Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Vision Ministries

Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Vision Ministries

Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?

The country formally called Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t till 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 nation’s previous British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as much more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were likewise 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 post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the concern: does it even matter?

Best Times to See Myanmar

There are usually three seasons in which you can see Myanmar:

October to March: Dry, winter season

March to May: Hot, summer period

May to October: Damp, rainy season

The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm yet not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted accommodation choices difficult to secure as well as will imply attempting to book in advance or deal with paying out for the more expensive options left over.

March to May is the time when the temperature rises in Myanmar as well as upcoming rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of travelers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly warm.

 

Visas

An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 countries.

To get one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a cost 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 get here and you’re in.

Your e-Visa letter stands for 90- days from the day of issue and also enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar

Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you wish to save some cash, looking for a visa by means of your local Myanmar consular office may be less costly. For example, the price is simply �,� 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research as well as do not forget to factor in mailing costs.

It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.

Getting to Myanmar

Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for visitors as the very first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entry, although not every one of them are suggested 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 be given a list of options, from which you will require to pick one of 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 north 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 boundary of the Thai Peninsula as well as the cluster of islands)
  • Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary 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 enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you initially stated when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.

You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints given that your exit point does not need to be mentioned up-front. Additionally, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.

Flying in and also out of Yangon is less expensive and also has extra links than Mandalay.

Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country

Myanmar Vision Ministries

Credit: myanmartours.us

Myanmar’s local transportation options might be frustrating however the long distance propositions are far more appealing.

Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is budget-friendly so it might be your much better option.

You can still reserve flights the old-school method by wandering into a travel agent.

Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign as well as 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 firms and a series of high-end levels.

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Many buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so terrific for rest. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to reach at strange times in the early morning and will not 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. Consider if it will certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to rest straight away.

Buses are very chilly, the luxury buses will provide you a covering however, wear your warm layers.

Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hrs for a food and toilet break– a little bit irritating 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 destination around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local music CD’s as well as tacky video until the early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.

Never ask a driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State and Tenasserim area are usually out-of-bounds to travelers unless you have obtained a government visa beforehand. In some locations you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.

Getting off the beaten path is tough– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Trying to do otherwise may be really pricey.

Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is renowned for its dawns as well as sundowns, which additionally corresponds nicely with remaining inside (possibly for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day warmth.

Expect to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously grubby floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a great deal of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you just need 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 just sights for travelers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs and keep your voice down– individuals will be praying.

Expect to pay an entry fee for Bagan as well as Inle Lake– this charge is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The fees are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.

 

 

Accommodation in Myanmar

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Hostels are slowly opening, implying you can rest in cheaper 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 however enchanting. The accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house could be like, basic however magnificently decorated in teak) as well as the breakfast was generally superior. And also, it’s nice to put cash into the hands of the citizens, not some large brand chain.

Many hostels, hotels and also guesthouses offer a towel yet you may need to provide a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will certainly additionally provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels as well as guesthouses do also, but it can’t be depended on.

Be cautious about the curfew– some guesthouses might lock the door at night, leaving you unable to get to your bed. Check before you go out for the night.

Reserve lodging as well as transportation beforehand throughout peak season. The tourist market in Myanmar seems to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has fallen short to maintain pace with. A lot of resorts are tiny and also boutique like so if there’s someplace particular you intend to stay it’s essential to book in advance. It is particularly important to book ahead during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take travellers in for a small cost if there are no areas available. However don’t count on the local monks being able to help you out.

 

Food and also Drink in Myanmar

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Order local dishes: it is always the best option. There are noodles during the night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants and an amazing variety of curries as well as salads

Use chopsticks: Numerous items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so fantastic looking water supply and dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are a suitable option.

Tell the staff if you don’t consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes specify how much spice you like as the cooks tend to go easy on tourists!

The fish is delicious and also a terrific, fresh alternative in many dining establishments.

There is quite a lot 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, newly blended juices), ensure you request ‘no sugar’.

Salads feature greatly on menus but don’t anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice and don’t usually feature salad leaves.

Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar as well as you could get ill once.

Street food isn’t as prolific as other areas in Southeast Asia yet you can find it and also it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).

You can not consume the water however most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply cost-free water either in bottles in your space or by means of a huge water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, mineral water is extremely low-cost.

Alcohol is extensively available with beer, rum and also scotch being popular alternatives.

Beer stations are very easy to locate as well as fun areas to get a beverage with the locals if you do not want to sit in a restaurant.

Know that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. as well as bars do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at sunrise is a lot more popular than late night drinking.

Large chains can’t be found and also brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains and beyond beverage brands like Coke as well as Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be buying local brands and eating from local dining establishments.

