Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Outbound Visit
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially referred to as Burma gained independence in 1948 from occupying forces, but it had not been until 1989 that the ruling military junta changed 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, as well as Myanmar as much more inclusive of the many ethnic groups in the country. Various 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 used interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say as well as the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are normally 3 periods in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy period
The popular, high season is November to February when the climate is warm however not stifling, and also draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the minimal accommodation alternatives challenging to secure as well as will certainly mean attempting to book in advance or deal with paying for the more pricey choices left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature climbs in Myanmar as well as approaching rainfalls are due. There is a minimal number of visitors which makes it very easy to book holiday accommodation but it is incredibly hot.
An e-Visa is available to travellers from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the main e-Visa web site. You’ll be required to upload a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should get 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 is valid for 90- days from the date of issue and also enables you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be more affordable– if you intend to save some cash, applying for a visa via your local Myanmar embassy might be cheaper. For instance, the cost is simply , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the United States, so do your research and do not forget 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; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration website for the current at the time you take a trip.
Flights to Myanmar are the normal option for travellers as the very first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. However, taking into consideration where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and also India and Bangladesh to its west– there are several avenues for land entrance, although not all of them are suggested because of safety and security.
No matter, you have to specify a “Port of Entry” in your online application which denotes how you will be getting to Myanmar. You will be given a list of alternatives, from which you will certainly require to pick one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated right in the middle of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay and also Yangon)
Going Across at Land Border Checkpoints:
- Tachileik (in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar on the boundary to north 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 Region on the border of the Thai Peninsula and the collection of islands)
- Tamu (in the Sagaing Area 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).
Actually, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” but it is best to adhere to the one you originally stated if possible to prevent any type of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints since your exit point does not require to be stated up front. In addition, you may leave at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is less expensive and also has much more links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives may be discouraging however the cross country propositions are much more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and flying is affordable so it may be your better option.
You can still reserve flights the traditional means by wandering into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days– check-in involves ticking individuals off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport and also grabbing your bag off a cart by the aircraft as well as flight announcements are made by a person holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. As well as a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing companies as well as a variety of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel overnight which is wonderful for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so terrific for rest. Also, you’ll have a tendency to arrive at odd 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. Think about if it will certainly be less costly to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the very same evening to sleep immediately.
Buses are very chilly, the luxury buses will certainly offer you a blanket however, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so expect to stop every few hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit frustrating if you’re attempting to rest through the night.
Night buses are not sleeper buses, even though 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 also cheesy music videos till the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be shut off.
Never ever ask a driver about fate, crime levels are remarkably low.
Still, you should take the common precautions of making use of hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any type of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the cash is filthy and also there isn’t always soap in bathrooms so utilize your sanitiser prior to you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be really dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and nose when biking around. Additionally take care with your air conditioning– 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 unwell.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients in this way. Nevertheless, as it’s typically pre-cut, try to find a seller that has actually kept the flies away as well as if it’s sluiced with water, ensure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
A lot of government advisories warn against travel to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually led to the mass displacement of countless individuals. Some other parts of the nation remain closed to foreigners due to problem between the government and also various ethnic armies clustered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mainly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major traveler locations.
Exact details on disputes and also closed locations can be tough to find. Check your government’s advice before travelling, as well as ask about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
The majority of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the heat, and also you will make everyone a lot more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged and typically enforced for going into the temples and also 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. Numerous travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and also tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are practical for taking in the sights so grab an affordable one a the marketplace if you have the opportunity.
Flip flops are crucial! Going into pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the best footwear selection. Struggling with shoelaces in the scorching heat is an unwelcome interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend far better if you clothe conservatively (covering your knees and shoulders). You will find people in shorts and strappy tops in the cities and at the beach but somewhere else it’s less common.
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 frustrating, warm as well as slow but keep in mind: you selected to check out 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 lot by residents who intend to talk. Visitors are no more a novelty in a lot of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Usually individuals are lovely as well as are happy to appear in pictures and also attempt and speak with limited usual words or sign language.
You mayadditionally get stared at a great deal which is usually best dealt with by providing a smile and a mingalabar (hi 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 eating betel quids, small parcels which contain tobacco, spices and areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s most likely popular| because it supplies a hit that’s equivalent to 6 cups of coffee. Yet, 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 citizens have the tell tale red stained teeth and also cab drivers commonly roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this fantastic post 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 and likewise acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the cafes and also dining establishments as citizens make use of the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to determine the area of the kissing audio so don’t be distressed!
The two crucial expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be prepared for a lot 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 usually done by hand and is billed per item instead of kilo so try to show up with your clothes laundered and unless you wish to turn over $20 for a load of washing, choose the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy 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 usual in developing nations where the plumbing system can’t handle anything aside from bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that odd 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 multiple adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin plugs in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, much better still, purchase a local SIM. You can get one at most 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 learn more about your network selections below. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a ‘quick’ link, don’t expect to be downloading videos any time. On-line access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard– most hotels, guesthouses as well as cafes have it completely free– and also the web is currently spreading tomore remote areas. But tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can make using the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research in advance or pack a guidebook, as well as don’t anticipate to Skype home extremely often, it’s barely possible to get a messenger service to operate at times!
You’ll be much better with a knapsack than a suitcase. Luggage aren’t excellent on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation as well as hefting it up many high staircases isn’t far better.
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