travellers.
There are no international car-rental firms, however the majority of travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– in addition to guesthouses as well as hotels somewhere else– can organize cars and drivers.
Myanmar’s Local Transport
Myanmar is still developing and this is most frustratingly apparent in the local transport.
With minimal public transportation, taxis will be your major method of navigating particularly for getting to and from flight terminals and also within cities like Yangon as well as Mandalay.
Taxi prices are past extortionate– rates are established on the spot (after a quick ‘just how much can I get away with’ estimation) and also you’re going to need to negotiate hard. It’s not unusual to hear prices of $1-$2 per kilometre. Typically the taxi to and also from the airport/bus will certainly be greater than you spent for your flight or intercity bus.
1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate quantity for taxi prices.
Taxis for the day might be your much better bet– it can be around $35 for a day of taking in the sights in Bagan and $28 for a few hrs in Mandalay.
Distance is a much bigger variable than time in dictating the cost of hiring a driver: a 12 hour trip around Yangon can cost USD 70 while travelling further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hour drive each method, can be estimated at USD 200. Gas is costly in Myanmar as well as is a massive contributing element to the cost.
Every person wants to take you to a craft shop, a silk factory or a nut manufacturer during your sightseeing journeys. Don’t be afraid to say no when you’re paying for your own private transport. Besides, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the other hand, a few of the side trips can be intriguing and also drivers may take you to some cool locations that aren’t on your itinerary and you may be happy you chose their suggestions!
Hiring bikes and e-Bikes (electric motorbikes) outside the cities is much cheaper but beware of the dust– Myanmar is by far among the dustiest areas, and nearly all vacationers develop a dust cough. Pack sunglasses as well as something to cover your mouth.
Do not take an e-Bike if you can not manage it– or else you’ll be just one of the lots of travelers walking toting head to foot road rash and also bandages.
The huge cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has some of the worst traffic. 1.5 hrs to cover 15 km ought to provide you an idea. The time advised for getting to the bus terminal (22km away from the centre) is 2.5 hrs.
Car quality is hit and miss so don’t count on air-conditioning and also leather seats– that 1.5 hr journey in Yangon could all be done in 38 degree heat with absolutely nothing more than the heat of the engine fan to ‘cool’ you down.
Plan for the unexpected. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the really early hours of the early morning, your only alternative to reach my hotel may be through horse and cart. There is still a haggling procedure to be had, but given that this is the main form of visitor transport here it is just all-natural that they are awaiting new bus arrivals.
Money as well as ATMs in Myanmar
You can utilize 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars as well as the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).
If you’re going to make use of dollars, they must be pristine. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased and newer than 2006. Each individual note is reviewed for flaws, discolouration and also folds at the currency exchange stands. You may additionally have difficulty changing notes with the AB/CB serial numbers.
Some vendors insist on payments in United States bucks so you can bring some United States dollars to spend.
Using kyat is likely to be less costly due to the fact that the USD exchange rate is informal– somewhere between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the exchange rate is usually applied on the spot, possibly depending upon just how rich you look.
There are ATM machines and also they mainly work however ensure you have money before showing up at more remote spots like the coastline. Occasionally they might be out of service.
You’ll pay an ATM fee of about $4 for every single withdrawal which is in addition to any type of fees your bank may bill. And also you possibly will not have the ability to withdraw greater than $150 each time.
ATMs dispense kyat only. There are a lot of exchange places around, but mostly the transactions are to change immaculate dollars into local money.
Wait for the big cities orinternational airport to change money back to dollars.
Some hotels do not have credit card machines as well as need cash payment. If you have actually booked your hotels beforehand online this may save you taking extra money for accommodation.
Credit cards are accepted mostly just in top-end hotels. Some travel agents in Yangon and Mandalay also take them, usually charging a small fee, for purchasing flights.
Cost of travel in Myanmar
Myanmar is a whole lot more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia– facilities is still being built. That includes guesthouses and dining establishments. Businesses are recouping their costs.
Holiday accommodation costs
A dorm bed will set you back around $20-$30 a night. You can get a standard personal room with en-suite from around $35 for a single bed. In visitor hotspots like Bagan, you can pay US$35 to US$40 for a dull, no-frills room.
For hotels, high-end resorts can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the Inle Princess Resort being a good example where luxury comes with a price of $250 per night) with various other very good choices can be found at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which costs around $120 a night). A modern hotel can set you back USD 75-80 a night (the Smart Hotel in Mandalay).
Popular ‘package tourist’ destinations like Ngapali beach can set you back as much as $100 a night for a 2-star resort (though there are a couple of hostels there as well). On the plus side, you normally obtain a cost-free morning meal with your accommodation.
Street food is most cost effective– around $1-$2 for a plate of something basic. Local restaurants cost around $2-$4 a dish. Anything remotely western (air-conditioning or featuring something like pizza) will certainly set you back $7-$12.
Bottled water is affordable, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is also cheap at a number of dollars per bottle.
Sightseeing and tour costs
The tourist dollar is king. Expect to pay for the privilege of being a foreigner as well as utilizing squat toilets, entering pagodas, storing footwear as well as taking photos. ‘Foreigner payments’ are preferred in the more touristy locations.
It’s possible to bargain on costs of things like mementos however if you haggle too hard the locals lose interest and walk away.
Tipping is not common practice in Myanmar, and also it’s only foreigners who tip.
Sightseeing and tour in Myanmar
We were up and out most days for dawn and out cold by 10pm! The heat is typically excruciating throughout the peak sunshine hours and the arrival of the visitor buses make it harder to get outstanding pictures and walk around freely.
Not everywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far north, mountainous location of Myanmar, alongside the western Chin State as well as the far, crime levels are incredibly low.
Still, you should take the common preventative measures of using hotel storage lockers or safes for your valuables. Female travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is filthy as well as there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Subsequently, lots of travellers use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is very easy to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories caution against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually caused the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners because of dispute between the government as well as various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and Thailand, as well as far from the significant vacationer locations.
Exact information on conflicts and closed areas can be challenging to come by. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, and ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great 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 in spite of the high temperatures, and also you will make everybody a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged and also frequently enforced for getting in the temples and pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– males and females 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 heat and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so pick up a cheap one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Getting in pagodas implies going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear choice. Struggling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome 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 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 typical.
The local individuals are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be irritating, warm and also slow yet keep 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. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by locals that intend to talk. Vacationers are no more a novelty in most of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are wonderful and also are happy to appear in photographs and attempt and also converse through minimal common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is generally best handled by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make certain they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it provides a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red discolored teeth as well as taxi drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this great short article 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 item in Myanmar as well as also serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to identify the area of the kissing sound so don’t be alarmed!
Both crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, yet it is well received. Be ready for the majority of locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is normally done by hand and is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing washed and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really need washing as well as clean your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are simple 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 really usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not deal with anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd 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 and also North American 2-pin plugs as well as 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 obtain one at many airports when you land or in one of the shops in the street as well as the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more about your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as cafes have it for free– as well as the net is now spreading tofarther places. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and power interruptions can use the web a discouraging exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and do not expect to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a luggage. Suitcases aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up many high stairs isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Visa Work History