Tips for Travelers

When you plan your trip to Myanmar

In this locality, you can find information on travel documents, money, etc. that is necessary for your trip to Myanmar. Anyhow, if you have any other updated questions about going to Myanmar, please feel free to contact us at office@myanmarupperland.com.

Due to several decades of social exclusion from the outside world, Myanmar is still feeling the results of the inapplicable conformity with modern society. You may have to be patient with some old day to day working procedures, technology and the pace of life in general.

Getting Visa

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel (for up to 14 days) is allowed for most ASEAN countries except Malaysia and is in the process of negotiation.

Currently, Myanmar maintains 35 embassies abroad as well as 20 consulates and other representations. The Myanmar capital Yangon hosts 41 embassies, and besides, there are nine consulates and other representatives in Myanmar. (last updated 01 June 2018)

Click here for the detail list of foreign embassies and consulates in Myanmar and Myanmar embassies and consulates abroad >>>

Myanmar has now an online e-visa system.

Myanmar eVisa is one kind of the Myanmar Visa issued online by the Government of Myanmar. Myanmar eVisa is provided for non-Myanmar visitors who want to travel to Myanmar.

It aims to make the application process more straightforward for international visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Myanmar embassy.

The eVisa is only valid for single entry through one of 6 designated International Airports and Land Border Checkpoint (Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Tachileik, Myawaddy, Kawthaung). All other points of entry are not equipped to handle the visa on arrival. However, the foreigners can take the exit from any of the authorised Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) in Myanmar.

Everybody including the kids must apply for a separate eVisa regardless of age.

After you had the approvement, you would be received an email from the Government of Myanmar with the details of your eVisa included in this email such as your application ID, visa number, and visa validity.

However, after that, you must print it out and present to get the stamp on your passport at the Immigration Counter in Myanmar. It is essential, especially for Visa On Arrival (VOA).

The Myanmar eVisa is valid for 28 days for Myanmar e-Tourist Visa and 70 days for Myanmar e-Business Visa from the arrival date.

For e-visa applications, go to the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website >>>

Transport

The most popular way for tourists to travel to Myanmar is by bus or by plane. Buses cost around $10 to $ 30, depending on the distance travelled and the class of bus. Luxury ‘VIP’ buses are also available on most popular routes and charge premium fares. Overland routes to most major cities in Myanmar can be reliable now, and but sometimes uncomfortable if you go to the less famous townships, so flying is often the best option where road conditions are dangerous. Again, prices depend on the distance and airline. Domestic flights typically cost about from $ 50 to $135 one way. Travelling by boat is a unique way for the international travellers to experience Myanmar. Price varies and depending on the distance you are going and the speed of your boat. The cruise to Bagan from Mandalay is very popular. Hitchhiking is not usually an option in Myanmar and is inadvisable even for locals.

Hiring a Guide

Hiring a professional English-speaking guide will cost $ 40 per day or more. But depending on the area in Myanmar, local residents or guides who are willing to charge lower rates can often be found.

Food and drink in Myanmar

Rice is a major component of all Myanmar Cuisine. Variations are regional, like Lower and Upper Myanmar foods or Ethnic like the foods produced by the Shan, Mon or Rakhine people. In cities and towns throughout the country, you will find many Chinese Restaurants. Indian restaurants are also standard. Eating out is not expensive. Expect to pay about K1500 to K3000 for a simple meal at a local restaurant or tea house. For; well-made western food, you should spend no more than K8000 to K15000. Upmarket restaurants in the major cities and main tourist spots will cost more. Tap water is not safe to drink so you will need to buy bottled water, which costs around K250 to K500 per bottle. Domestic-brand Coke expenses around K500 for a can. A bottle of domestic beer will cost around K2000.

Health advisories and Safe travel issue in Myanmar.

Many health and safety risks can be reduced through communication with our customers. So we remind them regularly of the precautions that they can take: information is provided in the traveler’s contracted tour program and other availabilities. We also monitor public health and security issues of the destinations where we operate, working with the local bodies such as the townships health care and security official concerns, and advise travelers on the appropriate action for them to take.

Majority of visitors consider that travel in Myanmar is safe and should profess no severe problems though some areas of the country remain off-limits due to ongoing civil war and/or landmines.

For the health Insurance, make sure your travel insurance or separate private health insurance covers all possible health eventualities in Myanmar – the country’s health system is still far from ideal, and although there are international-standard hospitals in Yangon for significant incidents.

The following government websites offer information together with safe travel and health advisories on current hot spots:

Australia (http://smartraveller.gov.au)
Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling)
New Zealand (www.safetravel.govt.nz)
UK (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice)
USA (http://travel.state.gov) & (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel)

If in case, here is the list of the Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Myanmar.
https://www.embassypages.com/myanmar

Archeological Zone and Entry Fees

Most historic sites require a one-off entry fee, ranging from US$2 or $25; smaller and less well-known sites are cheaper. For more details >>>

Money Matters

The kyat (abbreviated as ‘K‘) is the official currency of Myanmar. Kyat comes in notes of value K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000, K5000, and K10,000. There are no coins. For international traveller, the US dollar used widely as an alternative currency, particularly for more significant purchases. Smaller purchases such as taxi fares, buses and meals are quoted in and almost always paid for in kyat.