Shops are little, family owned affairs– you won’t locate a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated about, but mostly you’re going to get treats and also beverages from little, local businesses. They can look a bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not worry, 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 in public places has actually long been banned.

Health and Safety in Myanmar

Health

Myanmar is an extremely safe country– a lot of the populace is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are extremely low.

Still, you should take the common precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.

Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.

Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth as well as nose when biking around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. Subsequently, several travellers use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you ill.

Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s often pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.

Safety and security

Most government advisories alert against travel 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 countless individuals. A few other parts of the country continue to be closed to foreigners because of conflict in between the government as well as different ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major vacationer locations.

Accurate details on problems and also closed locations can be hard to come by. Check your government’s advice before taking a trip, and inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of information from tourists on the ground.

 

What to wear in Myanmar

A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders and also legs in spite of the heat, as well as you will certainly make everyone a lot more comfortable if you do the same.

Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also typically enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.

 

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Everyone wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Many tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so pick up a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the chance.

Flip flops are important! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot as well as flip flops are the best footwear selection. Dealing with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwanted interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.

Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach but in other places it’s less common.

 

Culture

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The local individuals are remarkably genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travel can be aggravating, hot and also sluggish but bear in mind: you picked to go to Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. However, haggle hard with the cab drivers.

You may get stopped a lot by residents who want to chat. Vacationers are no more a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are charming and more than happy to appear in photos and also attempt and also talk via limited typical words or sign language.

You mayalso get stared at a great deal which is usually best dealt with by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.

 

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The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| due to the fact that it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to six mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.

Great deals of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as taxi drivers often roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.

There is some begging by children in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this great post by Uncornered Market.

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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 and likewise serves as a sunscreen.

 

It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops as well as dining establishments as citizens make use of the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the place of the kissing audio so do not be distressed!

Burmese Phrases

The two most important expressions you require in Myanmar are:

Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah

Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee

Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be ready for a lot of locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.

 

Various other practical concerns in Myanmar

Laundry is typically done by hand and is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your garments laundered as well as unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you really require washing and also wash your smaller sized items yourself 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 tissue or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t manage anything apart from bodily fluids.

Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.

Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects along with British three-pin.

Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at many airport terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the street and the shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can learn more concerning your network selections right here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ link, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and also cafes have it for free– as well as the net is currently spreading tomore remote places. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can use the internet a frustrating exercise.

Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!

You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up lots of high stairs isn’t much better.

Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Vision Ministries

Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Vision Ministries

Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Vision Ministries

Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?

The nation formally known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it wasn’t up 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 nation’s former British colonial past, as well as Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Other names were likewise changed, which is why you will certainly 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 as well as Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the inquiry: does it even matter?

Best Times to Visit Myanmar

There are commonly three seasons in which you can see Myanmar:

October to March: Dry, winter

March to May: Hot, summertime period

May to October: Damp, rainy period

The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted holiday accommodation options tricky to secure and also will indicate trying to book ahead or deal with paying for the much more pricey options left over.

March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and also upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of travelers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is unbelievably hot.

 

Visas

An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 nations.

To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.

It takes under 10 mins to apply and also 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 stands for 90- days from the day of issue as well as enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar

Getting a visa from your local embassy might be less costly– if you intend to save some money, obtaining a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be less costly. For instance, the price is simply �,� 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research as well as do not forget to factor in mailing costs.

It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the latest at the time you take a trip.

Reaching Myanmar

Flights to Myanmar are the normal choice for travellers as the initial mode of entry, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. But, considering where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and Laos to the east and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple methods for land entry, although not all of them are encouraged because of safety and security.

Regardless, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of alternatives, from which you will certainly need to choose 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)

Going Across at Land Boundary Checkpoints:

  • Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to north 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 cluster of islands)
  • Tamu (in the Sagaing Region 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 border of Southeastern India).

In reality, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stick to the one you initially specified preferably to avoid any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.

You can leave at any one of the International Airports and Land Boundary Checkpoints because your exit point does not need to be mentioned up front. Furthermore, you may leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.

Flying in and also out of Yangon is less costly and also has much more links than Mandalay.

Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance

Myanmar Vision Ministries

Credit: myanmartours.us

Myanmar’s local transport choices may be irritating however the cross country propositions are a lot more enticing.

Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is economical so it might be your better choice.

You can still book flights the old-school method by wandering right into a travel agent.

Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as getting your bag off a trolley by the airplane and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing companies and a variety of high-end levels.

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Credits: seawander.asia

The majority of buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so excellent for sleep. Also, you’ll have a tendency to reach at weird times in the early morning and will not 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. Consider if it will certainly be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to sleep straight away.

Buses are really chilly, the luxury buses will give you a covering 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 toilet break– a bit irritating 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 destination around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and tacky music videos till the very early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be shut off.

