Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Travel To Myanmar Visa
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country formally known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it wasn’t up 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 previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much 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 also Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This short article breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the inquiry: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Visit Myanmar
There are usually 3 seasons in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
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, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted holiday accommodation choices tricky to secure as well as will certainly mean attempting to book in advance or face paying out for the a lot more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature rises in Myanmar as well as impending rains are due. There is a limited number of vacationers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation yet it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa web site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and also you should obtain approval 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
Obtaining a visa from your local embassy might be more affordable– if you intend to save some cash, requesting a visa using your local Myanmar consular office may be cheaper. For instance, the price is just , 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research and also do not neglect to consider 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 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the most recent at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal alternative for travellers as the initial mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and Laos to the eastern as well as India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several methods for land entrance, although not every one of them are suggested because of security.
Regardless, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of options, where you will certainly need to pick one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also 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 border to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula as well as 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 boundary village 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” but it is best to adhere to the one you originally stated when possible to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be stated 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 less expensive and also has a lot more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives may be frustrating however the long distance propositions are a lot more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is affordable so it may be your far better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking people off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and also grabbing your bag off a trolley by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing companies and a series of high-end levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, yet isn’t so excellent for sleep. Additionally, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at weird times in the morning and won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a lot of hours awaiting a ‘top-up’ nap. Consider if it will certainly be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to take a nap immediately.
Buses are very cold, the luxury buses will certainly give you a blanket yet, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a bit irritating 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 location around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local song CD’s and cheesy music videos till the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a driver about fate, criminal activity levels are remarkably reduced.
Still, you should take the usual precautions of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your valuables. Female visitors should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is dirty and there isn’t always soap in washrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Look out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Also take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, several travellers use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperatures can make you ill.
Fruit is simple to find so top up your immune system with nutrients that way. Nevertheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
Many government advisories caution against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has brought about the mass displacement of thousands of people. A few other parts of the nation stay closed to foreigners as a result of conflict in between the government and also various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are primarily in Kachin and Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, as well as far from the major traveler locations.
Precise information on problems as well as closed locations can be hard to come by. Check your government’s guidance before taking a trip, as well as inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a great resource of information from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| as well as cover their shoulders and legs despite the heat, and you will make everybody a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tee shirts are the clothing of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as commonly enforced for getting in the temples as well as pagodas.
Everybody puts on skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several vacationers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat as well as tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so pick up one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Entering pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the very best footwear choice. Battling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after going to a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find individuals in shorts and also strappy tops in the cities and also at the beach however in other places it’s much less typical.
The local people are remarkably genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travel can be frustrating, warm as well as slow however remember: you picked to see Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nevertheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a whole lot by locals that intend to chat. Vacationers are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Normally individuals are lovely as well as are happy to appear in photos and attempt as well as talk through limited typical words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a lot which is typically best managed by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and also if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have excellent clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels which contain tobacco, spices as well as areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it delivers a hit that amounts to six cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red stained teeth and also taxi drivers usually roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spit after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this brilliant post by Uncornered Market.
It’s common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese women. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty product in Myanmar as well as also works as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing noise in the cafes as well as dining establishments as locals use the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing audio so do not be upset!
The two most important expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it polite, but it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand as well as is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing washed as well as unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you really need washing and clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by however 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 nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything besides bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that strange half-hour difference| to its time area so it’s 6 and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have several adaptors for European and 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, purchase a local SIM. You can obtain one at most flight terminals when you land or in one of the shops in the street as well as the shop personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can find out more concerning your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ link, don’t expect to be downloading videos whenever. Online access has actually improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it for free– and also the web is now spreading tomore remote areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth as well as power blackouts can make using the web a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance 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 much better with a knapsack than a travel suitcase. Luggage aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and hefting it up many steep staircases isn’t much better.
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