Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Places To Visit Near Kalaw Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally referred to as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been 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 nation’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Other names were additionally changed, 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 used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically 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 period is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the minimal accommodation options difficult to secure and also will mean attempting to book in advance or deal with paying for the a lot more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level rises in Myanmar and impending rains are due. There is a minimal number of travelers that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is available to visitors from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply as well as 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 and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you want to save some money, getting a visa via your local Myanmar consular office may be more affordable. For example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the United States, so do your research and also do not neglect 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; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration site for the current at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal alternative for visitors as the initial mode of entrance, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, considering where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the east and India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several for land entry, although not all of them are recommended due to safety and security.
Regardless, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes just how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be provided a listing of alternatives, from which you will require to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region of northwestern Myanmar on the boundary to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stay with the one you initially specified when possible to prevent any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not need to be stated up front. Furthermore, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is more affordable and has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives might be aggravating yet the cross country propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow and flying is inexpensive so it may be your far better choice.
You can still reserve flights the old-school means by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in entails ticking people off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport as well as grabbing your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing businesses as well as a series of high-end levels.
Most buses travel over night which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing, yet isn’t so excellent for sleep. Likewise, you’ll often tend to arrive at weird times in the morning and won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will certainly be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to rest straight away.
Buses are extremely chilly, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a covering but, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food and also toilet break– a bit irritating 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 more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and cheesy music videos until the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, criminal activity levels are incredibly reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal precautions of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is dirty and there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize 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 bring something to cover your mouth and also 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 but sleeping in low temperature levels can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
Most government advisories advise against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners due to problem between the government and various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the significant traveler locations.
Accurate information on problems and also closed locations can be difficult to come by. Check your government’s recommendations prior to travelling, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders and also legs in spite of the heat, and also you will make everyone 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 highly encouraged and also usually enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so get an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are important! Entering pagodas means going barefoot and also flip flops are the most effective footwear option. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and at the beach however elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be irritating, hot as well as sluggish but remember: 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. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that wish to chat. Visitors are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Typically individuals are wonderful and also more than happy to appear in photographs as well as attempt and also speak via minimal common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is generally best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and also if you’re paying for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 mugs of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the by-product is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth and taxi drivers usually roll down the window in sluggish 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 shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this fantastic write-up 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 acts as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as locals use the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to recognize the area of the kissing sound so don’t be distressed!
The two crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of citizens to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand as well as is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed and also unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you really require washing and also clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by however 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 other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hrs ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have numerous adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin plugs along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, far better still, acquire a local SIM. You can obtain one at many flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the road and also the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more regarding your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘quick’ connection, do not anticipate to be downloading videos any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it absolutely free– as well as the web is now spreading tomore remote places. However tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power outages can make using the internet an aggravating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and also don’t anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a suitcase. Travel suitcases aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up lots of steep staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Best Places To Go Myanmar