Top Myanmar Travel Tips – Myanmar Travel Guide
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 up 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 previous British colonial past, and Myanmar as more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the country. Other names were also changed, 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 also Myanmar are still utilized interchangeably, on the ground and also on the world stage. This post breaks down the modifications, what you ‘should’ say and also the concern: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically 3 seasons in which you can visit Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter season
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Damp, rainy period
The popular, high period is November to February when the weather is warm but not stifling, as well as draws in the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted lodging options difficult to secure as well as will certainly imply trying to book in advance or deal with paying out for the much more expensive alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar and also approaching rains are due. There is a minimal number of travelers that makes it very easy to book lodging but it is extremely warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 nations.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo as well as pay a fee of $50.
It takes under 10 mins to apply and you should get 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
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be less costly– if you wish to save some money, obtaining a visa through your local Myanmar consular office might be less expensive. For instance, the cost is just , 14 in the UK yet $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and do not neglect to factor in mailing costs.
It is only possible to get in Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; as well as at three Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration web site for the most recent at the time you travel.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the typical option for tourists as the very first mode of access, with regular scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar is located– surrounded by China to the North and also northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern as well as India and also Bangladesh to its west– there are multiple avenues for land access, although not every one of them are suggested due to security.
No matter, you have to define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes just how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be given a listing of alternatives, where you will need to choose one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (located right in the center of Myanmar)
- Yangon (located in the south)
- Nay Pyi Taw (situated 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 southernmost part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Area on the boundary 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 boundary village of Khawmawi in the northwestern Chin State of Myanmar on the boundary of Southeastern India).
In truth, you can go into Myanmar at any designated “Port of Entry” yet it is best to adhere to the one you initially mentioned ideally to prevent any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any one of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. In addition, you may exit at the Htikee Land Boundary Checkpoint, although access from here is not possible.
Flying in and out of Yangon is more affordable and also has extra links than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transportation alternatives may be irritating but the long distance propositions are far more attractive.
Distances are far, road travel is slow-moving as well as flying is inexpensive so it might be your better choice.
You can still book flights the old-school way by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a little bit like flying in the older days– check-in includes ticking people off a list of printed names, luggage claim can mean leaving the flight terminal and grabbing your bag off a cart by the airplane as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and also calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It really is an experience. And a great deal of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are economical with competing firms and a variety of luxury levels.
A lot of buses travel over night which is excellent for not losing a day of sightseeing, but isn’t so wonderful for rest. Additionally, 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 great deal of hrs awaiting a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be less expensive to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the exact same night to rest immediately.
Buses are very cold, the high-end buses will give you a blanket yet, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus doesn’t have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hours for a food and also toilet break– a little 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 song CD’s and also tacky music videos till the very early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly request the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a vehicle driver about fate, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you should take the common safety measures of making use of hotel lockers or safes for your belongings. Female travellers should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser– the money is gross and there isn’t always soap in bathrooms 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 extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth as well as nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. As a result, several tourists use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you unwell.
Fruit is easy to come by so top up your immune system with nutrients in this way. Nevertheless, as it’s usually 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
The majority of government advisories advise against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes in between local authorities as well as the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has actually led to the mass displacement of thousands of people. A few other parts of the country remain shut to foreigners due to dispute between the government and also various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, close to the frontiers with China and Thailand, and far from the major visitor destinations.
Precise information on disputes and closed locations can be hard to find. Check your government’s recommendations before taking a trip, and inquire about the situation once you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good source of information from visitors 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, as well as you will make everyone more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and also tee shirts are the outfit of choice. These are highly encouraged as well as frequently enforced for going into the temples and also pagodas.
Everyone puts on skirts– males and females alike– the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both men and women. Several visitors pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth as well as tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing and tour so pick up one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are vital! Going into pagodas means going barefoot and flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Struggling with laces in the scorching heat is an undesirable interruption. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after going to 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 people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach but in other places it’s less typical.
The local individuals are extremely genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travel can be irritating, warm as well as sluggish but bear in mind: you chose to go to Myanmar which it’s not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the residents. Nonetheless, bargain hard with the cab drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by locals that wish to talk. Visitors are no longer a novelty in most of Southeast Asia yet Myanmar is different. Generally individuals are wonderful and also are happy to appear in pictures and attempt and also talk through limited common words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a whole lot which is normally best handled by offering a smile and also a mingalabar (hey there in Burmese). Burmese English can be hard to understand, be patient, pay attention and also if you’re paying for a guide, make certain they have good clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spewing red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, tiny parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s probably popular| due to the fact that it delivers a hit that’s equivalent to six mugs of coffee. However, as well as being dangerous when chewed long term, the spin-off is bright-red saliva which is spat out, many times onto the ground.
Great deals of citizens have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also cab drivers typically roll down the window in sluggish traffic to spew after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t 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 ladies. This is Thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from ground bark, which is a beauty item in Myanmar as well as also serves as a sunscreen.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and also dining establishments as locals utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it’s much easier for staff to recognize the area of the kissing noise so don’t be surprised!
The two most important expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it respectful, however it is well received. Be ready for a lot of residents to giggle in reaction– they are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
Various other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is typically done by hand as well as is charged per item rather than kilo so try to turn up with your garments washed and unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you actually need washing and clean your smaller sized items on your own 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 paper or sanitary products– this is very common in developing countries where the plumbing system can not manage anything besides 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 several adaptors for European as well as North American 2-pin connects along with British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either have to get over it or, better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at most flight terminals when you land or in among the stores in the road and also the shop personnel will have you set up in about 5 mins. You can learn more about your network choices here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘quick’ connection, don’t expect to be downloading video clips any time. On-line access has actually improved, with wi-fi becoming the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it free of charge– as well as the internet is currently spreading tofarther areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and power failures can use the net a discouraging exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also 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 luggage. Luggage aren’t perfect on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up many high stairs isn’t better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar – Myanmar Travel Guide