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Myanmar travel guide - Travel S helper

Myanmar

travel guide

Myanmar, formally the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and often referred to as Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia, sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand. Myanmar’s entire land area of 1,930 kilometers (1,200 miles) is dominated by an unbroken coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country’s 2014 census showed a much lower population than anticipated, with 51 million individuals registered. Myanmar has a total land area of 676,578 square kilometers (261,227 square miles). Naypyidaw is the capital, while Yangon is the biggest city (Rangoon).

Myanmar’s oldest civilizations comprised Pyu-speaking city states in Upper Burma that spoke Tibetan and Burmese, as well as Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. The Bamar settled in the Upper Irrawaddy Valley in the ninth century, and after the foundation of Pagano Kingdom in the early 1050s, the Theravada language, culture, and Buddhism became more prominent in Burma. The pagan empire was destroyed by Mongol invasions, and many states sprang up throughout the conflict. In the sixteenth century, after being unified by the Taungoo dynasty, the nation briefly became the greatest empire in Southeast Asia’s history. In the early nineteenth century, the Konbaung dynasty governed a territory that encompassed current Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam. Myanmar was captured by the British in the nineteenth century after three Anglo-Burmese wars, and the nation became a British colony. Myanmar established an independent country in 1948, first as a democratic state, then as a military dictatorship after a coup in 1962.

For the majority of the nation’s independence years, the country was consumed by widespread ethnic conflict, with the numerous Burmese ethnic groups engaged in one of the world’s longest continuous civil conflicts. Meanwhile, the United Nations and a number of other groups have condemned the country’s persistent and systemic human rights abuses. In 2011, after the 2010 general elections, the military junta was formally disbanded and a nominally civilian administration was established. While former military officials retain tremendous influence in the nation, the Burmese army has begun to cede control of the government. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, benefited the country’s human rights record and foreign relations, resulting in trade facilitation measures and other economic penalties. He continues, however, to criticize the government’s handling of the Rohingya Muslim minority and its inadequate reaction to religious conflicts. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party gained a majority in both houses at the historic 2015 elections.

Myanmar is a nation rich in jade and jewels, as well as oil, natural gas, and other minerals. Its nominal GDP was 56.7 billion US dollars in 2013, while its PPP GDP was 221.5 billion US dollars. Myanmar has one of the world’s greatest economic disparities, owing to the fact that a significant portion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military regime. Myanmar has a low level of human development in 2013, ranking 150th out of 187 nations on the Human Development Index (HDI).

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Myanmar - Info Card

Population

58,200,400

Currency

Kyat (K) (MMK)

Time zone

UTC+06:30 (MMT)

Area

261,227 sq mi (676,570 km2)

Calling code

+95

Official language

Burmese

Myanmar | Introduction

Tourism in Myanmar

The government has encouraged tourism in Myanmar since 1992; nevertheless, according to the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board, fewer than 270,000 visitors visited the nation in 2006. Myanmar’s Minister of Hotels and Tourist, Saw Lwin, has said that the government gets a major portion of income from commercial tourism services.

Major cities such as Yangon and Mandalay, as well as religious sites in Mon, Pindaya, Bago, and Hpa-An, nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, Pyin Oo Lwin, ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U, and beaches in Nabule, Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, and Mergui, are among Myanmar’s most popular tourist destinations. However, most of the nation is off-limits to visitors, and contacts between foreigners and Myanmarese citizens, particularly in border regions, are closely monitored by the authorities. They are forbidden from discussing politics with foreigners, and the Myanmar Tourist Board issued an order in 2001 directing local officials to safeguard visitors and prevent “unnecessary interactions” between foreigners and Burmese.

Air travel seems to be the most frequent mode of entry into the nation. It’s difficult to go into Myanmar. “There are no buses or trains connecting Myanmar to another nation, but Canadians may go by vehicle or motorcycle.” “Foreigners cannot go to or leave Myanmar by water or river,” the report adds. The border between Ruili (China) and Mu-soi, the border between Htee Kee (Myanmar) and Phu Nam Ron (Thailand), the most direct route between Dawei and Kanchanaburi, and the border between Myawaddy (Myanmar) and Mae Sot are among the few border crossings that allow private cars to pass (Thailand). Since 2013, at least one tourist business has been able to effectively trade land routes across these boundaries. “You can cross to Tachileik from Mae Sai (Thailand), but you can only go to Kengtung; those in Thailand with a visa may cross to Kawthaung.” However, he is unable to go farther into Myanmar.

Most nations have flights, but direct flights are mostly restricted to Thai carriers and other ASEAN countries. “There were just 15 foreign airlines in the past,” Eleven magazine reports, “and a growing number of airlines began operating direct flights from Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, and Singapore.” According to Eleven, of Eleven Media Group, “Nok Air and Business Carriers headquartered in Thailand and Tiger Airline located in Singapore” are among the Thai and Asian airlines that will expand in September 2013.

People in Myanmar

Myanmar’s main ethnic group is the Bamar, from whom the country’s original English name, Burma, is derived. Aside from Bamar, Myanmar is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and nations, each with its own culture and language. Myanmar is home to Chinese and ethnic Indians whose ancestors immigrated to Myanmar during the more apparent colonial era in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay, in addition to indigenous ethnic minorities. Myanmar’s regions are dominated by Bamar, whereas the states are inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Several international allegations of brutality against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, on the Bangladesh border, have been made against the government in recent years. They are not recognized as Myanmar nationals by the government, who claims they are Bangladeshis. They were forced to escape to Bangladesh in huge numbers, where they are treated as foreigners, and many have died attempting to find shelter and employment in Malaysia. It is unclear how the NLD intends to address this issue.

Most Burmese people are extremely friendly and courteous, and will go out of their way to make you feel at ease in their nation.

Climate in Myanmar

Myanmar’s main ethnic group is the Bamar, from whom the country’s original English name, Burma, is derived. Aside from Bamar, Myanmar is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and nations, each with its own culture and language. Myanmar is home to Chinese and ethnic Indians whose ancestors immigrated to Myanmar during the more apparent colonial era in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay, in addition to indigenous ethnic minorities. Myanmar’s regions are dominated by Bamar, whereas the states are inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Several international allegations of brutality against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, on the Bangladesh border, have been made against the government in recent years. They are not recognized as Myanmar nationals by the government, who claims they are Bangladeshis. They were forced to escape to Bangladesh in huge numbers, where they are treated as foreigners, and many have died attempting to find shelter and employment in Malaysia. It is unclear how the NLD intends to address this issue.

Most Burmese people are extremely friendly and courteous, and will go out of their way to make you feel at ease in their nation.

Geography Of Myanmar

Myanmar’s main ethnic group is the Bamar, from whom the country’s original English name, Burma, is derived. Aside from Bamar, Myanmar is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and nations, each with its own culture and language. Myanmar is home to Chinese and ethnic Indians whose ancestors immigrated to Myanmar during the more apparent colonial era in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay, in addition to indigenous ethnic minorities. Myanmar’s regions are dominated by Bamar, whereas the states are inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Several international allegations of brutality against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, on the Bangladesh border, have been made against the government in recent years. They are not recognized as Myanmar nationals by the government, who claims they are Bangladeshis. They were forced to escape to Bangladesh in huge numbers, where they are treated as foreigners, and many have died attempting to find shelter and employment in Malaysia. It is unclear how the NLD intends to address this issue.

Most Burmese people are extremely friendly and courteous, and will go out of their way to make you feel at ease in their nation.

Demographics Of Myanmar

Myanmar’s population is estimated to be 51,419,420 people, according to preliminary Census 2014 data. This number includes approximately 1,206,353 individuals who were not included in areas of northern Rakhine State, Kachin State, and Kayin State. These statistics do not include those who were abroad of the nation at the time of the census. More over 600,000 Myanmar migrant laborers are registered in Thailand, with millions more working illegally. Burmese migrant laborers make about 80 percent of Thailand’s migrant workforce. The population density is 76 people per square kilometer (200 people per square mile), making it one of Southeast Asia’s lowest.

Since 2011, Myanmar’s fertility rate has been 2.23, which is somewhat higher than the replacement level and low when compared to other South Asian nations with comparable economic standing, such as Cambodia (3.18), and Laos (4.41). Despite the lack of a national population strategy, fertility fell dramatically, from 4.7 children per woman in 1983 to 2.4 in 2001. In metropolitan regions, the fertility rate is considerably lower.

The high proportion of single women and single women of childbearing age, with 25.9% of women aged 30 to 34 and 33.1 percent of men and women aged 25 to 34, is attributed to several factors, including extreme delays in marriage (almost unprecedented in developing countries in the region), the prevalence of illegal abortions, and the relatively rapid decline in fertility.

These models are influenced by a variety of cultural and economic factors. The first is financial hardship, which is evident in the postponement of marriage and family formation; in Myanmar, the average age of marriage is 27.5 years for males and 26.4 years for women. The second issue is celibacy’s social acceptance among Burmese, who are mostly Buddhist and see celibacy as a method of spiritual growth.

