Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Travel In Myanmar Blog
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation officially called Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it wasn’t 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 seen as a relic of the nation’s previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various 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 used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are usually 3 seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather condition is warm however not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted accommodation options difficult to secure and will imply trying to book in advance or face paying for the more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar as well as impending rains are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers that makes it very easy to book accommodation however it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes 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 date of issue and allows you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be less expensive– if you wish to save some cash, requesting a visa via your local Myanmar consular office might be less expensive. For example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the United States, so do your research and do not forget to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration website for the current at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the common choice for tourists as the first mode of entrance, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. But, thinking about where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land entry, although not every one of them are suggested because of safety.
Regardless, you must define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of alternatives, where you will certainly require to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle 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 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 Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula as well as 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 town 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 adhere to the one you initially mentioned if possible to prevent any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports as well as Land Boundary Checkpoints because your exit point does not need to be mentioned up-front. In addition, you may exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is cheaper and has much more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport options might be frustrating but the cross country propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow as well as flying is economical so it may be your better choice.
You can still reserve flights the old-school way 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 list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a cart 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 truly is an experience. And also a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget friendly with competing companies as well as a range of deluxe levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so fantastic for sleep. Likewise, you’ll tend to reach at odd times in the early morning as well as will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Consider if it will be less costly 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 provide you a covering yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hrs for a food and also toilet break– a little bit irritating if you’re trying 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 music CD’s and tacky video till the very early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding fate, criminal activity levels are exceptionally low.
Still, you need to take the typical precautions of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is gross as well as there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. As a result, lots of visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to come by so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nonetheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, look for a seller that has kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
A lot of government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the nation remain shut to foreigners because of conflict in between the government as well as different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the major vacationer destinations.
Accurate information on problems and closed areas can be challenging to find. Check your government’s advice before taking a trip, and also inquire about the situation once 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
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and also legs in spite of the high temperatures, and also you will make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged and also frequently enforced for going into the temples and pagodas.
Every person wears skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Lots of visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and also tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so get a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Going into pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear selection. Battling with laces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting 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 certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however elsewhere it’s less usual.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be frustrating, warm and slow-moving however keep in mind: you chose to see Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. However, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by citizens who wish to talk. Travelers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually the people are lovely as well as more than happy to appear in photos and attempt and also talk with minimal common words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a lot which is normally best managed by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hi in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| due to the fact that it provides a hit that’s equivalent to six mugs 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 citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers commonly roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the children. Why not? Read this brilliant post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as also works as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and restaurants as locals use the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to identify the location of the kissing sound so do not be distressed!
The two crucial phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it polite, but it is well received. Be ready for the majority of locals to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand as well as is billed per item instead of kilo so try to turn up with your clothes washed and unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are 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 usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can not handle anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin plugs along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, far better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at the majority of airport terminals when you land or in among the stores in the road as well as the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more concerning your network options below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ connection, do not expect to be downloading video clips at any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and coffee shops have it for free– and also the net is currently spreading tomore remote locations. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power failures can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a luggage. Luggage aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up many steep staircases isn’t much better.
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