Never ask a vehicle driver about he time of arrival. Because of superstitions based on a belief system of nats (spirits) that existed before Buddhism came to the fore, asking when you will come to a destination conjures up bad spirits and also is taken seriously. The result? You will not get a response.

You will mainly reserve buses through your hotel, hostel or guesthouse– they will generally charge a cost but be aware that the charge can differ dramatically.

 

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Check whether pickup is included in your ticket price – this truly does differ depending on destination, mode of traveling as well as company. Try to find a firm that does include pick-up as taxis are expensive.

Reserving buses online is more difficult– There isn’t one useful online reservation portal and the ones that do exist have a restricted number of tickets. If you’re informed they’re sold out, it does not necessarily indicate the bus is full. Attempt booking in other places.

If the company has a Facebook web page, message to book without fees.

Buses are generally faster than the trains, yet bus rides are rough– you may take into consideration taking tablets for nausea. Boats are likewise an option for some routes; the Mandalay– Bagan service is popular amongst travellers.

There are no international car-rental agencies, yet most travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay and also Bagan– as well as guesthouses as well as hotels elsewhere– can arrange cars as well as drivers.

Myanmar’s Local Transport

 

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Myanmar is still developing and this is most frustratingly evident in the local transport.

With minimal public transportation, taxis will certainly be your main means of getting around especially for getting to and from airport terminals and also within cities like Yangon as well as Mandalay.

Taxi prices are past extortionate– prices are established on the spot (after a quick ‘just how much can I get away with’ estimation) and you’re going to need to negotiate hard. It’s not unusual to hear rates of $1-$2 per kilometre. Often the taxi to and from the airport/bus will be greater than you paid for your flight or intercity bus.

1,000 Kyat per kilometre is a good approximate quantity for taxi fares.

Taxis for the day may be your far better bet– it can be around $35 for a day of taking in the sights in Bagan as well as $28 for a couple of hrs in Mandalay.

Distance is a much bigger factor than time in dictating the cost of hiring a driver: a 12 hour journey around Yangon can set you back USD 70 while travelling further afield to Golden Rock, a 2.5 hr drive each method, can be estimated at USD 200. Gas is pricey in Myanmar and is a big contributing factor to the cost.

Everyone intends to take you to a craft shop, a silk manufacturing facility or a nut producer during your sightseeing and tour journeys. Do not hesitate to say no when you’re paying for your own personal transport. After all, that’s the reason you are paying a premium. On the other hand, several of the side journeys can be interesting as well as drivers may take you to some cool areas that aren’t on your travel plan and you may be happy you opted for their recommendations!

Hiring bikes as well as e-Bikes (electrical motorcycles) outside the cities is much cheaper yet beware of the dust– Myanmar is without a doubt one of the dustiest locations, and almost all vacationers establish a dust cough. Pack sunglasses and also something to cover your mouth.

Don’t take an e-Bike if you can not manage it– otherwise you’ll be just one of the many visitors walking toting head to foot road rash as well as plasters.

The big cities are gridlocked so walking may be quicker– Yangon has some of the worst traffic. 1.5 hrs to cover 15 km should provide you an idea. The time advised for reaching the bus station (22km away from the centre) is 2.5 hours.

Car quality is hit and miss so do not count on air-conditioning and leather seats– that 1.5 hr trip in Yangon could all be done in 38 degree heat with nothing more than the heat of the engine fan to ‘cool’ you down.

 

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Get ready for the unanticipated. When your night bus to Bagan arrives in the really early hrs of the early morning, your only option to get to my hotel may be using horse and cart. There is still a bargaining procedure to be had, yet given that this is the main form of tourist transport here it is just natural that they are awaiting new bus arrivals.

 

Money and also ATM Machines in Myanmar

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You can make use of 2 currencies in Myanmar– dollars as well as the local money, kyat (pronounced ‘chat’).

If you’re going to use dollars, they have to be pristine. What’s pristine/brand new– unfolded, uncreased and also newer than 2006. Each specific note is checked thoroughly for problems, discolouration as well as creases at the currency exchange stands. You may also have problems changing notes with the AB/CB serial numbers.

Some vendors demand payments in United States dollars so you can bring some US dollars to spend.

Utilizing kyat is likely to be less costly due to the fact that the USD exchange rate is casual– someplace in between 1,300 to 1,400 kyat, the exchange rate is usually applied on the spot, possibly depending upon how rich you look.

There are ATMs and they mainly function but ensure you have money before showing up at more remote places like the coastline. Occasionally they may be out of service.

You’ll pay an ATM charge of about $4 for every withdrawal which is in addition to any kind of fees your bank could charge. And you possibly won’t have the ability to take out greater than $150 at a time.