Ethnic groups In Myanmar

Myanmar has a varied ethnic population. The federal government recognizes 135 distinct ethnic groups. Some, like the Rohingya, are not recognized by the government. Although it is very difficult to verify this claim, Myanmar has at least 108 ethno-linguistic groups, the majority of which are Tibeto-Burman peoples, but there are also substantial numbers of Tai-Kadai, Hmong, and Austro-Asian peoples ( Mon-Khmer)

The Bamar make up about 68 percent of the population. Shan make up 10% of the population. The Kayin account for 7% of the population. Rakhine residents make about 4% of the total population. Overseas Chinese make up approximately 3% of the population. Ethnic minorities in Myanmar prefer the term “ethnic nationality” over “ethnic minority” because the word “minority” increases their feeling of fear about what is often characterized as proliferation and dominance “Burmanización” Culture Bamar cultures dominant minority

My, who make about 2% of the population, is ethnolinguistically linked to Khmers. Overseas Indians make about 2% of the population. Other ethnic minorities include Kachin, Chin, Rohingya, Anglo-Indian, Gurkha, Nepalese, and others. Anglo-Burmese are included in this category. Once a significant and powerful group, it departed the Anglo-Burmese nation in a steady stream beginning in 1958, mostly in Australia and the United Kingdom. Myanmar is home to an estimated 52,000 Anglo-Burmese. In 2009, 110,000 Burmese refugees were residing in Thailand’s refugee camps.

There are refugee camps along the borders of India, Bangladesh, and Thailand, as well as thousands in Malaysia. According to conservative estimates, there are about 295,800 Myanmar refugees, the most majority of them are Rohingya, Karens, and Karennis, primarily near the Thai-Myanmar border. There are nine permanent refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border, the majority of which were established in the mid-1980s, with refugee camps overseen by the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium (TBBC). More than 55,000 Burmese refugees have been resettled in the United States since 2006.

Persecution of Burmese Indians, Burmese Chinese, and other ethnic groups after General Ne Win’s military takeover in 1962 resulted in the expulsion or departure of 300,000 people. They left to avoid the racial discrimination and nationalization of all private businesses perpetrated by Anglo-Burmese in 1964, when they departed the country or changed their names and mingled with Burmese society in general.

A large number of Rohingya Muslims have left Myanmar. Following Operation King Dragon in Arakan, many people fled to neighboring Bangladesh, including 200,000 in 1978. In 1991, there were just 250,000 left.

Religion In Myanmar

Myanmar is home to a diverse range of religious traditions. Religious structures and organizations have existed for a long time. Festivals may be held on a grand scale. Christians and Muslims, on the other hand, suffer religious persecution, and it is difficult, if not impossible, for non-Buddhists to join the military or acquire government positions, the country’s primary routes to success. Persecution and assaults on civilians are especially prevalent in eastern Myanmar, where over 3,000 villages have been demolished in the last decade. Over the past two decades, more than 200,000 Muslims have migrated to Bangladesh to avoid persecution.

Buddhism is practiced by the vast majority of the people, with estimates ranging from 80 to 89 percent. According to the 2014 Myanmar census, 87.9 percent of the population is Buddhist. Theravada Buddhism is the most common. Other faiths are practiced quite freely, with the noteworthy exception of certain religious minorities, including as Rohingyas, who are refused citizenship and regarded as illegal immigrants, and Christians in Chin State.

According to the 2014 census, 6.2 percent of the population is Christian, 4.3 percent is Muslim, 0.8 percent follows tribal faiths, 0.5 percent is Hindu, 0.2 percent follows other religions, and 0.1 percent does not follow any religion. According to Pew Research Center estimates from 2010, 7 percent of the population is Christian, 4 percent is Muslim, 1 percent has traditional animist beliefs, and 2 percent practices other faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and East Asian religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been operating since 1914, with about 80 congregations throughout the nation and a branch in Yangon that is published in 16 languages. Rangoon’s tiny Jewish community has a synagogue but no permanent rabbi to conduct services.

Although Hinduism is now followed by 0.5 percent of the population, it was formerly a major religion in Myanmar. Various Hindu conflicts occurred with Theravada and Mahayana in the first millennium and in the time Pagano (IX centuries XIII) when components Saiva and vaishana had a larger impact than the elite they would later on “Religion Popular Burma is practiced by many Bamar with Buddhism.”

Wildlife In Myanmar

Myanmar is home to a diverse range of religious traditions. Religious structures and organizations have existed for a long time. Festivals may be held on a grand scale. Christians and Muslims, on the other hand, suffer religious persecution, and it is difficult, if not impossible, for non-Buddhists to join the military or acquire government positions, the country’s primary routes to success. Persecution and assaults on civilians are especially prevalent in eastern Myanmar, where over 3,000 villages have been demolished in the last decade. Over the past two decades, more than 200,000 Muslims have migrated to Bangladesh to avoid persecution.

Buddhism is practiced by the vast majority of the people, with estimates ranging from 80 to 89 percent. According to the 2014 Myanmar census, 87.9 percent of the population is Buddhist. Theravada Buddhism is the most common. Other faiths are practiced quite freely, with the noteworthy exception of certain religious minorities, including as Rohingyas, who are refused citizenship and regarded as illegal immigrants, and Christians in Chin State.

According to the 2014 census, 6.2 percent of the population is Christian, 4.3 percent is Muslim, 0.8 percent follows tribal faiths, 0.5 percent is Hindu, 0.2 percent follows other religions, and 0.1 percent does not follow any religion. According to Pew Research Center estimates from 2010, 7 percent of the population is Christian, 4 percent is Muslim, 1 percent has traditional animist beliefs, and 2 percent practices other faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and East Asian religions. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been operating since 1914, with about 80 congregations throughout the nation and a branch in Yangon that is published in 16 languages. Rangoon’s tiny Jewish community has a synagogue but no permanent rabbi to conduct services.

Although Hinduism is now followed by 0.5 percent of the population, it was formerly a major religion in Myanmar. Various Hindu conflicts occurred with Theravada and Mahayana in the first millennium and in the time Pagano (IX centuries XIII) when components Saiva and vaishana had a larger impact than the elite they would later on “Religion Popular Burma is practiced by many Bamar with Buddhism.”

Language In Myanmar

Myanmar’s official language is Burmese (known as Myanmar). The majority of Burman’s pronunciation is derived from the ancient Pali language (during Buddha’s time), but the language is Chinese-Tibetan linked to Chinese and therefore tonal (the tone of the word counts) and analytical (most words are a long syllable). It is written in the Burmese script, which is based on the ancient Pali script. Most tourist sites have bilingual signage (English and Burmese). Burmese script is often used to write the figures.

Many other ethnic groups in Myanmar, such as the Mon, Shan, Pa-O, and others, continue to speak their own language. There is also a sizable ethnic Chinese population of Yunnan descent in Mandalay, the most of whom speak Mandarin. Some areas also include a large number of Aboriginal populations that continue to speak a variety of Indian languages. Locals who do not speak Burmese are uncommon, with the exception of the elderly.

Myanmar is a former British colony, and since English is still taught in kindergartens and elementary schools, many Burmese people comprehend basic English. The majority of well-educated middle-class Burmese speak English well, and many individuals in big cities like Yangon and Mandalay know English well enough for basic conversation. Hotel and airline personnel, as well as individuals working in the tourist sector, usually speak English at an adequate level. More English is spoken in Myanmar than in Thailand.

Internet & Communications in Myanmar

Telephone

+95 country code 00 is the international dialing prefix.

Phone numbers in Myanmar are in the pattern +95 1 234-5678, where “95” is the Myanmar country code, the following two, three, or four digits are the area code, and the last six, seven, or eight digits are the “local” portion of the subscriber number.

International phone calls may be made at the Central Telephone and Telegraph Office in Yangon, which is located on the intersection of Ponsodan and Mahabandoola streets. Direct international calls are also available from most hotels and many public call centers (typically a telephone in a shop), but are costly, for example, a call to the United States. It costs about USD6-7 per minute.

The Myanmar government’s postal and telecommunications department operates the MPTGSM mobile phone network. This operates in the GSM900 frequency range, making it visible to multiband GSM phones. Roaming is possible on MPT’s GSM 900 network, subject to operator agreements; check with your operator before departing to be sure. Unfortunately, MPT only has international roaming agreements with a few carriers in a few countries and territories. If your phone can identify the GSM MPT network, you may purchase a USD20 SIM card that will operate for 28 days.

Telenor and Ooredoo, two multinational firms, joined the market in October 2014. Sim cards are inexpensive and readily accessible (1500 kyat for a Telenor Sim). However, connection may still be restricted to metropolitan areas, particularly Yangon and Mandalay. Telenor seems to have a stronger connection and intends to further enhance its networks in the next years. Although MPT provides the most comprehensive coverage, it is also the most costly.

Mail

Despite what some hotels claim, international mail from Myanmar is very efficient, according to studies. There is always a danger when sending valuables as regular parcels, just as there is anywhere else. Use EMS to send overseas shipments quickly and affordably.

Internet

The Internet is currently inexpensive in Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan, but it is more restricted in other areas. However, access may be sluggish, despite the fact that it is now unrestricted. Rates in Yangon range between 300 and 1,000 kyat per hour, whereas rates in other cities range between 1,000 and 3,000 kyat per hour. Although it is uncommon, some hotels provide free internet connection.

Webmail: Up until recently, most free webmail services were banned; however, websites are no longer restricted as of 2015. MPT and Bagan are Myanmar’s two ISPs. Proxy sites are not banned either. Mobile data services are now accessible as of 2011. As of October 2014, 3G service was available in many areas of Yangon and Mandalay. SIM cards cost USD 1.50 and are accessible to tourists who have a passport. MegaByte’s MMK6 offers absurdly low-cost mobile Internet.

