MYANMAR TRAVEL TIPS HOW TO GET TO MYANMAR:
Yangon International Airport (Mingalardon Airport) is the main International Airports in Myanmar. Yangon has direct air links with Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Calcutta, Chiang Mai, Taipei, Kunming, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
- Thai Airways International (TG) www.thaiairways.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Bangkok Airways (PG) www.bangkokair.com
- Thai Air Asia (FD) www.airasia.com
- Air Bagan (W9) www.airbagan.com
- SilkAir www.silkair.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Malaysia Airlines (MH) www.malaysiaairlines.com.my
- Indian Airlines Limited (IC) http://indian-airlines.nic.in/scripts/index.asp
- Air Mandalay (GT) www.airmandalay.com
- Mandarin Airlines (AE) www.mandarin-airlines.com
- Air China (CA) www.airchina.com.cn
- Hong Kong Express Airways (UO) www.hongkongexpress.com
- China Southern Airlines (CZ) www.csair.com./en
We recommend to purchase the air tickets from the country which is your starting point in order to get the best airfare. No agent in Myanmar, or in another country, can offer you a better deal.
It is true and an attempt of International Airline regulation to prevent air-ticketing monopoly in one single region, so that world-wide local ticket agents can exist.
Overland entry with a Border Pass is permitted at the following Border Check Points: Tachileik and Kawthaung on the Myanmar-Thai border and Muse on the Myanmar-Yunnan (China) border.
VISA & EMBASSIES:
Myanmar requires a valid passport of minimum 6 months and a Myanmar visa for all foreigners visiting the country. Tourist visas are issued for a duration of 28 days starting from the day you enter the country, three months from the date of issue. You can obtain a visa at all Myanmar Embassies or Consulates with three photos and your passport. The international points of entry and exit in Myanmar are Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport. Please click here for an updated list of Myanmar Embassies and Consulates.
Visa on Arrival:
We are also able to apply for visa on arrival, for travelers arriving at Yangon International Airport.To apply for visa on arrival we need:
- full names
- fathers name
- date of birth
- passport number
- date of issue
- arrival and departure day/time
- 1 passport picture (you can scan the picture and send to us)
It can take up to 3 weeks to get the approval, as all applications have to be send to Pyimana (the new capital). As soon as we have the approval we will send you a copy. You have to show the copy at the check-in counter for your flight to Yangon and also upon arrival at Yangon International Airport. Please bring also 2 passport pictures each with you. The Immigration at Yangon International Airport will issue the visa for you and our guide will be also there to assist you. .
Price for visa on arrival:
1 person US$ 80,-- (US$ 20,-- visa fee and US$ 60,-- handling fee)
2 persons and more US$ 50,-- per person (US$ 20,-- visa fee and US$ 30,-- handling fee)
All foreign currencies (above US $ 2000 ), jewelleries, electrical goods and cameras must be declared to the Burma Customs at the Airport. Export of Myanmar antiques is totally prohibited. Only gems and jewelleries purchased at the liensed dealers, or who can issue an export permit are allowed to be taken out of Myanmar. Travelers may bring in duty free 200 cigarettes, one quart of wine and one pint of perfume. You can bring your mobile phone with you, but the Burma‘s GSM system does not allow " international Roaming " so mobile phones from other countries do not work in Myanmar. Laptop computer can be brought in freely for the travelers’ own use.
The airport tax is US $10 for international passengers, payable in FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates). There is no airport tax on domestic flights.
The official Myanmar currency is Kyat (pronounced “Chat”). The official exchange rate is 6 Kyat to US$ 1,-. The unofficial or market rate is as high as 1200 Kyat (January 2008). There are several authorized moneychangers in Yangon who will exchange US$ into Kyat.
We recommend visitors to bring US Dollar in cash only – larger notes receiving a better rate in exchange. Exchange of other foreign currencies such as Euros, Yen and Pounds Sterling are time consuming and difficult. Authorized money changer throughout Myanmar will usually only accept US Dollars.
Please do not change money at the airport. They pay you for 1 US$ only 450 Kyats. Just ask us, we will be very happy to assist you.
Credit Cards are only accepted at a very few major hotels, airlines and some international shops and restaurants. We suggest to bring a sufficient amount of cash for personal expenses. The exchange of traveler cheques as well is very difficult and time consuming. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
The cost of living in Myanmar depends very much on where you are: While in an expensive hotel a beer may cost you US$ 5.- you might get it for about US$ 1.-(or its equivalent in Kyat) in a restaurant. Generally spoken, Myanmar is a low-priced country but as soon as you go for imported articles the price level easily matches the one in Thailand or even other Western countries - import taxes are rather high! As long "as you go local" you might pay one fifth of the price!
