Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Tour De Myanmar Address
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally referred to as Burma gained 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 seen as a relic of the nation’s previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally 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 also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to Visit Myanmar
There are usually three periods in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather condition is warm yet not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the minimal holiday accommodation alternatives tricky to secure as well as will imply attempting to book in advance or face paying out for the much more costly alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and also upcoming rains are due. There is a limited number of tourists that makes it very easy to book lodging yet it is incredibly warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and 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 arrive 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 might be less expensive– if you intend to save some cash, making an application for a visa by means of your local Myanmar consular office may be cheaper. For example, the cost is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as do not forget 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 site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the common choice for visitors as the very first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. But, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple methods for land entrance, although not all of them are recommended because of safety.
No matter, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes just how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a list of options, from which you will certainly need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the border to northern Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi 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 border of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to adhere to the one you originally mentioned preferably to prevent any hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not need to be specified up front. Furthermore, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper as well as has much more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices might be irritating but the long distance propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and also flying is inexpensive so it might be your far better option.
You can still reserve flights the old-school way by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also getting your bag off a trolley by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are inexpensive with competing firms and also a range of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so fantastic for rest. Additionally, you’ll often tend to arrive at odd times in the early morning as well as won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel up 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 night to sleep immediately.
Buses are extremely cold, the high-end buses will certainly provide you a covering however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food and toilet break– a bit aggravating if you’re attempting to rest 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 more, some still play their funky local music CD’s as well as cheesy music videos till the very early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a driver about reaches of the southerly Mon State and Tenasserim area are typically out-of-bounds to tourists unless you have actually gotten a government visa ahead of time. In some areas you’ll need a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Leaving the beaten path is hard– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure implies that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll struggle to go any other way. Trying to do otherwise may be extremely pricey.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is well-known for its sunrises and also sunsets, which likewise corresponds nicely with staying indoors (probably for a nap or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day .
Anticipate to go barefoot a lot in temples on seriously grubby floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a great deal of animal faeces while you’re exploring Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t permitted either so you just have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can clean off 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– individuals will certainly be praying.
Anticipate to pay an access cost for Bagan as well as Inle Lake– this cost is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The costs are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Lodging in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening, meaning you can sleep in economical 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 in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic but captivating. The holiday accommodation provides a feeling for what a local house may be like, basic however perfectly decorated in teak) and also the breakfast was usually remarkable. And also, it’s nice to place money into the hands of the locals, not some large brand chain.
Most hostels, hotels as well as guesthouses give a towel but you may need to provide a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will certainly additionally supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do too, yet it can not be relied on.
Be careful about the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to get to your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve holiday accommodation and also transport beforehand throughout peak period. The tourist industry in Myanmar appears to have actually experienced a boom which the infrastructure has actually failed to keep pace with. Many resorts are small as well as boutique like thus if there’s somewhere certain you want to stay it’s vital to book beforehand. It is particularly necessary 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 rooms offered. But do not rely on the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is constantly the very best option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local dining establishments as well as an impressive variety of curries and also salads
Use chopsticks: Several items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so excellent looking water supply and dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are a suitable option.
Tell the staff if you don’t eat something. If you like a little spice in your meals specify just how much spice you like as the cooks tend to go easy on visitors!
The fish is delicious and also a terrific, fresh alternative in a lot of dining establishments.
There is quite a lot of sugar in the food as well as drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an alternative to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), make certain you ask for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections yet do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are marinaded and seasoned in oil, salt and also lime juice and also do not usually include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and also you might get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other areas in Southeast Asia but you can find it and also it’s great. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a meal (under $2).
You can’t consume the water yet most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your area or using a big water dispenser at reception. Or else, bottled water is really economical.
Alcohol is widely offered with beer, rum and scotch being prominent alternatives.
Beer stations are very easy to find as well as fun places to get a drink with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a restaurant.
Be aware that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most restaurants close by 9 p.m. and also bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at dawn is much more preferred than late night alcohol consumption.
Huge chains can’t be discovered and also brands are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a country of fast-food chains as well as beyond beverage brands like Coke as well as Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be getting local brands and eating from local dining establishments.
Stores are little, family owned affairs– you will not find a 7-Eleven. There are a few equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated about, yet mainly you’re going to get treats as well as beverages from small, 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 people smoking indoors- this can be a shock if you come from a nation where cigarette smoking in public locations has actually long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an incredibly safe country– the majority of the populace is Buddhist and also with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are extremely low.
Still, you should take the common safety measures of using hotel storage 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 dirty and there isn’t always soap in restrooms so use your sanitiser prior to 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 biking around. Additionally take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. Consequently, numerous travellers use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. However, as it’s usually pre-cut, look 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.
Most government advisories warn against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has led to the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. Some other parts of the country remain shut to foreigners as a result of problem between the government as well as various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mostly in Kachin and Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the significant tourist locations.
Precise information on problems and closed areas can be difficult to find. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and also ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs regardless of the heat, and also you will certainly make everyone more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tees are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as commonly enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.
Every person wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Many tourists pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so grab an inexpensive one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are important! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Struggling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwanted distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach yet in other places it’s much less typical.
The local people are extremely genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, hot and slow but bear in mind: you chose to go to Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by residents who want to talk. Travelers are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally the people are beautiful and also more than happy to appear in photographs and attempt and also converse through limited common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a great deal which is usually best managed by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| due to the fact that it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as cab drivers often roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this fantastic article by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and likewise works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and restaurants as residents use the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to identify the location of the kissing sound so do not be alarmed!
The two essential expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Not only is it polite, but it is well received. Be ready for most locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand and also is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your garments laundered as well as unless you want to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you really need washing as well as wash your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are very easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t handle anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hrs in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, much better still, buy a local SIM. You can get one at the majority of airports when you land or in among the stores in the road and also the store staff will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more regarding your network choices here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading videos any time. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it for free– and the web is now spreading tomore remote areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the internet a discouraging exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and do not 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 luggage. aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up numerous high staircases isn’t much better.
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