Economy Of Myanmar

Myanmar is one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement, and isolation. Myanmar’s economy is hampered by a lack of an educated and competent workforce in contemporary technologies, despite recent reforms and advances by the new administration, in cooperation with nations and international organizations, aimed at making this a thing of the past.

Myanmar suffers from a lack of sufficient infrastructure. The commodities are mostly transported over the border between Thailand (where the majority of illicit narcotics are shipped) and along the Irrawaddy River. The railroads are ancient and dilapidated, with little maintenance since they were built towards the end of the nineteenth century. Except in large cities, most roads are unpaved. Energy shortages are prevalent across the nation, including Yangon, and just 25% of the population has access to power.

The military government owns the bulk of the country’s main industrial businesses (production of petroleum products and consumption for transport and tourism).

Kyat is the national currency. Between 2005 and 2007, inflation averaged 30.1 percent. Inflation is a significant economic issue.

In 2010-2011, Bangladesh exported $9.65 million in goods to Myanmar, while importing $ 179 million. During the 2000s, Myanmar imported $ 160 million in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment per year.

In recent years, China and India have attempted to deepen their commercial relations with the government. Many countries, notably the United States and Canada, as well as the European Union, have placed trade and investment restrictions on Myanmar. In 2012, the United States and the European Union relaxed most of its sanctions. China, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, India, and Thailand are the primary sources of foreign investment.

Visa & Passport Requirements for Myanmar

Citizens of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are not need to get a visa to visit Myanmar for a stay of up to 14 days if they arrive by air. For any reason, this 14-day stay cannot be extended. Other nations must apply for a visa ahead of time. Some applications may be subject to limitations, requirements, or extra criteria. The reports specify the need for a comprehensive itinerary, a detailed job history, and so on. When applying for a visa, be prepared to answer any unexpected questions (either on the paperwork or by consular employees).

As of September 2014, Myanmar’s E-Visa Online was completely functioning. A digital picture of yourself (verify criteria), $ 50, and an address in Myanmar are required to apply for a visa. It may take up to three business days before a “Visa acceptance letter of entrance to Myanmar” is sent to you.

Another alternative for obtaining your desired Myanmar visa is to utilize the services of a company such as Evisa Asia. You won’t even need to go to a Myanmar embassy this method. The online permission letter is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. You must enter Myanmar through international airports rather than the border. Upon arrival, the visa label will be stamped in your passport.

The Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok may grant a visa the same day. To get the visa the same day, you must inform the person in charge of the visa that you will be leaving the next day. Your visa will be granted later that day, before 3:30 p.m., and will be valid for one year from the date of issuance. There are other visas for 48 and 76 hours that are less expensive.

Myanmar has announced the reintroduction of Visa On Arrival (VOA) for business visas for a number of nations, including all ASEAN member states, beginning in June 2012. Despite rumors that the government has reinstated VOA for visitors, all travelers must now apply via embassies as of June 2012.

The simplest method to get a visa is to apply via a travel agency in your own country. The form is straightforward and needs one or two identity photos. It takes one, two, or three business days in Bangkok (132 Sathorn Nua Road, railway station: Surasak) (the price varies). A normal tourist visa application requires: a completed visa form (available at the Myanmar embassy), a completed arrival form (also available at the embassy), a photocopy of your passport’s picture page, two passport-sized photographs, and the fee (810 baht / USD24). In Hong Kong, you may get the visa if you apply between 09:00 and 12:00 and pick it up after 15:00 the next working day (your passport, 3 passport pictures, business card / letter from your employer, or Permit letter). If you are a student, you will need to provide student identity and pay an application cost of HK $ 150 / USD19.

Tourist visas are only good for three months. The visa is valid for up to four weeks (from the date of arrival), but it may be extended if you are prepared to pay a USD3 per day departure charge. Working on a tourist visa is not permitted, and working without appropriate permission risks being arrested and deported. Successful applicants will also be given a “Arrival Form,” which must be stapled in their passport and submitted upon arrival in Myanmar, together with their passport containing the visa label.

How To Travel To Myanmar

Get In - By plane

Myanmar’s major international airport is in Yangon, the country’s biggest city and commercial hub. Yangon has regular flights to a number of important cities in China, India, and Southeast Asia. Because of its Burmese population, the simplest way to get to Myanmar is to fly from Singapore or Bangkok, both of which are well-served by global cities, and which provide daily flights to Yangon. overseas.

Mandalay, Myanmar’s second international airport, serves numerous flights from China and Thailand.

Get In - By land

Myanmar has land borders with five countries: China, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Laos. As of 2013, limitations on foreigners crossing Thailand’s border have been removed, and visitors are allowed to travel by land from Thailand to the center of Burma, as long as their Myanmar visa is valid. Entering Myanmar from other land border crossing locations, on the other hand, is a different matter. At the very least, you must request for special permissions ahead of time, and you may be required to undergo a guided tour to get the permit.

  • Thailand – Myanmar and Thailand have four border crossings: Tachileik / Mae Sai, Myawaddy / Mae Sot, Ban Phunamron / Htee Kee, and Kawthoung / Ranong. Foreigners have been allowed to use the four border crossings since 2013, and there are no limitations for foreigners going to the heart of Burma from any of the four border crossings. However, there is no arrival visa available, so make sure your Thai (and, if required, Burmese) visas are up to date before doing this.
  • China – Foreigners may enter Myanmar via Ruili (Yunnan) in Lashio, but they must have a permission (in addition to a visa) and a guide. In January 2009, you should most likely take an organized trip, which will cost you CNY 1,450. In April 2009, it was difficult for foreigners, even for a day, to pass Ruili without a visa in Kunming, for example, for a tour group. Crossing in the other way is more difficult to arrange, and the specifics are unclear; nevertheless, it is feasible to travel from Mandalay to Kunming, and there is even a Chinese consulate in Mandalay that provides visas.
  • India – Moreh / Tamu is a land border crossing between India and Myanmar. Confirmed reports have come in from tourists who crossed into Myanmar from India (and vice versa) using their own transportation and pre-arranged visas. A permission is no longer needed to visit the Indian state of Manipur, but an MTT permit is required to enter or depart Tamu. This permit is available for USD 80-100 per person at MTT in Yangon (which will need you to hire a tour guide) or at other agencies (which will not). Most agencies need 20 business days to arrange the permission (though in some instances they can do it sooner), and they can mail it to the border so they don’t have to return to Yangon to pick it up.
  • Laos – The Myanmar-Laos friendship bridge links Shan State in Myanmar with Luang Namtha province in Laos.
  • Bangladesh – It is presently not feasible to cross the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh on your own.

How To Travel Around Myanmar

Myanmar’s infrastructure is in disrepair. As a consequence of the political situation, most of the Western world imposed trade restrictions on Myanmar until recently, which may create difficulties for unwary visitors. Travel to some areas is banned; for others, special permissions must be acquired, and a guide / interpreter / guardian may be needed, even if these “guides” accompany him to take care of him or prevent him from visiting places that the government does not want him to see. It’s up for debate.

Restricted areas

Much of Myanmar is off-limits to international visitors, and many land connections to outlying regions are likewise restricted (for example, to Mrauk U, Kalewa, Putao, Kengtung). As a result, although visitors may easily travel in the heart of the Burmese majority of Bamar, movement is sometimes limited or restricted elsewhere. In principle, any visitor may apply for a permit to enter any prohibited region or travel on any restricted terrestrial route. In reality, such authorization is unlikely to be granted in a fair amount of time, if at all. In certain instances, permit requests may be submitted locally (for example, requests for the land route to Kalewa can be done in Shwebo), but in other cases, the request must be made in Yangon. Applications for restricted region visits should be submitted to MTT (Myanmar Travel & Tours) in Yangon (Number 77-91, Sule Pagoda Rd, Yangon). Local permission applications are often accepted at a local MTT office or a police station. At the time of writing, local permits were only available for the following locations and routes:

  • Kengtung – Tachilek. This used to be straightforward, but availability is now in doubt.
  • Mrauk U Chin/ Zomi village tours. Mrauk U is easily accessible, however it must be visited with a guide. This may be arranged via your hotel or a local tour operator.
  • Myitkyina – Indawgyi Lake. Easily accessible in Myitkyina, but must be accompanied by a guide. This may be arranged via your hotel or a local tour operator.
  • Shwebo – Kalewa. If you’re traveling by car, you’ll need a permit. It is unclear if one is needed while traveling by boat.

All additional permissions are need to be acquired in Yangon.

Permits may be acquired for locations like Putao, but they must be requested in advance.

Myanmar is not North Korea, and you are free to move around, go shopping, and engage with people. However, since many of the most distant and inaccessible locations are prohibited to foreigners, it is best to plan ahead of time for your internal visa.

Get Around - By plane

Due to the terrible state of Myanmar’s roads and railroads, flying is by far the least unpleasant alternative for long-distance travel.

Myanma Airways, not to be confused with Myanmar Airways International (8M) “MAI,” is a state-owned airline with a terrible safety record. Locals, too, want to avoid it if feasible.

In addition, three privately owned airlines service Myanmar’s major national routes.  Air Bagan (W9),Air Mandalay (6T), and Yangon Airways are the carriers (YH). While more costly, they are a safer alternative that will transport you to all of the major tourist sites from Yangon or Mandalay.