ATMs give kyat only. There are plenty of exchange places around, yet primarily the transactions are to change immaculate dollars into local money.

Wait for the large cities orinternational airport terminal to change cash back to dollars.

Some hotels do not have credit card machines as well as require cash payment. If you have actually reserved your hotels in advance online this may save you taking extra money for holiday accommodation.

 

Credit cards are accepted mostly only in top-end resorts. Some travel agents in Yangon as well as Mandalay also take them, normally billing a small charge, for purchasing flights.

Cost of travelling in Myanmar

Myanmar is a lot more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia– infrastructure is still being built. That includes guesthouses and also dining establishments. Companies are recouping their costs.

Holiday accommodation prices

A dorm bed will certainly set you back around $20-$30 a night. You can get a standard private room with en-suite from around $35 for a single bed. In tourist hotspots like Bagan, you can pay US$35 to US$40 for a dingy, no-frills room.

For hotels, high-end hotels can be priced at over USD 200 a night (the  Inle Princess Resort  being a fine example where luxury comes at a rate of $250 per night) with various other very good choices coming in at $100 to $150 (eg Zfreeti hotel in Bagan which sets you back around $120 a night). A contemporary hotel can cost USD 75-80 a night (the  Smart Hotel in Mandalay).

Popular ‘package tourist’ locations like Ngapali coastline can set you back as much as $100 a night for a 2-star hotel (though there are a number of hostels there also). On the bonus side, you generally obtain a cost-free morning meal with your accommodation.

Food prices

Street food is most cost effective– around $1-$2 for a plate of something basic. Local restaurants cost around $2-$4 a meal. Anything remotely western (air-conditioning or featuring something like pizza) will set you back $7-$12.

Drink costs

Bottled water is inexpensive, under 50 cents a litre. Beer is additionally cheap at a number of bucks per bottle.

Sightseeing prices

The tourist dollar is king. Expect to pay for the privilege of being a foreigner and also utilizing squat toilets, entering pagodas, storing footwear and also taking pictures. ‘Foreigner payments’ are popular in the more touristy areas.

It’s possible to bargain on prices of things like mementos but if you bargain too hard the locals lose interest and also walk away.

Tipping is not usual practice in Myanmar, and it’s just foreigners that tip.

Sightseeing in Myanmar

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We were up and out most days for dawn as well as out cold by 10pm! The heat is usually intolerable throughout the peak sunlight hours and the arrival of the traveler buses make it more difficult to get amazing pictures as well as walk around freely.

Not everywhere on a map of Myanmar is open for exploration. The far north, mountainous location of Myanmar, together with the western Chin State and the far, criminal activity levels are extremely low.

Still, you should take the usual preventative measures of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.

Do take hand sanitiser– the money is gross and also there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.

Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth as well as nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room however 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 commonly pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.

Safety and security

The majority of government advisories alert against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually caused the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners as a result of conflict in between the government and also various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and Thailand, and far from the major vacationer destinations.

Accurate details on problems as well as closed areas can be tough to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, as well as inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of news from tourists on the ground.

 

What to wear in Myanmar

Most of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and legs despite the high temperatures, and also you will certainly make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.

Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged and commonly enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.

 

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Everybody puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Lots of vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing so pick up one a the marketplace if you have the chance.

Flip flops are important! Going into pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Dealing with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. 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 certainly find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet somewhere else it’s less usual.

 

Culture

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The local people are extremely genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be discouraging, hot and also sluggish but remember: you picked to visit Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.

You may get stopped a great deal by locals who want to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually the people are wonderful as well as more than happy to appear in photos and try and speak via limited usual words or sign language.

You maylikewise get stared at a whole lot which is normally best handled by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and also if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.

 

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The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 mugs of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.

Lots of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth and cab drivers often roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.

There is some begging by children in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the kids. Why not? Read this brilliant post by Uncornered Market.

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It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as also serves as a sunscreen.

 

It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops and also restaurants as citizens use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to determine the area of the kissing noise so don’t be startled!

Burmese Phrases

The two essential expressions you require in Myanmar are:

Hi: Ming-gu-la-bah

Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee

Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be prepared for many citizens to giggle in response– 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 billed per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and also unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really need washing and clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.

Toiletries are easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.

You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not cope with anything other than bodily fluids.

Myanmar has that strange half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.

Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several 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, far better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at many airports when you land or in among the stores in the road and also the shop staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more about your network choices here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos whenever. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it absolutely free– and also the web is now spreading tomore remote locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power blackouts can use the internet a frustrating exercise.

Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and do not expect to Skype home very often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!

You’ll be much better with a backpack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up many high staircases isn’t better.

Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Vision Ministries

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