Lunch & Dinner
International Hotels between US$ 15 and 30 per person
Local restaurants between Kyats 3.000 and 6.000 per person
Mineral water: US$ 1,5 to US$ 3
Soft drinks: US$ 3
Beer: US$ 3 to US$ 6
Glass of wine: US$ 3 to US$ 5
Tee or coffee: US$ 3
Mineral water: Kyats 500 to Kyats 800
Soft drinks: Kyats 300 to Kyats 700
Beer: Kyats 1200 to Kyats 1800
Tee or coffee: Kyats 500
For the guides: Average is US$ 3,-- per day/per person - any additional amount to be given is the decision of our clients. For the drivers: US$ 1,5 per person/per day. For the porters: per luggage: 200 Kyats. At local restaurants: app. 200 kyats per person - depends again on the service you got! International Hotels: app. 500 kyats per person.
WHAT TO BRING:
Sun hat, sun glasses, sun protection for your face and body, prescription medicines, insect repellent and an umbrella April to October (rain or shine). An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight and extra passport photos. WHAT TO WEAR: Shorts, short skirts or revealing clothing are not appropriate especially when visiting temples or any religious site. Myanmar is a conservative Buddhist culture and improper dress can be offensive. Please dress with respect for the local culture. Lightweight, easy to care clothes of cotton and cool fabrics are ideal all year round. A winter sweater or jacket and socks may be needed in the cool season when visiting up country especially around Inle Lake and Kalaw when the weather can drop to near freezing during the night. Wear sensible walking shoes which can be easily removed when required. Shoes and socks must be removed at pagodas and monasteries so it is advisable to bring a pair of slippers
GMT + 6 ½ hours
Is mainly 220--230 Voltage/50 cycles. However, fluctuations can be amazing: Be prepared for anything between 80 and 300 Volts! That’s why no Myanmar household is complete with at least one if not a battery of voltage regulators. Make sure to protect your electrical appliances from over voltage - your laptop might take it rather ill...
There also exists a "bewildering" multitude of different plugs and sockets in the country; extension sockets for three different types of plugs are the rule. Most electrical wall outlets take British-style plugs with a 3 flat plugs in a triangle; some outlets accept round plugs and combined round/flat holes for either type. You are advised to bring an international adaptor with you and if the need arises you can find what you need in any roadside shop - the problem is all too common in the country. Power cuts are all over the country more the rule than the exception. That’s why many hotels and even shops have their own generators to ensure a permanent power supply. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours of power supply as many hotels switch on the generator only after sunset and switch it off at around 11 p.m.!
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area. Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.
Health and medical care:
The dreaded tropical diseases usually do not constitute a threat to tourists because they are mainly the result of unsanitary conditions, lack of medical care due to poverty and similar factors. Malaria, however, should never be underestimated, but, according to our experience, is not a grave problem in areas visited by tourists. The threat of being bitten or poisoned by dangerous animals should also not be overestimated.
On one hand poisonous snakes and spiders are rarely to be found and on the other hand they anyway usually run away before a human gets close. However, we advise to stay away from the all too common stray dogs as well as from cats. Unfortunately the quality of medical care leaves a lot to be desired. Minor indispositions may be handled by local doctors and some local pharmacies stock a fairly extensive spectrum of drugs, mostly sold under their English trade names. We recommend bringing along all regularly required drugs in sufficient numbers, as well as cosmetics. In the case of aggravating health problems your place of treatment should be either Bangkok or Singapore where you will find plenty of good hospitals.
The most common health problems, however, are flu and diarrhea: Even though you may not be able to prevent them entirely you can limit them by choosing clean and proper food and avoid staying in air-conditioned rooms for too long.
Monosodium Glutamate - (MSG) Alert
Throughout most Asian countries including Myanmar MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) - known locally as 'AJINOMOTO' - is still used in food preparation in some restaurants. Some travellers who may experience swollen feet, hands or headaches will more than likely have had a good amount of MSG in the food. It is always best to inform your guide when ordering if you do not wish it to be added to your food.
Only drink purified bottle water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentaryTHINGS TO BUY:
Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly pure hand-made, are best souvenirs. Lacquer ware, woodcarvings, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics and shoulder bags are some of the favorite items.
For jewellery, there is Burma rubies, sapphires, jade and pearls available at Myanmar gems shops. All gems and jewellery purchased should be made through the government licensed dealers, who can give a voucher for export.
Bargaining is essential for obtaining the reasonable prices. Possible price reductions of up to 50% are not uncommon. Click here for a list of recommended shops.
. Carry a bottle with you throughout the day.