Private aircraft often arrive on time and even depart early (10-20 minutes), so plan accordingly and verify your trip and flight time 1-2 days before travel. The itinerary may be changed a few days before departure (which means that it will still fly to its final destination at the scheduled time, but with an aggregate or eliminated between stops, for example, Yangon-Bagan becomes Yangon- Mandalay-Bagan). This typically just has an impact on your arrival time. Route pauses are only 10-20 minutes long, and if it is not your ultimate destination, you may stay inside the aircraft throughout the stop.

Important for Yangon: Yangon International Airport’s former terminal building handles all domestic flights. This structure is about 200 meters farther down the road than the main (new) building of Yangon International Airport. If you take a cab from downtown to the airport, tell the driver you’re flying domestic so you don’t wind up in the incorrect terminal.

Get Around - By train

Myanmar has a large and historic railway network. The trains are sluggish and loud, they swing to the left and right, they run on time but are often delayed. Electric blackouts are becoming more uncommon, but it is never expected that air conditioners, fans, or the electrical supply will be operational during the trip. The majority of trains feature both high and low class seating. The common class features wide-open windows, seats, and may be crammed with people transporting their wares. The higher classes have cushioned seats, fans, and are less congested. If you put your head out the window, you will almost certainly get struck by a branch. The vegetation grows so near to the rails that broken leaves are often seen in the seats. Tickets are inexpensive, and visitors pay the same as residents. However, bear in mind that visitors are still unable to purchase railway tickets. To purchase a ticket at a smaller station, you may need to locate the station management or hire an interpreter. When purchasing, you must provide your passport.

A rail journey is a great opportunity to explore the nation and meet new people. The train trip from Mandalay to Pyin U Lwin, then through the highlands and to the renowned bridge in Gokteik, considered one of the finest in the world. Lower Mandalay’s railroads, Yangon-Pathein and Yangon-Mawlymaing, are tiny towns with street merchants offering everything conceivable. Sleepers are available on many express trains throughout the night, but you should reserve a few days in advance during peak season. Tickets go on sale three days ahead of time. Some stations include a separate kiosk or sometimes a separate structure for prior bookings (for example, in Yangon). Food is provided on the express between Yangon and Mandalay in both ways.

Except for the new bridge and the railway line connecting Mawlamyine to locations on the west bank of the Salween River, the rail network remains precisely as it was during the British occupation. The 325 km route between Yangon to Mandalay is the busiest, with numerous trains each day. It is Myanmar’s only double line, as well as the only one that can compete in terms of time with buses. Keep in mind that the quickest trains cover the 385 km in 15 hours, at an effective speed of 25 km/h. A second line links Yangon to Pyay, a 175-kilometer journey that takes 9 hours, including a branch that leads to the Pathein delta region’s metropolis. These rails, which are the oldest, are in disrepair. With the completion of the Salween Bridge, it is now feasible to travel by rail from Yangon to Mawlamyine, a 200-kilometer trip that takes 8 hours, and up to Ye and Dawei. Trains go from Mandalay to Myitkyina in Kachin state, covering 350 kilometers in 24 hours, and then to Lashio. There are also train links between Yangon and Bagan, but the bus or boat are preferable options: the 175-kilometer journey from Mandalay to Bagan takes 10 hours.

Rail service exists between Yangon and Bagan. First class is USD30, upper class is USD40, and sleeper is USD50 for 16 hours. (Consider new pricing)

The table below outlines the travel time and costs between some of Myanmar’s most popular destinations. It should be noted that railway tickets may no longer be purchased in USD.

Get Around - By train

Myanmar has a large and historic railway network. The trains are sluggish and loud, they swing to the left and right, they run on time but are often delayed. Electric blackouts are becoming more uncommon, but it is never expected that air conditioners, fans, or the electrical supply will be operational during the trip. The majority of trains feature both high and low class seating. The common class features wide-open windows, seats, and may be crammed with people transporting their wares. The higher classes have cushioned seats, fans, and are less congested. If you put your head out the window, you will almost certainly get struck by a branch. The vegetation grows so near to the rails that broken leaves are often seen in the seats. Tickets are inexpensive, and visitors pay the same as residents. However, bear in mind that visitors are still unable to purchase railway tickets. To purchase a ticket at a smaller station, you may need to locate the station management or hire an interpreter. When purchasing, you must provide your passport.

A rail journey is a great opportunity to explore the nation and meet new people. The train trip from Mandalay to Pyin U Lwin, then through the highlands and to the renowned bridge in Gokteik, considered one of the finest in the world. Lower Mandalay’s railroads, Yangon-Pathein and Yangon-Mawlymaing, are tiny towns with street merchants offering everything conceivable. Sleepers are available on many express trains throughout the night, but you should reserve a few days in advance during peak season. Tickets go on sale three days ahead of time. Some stations include a separate kiosk or sometimes a separate structure for prior bookings (for example, in Yangon). Food is provided on the express between Yangon and Mandalay in both ways.

Except for the new bridge and the railway line connecting Mawlamyine to locations on the west bank of the Salween River, the rail network remains precisely as it was during the British occupation. The 325 km route between Yangon to Mandalay is the busiest, with numerous trains each day. It is Myanmar’s only double line, as well as the only one that can compete in terms of time with buses. Keep in mind that the quickest trains cover the 385 km in 15 hours, at an effective speed of 25 km/h. A second line links Yangon to Pyay, a 175-kilometer journey that takes 9 hours, including a branch that leads to the Pathein delta region’s metropolis. These rails, which are the oldest, are in disrepair. With the completion of the Salween Bridge, it is now feasible to travel by rail from Yangon to Mawlamyine, a 200-kilometer trip that takes 8 hours, and up to Ye and Dawei. Trains go from Mandalay to Myitkyina in Kachin state, covering 350 kilometers in 24 hours, and then to Lashio. There are also train links between Yangon and Bagan, but the bus or boat are preferable options: the 175-kilometer journey from Mandalay to Bagan takes 10 hours.

Rail service exists between Yangon and Bagan. First class is USD30, upper class is USD40, and sleeper is USD50 for 16 hours. (Consider new pricing)

The table below outlines the travel time and costs between some of Myanmar’s most popular destinations. It should be noted that railway tickets may no longer be purchased in USD.

Get Around - By boat

A vast network of river ferries is also available. Both are mainly controlled by the government, but some commercial boat services are now available. The journey from Mandalay to Bagan takes the better part of a day, whereas the journey from Bagan to Yangon takes several days.

Get Around - By bus

Myanmar’s highways are clogged with buses of all sorts. Luxury buses (relatively speaking) connect Mandalay and Yangon, while lesser vehicles may transport tourists to other destinations. The bus prices are cheap and in kyat, and it is quicker than the railways. Because many long-distance buses allocate seats, it is advisable to make reservations at least a day in advance. Because the roads are poor, avoid sitting at the rear of the bus and sit as far forward as possible. Long-distance buses also feature a supplemental seat that blocks the aisle and may be unpleasant since it is not firmly connected to the chassis (which also means there is no side seat where taller passengers can extend their legs). The best choice is always a window towards the front of the vehicle.

Even budget visitors will find themselves purchasing more tickets via their hotel or an agency rather than going straight to the bus operator. Their offices are often situated far from any tourist attractions, and the expense of traveling back and forth is likely to be higher than the profit their hotel will get for selling the ticket. Compare costs before purchasing your ticket, since some companies offer a complimentary pick-up service from your hotel.

A bus ticket fraud seems to be prevalent in Yangon right now. While many people stop at Bago, they are informed in their guest home or at the bus terminal that they cannot purchase tickets to Mandalay from there. Some individuals fall in love with this in a nation where everything is available in terms of transportation. This is not the case, and it is not required to return to Yangon and purchase a bus ticket to the north. Bago features a bus station and a number of bus offices. Purchasing your ticket in Bago may be less expensive (depending on your negotiating abilities) and provide you with more flexibility for the remainder of your trip.

The chart below details travel times and estimated costs between key tourist sites in Myanmar (Note: most bus fares have gone up with recent increases in fuel prices, the rates shown are rough estimates).

Get Around - By pick-up

The ancient vehicles may be seen all throughout Myanmar, carrying men, women, children, and monks from one location to another for a low cost. The rear of the truck is transformed into a canvas-covered living room with three seats, one on each side and one along the middle of the truck (some smaller vehicles only have two rows), and the running board is lowered and fastened in place, allowing six or more people to stop (holding onto the frame of the truck). The collections are common in Myanmar, and each city has a central location from which they leave to destinations close and distant. Tourists that deviate from the well-trodden path will find them essential, since the only option is a costly cab or a private vehicle.

Get Around - By car

To visit alone, you may rent a private vehicle and driver at a reasonable fee. Authorized guides at Yangon’s Schwedagon Paya may arrange for a driver with a vehicle to meet you at your accommodation. Another option is to book a vehicle via a travel agency, which may be very costly. Driving around the city for 10 or 15 minutes may be used to “test” the driver and the vehicle. If you are pleased, you may negotiate a departure date and time, as well as daily costs (including gasoline). Some guides are willing to accompany you as interpreters.

Myanmar traffic goes to the right, although the country has a mix of left-hand and right-hand drive automobiles, and the majority of vehicles are driven to the right as a consequence of second-hand imports from Japan or Thailand.

