Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Best Places To See Mayan Ruins
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation 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 also Myanmar as a lot more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Other names were additionally 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 used interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This short article breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to See Myanmar
There are usually three periods in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summer period
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm yet not stifling, and draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the minimal lodging alternatives challenging to secure and will certainly mean attempting to book ahead or face paying out for the much more costly choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and also impending rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of travelers which makes it easy to book accommodation yet it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa site. You’ll be required to submit a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 mins 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 date of issue as well as allows 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, making an application for a visa via your local Myanmar consular office might be less costly. As an example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the United States, so do your research and don’t forget to consider mailing expenses.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay as well as Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration website for the most recent at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the normal choice for visitors as the first mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. But, considering where Myanmar is located– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not all of them are suggested due to safety.
No matter, you need to specify a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a listing of choices, from which you will certainly need to select among 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 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 border of the Thai Peninsula and also the collection 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” but it is best to stay with the one you originally mentioned if possible to avoid any type of hold up in the handling of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints given that your exit point does not need to be mentioned up front. Additionally, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is less expensive and also has more connections than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transport options might be frustrating but the long distance propositions are much more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving as well as flying is economical so it might be your 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 individuals off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also getting your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing firms and also a variety of deluxe levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so excellent for sleep. Additionally, you’ll often tend to reach at strange times in the morning and won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel till 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ snooze. Take into consideration if it will be more affordable to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same evening to rest straight away.
Buses are really chilly, the luxury buses will offer you a blanket however, use your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every few hrs for a food as well as toilet break– a little bit irritating if you’re attempting 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 more, some still play their funky local song CD’s as well as cheesy video till the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, purchase some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, criminal activity levels are incredibly low.
Still, you ought to take the typical precautions of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female travellers should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in washrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Additionally take care with your air conditioning– Myanmar can be as hot. Consequently, several tourists use the a/c in their room yet sleeping in low temperature levels can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients that way. Nonetheless, as it’s commonly pre-cut, try to find a vendor that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make certain it’s filtered water.
Most government advisories alert against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has brought about the mass displacement of countless individuals. A few other parts of the nation remain closed to foreigners due to problem in between the government and different ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and also Thailand, and also far from the major visitor destinations.
Accurate information on disputes and closed areas can be tough to come by. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, and also inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of information from visitors on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders and also legs despite the heat, and also you will make everyone a lot more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants as well as tees are the clothing of choice. These are strongly encouraged and also commonly enforced for getting in the temples and also pagodas.
Every person uses skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Numerous visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘conservative wear’ box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so grab a cheap one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are essential! Entering pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear choice. Battling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will certainly find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities and at the beach yet elsewhere it’s less typical.
The local people are extremely genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your best manners as well as your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, warm and also slow-moving however keep in mind: you selected to see Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by residents who intend to chat. Visitors are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally the people are wonderful and also are happy to appear in photographs as well as attempt and talk with limited common words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a lot which is usually best dealt with by offering a smile and a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts wrapped in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it provides a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups 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 discolored teeth as well as cab drivers usually roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by kids in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the children. Why not? Read this fantastic short article 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 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 citizens make use of the kissing noise as an ask for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to identify the area of the kissing sound so don’t be surprised!
Both most important phrases you need in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it polite, yet it is well received. Be prepared for a lot of residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not anticipating it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand as well as is charged per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothes washed and also unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually need washing and also clean your smaller sized items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are simple to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can’t flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing countries where the plumbing system can’t handle anything apart from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 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, much better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at most flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the street as well as the shop staff will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network choices below. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘fast’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading video clips any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the norm– most hotels, guesthouses as well as cafes have it totally free– and the web is currently spreading tofarther places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power outages can use the net an irritating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, and don’t expect to Skype home extremely frequently, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a luggage. aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Getting in and also out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up lots of steep staircases isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Best Places To See Mayan Ruins