Top Myanmar Travel Tips
Myanmar or Burma? Why Did it Change Its Name?
The country officially known as Burma got independence in 1948 from occupying forces, yet it had not been 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 seen as a relic of the country's previous British colonial past, and also Myanmar as much more inclusive of the numerous ethnic groups in the nation. Various 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 also Myanmar are still made use of interchangeably, on the ground as well as on the world stage. This write-up breaks down the changes, what you 'should' say as well as the question: does it even matter?
Best Times to See Myanmar
There are normally 3 periods in which you can go to Myanmar:
October to March: Dry, winter
March to May: Hot, summertime season
May to October: Wet, rainy season
The popular, high season is November to February when the weather is warm however not stifling, as well as attracts the greatest number of visitors. This, subsequently, makes the restricted lodging alternatives tricky to secure and also will mean attempting to book in advance or face paying out for the more costly alternatives left over.
March to May is the time when the temperature level increases in Myanmar and impending rains are due. There is a minimal number of vacationers which makes it very easy to book lodging however it is unbelievably hot.
An e-Visa is readily available to tourists from these 100 countries.
To get one, go to the official e-Visa web site. You'll be required to upload a passport photo and also pay a charge of $50.
It takes under 10 minutes 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 stands for 90- days from the date of issue and also permits you a 28 day stay in Myanmar
Getting a visa from your local embassy may be less expensive-- if you intend to save some cash, getting a visa via your local Myanmar consular office may be less costly. For instance, the price is simply ₤ 14 in the UK however $40 in the USA, so do your research as well as do not 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 3 Thai-Myanmar land boundary crossings Tachileik, Myawadi (Myawaddy) and also Kawthoung (Kawthaung). Check the immigration site for the most up to date at the time you take a trip.
Getting to Myanmar
Flights to Myanmar are the common alternative for travellers as the very first mode of access, with normal scheduled services from Bangkok. Yet, thinking about where Myanmar is located-- surrounded by China to the North and northeast, Thailand and also Laos to the east and India and also Bangladesh to its west-- there are multiple methods for land entry, although not all of them are advised because of security.
Regardless, you must define a "Port of Entry" in your on the internet application which denotes exactly how you will be reaching Myanmar. You will be provided a list of alternatives, where you will need to select one of the following:
Myanmar Designated International Airports:
Mandalay (located right in the middle of Myanmar)
Yangon (located in the south)
Nay Pyi Taw (located in between Mandalay as well as Yangon)
Crossing 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 border of the Thai Peninsula as well as 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 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 stick to the one you initially mentioned preferably to avoid any hold up in the processing of your visa upon arrival.
You can leave at any of the International Airports and Land Border Checkpoints considering that your exit point does not require to be mentioned up front. Furthermore, you might leave at the Htikee Land Border Checkpoint, although entrance from here is not possible.
Flying in and also out of Yangon is cheaper and has extra links than Mandalay.
Getting around Myanmar-- Long Distance
Myanmar's local transport options might be irritating but the long distance propositions are a lot more appealing.
Distances are far, road travel is sluggish and also flying is cost effective so it may be your much better choice.
You can still book flights the traditional way by wandering right into a travel agent.
Flying within Myanmar is a bit like flying in the older days-- check-in entails ticking individuals off a list of printed names, baggage claim can mean leaving the airport terminal and getting your bag off a cart by the plane as well as flight announcements are made by an individual holding up a sign as well as calling your flight (in incomprehensible English). It actually is an experience. And also a great deal of fun if you do not let it get you stressed.Buses are cost effective with competing firms and a variety of deluxe levels.
The majority of buses travel over night which is great for not losing a day of sightseeing, however isn't so excellent for sleep. Likewise, you'll tend to arrive at weird times in the early morning and also will not 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. Consider if it will be more affordable to fly if you're going to book accommodation the exact same evening to rest immediately.
Buses are very chilly, the high-end buses will give you a covering but, 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 bit irritating if you're attempting to sleep 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 as well as tacky music videos up until the very early hrs of the early morning. Pack your iPod, invest in some durable extreme ear plugs or kindly ask for the sound to be switched off.
Never ask a driver about fate, criminal activity levels are extremely reduced.
Still, you should take the typical precautions of utilizing hotel storage lockers or safes for your belongings. Female visitors should not experience any kind of harassment or different treatment.
Do take hand sanitiser-- the cash is filthy as well as there isn't always soap in washrooms so utilize your sanitiser before you touch anything that will go near your mouth.
Keep an eye out for the dust- Myanmar can be extremely dusty so do bring something to cover your mouth and also nose when cycling around. Additionally take care with your air conditioning-- Myanmar can be as hot. As a result, lots of tourists use the a/c in their room however sleeping in low temperatures can make you unwell.