Traveling by car to tourist sites is usually safe, but certain routes may be challenging. Highways are often two-lane, and vehicles are frequently driven carelessly. Having said that, Vietnam’s driving behaviors are not as aggressive as they claim. In excellent weather, allow two days to travel from Yangon to Bagan. Pyay is an excellent starting place. Allow for a full day to go from Bagan to Inle Lake.

It is prohibited in cities to pass through an amber light without stopping. Despite having traveled 3/4 of the distance, you will be required to come to a complete halt in the middle of the road and turn inside out.

Accidents and fatalities are all too frequent. It is not advisable to go on the road at night, and medical services are scarce in rural regions. Bribes may be demanded for services at government hospitals. Make sure the needles are brand new, or bring your own. In Myanmar, HIV is a significant issue.

Any taxis (and, by extension, all cars used for people and goods transportation) have red / white license plates, while private automobiles have black / white. Tourism agencies’ vehicles have a blue / white license plate.

Get Around - By motorbike

Riding a motorbike is prohibited in Yangon. Mandalay’s streets, on the other hand, are teeming with both.

Get Around - By bicycle

Many locations provide bike rentals for about MMK 1500 per day, allowing you to go at your own pace: Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake are all popular tourist destinations.

Get Around - On foot

Cars and pedestrians may not adhere to established norms, making crossing the street problematic. Even at striped pedestrian crossings, drivers virtually never yield to pedestrians.

Destinations in Myanmar

Regions in Myanmar

  • Irrawaddy
    The Irrawaddy Delta lowlands, include the biggest metropolis and former capital Yangon.
  • Central Myanmar
    Mandalay, historical and archaeological monuments, and pleasant hill villages are all highlights.
  • Western Myanmar
    The Bay of Bengal has some beautiful beaches as well as remote hilly areas.
  • Northern Myanmar
    A vast, turbulent area that includes the southern Himalayas and many ethnic groups.
  • Eastern Myanmar
    The famed Golden Triangle, as well as a dizzying array of ethnic groupings.
  • Southeastern Myanmar
    The southern coastline region that borders Thailand, with a plethora of offshore islands.

Cities in Myanmar

  • Naypyidaw (previously Pyinmana) Is the country’s newly designated capital.
  • Yangon (previously Rangoon) is Myanmar’s economic capital, famous for its pagodas and colonial architecture.
  • Mandalay — old Konbaung Dynasty capital constructed around the Mandalay Royal Palace and Upper Myanmar’s major commercial center.
  • Bago (previously Pegu) is an ancient city near Yangon that is rich in Buddhist architecture.
  • Kawthaung – a seaside town in Myanmar’s extreme south that is as close to Thailand as Myanmar comes.
  • Mawlamyine (Moulmein) – Mon State’s capital and third biggest city.
  • Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo) – a lovely old British colonial hill station in a cool town.
  • Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State and is located in the center of the Golden Triangle.
  • Twante is a delta village well-known for its ceramics.

Other destinations in Myanmar

  • Bagan — an archaeological zone on the banks of the Irrawaddy River with hundreds of old pagodas
  • Inle Lake — Inle Lake is a huge shallow lake that is ideal for scenic boat rides, seeing floating villages inhabited by the Intha people, trekking, and is also a source of fine silk.
  • Kengtung — in the Golden Triangle, between Mong La (on the border with China) and Tachileik (on the border with Thailand), renowned for the Ann (black teeth people) and Akha tribes, as well as hiking.
  • Kyaiktiyo — a gold-gilded rock perched on a cliff and a popular pilgrimage destination
  • Mount Popa — Mount Popa is an extinct volcano known as Myanmar’s Mount Olympus, a green sanctuary high above the scorching lowlands and an easy day excursion from Bagan.
  • Mrauk U — Rakhine Kingdom’s old capital
  • Ngapali — Ngapali is a beach resort in western Rakhine State that stretches into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Ngwe Saung — Ngwe Saung is Ayeyarwaddy’s longest length of beach (English: Irrawaddy) Ngwe Saung Beach is distinguished for its division, white sandy beach, and crystal blue water.
  • Pyay — a town on the Irrawaddy River halfway between Yangon and Bagan, famous for the archaeological monument Sri Kittara, which served as the ancient Pyu capital from 2 to 9 CE.
  • Pathein — Pathein is a river town in the Irrawaddy delta renowned for its umbrella manufacturing and as the entrance to Chuang Tha and Ngwe Saung Beaches.

Accommodation & Hotels in Myanmar

While not as inexpensive as neighboring Thailand, Myanmar offers unexpectedly excellent lodging at affordable rates. Except for Yangon, accommodations with connected bathrooms are accessible for less than USD10, while communal facilities are available for USD3-6 in other locations. Almost all hotels with foreigner licenses have running water (although, in remote areas, availability may be restricted at certain times of the day). With a few exceptions, hotels are usually clean. The linens and blankets may be threadbare by the end of the budget, and the rooms may be inadequately ventilated. Some low-class hotels, particularly in Yangon and other major towns, specialize in cubicle rooms, which are tiny single rooms without windows that, although inexpensive and clean, are not suitable for the claustrophobic. The prices are shown as single / double, although the rooms are usually the same whether one or two people stay in the room, making excellent hotels a great value if traveling as a pair. Except at the most opulent hotels, breakfast is always included in the room rate.

Unfortunately, Myanmar’s recent tourist boom has left its infrastructure straining to keep up with the increased number of visitors. Hotel rooms sell quickly, and those in major tourist locations are sometimes booked months in advance. Prices have risen significantly in recent years as a consequence of a shortage of supply. It goes without saying that you should book your accommodation ahead of time for your vacation to Myanmar so that you are not stuck when you arrive.

Myanmar struggles to provide adequate power to its population, and energy supplies are severely limited across the country. In many locations, power may be accessible just for a few hours each night or, in other instances, only as an alternate every night. If you don’t want to sleep without a fan or air conditioning, inquire if the hotel has a generator (most mid-priced hotels do). The air conditioning in your accommodation may not operate on generator evenings (the price is generally lower too). Even if a hotel has a generator, there is no assurance that it will be utilized to supply power when you need it, so expect blackouts at any time of day or night. The major tourist hotels in Yangon and Mandalay offer almost continuous electricity supply, but may cost between USD80 and $300 per night.

Myanmar offers good hotels at the high end, including one or two exceptional hotels (The Strand in Yangon and Kandawgyi Palace Hotel in Yangon). The Myanmar government manages a number of hotels, including those that date back to the colonial period (although not the two mentioned in the previous sentence). No matter where you stay, a portion of all lodging fees go to the government, and it is impossible to run a successful company in Myanmar without a connection or payment arrangement with the military.

Things To See in Myanmar

Myanmar has not been on the radar of many Southeast Asian tourists, and it is difficult to understand why. The country is a real hidden gem that should pique the attention of everyone interested in culture and history. Walking around Yangon transports you to the period of British colonial control in the eighteenth century. Clean, bright parks and temples coexist with crumbling colonial-style structures and huge potholes. Its cultural and religious features, like as the Shwedagon Pagoda, contribute to the unique atmosphere of the city, as do the inhabitants’ smiles. Every street corner has something fresh to offer, and a little boat over the river enables you to see rural life in the countryside. Bago, renowned for its Buddhist vistas, the delta city of Twante, known for its pottery, and the pilgrimage site of Kyaiktiyo, with its golden rock that rocks dangerously on a cliff, are all cultural and historical hotspots near Yangon.

It’s definitely worth seeing more of Bamar’s heart; however, the country’s edges are out of bounds for outsiders. Bagan, the old city, is a genuine treasure that provides a sense of what life may have been like in the 11th and 12th centuries. Marco Polo described it as a “living golden metropolis with tinkling bells and the sounds of monks’ tunics.” It has the world’s biggest and densest collection of temples, pagodas, stupas, and Buddhist ruins. Mrauk U is another of those strange places: a quiet town now, its decaying temples and pagodas remember an era when it was the seat of an empire engaged in vast marine commerce with Portuguese, Dutch, French, and Arab traders. Inwa, another historic city within Daylay distance of Mandalay, with remains that remind tourists of its past grandeur. Pyin U Lwin, an ancient British mountain resort with somewhat milder temps, should not be overlooked.

The nation is not short in natural wonders. Inle Lake is home to the backpacker population, and it’s one of the few locations that seems like a tourist trap. Still, a vacation to Myanmar isn’t complete until you take a boat ride on the lake. It has a distinct vibe, with tribes living in stilted homes and paddling in ancient wooden boats with one leg. The country’s southern coast also contains several beaches, including Chaung Tha and Ngapali. If you come outside of the typical holiday season, you may find yourself on a lovely white sand beach.

Food & Drinks in Myanmar

Food in Myanmar

Burmese cuisine is inspired by India and China, yet it has its own distinct flavor. Other traditional ethnic cuisines, like as Shan food, Rakhine food, and Myeik food, vary from Burmese food. Rice is the staple of Burmese cuisine, and vegetarian options abound. Burmese cuisine is often very spicy. Fish sauce ( ngan bya yay) is a common condiment in Myanmar, as it is in neighboring Southeast Asian nations, and is extensively used to flavor a variety of meals. Most eateries provide inexpensive food (priced at MYK 500-3,000 per item at most local restaurants, but can go up to 8,000 MYK at posh restaurants). Yangon and Mandalay have a plethora of high-end eateries.

