Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – How To Get A Visa To Visit Myanmar
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation formally known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been up until 1989 that the ruling military junta altered 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, as well as Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Various other names were additionally altered, which is why you will certainly 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 made use of interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and the inquiry: does it even matter?
Best Times to Go To Myanmar
There are normally three periods in which you can see Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summertime period
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, and also brings in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the restricted lodging options challenging to secure and will imply attempting to book ahead or deal with paying for the a lot more expensive choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar and approaching rainfalls are due. There is a limited number of vacationers that makes it very easy to book lodging however it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is readily available to visitors from these 100 countries.
To obtain one, go to the main e-Visa internet site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply and you should obtain approval 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 day of issue as well as permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office might be cheaper– if you intend to save some money, requesting a visa via your local Myanmar embassy may be cheaper. As an example, the expense is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the USA, so do your research and don’t fail to remember to factor in mailing costs.
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 boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for visitors as the initial mode of entry, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, considering where Myanmar lies– surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the eastern and also India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are several avenues for land entrance, although not all of them are suggested because of safety and security.
Regardless, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will certainly be given a list of choices, from which you will need to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (situated in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Crossing 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 most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula and also the cluster of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area of northwestern Myanmar on the border to northeastern India).
- Rih Khaw Dar (a six-hour drive from the border village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can enter Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to stick to the one you initially stated ideally to avoid any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports and also Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not need to be mentioned up-front. Furthermore, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper and also has more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Long Distance
Myanmar’s local transportation choices might be irritating but the cross country propositions are a lot more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish as well as flying is affordable so it might be your much better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional method by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking people off a listing of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal as well as grabbing your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by a person 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 affordable with competing companies and a series of luxury levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is terrific for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn’t so terrific for sleep. Additionally, you’ll tend to reach at odd times in the early morning and also won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hrs waiting on a ‘top-up’ snooze. Think about if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same evening to take a nap straight away.
Buses are extremely chilly, the high-end buses will provide you a blanket yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every couple of hrs for a food and also toilet break– a little 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 location around 3 or 4am. What’s more, some still play their funky local song CD’s as well as tacky video until the early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, buy some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be turned off.
Never ever ask a driver regarding reaches of the southerly Mon State and Tenasserim region are usually off-limits to tourists unless you have actually applied for a government visa ahead of time. In some locations you’ll require a guide to chaperone you. Check before you make plans.
Getting off the beaten path is tough– even within the ‘open’ parts, Myanmar’s developing infrastructure means that there are set routes you can travel and you’ll have a hard time to go any other way. Trying to do otherwise might be really costly.
Work your sightseeing and tour around the heat– Myanmar is renowned for its sunrises and also sundowns, which also matches well with staying inside (possibly for a snooze or pool dip if you have one) during the mid-day heat.
Anticipate to go barefoot a lot in temples on seriously grubby floors. In temples where birds are nesting or monkeys as well as dogs hangout, you can expect to step in a great deal of animal faeces while you’re exploring Myanmar’s temples. Socks aren’t allowed either so you just need to get used to it. Have wipes for your feet so you can wipe some after each visit.
Be a considerate temple visitor, a lot of Myanmar’s temples are places of worship, not simply sights for vacationers. Respect ‘do not climb/do not enter’ indicators and keep your voice down– people will be praying.
Expect to pay an access charge for Bagan as well as Inle Lake– this fee is charged to all foreigners and there’s no getting around it. The charges are: Bagan– $20; Inle Lake– $10.
Lodging in Myanmar
Hostels are gradually opening, meaning you can rest in cheaper accommodation than you could a few years earlier. Things are gradually getting better for solo visitors, though expenses are still a lot more of what you’ll pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Guesthouses are rustic however enchanting. The holiday accommodation offers a feeling for what a local house could be like, basic however perfectly decorated in teak) as well as the morning meal was usually remarkable. Plus, it’s nice to place cash into the hands of the citizens, not some huge brand chain.
The majority of hostels, hotels and guesthouses supply a towel yet you may need to offer up a refundable $10 down payment on check-in. Hotels will likewise supply some form of toiletries. Some hostels as well as guesthouses do also, however it can not be depended on.
Be cautious about the curfew– some guesthouses may lock the door at night, leaving you unable to get to your bed. Check before you go out for the night.
Book accommodation and also transportation beforehand throughout peak period. The tourist industry in Myanmar seems to have actually experienced a boom which the facilities has actually failed to keep speed with. Most hotels are small and boutique like thus if there’s somewhere specific you intend to stay it’s necessary to book ahead of time. It is especially vital to book in advance during high season (November to March). In some rural areas, monasteries will take tourists in for a small fee if there are no areas offered. Yet 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 option. There are noodles at night bus stops, fermented tea leaf salads in local restaurants as well as a fantastic selection of curries and salads
Use chopsticks: Many pieces of cutlery are wiped with a not so terrific looking water supply and also dishcloth. Prepackaged chopsticks are an excellent option.
