Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Travel Myanmar Visa
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Modify Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been till 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 country’s former British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. 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 as well as Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are commonly three seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime period
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the climate is warm yet not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation choices difficult to secure and will imply trying to book in advance or deal with paying for the much more expensive alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and impending rains are due. There is a minimal number of tourists which makes it very easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is offered to visitors from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo and pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should obtain 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 date of issue as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Obtaining a visa from your local consular office might be cheaper– if you intend to save some money, getting a visa through your local Myanmar consular office may be less expensive. As an example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and do not fail to remember to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration internet site for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the common choice for tourists as the very first mode of entry, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. However, thinking about where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and also India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are recommended due to safety and security.
Regardless, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes exactly how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of options, from which you will need to pick one of 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 as well as Yangon)
Crossing at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to northern Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and the collection 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 town of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In reality, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to adhere to the one you initially stated when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be mentioned up-front. Additionally, you might leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is more affordable as well as has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport choices may be aggravating however the long distance propositions are much more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is budget-friendly so it might be your better option.
You can still book 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 and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by a person 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 do not let it get you stressed.Buses are affordable with competing companies and a variety of luxury levels.
Many buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so terrific for sleep. Also, you’ll have a tendency to reach at odd times in the morning as well as will not be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ snooze. Consider if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to take a nap immediately.
Buses are very cold, the deluxe buses will certainly offer you a covering but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit aggravating if you’re trying to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, although 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 tacky video till the early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some heavy-duty extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ever ask a vehicle driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State as well as Tenasserim area are normally out-of-bounds to vacationers unless you have actually obtained a government visa beforehand. In some areas you’ll need a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off the beaten path is difficult– 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 could be extremely expensive.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is popular for its daybreaks as well as sundowns, which likewise matches well with remaining inside (possibly for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) throughout the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a lot in temples on seriously grubby floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys and also dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a lot of animal faeces while you’re exploring Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you simply have to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a mindful temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply views for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– individuals will be praying.
Expect to pay an entry cost 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 gradually opening up, meaning you can rest in cheaper accommodation than you could a few years ago. Things are gradually improving for solo visitors, though prices are still far more of what you’ll pay somewhere else in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic however enchanting. The holiday accommodation offers a feel for what a local house may be like, basic yet perfectly decorated in teak wood) as well as the morning meal was normally superior. Plus, it’s nice to put cash right into the hands of the locals, not some large brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and guesthouses offer a towel but you may have to provide a refundable $10 deposit on check-in. Hotels will likewise provide some form of toiletries. Some hostels and guesthouses do as well, however it can not be relied on.
Beware the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to access your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Reserve lodging as well as transport ahead of time during peak period. The tourist sector in Myanmar seems to have actually experienced a boom which the infrastructure has actually fallen short to maintain speed with. A lot of resorts are tiny as well as boutique like so if there’s somewhere certain you wish to stay it’s vital to book in advance. It is specifically necessary to book ahead during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take travellers in for a small cost if there are no areas offered. But don’t 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 choice. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants and also a fantastic range of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Numerous items of cutlery are cleaned with a not so wonderful looking water supply and dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an ideal alternative.
Inform the staff if you don’t eat something. If you like a little spice in your meals state how much spice you like as the cooks often tend to go easy on vacationers!
The fish is scrumptious and a terrific, fresh option in most restaurants.
There is quite a lot of sugar in the food and also drinks. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s a choice to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, freshly blended juices), ensure you ask for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature greatly on menus yet don’t expect a fresh crunch– most salads are marinated and also seasoned in oil, salt and also lime juice and don’t normally feature salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are reduced in Myanmar and you may get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as various other locations in Southeast Asia however you can find it as well as it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can not consume the water yet most hotels, hostels and guesthouses supply free water either in bottles in your space or via a large water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, bottled water is very inexpensive.
Alcohol is commonly available with beer, rum and also bourbon being preferred options.
Beer stations are very easy to locate as well as enjoyable places to get a beverage with the locals if you do not want to being in a dining establishment.
Realize that there isn’t a late night culture in Myanmar– most dining establishments close by 9 p.m. and bars follow suit around 10– 11 p.m. This is a nation where meditation at sunrise is more popular than late night alcohol consumption.
Big chains can’t be discovered and also brand names are in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains and also beyond drink brands like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be getting local brands and also consuming from local restaurants.
Stores are tiny, family owned affairs– you will not discover a 7-Eleven. There are a few equal ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ shops dotted about, yet mainly you’re going to get snacks as well as drinks from tiny, local businesses. They can look a 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 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– a lot of the population is Buddhist as well as with a belief in karma, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you should take the typical precautions of using hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Female visitors should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely 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. Subsequently, several tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is very easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nevertheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories warn against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually led to the mass displacement of thousands of people. A few other parts of the nation stay shut to foreigners due to conflict in between the government and also various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and far from the major tourist locations.
Precise information on problems as well as closed areas can be hard to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, as well as inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of information from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and also legs despite the heat, and also you will certainly make everybody a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as often enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Many vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth as well as tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so pick up an inexpensive one a the market if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are essential! Going into pagodas indicates going barefoot and also flip flops are the best footwear selection. Struggling with laces in the blistering heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however somewhere else it’s less typical.
The local individuals are extremely genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, hot and also sluggish yet keep in mind: you chose to visit Myanmar which 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 lot by locals who intend to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Typically the people are lovely and also are happy to appear in photographs as well as attempt as well as talk through limited common words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is typically best managed by offering a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention as well as if you’re spending for a guide, make certain they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks 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 most likely popular| because it supplies a hit that amounts to six cups of coffee. Yet, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, the majority of times onto the ground.
Great deals of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also taxi drivers commonly roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spew after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the kids. Why not? Read this great 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 works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes as well as restaurants as locals make use of the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to recognize the area of the kissing sound so don’t be startled!
Both crucial phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be prepared for many citizens to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is generally done by hand and is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your garments laundered and unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you really need washing as well as clean your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can’t flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not manage anything besides 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 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, better still, acquire a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of airports when you land or in one of the shops in the road as well as the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more about your network options below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘fast’ link, do not expect to be downloading video clips at any time. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also coffee shops have it free of cost– as well as the internet is currently spreading tomore remote locations. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power interruptions can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Luggage aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and also out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up lots of high staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Travel Myanmar Visa