For cooking, most medium and lower-class eateries utilize a low-cost palm oil mix. This oil is potentially harmful, and roadside eateries should be avoided if you have a low risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, or other fat or cholesterol-related illnesses. In high-end establishments, peanut oil may be used instead.

What to eat

  • Curry: Burmese curry is defined quite differently from curry in other nations. It is very spicy when compared to Indian and Thai choices, and although it may be served at room temperature in less expensive places, all curry dishes are served hot in a normal Burmese home. Burmese curry, unlike its Southeast Asian cousins, does not include coconut milk and has a significant quantity of onion or tomato, depending on the area and the cook’s taste. Myanmar consumes the most onions per capita in the world. Burmese curry is often prepared with a lot of oil, considerably more than other regional curries.
  • Laphet thote (pronounced la-peh THOU): A salad of fermented tea leaves and fried almonds. It is usually served with rice and combined with chopped lettuce. The dish originated in the Chinese province of Shan.
  • Mohinga (pronounced mo-HIN-ga): A dish of rice noodles with fish broth, often served with cilantro and chile powder. Its taste may range from sweet to spicy and is often eaten for breakfast. Many believe it to be the national cuisine, and it is readily accessible across the country, although in varying ways depending on location.
  • Nan Gyi Thoke (pronounced nan gyi thou): A rice noodle salad topped with chicken sauce. It is mostly consumed in Myanmar’s central region.
  • Onnokauswe (pronounced oun-NO-kao-sui): thick noodles in a thick coconut milk broth with chicken. It comes with a variety of condiments, including fried doughnuts and hardened duck blood. “Khao soi” (Burmese for “noodles”), a popular street food in Chiang Mai, is taken from its Burmese equivalent. It is also similar to the spicier Laksa prevalent in peninsular Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Shan food: The Shan are an ethnic group that live in the Shan State surrounding Inle Lake, close to the Thai border. Your cuisine is delicious. It is readily accessible in Yangon.

Drinks in Myanmar

In Myanmar, tap water is not drinkable, and ice may be polluted. Many tourist attractions sell bottled water. You may also drink safely from the numerous clay jars strewn throughout the land, or locate drinking water in temples. Just keep an eye out for the large steel tanks with cups connected to the spigots. The water in the clay jars is filtered, and they are used by many people in Myanmar. As a kind of merit, the owners of the jars fill them with water.

Yenwejan, like Chinese tea, is frequently served for free at restaurant tables. Although it looks unappealing, it is boiling water and therefore perfectly safe to consume (do not drink water alone, even in restaurants, unless it is bottled water). To make Yenwejan, dry tea leaves identical to Laphet Thote tea leaves (excluding damp ones) are mixed with boiling water. Order it with Laphet Thote (regular / good combo).

Conservative Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims frown on alcohol, although it is commonly drank, mostly among males. Myanmar Beer is the most widely consumed beverage in the nation. Other variations exist, such as Mandalay beer. However, many of these businesses are government-owned and/or have ties to drug trafficking. Toddy juice (ta-YEI) is a fermented palm sugar drink popular in central Myanmar. Shwe le maw, a popular alcoholic beverage in the Shan state, is said to be extremely powerful. Beer Chang may also be purchased imported from Thailand; however, exports to the majority of nations are not as robust.

Be cautious of alcoholic drinks offered in the far north. Locals refer to it as “alcohol that does not burn when switched on,” and it is believed that it is a combination of opiates rather than a fermented drink.

There are many nightclubs, including those linked to five-star hotels (for example, Grand Plaza) as well as local entertainment venues (eg, JJs, Asia Plaza).

Teahouses

Tea houses are significant social and popular meeting places throughout the nation. They seem to be restaurants, but if you look carefully, you will find that customers drink a lot of free Chinese tea, light brown tea, and eat mainly snacks. Simple meals like as fried rice or noodles are also available at some teahouses.

They will wait for you to order coffee after you are seated, but that is not what you should look for since it is almost usually instant coffee. Order tea, which is a kind of black tea with milk that varies in strength and sweetness:

  • bone mahn: balanced
  • cho seh: sweet
  • kyaw p’daung: sweeter
  • pan brown: bitter and sweet
  • jah hseent: light, with milk, not strong
  • pancho: strong
  • bow hseent: less strong
  • noe hseent dee: milk tea without sugar

Keep in mind that you will pronounce the tea names incorrectly (the second and sixth are pretty simple), and individuals may not receive what they want since foreigners seldom apply for these teas. As a result, it is advisable to request that your hotel or anybody who knows English write the names in Burmese.

Because you are a foreigner, they will presume you want your sheh tea special, which will include condensed milk. A tankie may also be ordered, and the tea will be served in a big pot. A basic cup of tea ranges in price from MMK200 to 400. At the table, you may have little sandwiches like samosas, pastries, or sweet balls. If not, raise a question. In the end, you will only be charged for the number of pieces you have consumed. Before choosing a tea house, food enthusiasts should consider the kind of snacks available. It is not impolite to bring your own meal anytime you order anything.

Money & Shopping in Myanmar

Myanmar’s currency is the kyat, which is pronounced “chat.” Prices may be shown locally by using the abbreviation K (singular or plural) or Ks (plural) before or after the amount, depending on who is writing the sign. MMK is the ISO abbreviation. Pya are coins that are seldom seen since their value has declined to the point that the biggest coin of 50 Pya is worth less than six US cents. UU In February 2014, it was the euro.

Hotels, tourist attractions, train and airline tickets, ferry rides, and bus tickets are no longer needed to be paid in US dollars by foreigners. As of September 2015, due to the volatility of foreign currency and the depreciation of the kyat, many establishments would announce pricing in US dollars, despite the fact that it is presently unlawful to list goods in USD. Despite recent Central Bank efforts prohibiting excessive usage of the currency, expatriate eateries are typically priced in US dollars. It is unlawful for a Myanmar citizen to take (or keep) US dollars without a license, although this rule is frequently disregarded, and US dollars are widely accepted. However, never demand, since this may be harmful to the receiver. FECs are still legal currency, although they are uncommon and worth very little.

Kyat cannot be legally exchanged overseas, although money changers in locations with significant Burmese communities, like as Singapore, will frequently do so regardless. Keep US dollars clean and unfolded (otherwise they will not be accepted by hotels, restaurants, or money changers) and throw away any leftover kyat before leaving.

When exchanging dollars for kyat, bear in aware that even minor flaws may lead a note to be rejected. Maintain perfect condition for all US dollars and do not double them.

Foreign currencies

Visitors do not need to carry a significant quantity of cash while arriving in Yangon since the airport now has numerous ATMs that take MasterCard and Visa cards . If you need money quickly at the airport, Yangon has a plethora of ATMs. Look for properties near retail malls, big hotels, and banks. The Shwe Dagon Pagoda has around ten ATMs. You will still need to carry cash to cover day-to-day costs. US dollar banknotes must be brand new, unmarked, and in excellent condition. Credit cards are becoming more often accepted at high-end hotels and restaurants.

ATMs are now available in some of the smaller tourist sites (Bagu, Hpa-An, and so on), but not in large numbers. Take a break from Bagan, Yangon, Mandalay, and Inle Lake.

Furthermore, certain hotels in Yangon may offer a credit card cash advance via Singapore. People have claimed that hotels charge a fee ranging from 7% to 30%, and that they may need their passport to complete the transaction. It is also feasible for citizens of the United States of America to receive money from friends or family in an emergency via the US Embassy. UU

Because the city’s banks are closed on holidays and Sundays, all required money must be exchanged at the airport. Money changers provide considerably cheaper rates (between 5 and 10% lower) when exchanging US dollars. The simplest alternative is to convert all of your money at the airport, where you may also exchange it for a little charge. Look around at several banks to get the best exchange rate.

The US dollar is the preferred international currency in Myanmar, but Euros and Singapore dollars may be readily exchanged in Yangon and Mandalay, but possibly not farther afield. Other currencies to consider include the Chinese yuan and the Thai baht. The best prices may be found in Yangon and Mandalay.

When visiting Myanmar, carry a variety of USD denominations since money changers will not provide change and the USD20, 10, 5, and 1 dollar notes are necessary for certain entrance and transit costs.

Official and black market rates

Monetary restrictions have loosened in recent years, and banks no longer convert foreign currencies at the exorbitant rates they formerly did. The majority of banks accept US dollars, euros, and Chinese yuan as payment. Some of the bigger banks offer convert Singapore dollars and Thai baht.

Ensure that foreign currency is:

  • Unmarked: there are no stamps, anti-counterfeit pen, ink, or other marks on them. Pencil can be erased with a decent eraser, but any permanent markings will significantly reduce the value and ability to trade a note.
  • Fresh, crisp, and as near to new as you can get. Moneychangers have been known to reject notes just because they are wrinkled and/or mildly worn.
  • Undamaged. There are no rips, missing pieces, holes, repairs, or anything of the like.
  • Preferably with the new design’s bigger headshot and multi-color printing. However, old-style USD1 coins are still widely traded.
  • There should be no serial numbers beginning with “CB” on USD100 banknotes. This is due to their association with a forgery of a “superbill” that circulated some time ago.

Banks provide the best exchange rate for USD100 notes. Changing USD50 or USD20 notes results in a slightly lower rate of MYK10-20 per dollar.

