Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Tour Package Yangon Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been 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 viewed as a relic of the country’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Other names were additionally 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 utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are commonly 3 periods in which you can go to 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 climate is warm yet not stifling, and also draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the limited accommodation alternatives challenging to secure and also will certainly mean attempting to book in advance or face paying out for the much more expensive options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar as well as impending rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of tourists which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is offered to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa internet site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should get 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 as well as enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be less expensive– if you intend to save some money, requesting a visa using your local Myanmar consular office might be more affordable. For instance, the expense is simply , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and do not neglect to consider mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the common choice for travellers as the very first mode of entry, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. But, thinking about where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land entry, although not all of them are suggested because of safety and security.
Regardless, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a listing of choices, from which you will certainly need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and 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 boundary 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 Region 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 boundary 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 originally specified if possible to prevent any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not require to be mentioned up front. Additionally, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is less expensive and has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation choices may be aggravating but the cross country propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is economical so it might be your far better option.
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 involves ticking individuals off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and grabbing your bag off a trolley by the aircraft and also flight announcements are made by an individual 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 affordable with competing companies and also a series of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so excellent for sleep. Also, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at strange times in the early morning and will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to take a nap straight away.
Buses are very chilly, the luxury buses will provide you a blanket however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food and also toilet break– a bit frustrating if you’re attempting to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, despite the fact that 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 and also tacky music videos until the early hrs of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a driver about reaches of the southern Mon State and Tenasserim area are generally off-limits to tourists unless you have gotten a government visa ahead of time. 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 implies that there are established routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go differently. Attempting to do otherwise might be very expensive.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is famous for its sunrises and sunsets, which also corresponds well with remaining indoors (possibly for a nap or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a whole lot in temples on seriously unclean floorings. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and 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 need to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a considerate temple visitor, the majority of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply views for travelers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Anticipate to pay an access fee for Bagan and Inle Lake– this charge is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The charges are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Accommodation in Myanmar
Hostels are slowly opening up, meaning you can sleep in more inexpensive accommodation than you could a couple of years back. Things are gradually getting better for solo tourists, though expenses are still much more of what you’ll pay in other places in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic however charming. The lodging gives a feeling for what a local house might be like, basic yet perfectly decorated in teak wood) and also the breakfast was normally remarkable. And also, it’s nice to put money right into the hands of the residents, not some large brand chain.
A lot of hostels, hotels and guesthouses provide a towel but you may need to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will additionally supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels and also guesthouses do also, however it can not be relied on.
Be careful 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 holiday accommodation and also transport in advance during peak period. The tourist sector in Myanmar appears to have experienced a boom which the infrastructure has actually failed to keep pace with. A lot of resorts are small as well as boutique like thus if there’s somewhere specific you intend to stay it’s vital to book in advance. It is particularly vital to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take travellers in for a small cost if there are no areas readily available. However don’t rely upon the local monks being able to help you out.
Food and Drink in Myanmar
Order local dishes: it is always the very best option. There are noodles during the night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants and an impressive selection of curries and also salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous pieces of cutlery are cleaned with a not so great looking water supply and dishcloth. Packaged chopsticks are a perfect alternative.
Tell the staff if you do not consume something. If you like a little spice in your dishes state just how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on travelers!
The fish is tasty and also a terrific, fresh option in a lot of restaurants.
There is rather a lot of sugar in the food and beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), make sure you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on menus however do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated and also seasoned in oil, salt as well as lime juice as well as do not usually include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are low in Myanmar and also you might get ill once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other areas in Southeast Asia but you can find it and also it’s excellent. 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 and also guesthouses supply totally free water either in bottles in your area or using a big water dispenser at reception. Or else, mineral water is very affordable.
Alcohol is widely offered with beer, rum as well as whiskey being popular options.
Beer stations are simple to locate and fun areas 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 do the same around 10– 11 p.m. This is a country where meditation at dawn is a lot more preferred than late night drinking.
Big chains can’t be discovered and brand names remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brand names like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be getting local brands and also consuming from local dining establishments.
Stores are small, family owned affairs– you will not locate a 7-Eleven. There are a few equivalent ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated about, yet mainly you’re going to buy snacks as well as beverages from tiny, local businesses. They can look a little bit intimidating, like you’re intruding by strolling in. Do not worry, simply 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 outlawed.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an incredibly safe country– the majority of the populace is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you need to take the typical precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women tourists should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in shower rooms so use your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when cycling around. Also take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, numerous travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. Nonetheless, as it’s usually pre-cut, search for a seller that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories warn against travel 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 brought about the mass displacement of countless individuals. A few other parts of the country remain shut to foreigners due to conflict in between the government and different ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin and Shan States, near the frontiers with China and Thailand, and also far from the significant tourist destinations.
Precise information on disputes and also closed locations can be challenging to find. Check your government’s advice before taking a trip, and ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the heat, and you will make everybody more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged and commonly enforced for entering the temples and 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 heat and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing so grab an inexpensive one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are necessary! Entering pagodas means going barefoot and also flip flops are the best footwear choice. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but in other places it’s less typical.
The local people are incredibly genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, hot as well as slow-moving yet keep in mind: you chose to go to Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens that wish to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Typically the people are beautiful as well as more than happy to appear in photos and also attempt and speak via minimal common words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is usually best dealt with by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| due to the fact that it provides a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, a lot of times onto the ground.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers frequently roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit 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 children. Why not? Read this brilliant write-up by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese ladies. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar and likewise functions as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the coffee shops and also dining establishments as citizens use the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s less complicated for staff to identify the location of the kissing noise so do not be startled!
The two essential phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it polite, however it is well received. Be prepared for most citizens to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand and also is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your clothing washed and also unless you want to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really require washing and wash your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by however tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is extremely common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not handle anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange 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 numerous 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, better still, get a local SIM. You can obtain one at the majority of airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the street as well as the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can read more concerning your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos at any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also cafes have it free of cost– as well as the web is currently spreading tomore remote places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and power interruptions can use the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also don’t anticipate to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a luggage. Travel suitcases aren’t ideal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering as well as out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up numerous steep stairs isn’t much better.
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