Accepted the Euro as an exchange currency. Real exchange rates are now available at banks and official money markets. Check the official website of Central Bank of Myanmar for the latest Myanmar Kyat rate. If you travel outside of Yangon, Mandalay or Naypyidaw, make sure to change enough money before leaving as it can still be challenging to find money changer outside the main cities. Where it’s possible, you will probably get a more reduced rate. ATMs are also harder to find in these areas. Dollar bills should bring to Myanmar in differing denominations: take more of $10, $5 and $1 bills to pay for hotels, flights and historical sites as Myanmar is an almost entirely cash-based economy with little official banking. Take $100 or $50 bills for exchanging to kyat as larger denominations often command a better rate.

“Blemish Free Notes Only”. It is vital that US dollar bills you bring to Myanmar are in mint condition. Notes with creases, marks, folds and the like – may result in either a lower rate of exchange or the notes not being accepted at all. Pre-2006 dollar bills or ones with the letters AB and CB at the start of the serial number (at the top left the edge of note) may not accept either. So remember when you carry US dollar put them in a safe and flat folder, not in a folding wallet.

Banks, ATMs and credit card Concerns

There are now many ATMs from different local banks that accept international bank and credit cards located throughout the country – although most are in Yangon, Mandalay, Naypyidaw, Bagan and Inle Lake. Cardholders can also withdraw local currency from ATMs and use their cards at a growing number of major outlets such as hotels, restaurants, retailers and even to the less famous townships.

Currently, only Visa, Master Card, JVC, Maestro or Cirrus and China’s Union Pay can use. As of October 2014, International banks launched an inbound and outbound money transfer facility but only for the International community-based in Myanmar. Local banks are in the process of entering the international banking system. For ATM cash withdrawals, bank charge a K5000 fee on each transaction, and set a withdrawal limit of K300,000 per transaction. You may be allowed multiple withdrawals per day but note that internet failure sometimes restricts the use of ATMs in Myanmar. Traveller’s checks are not accepted yet in Myanmar.

Telephone, mobile, and the internet

Although the figures of Telephone, mobile and internet availability are much improving now in 2018, only a small percentage of the population has access to a telephone land line. The Internet and mobile accessibility are now reasonable. However, the situation on the ground is changing rapidly. Internet SIM cards sold by the Ooredoo, Telenor, MyTel and MPT (Former Myanmar Post & Telecommunications) networks are now available for as little as K1,500. SIM cards work on a top-up basis, with K1000, K3000, K5000 and K10,000 cards available. Ooredoo and Telenor only became operational in the second half of 2014, so their networks are sometimes still patchy or non-existent in rural areas, but usually work well in most towns. They are improving and expanding as quickly as possible.

To purchase a SIM card, the foreign visitors need photocopies of their passport photo page and Myanmar visa page as well as one passport photo. Ooredoo SIM cards are 4G mobile data enabled. Telenor SIM cards are available for both 2G handsets and 4G mobile data. Like in other countries, standard, micro and nano SIM cards are available. The best way to access the internet is from your mobile or its hotspot after you have bought and inserted one of these local SIM cards.

Working hours in Myanmar

Business hours can vary, but in general, the following applies:

Post offices and other government offices, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Business office hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 5.30pm; some offices open Saturday.

In and around Mandalay, a Sabbath day is often observed once a weekday off. It is not necessarily Sunday is as common usage in those areas.

Public Holiday

Myanmar (Burma)/Public holidays (2019)
Independence Day Fri, Jan 4, 2019
Kayin New Year Sun, Jan 6, 2019
Union Day Tue, Feb 12, 2019
Peasants’ Day Sat, Mar 2, 2019
Full Moon Day of Tabaung Likely Wed, Mar 20, 2019
Armed Forces Day Wed, Mar 27, 2019
Thingyan Eve Likely Sat, Apr 12, 2019
Thingyan Apr 13 – 16, 2019
Labour Day Wed, May 1, 2019
Vesak Likely Sat, May 18, 2019
Beginning of Vassa Likely Tue, Jul 16, 2019
Burmese Martyrs’ Day Fri, Jul 19, 2019
Thadingyut Festival Likely Sun, Oct 13, 2019
Tazaungdaing festival Likely Tue, Nov 12, 2019
National Day in Myanmar Likely Thu, Nov 21, 2019
Christmas Day Wed, Dec 25, 2019
Kayin New Year Thu, Dec 26, 2019

Here you can see the list of Festivals in Myanmar calendar >>>

 

Developmental and other Cultural issues

When preparing for a trip to Myanmar and travelling around the country, it is essential to bear in mind the lack of development. It is a poor, the almost entirely cash-based economy with little official banking. The vast areas of the population do not have direct access to the national electricity grid although the new government (2015 elected one) has been trying to extend the network. The only people of the major cities have been using the internet (mostly are using Facebook) or a fixed telephone line although figures are improving rapidly.

Climate and Weather

Most of Myanmar has a tropical monsoon climate with three seasons:

COLD – October to February is winter season with average temperatures 68-75 F (20-24 C), but the lower part of Myanmar is not so cold like the upper.

HOT – March to May is summer season with average temperatures 86-95 F (30-35 C) and intensely hot in most of the country.

Rainy – June to September is the monsoon season, with high rainfall and average temperatures 77-86 F (25-30 C). From June to August, rain can be more persistent, particularly in the Bay of Bengal coast and in Yangon and the Irrawaddy Delta. Normal in September and October, the rain is less intense, and you will have more sunshine.

Mandalay does not have much rain in the rainy season, and the weather is pleasantly fair in the winter.

The most comfortable time to visit is during the winter months. It is the least humid time of year and has the clearest air. It is also the peak tourist season.

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