Banknotes in Kyat MYK50, MYK100, MYK200, and MYK500 notes are often in poor shape, although they are widely accepted when making modest transactions. The MYK1,000 notes are somewhat better, and when exchanging dollars for kyat, be sure the banknotes you get are in excellent shape overall. If the exchange hands you kyat notes in poor shape, you may request that they be exchanged for notes in better condition.

Exchanging money

In Myanmar, there are a variety of gimmicks and frauds that prey on visitors carrying US cash. In exchange, guest rooms or merchants may attempt to hand you defective or non-exchangeable banknotes. When making a transaction, always examine all of the notes and ask the vendor to return any notes that you believe you may have difficulty utilizing in the future (this is perfectly acceptable behavior for both sellers and customers, so do not be shy).

Some moneychangers may also use deception to swap excellent banknotes for damaged or lower denominations. Other stories claim that kyat can be counted and that some of them vanish from the table during the transaction. Some money changers, for example, will create some notes after going through a laborious counting procedure for stacks of ten 1000 kyat banknotes.

When changing money, be certain that no one touches the money after it has been tallied until the transaction is completed. Also, do not allow your dollars to be removed from sight until everything has been agreed upon; in fact, it is not even required to withdraw your dollars until you have paid the kyats that you got. It may seem excessive, but finding yourself in a nation where you can’t access your funds and where a large part of your budget is rendered worthless (until you locate more flexible changers in Bangkok) may seriously jeopardize your goals.

Kyat is virtually useless outside of Myanmar, although it makes for excellent keepsakes. Before leaving the country, be sure you exchange your kyat.

Foreign Exchange Certificates (FECs)

Previously, visitors to Myanmar were obliged to exchange USD200 into FECs upon arrival, however this requirement was removed in August 2003. FECs remain legal tender, however they should be avoided at all costs since they are no longer worth their face value (although a one FEC note has good souvenir potential).

Credit cards and ATMs

Throughout the country, there are many ATMs that take international Visa and MasterCard. The more ATMs there are, the larger and more touristic the area. Luxury tourist destinations (hotels, travel agencies, and restaurants) already accept credit cards (and surcharges accordingly). Then, for items worth more than USD100, you may pay with MasterCard at a shop in the center of Inle Lake. Nonetheless, in most locations, paper money is the sole method to pay.

If an ATM does not function properly, just go to the next one. If you are going to a distant location, depart in a city first. The typical withdrawal limit is MYK300,000, plus a MYK5,000 processing charge. There are locations where you can obtain cash with a credit card in addition to ATMs, however the prices are very uncompetitive (with premiums certainly not less than around 7 percent , and with quotes of 30 percent and more frequent). If you run out of money, request that your taxi driver take you to the CB Bank ATM.

Travellers cheques

Myanmar does not take traveler’s checks. The only exception might be a very unscrupulous money changer, but be prepared to pay an exorbitant fee (30 percent is not uncommon).

Tipping

Tipping is not commonly done by the Burmese. However, considering the country’s pervasive poverty, gratuities are definitely welcomed if you have gotten exceptional service. Credit card tips are virtually never given to service workers. If you want to tip, make sure you offer it to the person who served you in cash.

Prices In Myanmar

It is impossible to live comfortable on less than $25 USD each day (May 2013). Foreigners will almost certainly be charged, which may include camera, video, entrance, parking, and area costs. In the area, most regulated tourist attractions demand a fee for carrying cameras of any sort. Double rooms with private bathrooms nearly usually cost more than USD20, whereas a double room without a bathroom costs USD20 in Yangon.

Dorm beds cost about $ 10 (or $ 8 if you’re willing to give up a lot of value) (September 2015). While you cannot save money on lodging, you can save money on meals. Street food may be as cheap as USD0.30 for two tiny curries with two Indian naan, or $1 for a standard (vegetarian) meal. Even in tourist areas like Bagan, meals cost less than 1 USD (vegetarian) and 2 USD (non-vegetarian) (meat). A bottle of Burmese beer (650 ml) costs about 1,700 kyat, whereas a bottle of Mandalay beer (6.5 percent, 650 ml) costs approximately 1,200 kyat.

What to buy

  • Antiques. Buying antiques and antiques in Myanmar is at best a legal murky area, following the passage of the new antiquities legislation in 2015, and is often prohibited for any item older than 100 years. Prison time and fines are among the punishments. It is best to avoid purchasing antiques as a tourist unless you are prepared to acquire a Ministry of Culture export permission before you depart and are knowledgeable enough to prevent counterfeiting. It is also worth noting that copies and counterfeits are prevalent at the Bogyoke market and other tourist-friendly antique shops. It is against the law to export religious antiquities (manuscripts, Buddhas, etc.)
  • Art. Myanmar’s art industry has expanded in recent years, with indigenous artists’ works selling well in Yangon and Mandalay. Visit one of Yangon’s many galleries to get a sense of the available works. Buddhism and the tough sociopolitical circumstances are often referenced in art, as are more typical Victorian elements like as marketplaces, elderly ladies smoking cigarettes, tribal members, and monks. Bogyoke Market is home to a plethora of low-cost , mass-produced and derivative works.
  • Gemstones. Myanmar is a significant source of jade, rubies, and sapphires (the awarding of a license to the French on the ruby mines at Mogok was one of the reasons of the Third Burmese War), and they may be acquired for a fraction of the cost in the West. However, keep in mind that there are numerous forgeries on sale among real items, and unless you know their jewels, buy from an official government outlet to avoid getting scammed. In Yangon, the Bogoyoke Aung San Market and the Myanmar Gems Museum feature numerous approved shops and are usually a safe location to buy these stones.
  • Lacquerware is a kind of lacquerware. A popular buy that can be converted into bowls, cups, vases, tables, and other things and is widely accessible. Bagan, in central Myanmar, is the traditional lacquer manufacturing hub. However, be wary of counterfeit lacquerware, which is cheaply manufactured yet seems to be genuine. As a rule of thumb, the more stiff the lacquer, the lower the quality; the more easily it can be bent and twisted, the higher the grade.
  • Tapestries. Kalaga is also known as shwe chi doe. Burma has a long history of making tapestries. These are embellished with gold and silver threads and sequins and usually depict stories from Buddhist scriptures (jatakas) or other non-secular Burmese Buddhist items (mythical animals, hintha and kalong are also popular themes). The tapestry tradition is fading, although many are being created for tourists and can be seen in Mandalay and Yangon. Burmese tapestries do not survive long, so be cautious if you are offered an ancient shwe chi doe.
  • Textiles. Myanmar’s textiles are remarkable. Each area and ethnic group has its own distinct style. The textiles on the chin are very stunning. They are handwoven in complex geometric designs in rich reds, mossy green, and white. They may be very pricey, about USD20 for the cloth to create a longyi (sarong).

Traditions & Customs in Myanmar

Except in nightclubs, modest attire is extremely popular everywhere, and it is virtually required in religious buildings like as pagodas, temples, and monasteries (of which there are thousands). Mini skirts, shorts, and sleeveless shirts are not permitted in consecrated areas, where shoes must also be removed, therefore moccasins and flip flops that may be placed on and taken off at the entry are preferred. Myanmar boasts some of Asia’s most magnificent temples, and you’ll be tempted to visit more than you think.

Burmese, in general, are not openly loving, especially among married couples, and are usually seen as unpleasant and should be avoided.

Both men and women wear a longyi, a kind of sarong that is widely available, and Caucasian tourists are often seen strolling in them. Men and women wrap them in various ways, so learn how to knot yours. If you arrive to a temple dressed inappropriately, you may always hire a longyi for a pittance.

When accepting business cards, support your right elbow with your left hand and accept them with your right hand.

Caucasian tourists are often referred to as bo, which translates as “official,” a language remnant of colonialism. Go to the elders with U (pronounced “oo”) or “Uncle” for males and Daw or “Aunt” for women.

In general, despite popular misconceptions about the government, most regular Burmese are extremely kind and polite, as long as you follow their local traditions. The customer service is usually excellent (some say better than in Thailand), however the service personnel is often underpaid, so you may wish to tip liberally to ensure that your money reaches the proper hands.

Buddhism

On the mornings, monks collect alms in the streets, like they do in neighboring Thailand (they are not allowed to eat after noon). Buddhism is taken extremely seriously in Myanmar, and it is customary for Burmese males to spend time as monks at least once as a kid and again as an adult. Their traditions are identical to those of Thai monks. They are not permitted to have physical contact with the opposing sex, therefore ladies should be cautious not to touch their hands while making a contribution. Monks are also prohibited from handling money. If you wish to contribute to a monk, you should only give him food, since giving him money is considered insulting in the local culture. Contributions to monks must be spontaneous, and monks are not permitted to approach individuals and beg for alms, and they do not congregate in tourist locations to solicit donations from visitors. It is untrue to observe a monk collecting monetary contributions or hanging around in prominent tourist areas asking for donations.

Avoid wearing t-shirts featuring Buddha or Buddhist imagery, since they are regarded extremely disrespectful. People forgive him, but no one should seem foolisher than necessary.

Offer liberally at temples and monasteries, although women are not permitted to access certain holy places; in reality, the restriction should only apply to menstruating women, but it would be impolite to ask for it and impossible to check it, so they keep all women out. Remember that monks are not permitted to handle money; thus, any contributions from the temple should be put in the temple’s donation boxes rather than being given directly to the monks.

