Top Myanmar Travelling Tips – Myanmar Travel Tips
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The nation officially known as Burma acquired independence in 1948 from occupying forces, however it had not been 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, as well as Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various other names were additionally 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 utilized interchangeably, on the ground and on the world stage. This post breaks down the changes, what you ‘should’ say and also the question: does it even matter?
Ideal Times to Go To Myanmar
There are typically 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 period is November to February when the weather is warm but not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, consequently, makes the minimal accommodation options challenging to secure and will certainly imply attempting to book in advance or deal with paying for the more pricey alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature increases in Myanmar and also approaching rains are due. There is a limited number of vacationers which makes it easy to book holiday accommodation but it is unbelievably warm.
An e-Visa is available to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa website. You’ll need to submit a passport photo and also pay a cost of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes to apply as well as 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 date of issue and permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local consular office may be cheaper– if you intend to save some money, obtaining a visa by means of your local Myanmar embassy might be less costly. As an example, the price is simply , 14 in the UK but $40 in the U.S.A., so do your research and also do not forget to factor in mailing expenses.
It is only possible to enter Myanmar on an e-visa at Yangon, Mandalay and also Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and also at 3 Thai-Myanmar land border crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) as well as Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Read the immigration web site for the current at the time you travel.
Flights to Myanmar are the common option for tourists as the first mode of entrance, with routine scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, taking into consideration where Myanmar lies– bordered by China to the North as well as northeast, Thailand as well as Laos to the eastern and India as well as Bangladesh to its west– there are numerous methods for land entry, although not all of them are suggested because of safety and security.
No matter, you need to define a “Port of Entry” in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will certainly be getting to Myanmar. You will be provided a list of alternatives, where you will certainly need to pick among the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
- Mandalay (situated 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 north Thailand)
- Myawaddy (in the Kayin State of southeastern Myanmar on the boundary to western Thailand)
- Kawthaung (in the most southern part of Myanmar, in the Tanintharyi Region on the boundary of the Thai Peninsula as well as the collection 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 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” yet it is best to adhere to the one you originally stated when possible to avoid any kind of hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can exit at any one of the International Airports as well as Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be specified up-front. Furthermore, you might exit at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entry from here is not possible.
Flying in as well as out of Yangon is cheaper and also has a lot more connections than Mandalay.
Navigating Myanmar– Cross Country
Myanmar’s local transport alternatives might be aggravating yet the cross country propositions are a lot more enticing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is cost effective so it might be your better choice.
You can still reserve flights the traditional way 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 trolley by the aircraft and flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign and calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It truly is an experience. And also a lot of fun if you don’t let it get you stressed.Buses are budget-friendly with competing companies and a variety of deluxe levels.
Most buses travel overnight which is fantastic for not losing a day of sightseeing and tour, however isn’t so wonderful for rest. Likewise, you’ll tend to reach at weird times in the early morning and won’t have the ability to check into your hostel or hotel until 2 p.m. That’s a great deal of hours waiting for a ‘top-up’ nap. Think about if it will be cheaper to fly if you’re going to book accommodation the same night to sleep straight away.
Buses are extremely chilly, the high-end buses will provide you a blanket but, wear your warm layers.
Even the VIP bus does not have a toilet onboard so anticipate to stop every couple of hours for a food as well as toilet break– a bit frustrating if you’re trying to sleep 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 tacky video until the early hours of the morning. Pack your iPod, buy some sturdy extreme ear plugs or kindly request for the sound to be turned off.
Never ask a driver regarding fate, crime levels are exceptionally reduced.
Still, you ought to take the usual preventative measures of using 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 money is dirty and also there isn’t always soap in restrooms so use your sanitiser before you touch anything that will certainly go near your mouth.
Watch out for the dust- Myanmar can be very dusty so do carry something to cover your mouth and also nose when biking around. Also take care with your a/c– Myanmar can be as warm. Consequently, many visitors use the a/c in their room but sleeping in low temperatures can make you sick.
