Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Travel Myanmar Alone
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially called Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it wasn’t till 1989 that the ruling military junta changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar following a military coup.
Politically, the name Burma was seen as a relic of the country’s former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were also changed, which is why you will see Rangoon currently 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 utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This short article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are normally 3 seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Damp, rainy season
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm but not stifling, as well as draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, in turn, makes the restricted accommodation choices challenging to secure and also will certainly imply trying to book ahead or deal with paying for the more costly alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar and also approaching rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers which makes it very easy to book lodging but it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and pay a charge 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 arrive and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter stands for 90- days from the date of issue and permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy may be cheaper– if you intend to save some money, making an application for a visa by means of your local Myanmar embassy may be cheaper. For instance, the price is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research as well as do not fail to remember to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration site for the current at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the typical choice for visitors as the first mode of entry, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern as well as India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are advised due to security.
No matter, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of alternatives, where you will certainly require to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Crossing at Land Boundary 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the border of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Region 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 border of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” however it is best to stick to the one you originally mentioned ideally to avoid any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and Land Boundary Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be stated up-front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is more affordable and has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives might be discouraging yet the long distance propositions are far more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and also flying is affordable so it may be your much better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional 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, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport as well as grabbing your bag off a trolley by the airplane 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. As well as a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing companies and also a variety of luxury levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing, yet isn’t so terrific for sleep. Also, you’ll tend to reach at weird times in the early morning as well as will not have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel up until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Consider if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are really cold, the luxury buses will certainly give you a blanket but, 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 also toilet break– a little 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 destination around 3 or 4am. What’s even more, some still play their funky local music CD’s and also cheesy music videos until the early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver about fate, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you ought to take the usual safety measures of utilizing hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women visitors 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 utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look 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 air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, many visitors use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, search for a vendor that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Most 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 caused the mass displacement of thousands of individuals. A few other parts of the country continue to be shut to foreigners as a result of dispute between the government and different ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and far from the major traveler destinations.
Precise info on disputes and closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and also inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent resource of information from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and legs despite the high temperatures, as well as you will certainly make everyone 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 strongly encouraged and often enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Many visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warm and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing so pick up an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are crucial! Getting in pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach however in other places it’s much less usual.
The local individuals are extremely genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travel can be frustrating, warm and sluggish however bear in mind: you selected to check out Myanmar and that it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by citizens that wish to chat. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are wonderful and more than happy to appear in photos and attempt and talk via minimal typical words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a whole lot which is generally best handled by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, listen hard as well as if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| since it provides a hit that amounts to 6 cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct 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 as well as cab drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this great 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 and additionally serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and also restaurants as residents utilize the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing noise so don’t be surprised!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it courteous, but it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of residents to giggle in response– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed as well as unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly require washing as well as clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is extremely common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not handle anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that unusual 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 and also North American 2-pin connects along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at many airport terminals when you land or in among the shops in the street and also the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more regarding your network selections right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘quick’ link, do not expect to be downloading videos at any time. Online accessibility has improved, with wi-fi becoming the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also cafes have it absolutely free– and the internet is now spreading tomore remote areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the net an aggravating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, as well as do not expect to Skype home very frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a luggage. Suitcases aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and out of myriad forms of transport as well as hefting it up lots of steep stairs isn’t better.
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