Inform the staff if you don’t consume something. If you like a little spice in your meals state how much spice you like as the chefs have a tendency to go easy on tourists!
The fish is tasty and also a wonderful, fresh option in the majority of restaurants.
There is quite a great deal of sugar in the food as well as beverages. If you aren’t a fan of sugar there’s an alternative to skip the sugar (tea, coffee, fresh blended juices), make sure you request for ‘no sugar’.
Salads feature heavily on food selections but do not anticipate a fresh crunch– most salads are seasoned as well as seasoned in oil, salt and lime juice and also don’t normally include salad leaves.
Hygiene standards are low in Myanmar as well as you could get sick once.
Street food isn’t as prolific as other places in Southeast Asia but you can find it and it’s excellent. Street food will tend to be about 1,000-1,700 kyat a dish (under $2).
You can not drink the water however most hotels, hostels and also guesthouses supply cost-free water either in bottles in your space or by means of a big water dispenser at reception. Otherwise, bottled water is very economical.
Alcohol is widely offered with beer, rum and bourbon being prominent choices.
Beer stations are very easy to discover and also fun areas to get a drink with the locals if you do not wish to sit in a restaurant.
Know 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 country where meditation at daybreak is much more popular than late night alcohol consumption.
Huge chains can’t be discovered and brands remain in short supply. Myanmar isn’t a nation of fast-food chains as well as beyond beverage brand names like Coke and also Schwepps Tonic, you’re going to be purchasing local brand names as well as eating from local dining establishments.
Shops are small, family owned affairs– you won’t discover a 7-Eleven. There are a few comparable ‘Grab ‘n’ Go’ stores populated about, however mainly you’re going to buy treats as well as beverages 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 shock if you come from a nation where smoking cigarettes in public locations has long been banned.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar is an extremely safe area– a lot of the population is Buddhist and also with a belief in karma, criminal activity levels are extremely reduced.
Still, you should take the typical safety measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your valuables. Women visitors should not experience any harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is unclean as well as there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser before 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 as well as nose when cycling around. Likewise take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. As a result, several visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients in this way. However, as it’s often pre-cut, try to find a seller that has kept the flies away as well as 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 also the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually resulted in the mass displacement of countless people. Some other parts of the country continue to be closed to foreigners due to dispute in between the government and various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These areas are mainly in Kachin and also Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, as well as far from the major tourist destinations.
Exact details on conflicts and closed areas can be difficult to come by. Check your government’s guidance prior to travelling, and also inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is an excellent source of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs despite the high temperatures, as well as you will certainly make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are strongly encouraged and commonly enforced for going into the temples as well as pagodas.
Everyone wears skirts– men and women alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the heat and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for sightseeing so grab an inexpensive one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Getting in pagodas means going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear choice. Dealing with laces in the blistering heat is an unwelcome distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after seeing a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend much better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will certainly find individuals in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but in other places it’s much less usual.
The local people are remarkably genteel as well as not used to confrontation so pack your best manners and your patience. Travelling can be discouraging, hot and slow however remember: you selected to visit Myanmar which it’s not like being at home is no good reason to take it out on the locals. Nonetheless, haggle hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a great deal by citizens who intend to talk. Vacationers are no longer a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are lovely and more than happy to appear in photographs and also attempt and also talk via minimal common words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a lot which is typically best managed by providing a smile and also a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, pay attention and if you’re spending for a guide, ensure they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained sidewalks are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, little parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it supplies a hit that amounts to 6 cups of coffee. But, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the byproduct is bright-red saliva which is spewed out, many times onto the ground.
Lots of citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth as well as cab drivers commonly roll down the window in slow traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the children. Why not? Read this great 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 additionally acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as citizens utilize the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the location of the kissing noise so do not be startled!
Both crucial phrases you require in Myanmar are:
Hey there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Not only is it courteous, however it is well received. Be prepared for the majority of 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 as well as is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to show up with your clothing laundered as well as unless you intend to hand over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you really need washing and wash your smaller items on your own as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by but tampons are not so bring what you require with you.
You can not flush toilet paper or sanitary products– this is really typical in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything apart from 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 North American 2-pin connects as well as British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to overcome it or, far better still, buy a local SIM. You can obtain one at many flight terminals when you land or in among the shops in the street and also the store personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can read more about your network options right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ link, don’t expect to be downloading video clips any time. On-line accessibility has improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as coffee shops have it totally free– and also the internet is now spreading tomore remote locations. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power failures can make using the internet a frustrating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and do not anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be better with a knapsack than a luggage. aren’t optimal on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transport and also hefting it up several steep stairs isn’t much better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – How To Get A Visa To Visit Myanmar