Fruit is simple 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 and also if it's sluiced with water, make certain 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 led to the mass displacement of countless individuals. Some other parts of the nation remain closed to foreigners because of problem in between the government as well as various ethnic armies gathered in eastern and northern Myanmar. These locations are mostly in Kachin as well as Shan States, near to the frontiers with China and Thailand, and far from the significant traveler destinations.
Exact info on conflicts and closed locations can be tough to come by. Check your government's advice before travelling, and also ask about the situation when you are in Myanmar. Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree travel forum is a great source of news from travellers on the ground.
What to wear in Myanmar
A lot of the locals dress conservatively| and cover their shoulders as well as legs regardless of the high temperatures, and also you will make everyone much more comfortable if you do the same.
Knee length shorts, long skirts, elephant pants and tees are the attire of choice. These are strongly encouraged as well as frequently enforced for going into the temples and also pagodas.
Everyone wears skirts-- males and females alike-- the longyi, a long skirt, is the popular traditional dress in Myanmar for both males and females. Many vacationers pick one up as they're breezy in the warmth and also tick the 'traditional wear' box. They are convenient for taking in the sights so get a cheap one a the marketplace if you have the chance.
Flip flops are important! Going into pagodas implies going barefoot as well as flip flops are the most effective footwear selection. Battling with laces in the blistering heat is an unwanted distraction. Bring some cleansing wipes for your feet after checking out a pagoda.
Myanmar is a conservative nation so you'll blend much better if you dress conservatively (covering your knees as well as shoulders). You will find people in shorts as well as strappy tops in the cities as well as at the beach however in other places it's much less usual.
The local individuals are incredibly genteel and also not used to confrontation so pack your good manners as well as your patience. Travel can be discouraging, hot as well as slow but remember: you picked to check out Myanmar and that it's not the same as being at home is no good reason to take it out on the citizens. Nevertheless, haggle hard with the taxi drivers.
You may get stopped a lot by citizens that wish to talk. Visitors are no more a novelty in the majority of Southeast Asia but Myanmar is different. Generally the people are wonderful as well as are happy to appear in pictures as well as attempt as well as converse via limited common words or sign language.
You maylikewise get stared at a lot which is generally best handled by providing a smile as well as a mingalabar (hello in Burmese). Burmese English can be difficult to comprehend, be patient, listen hard and also if you're paying for a guide, make certain they have great 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 wrapped in a betel leaf. It's possibly popular| since it provides 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 spat out, most times onto the ground.
Lots of residents have the tell tale red discolored teeth and taxi drivers commonly roll down the window in slow traffic to spit after chewing on the betel quids.
There is some begging by children in Myanmar and also as heartbreaking as it is, you should not give to the youngsters. Why not? Read this brilliant short article by Uncornered Market.
It's common to see yellow circles pasted on the faces of the Burmese girls. This is Thanaka, an aesthetic 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 noise in the cafes and restaurants as locals utilize the kissing sound as an ask for service. Apparently it's easier for staff to identify the location of the kissing sound so don't be upset!
The two most important expressions you require in Myanmar are:
Hello 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.
Other practical concerns in Myanmar
Laundry is usually done by hand and is billed per item as opposed to kilo so try to turn up with your clothes laundered and unless you intend to turn over $20 for a load of washing, pick the items you actually require washing and clean your smaller sized items yourself as you go.
Toiletries are easy to find by yet tampons are not so bring what you need with you.
You can't flush toilet tissue or sanitary products-- this is really typical in developing nations 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 in advance of GMT.
Most of the plug sockets of Myanmar have multiple adaptors for European and also North American 2-pin connects in addition to British three-pin.
Wi-fi is bad in Myanmar so you either need to get over here it or, far better still, get a local SIM. You can get one at a lot of flight terminals when you land or in among the shops in the street as well as the store staff will certainly have you set up in about 5 minutes. You can learn more about your network options here. Still, with 1 mbps thought about to be a 'fast' connection, do not expect to be downloading videos at any time. Online access has improved, with wi-fi coming to be the standard-- most hotels, guesthouses and cafes have it completely free-- and also the internet is now spreading tomore remote places. Yet tightly squeezed bandwidth and also power outages can use the net a frustrating exercise.
Do your research ahead of time or pack a guidebook, and also do not expect to Skype home very often, it's barely possible to get a messenger service to work at times!
You'll be better with a backpack than a suitcase. Luggage aren't suitable on dusty, sandy, unevenroadways. Entering and also out of myriad forms of transportation and also hefting it up several high staircases isn't much better.
Thanks for reading this guide to Top Traveling Tips for Myanmar