Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Places To Visit In Myanmar Yangon
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially called Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it wasn’t 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 seen as a relic of the country’s previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. 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 also Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This short article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are generally three seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm yet not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the minimal accommodation options tricky to secure as well as will certainly imply attempting to book in advance or deal with paying out for the more costly options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of visitors that makes it easy to book accommodation however it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to upload a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as 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 and also enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you wish to save some money, getting a visa via your local Myanmar consular office may be cheaper. For example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research as well as do not neglect to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to go into Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration website for the current at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the common option for tourists as the very first mode of entrance, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India and Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land entrance, although not every one of them are suggested due to safety.
No matter, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of alternatives, from which you will certainly require to select among 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 also Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to north 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 Region on the border 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 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 initially specified when possible to prevent any type of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports and also Land Boundary Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be stated up front. Furthermore, you may exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is less expensive and also has much more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport options might be discouraging however the cross country propositions are much more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is budget-friendly so it may be your far better option.
You can still book flights the old-school method by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the aircraft and also 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. As well as a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing companies and a variety of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so terrific for sleep. Likewise, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at strange times in the morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Take into consideration if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to take a nap straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the high-end buses will certainly offer you a covering however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit frustrating 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 as well as tacky music videos up until the early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ask a driver about fate, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you ought to take the normal safety measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is gross as well as there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to 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 and also nose when cycling around. Likewise take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. Subsequently, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories alert against traveling 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 led to the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the country stay closed to foreigners due to dispute between the government as well as different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and also far from the major traveler destinations.
Accurate details on disputes as well as closed locations can be difficult to come by. Check your government’s recommendations prior to travelling, as well as inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of news from visitors 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, as well as you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as typically enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Numerous vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing and tour so pick up an affordable one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwanted interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however elsewhere it’s much less usual.
The local individuals are extremely genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be discouraging, warm as well as slow-moving but remember: you selected to visit Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents who want to chat. Travelers are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are wonderful and also more than happy to appear in photographs and also attempt as well as speak with limited common words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is normally best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard and also if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it provides a hit that amounts to six cups of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and taxi drivers often roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this great article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and additionally serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes as well as restaurants as citizens utilize the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to determine the area of the kissing sound so do not be upset!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be ready for a lot of citizens to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and also is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothes laundered and unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually need washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can not cope with anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd 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 as well as North American 2-pin plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, better still, buy a local SIM. You can obtain one at a lot of flight terminals when you land or in one of the stores in the street as well as the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more about your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘fast’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it completely free– and the internet is currently spreading tomore remote locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can make using the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Luggage aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in and also out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up lots of steep staircases isn’t far better.
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