Fruit is easy to find so top up your body immune system with nutrients this way. Nonetheless, as it’s frequently pre-cut, search for a seller that has actually kept the flies away and also if it’s sluiced with water, make sure it’s filtered water.
Safety and security
The majority of government advisories warn against traveling to parts of Rakhine (Rakhaing) State in western Myanmar, where clashes between local authorities and the minority Muslim (Rohingya) communities has resulted in the mass displacement of thousands of people. Some other parts of the country remain shut to foreigners due to problem between the government and also various ethnic militaries gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are primarily in Kachin as well as Shan States, near the frontiers with China as well as Thailand, and far from the major tourist locations.
Exact info on disputes and closed locations can be difficult to find. Check your government’s guidance before travelling, and inquire about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum is a good resource of news from tourists on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
Most of the locals dress conservatively| and also cover their shoulders as well as legs in spite of the high temperatures, and you will certainly make everybody much more comfortable if you follow suit.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tee shirts are the attire of choice. These are highly encouraged and also frequently enforced for entering the temples as well as pagodas.
Everyone 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 travelers pick one up as they’re breezy in the warmth and tick the ‘traditional wear’ box. They are convenient for sightseeing so pick up a cheap one a the market if you have the chance.
Flip flops are necessary! Getting in pagodas implies going barefoot and flip flops are the best footwear option. Struggling with shoelaces in the blistering heat is an undesirable distraction. Bring some cleaning wipes for your feet after visiting a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative country so you’ll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees and also shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach yet in other places it’s much less common.
The local individuals are remarkably genteel and not used to confrontation so pack your good manners and your patience. Travelling can be aggravating, hot and sluggish but bear in mind: you chose to see 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 residents that intend to talk. Vacationers are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia however Myanmar is different. Normally the people are charming and also are happy to appear in photographs and attempt and also speak through minimal typical words or sign language.
You mayalso get stared at a great deal which is generally 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 if you’re paying for a guide, make sure they have great clear English before you book.
The red stained pavements are a consequence of spitting red coloured saliva after chewing betel quids, small parcels that contain tobacco, spices and also areca nuts covered in a betel leaf. It’s possibly popular| because it delivers a hit that amounts to 6 mugs 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.
Great deals of locals have the tell tale red discolored teeth and also cab drivers typically roll down the window in slow-moving traffic to spit after eating on the betel quids.
There is some begging by youngsters in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you shouldn’t give to the children. Why not? Read this great write-up 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 and also acts as a sun block.
It’s also common to hear a kissing sound in the coffee shops and also dining establishments as citizens use the kissing sound as a call for service. Apparently it’s simpler for staff to identify the area of the kissing sound so do not be distressed!
Both most important expressions you need in Myanmar are:
Hello there: Ming-gu-la-bah
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Not only is it courteous, however 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 generally done by hand and is charged per item rather than kilo so try to show up with your clothes laundered and also unless you wish to hand over $20 for a load of washing, select the items you truly need washing as well as clean 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 tissue or sanitary products– this is really usual in developing countries where the plumbing system can not deal with anything other than bodily fluids.
Myanmar has that weird 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 as well as North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to overcome it or, far better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at most airport terminals when you land or in one of the stores in the street and also the shop personnel will certainly have you set up in about 5 mins. You can find out more regarding your network choices right here. Still, with 1 mbps considered to be a ‘rapid’ connection, don’t anticipate to be downloading videos any time. On-line accessibility has actually improved, with wi-fi the standard– most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it completely free– as well as the net is now spreading tofarther areas. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power interruptions can use the web an irritating exercise.
Do your research beforehand or pack a guidebook, and don’t anticipate to Skype home very often, it’s hardly possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You’ll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Suitcases aren’t suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroads. Getting in as well as out of myriad forms of transport and hefting it up lots of steep staircases isn’t far better.
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