Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Travel Queen Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally called Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been up 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 viewed as a relic of the nation’s former British colonial past, and Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Other names were also 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 and Myanmar are still used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This short article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are typically 3 seasons in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the minimal accommodation options challenging to secure and will indicate attempting to book in advance or face paying out for the much more costly options left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level climbs in Myanmar as well as impending rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of tourists that makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is exceptionally warm.
An e-Visa is offered to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also you should obtain authorization within 3 working days.
Print out your e-Visa letter, show it when you arrive and you’re in.
Your e-Visa letter is valid for 90- days from the day of issue as well as enables 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 money, applying for a visa by means of your local Myanmar consular office might be more affordable. For instance, the price is just , 14 in the UK but $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not forget to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the current at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the usual choice for tourists as the initial mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east as well as India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous avenues for land entrance, although not every one of them are suggested because of security.
Regardless, you must specify a “Port of Entry” in your on-line application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a listing of options, from which you will need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (positioned in between Mandalay and Yangon)
Going Across at Land Boundary 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 boundary of the Thai Peninsula and 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 boundary of Southeastern India).
Actually, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stay with the one you initially mentioned if possible to avoid any 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 specified up-front. Additionally, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is cheaper and has much more links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives may be discouraging yet the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving and flying is inexpensive so it may 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 entails ticking people off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and grabbing your bag off a trolley by the plane and flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign as well as 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 budget friendly with competing firms and also a range of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so fantastic for rest. Additionally, you’ll often tend to arrive at odd times in the early morning and won’t be able to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ snooze. Consider if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to rest immediately.
Buses are very chilly, the high-end buses will provide you a covering however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hours for a food and toilet break– a bit discouraging 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 music CD’s and cheesy video till the early hours of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, criminal activity levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the normal precautions of using hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women tourists should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is dirty as well as there isn’t always soap in washrooms 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 really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth as well as nose when biking around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as hot. Consequently, many visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. Nevertheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, look for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
A lot of government advisories alert 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 continue to be shut to foreigners due to problem in between the government and also different ethnic militaries clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major tourist locations.
Accurate information on conflicts as well as closed areas can be difficult to find. Check your government’s guidance prior to taking a trip, as well as ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders and legs in spite of the high temperatures, as well as you will make everyone a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and t-shirts are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also typically enforced for entering the temples and pagodas.
Everybody wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Numerous vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so grab an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are important! Entering pagodas indicates going barefoot as well as flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Dealing with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend far better if you clothe 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 typical.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travel can be aggravating, hot and also sluggish but keep in mind: you picked to see Myanmar and that it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by locals who intend to chat. Travelers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally the people are beautiful and also are happy to appear in photos and also try and chat with limited usual words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a lot which is usually best managed by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hello there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after eating betel quids, little parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| since it delivers a hit that amounts to six mugs of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spat out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of locals have the tell tale red stained teeth and cab drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the youngsters. 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, an aesthetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as additionally acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing noise as a call for service. Apparently it’s easier for staff to determine the location of the kissing audio so don’t be upset!
Both crucial expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, yet it is well received. Be ready for many 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 as well as is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered and unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really require washing and also clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can not flush toilet tissue or sanitary products– this is very usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything aside from 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 as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over it or, much better still, get a local SIM. You can obtain one at the majority of flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the street and the shop personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more about your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps taken into consideration to be a ‘fast’ link, do not anticipate to be downloading video clips whenever. Online accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the norm– most hotels, guesthouses and also cafes have it free of cost– and the net is currently spreading tofarther locations. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and power outages can use the net a discouraging exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and also do not anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a suitcase. Suitcases aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up many high stairs isn’t much better.
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