Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Visit Visa
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The country officially known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been 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 seen as a relic of the nation’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were likewise altered, 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 and Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are generally 3 seasons 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 season is November to February when the weather is warm but not stifling, and brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited holiday accommodation options challenging to secure as well as will certainly mean trying to book in advance or deal with paying out for the a lot more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar as well as upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of tourists which makes it easy to book lodging yet it is exceptionally hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and also you should get 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 date of issue as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy may be less costly– if you want to save some money, getting a visa using your local Myanmar embassy may be more affordable. For instance, the cost is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and don’t fail to remember to consider mailing costs.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration internet site for the current at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the usual alternative for travellers as the first mode of entry, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are several for land entry, although not every one of them are advised because of safety.
Regardless, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a list of options, where you will require to choose among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across 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 and 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 village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to stick to the one you initially stated if possible to avoid any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not need to be specified up-front. Additionally, you might leave 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 much more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be frustrating yet the cross country propositions are a lot more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is inexpensive so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the traditional means 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, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the plane and also flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. As well as a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing businesses as well as a series of high-end levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so terrific for rest. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at weird times in the morning as well as will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Consider if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to sleep straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the deluxe buses will certainly give you a blanket but, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit aggravating if you’re attempting to sleep through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that 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 video until the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State as well as Tenasserim region are typically off-limits to vacationers unless you have gotten a government visa in advance. In some areas 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 implies that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go otherwise. Attempting to do otherwise might be very costly.
Work your sightseeing around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its dawns as well as sundowns, which additionally matches perfectly with staying indoors (perhaps for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously grubby floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and also dogs hangout, you can anticipate to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re discovering Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a thoughtful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ signs and keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Expect to pay an entrance fee for Bagan and also 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 up, implying you can rest in low-cost accommodation than you could a few years earlier. Things are gradually improving for solo tourists, though costs are still a lot more of what you’ll pay somewhere else in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic yet lovely. The accommodation provides a feel for what a local house might be like, basic but magnificently decorated in teak wood) and also the breakfast was typically exceptional. And also, it’s nice to place cash right into the hands of the citizens, not some big brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels and also guesthouses supply a towel but you may have to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will certainly additionally provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do too, yet it can’t be depended 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.
Book accommodation and transport in advance during peak period. The tourist market in Myanmar appears to have actually experienced a boom which the infrastructure has failed to keep pace with. Many hotels are small and also boutique like so if there’s someplace certain you intend to stay it’s vital to book beforehand. It is particularly essential to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take tourists in for a small fee if there are no spaces readily available. But don’t rely on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food as well as Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is constantly the very best selection. There are noodles during the night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as an amazing variety of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Lots of pieces of cutlery are cleaned with a not so great looking water supply as well as dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are a suitable choice.
Tell the staff if you don’t eat something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is delicious and also an excellent, fresh alternative in many dining establishments.
There is rather a great deal of sugar in the food as well as beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an option to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, newly blended juices), see to it you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus however do not expect a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned and also seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice and do not usually include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar as well as you could get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other places in Southeast Asia yet you can discover it and also it’s good. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can not drink the water yet most hotels, hostels as well as guesthouses supply totally free water either in bottles in your area or through a big water dispenser at reception. Or else, bottled water is very low-cost.
Alcohol is commonly offered with beer, rum as well as whiskey being preferred options.
Beer stations are simple to find and enjoyable locations to get a beverage with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a restaurant.
Know that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. and also bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at daybreak is much more prominent than late night alcohol consumption.
Huge chains can not be found as well as brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains as well as beyond beverage brand names like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brands and eating from local restaurants.
Shops are little, family owned affairs– you won’t find a 7-Eleven. There are a couple of equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops dotted around, but primarily you’re going to purchase snacks as well as beverages from little, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by walking in. Don’t worry, simply step in, they want your business.
There are individuals smoking indoors- this can be a surprise if you come from a nation where cigarette smoking in public places has actually long been outlawed.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an unbelievably safe area– most of the populace is Buddhist and also with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are incredibly low.
Still, you ought to take the typical precautions of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean and also there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. As a result, several visitors use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, try to find a seller that has actually 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 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 shut to foreigners because of dispute in between the government as well as different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin and also Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and Thailand, as well as far from the major visitor locations.
Exact information on conflicts and closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before travelling, and also 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 heat, as well as you will make everybody much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also often enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Everyone uses skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Numerous visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so pick up an affordable one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are crucial! Getting in pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be discouraging, hot and slow-moving however keep in mind: you chose to visit Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. However, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens who wish to chat. Visitors are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are beautiful and more than happy to appear in photographs and try as well as converse via limited usual words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a lot which is generally best managed by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re paying for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels which contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 cups 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 locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and also taxi drivers often roll down the window in slow 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 youngsters. Why not? Read this great 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 likewise functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes and also dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to identify the area of the kissing noise so don’t be upset!
The two most important phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it polite, however it is well received. Be ready for a lot of locals to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and also unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you truly require washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is really common in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t manage anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time zone so it’s 6 and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several adaptors for European and North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, much better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at most airport terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the road and also the store staff will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more about your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos whenever. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it free of charge– and also the internet is now spreading tofarther locations. However tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can use the web a discouraging exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a backpack than a travel suitcase. Suitcases aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up numerous steep stairs isn’t much better.
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