Small squares of gold leaf may also be purchased to be applied to the consecrated sculptures.

When praying or paying your respects, it is critical that your “feet” do not point towards the Buddha or another person. However, the statues are placed in such a way that they do not occur until you do acrobatics. When kneeling at shrines and temples, place your feet under you.

Swastikas are sacred symbols that are frequently seen in Buddhist temples. They are not symbols of Nazism or anti-Semitism.

Culture Of Myanmar

Myanmar is home to a diverse variety of indigenous cultures, the majority of which are Buddhist and Bamar. The civilizations of surrounding nations have impacted Bamar culture. Their language, cuisine, music, dancing, and theater all reflect this. The local form of Theravada Buddhism has traditionally impacted the arts, particularly literature. The Yama Zatdaw, considered Myanmar’s national epic poem, is an adaptation of India’s Ramayana that has been heavily inspired by Thai, Mon, and Indian versions of the work. Buddhism is practiced with the nat religion, which entails complex rites to appease one of 37 nats.

The monastery is the focal point of cultural activity in a traditional hamlet. The laity reveres and supports the monks. The most significant maturation event for a kid is a novitiate ceremony called shinbyu, during which he joins the monastery for a brief period. All male offspring of Buddhist households are urged to become novices (beginners of Buddhism) before the age of 20 and monks after that. At the same time, girls undergo ear piercing rituals (). Burmese culture is particularly visible in villages, where local festivities are celebrated all year, the most significant of which is the pagoda festival. Superstition and taboos are prevalent in many communities, and many have a guardian nat.

British colonial authority brought Western cultural aspects into Burma. Burma’s educational system is modeled after that of the United Kingdom. In large towns like as Yangon, colonial architectural influences are more visible. Many ethnic minorities, most notably the Karen in the southeast and the Kachin and Chin in the north and northeast, are Christians. According to The World Factbook, ethnic groups account for 32% of the Burmese population. However, exiled officials and groups say that the ethnic population is 40%, which contradicts the CIA assessment (official report of the USA).

Cuisine

Burmese cuisine is distinguished by a heavy reliance on fish items such as fish sauce, ngapi (fermented seafood), and dried shrimp.

Mohinga is Myanmar’s traditional breakfast and the country’s national cuisine. Seafood is popular in coastal towns like Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Mawlamyaing (previously Moulmein), Mergui (Myeik), and Dawei, while beef and poultry are more prevalent in interior areas like Mandalay. Freshwater fish and shrimp are the primary protein sources in mainland cuisine, and they are utilized in a range of fresh, salty or salted, and dried forms that are turned into salt dough or processed into sour and pressed ferments.

Burma cuisine also has a variety of salads (a THOKE), each focused on a main component, such as rice, wheat noodles, rice, pasta, and glass noodles, as well as potatoes, ginger, tomato, kaffir lime, long beans, lahpet (pickled tea leaves), and ngapi (fish paste).

Art

Burmese contemporary art evolved rapidly and on its own terms.

Ba Nyan was among the first people to study Western art. They pioneered the Western style of painting in Myanmar with Ngwe Gaing and a few other painters. Later on, most pupils learnt from instructors through doing. Lun Gywe, Aung Kyaw Htet, Yei Myint MP, Myint Swe, Min Wai Aung, Aung Myint, Khin Maung Yin, Po Po, and Zaw Zaw Aung are some well-known modern painters.

Most young artists born in the 1980s have more possibilities for creative expression both inside and outside of the nation. Stage art is a popular genre among young Burmese painters.

Media and communications

Due to Myanmar’s political environment, there aren’t many media businesses in proportion to the country’s population, but there are a few. Some are owned by individuals. Censorship board clearance is required for every programs.

On August 20, 2012, the Burmese government declared that it will no longer control the media before publication. Newspapers and other forms of media no longer need permission from official censors after the declaration; nevertheless, journalists in the nation may still suffer repercussions for what they write and say.

International media reports were released in April 2013 to retransmit the implementation of the media liberalization measures we announced in August 2012. The publishing of privately held newspapers in the nation started for the first time in many decades.

Internet

It is believed that Internet usage is low in comparison to other nations. Control existed, and officials had access to emails and Internet blog postings until 2012, when the government abolished media censorship. During the severe days of censorship, cybercafe activity was controlled, and a blogger called Zarganar was sentenced to a few years in jail for releasing a video of Cyclone Nargis devastation in 2008; Zarganar was established in October 2011.

Myanmar is the last Asian nation categorized in the World Economic Forum’s Network Preparedness Index (NRI), an indicator used to assess the degree of development of a country’s information and communication technology. Myanmar rated 146th out of 148 nations in the 2014 NRI classification. There is currently no data available for prior years.

Film

The first Myanmar film was a documentary on Tun Shein’s burial, a famous politician who fought for Burmese independence in London in the 1910s. Despite its low quality owing to a fixed camera position and insufficient film equipment, the first Burma silent film, Mytya Ne Thuya (Love and Liquor), was a huge hit in 1920. Several films were made and produced by Burmese-owned film businesses throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The first Burmese sound film, Ngwe Pay Lo Ma Ya, was released in 1932 in Mumbai, India (Money Can not Buy It). Burmese film continues to explore political problems after World War II. Many of the films made in the early days of the Cold War had a significant element of propaganda.

Following the political upheavals of 1988, the film industry became more controlled by the government. Movie actors who had been involved in political activity were barred from appearing in films. The government imposes stringent censorship regulations and, to a great degree, decides who makes films and who gets Academy Awards.

The film business has also evolved throughout the years to the production of numerous low-budget direct-to-video films.

The majority of films made nowadays are comedies. Only 12 films were created in 2008 that were worthy of an Academy Award nomination, despite the fact that at least 800 VCDs were produced.

Guy Delisle, a Québécois novelist and animator, wrote a graphic book titled Chroniques Burmanes in 2007. In 2008, the graphic book was published into English as Burma Chronicles. Burma VJ, a documentary about Burmese video journalists, was released in 2009. At the 2010 Academy Awards, this film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. The Lady made its international debut at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2011.

Sport

Myanmar’s national sports include Lethwei, Bando, Banshay, Pongyi thaing martial arts, and chinlone. Soccer is played across the nation, even in the villages.

In December, the Southeast Asian Games 2013 were hosted in Naypyidaw, Yangon, Mandalay, and Ngwesaung Beach, marking the third time the event was held in Myanmar. Myanmar was the host country for the Games in 1961 and 1969.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Myanmar

Stay Safe in Myanmar

Crime

The government harshly punishes crime, especially against visitors; as a consequence, Myanmar is very safe for tourists in terms of crime and personal safety, and it is usually safe to stroll alone on the street at night. In fact, he is less likely to become a victim of a crime in Myanmar than he is in Thailand or Malaysia. However, like in any other area, a lack of crime does not imply a lack of crime, and it is not a justification to disregard common sense. Petty theft is the most frequent crime you should be concerned about as a foreigner, therefore keep your things insured. Physical and verbal abuse of foreigners is uncommon, especially on city walks near pubs.

Since 2005, there has been a scarcely noticeable rise in the extremely low incidence of street thefts in Yangon and Mandalay. There were isolated bombs many years ago: on April 26, 2005 in Mandalay; on May 7, October 21, and December 5, 2005 in Yangon; and on January 2, 2006 in Bago.

Begging

Begging has become a significant issue in key tourist destinations like as Bago and Bagan, despite cultural taboos. Children and “mothers” with infants are often the ones who beg because they are more successful at eliciting sympathy. Most beggars are members of bigger beggar unions or are looking for quick cash, since visitors are often considered affluent. Furthermore, begging is not essential for the poor’s survival since they may still receive free food from the closest monastery if they cannot afford to pay for it. If you want to donate, keep in mind that most Burmese make $ 40 per month performing manual work, thus giving a beggar $ 1 per month is very kind.

Fake Monks

Theravada Myanmar’s primary religion is Buddhism, and it is common for monks to make alms rounds in the morning. Unfortunately, there are many imposters that spend their time in popular tourist destinations, taking advantage of naive tourists. Keep in mind that alms rounds are just for collecting food, and real monks are not allowed to receive or even touch money. Monks are not permitted to eat after midday, nor are they permitted to sell goods or seek contributions using high-pressure methods. Genuine monks are often seen in single-file lines with their alms bowls. It is a scam if you encounter a solitary monk begging strangers for money.

Corruption

Myanmar is one of the world’s most corrupt nations. Officials and other officials may solicit bribes discreetly or create difficulties (missing paperwork, closed offices, etc.) in order for you to propose one. Pretending not to comprehend or requesting to talk with a supervisor may be effective. Visitors of Caucasian ancestry, on the other hand, are seldom targeted, while those of Asian descent (including South Asians and East Asians) may be compelled to pay bribes, but the biggest portion of the issue is ordinary Burmese.

Bribes are seldom offered to Westerners, despite the fact that the majority of bribes are US $ 1 or less and are offered by individuals earning as low as USD30 per month.

Driving Conditions

The inadequate road infrastructure and a combination of very old cars on the country’s roadways best characterize the road conditions. However, compared to, example, Vietnam, driving behaviors are not as aggressive, making road safety pleasant for nearly everyone. Although it is uncommon, young people sometimes compete on the roadways, resulting in a few fatalities in recent years. Bus drivers are among the most dangerous dangers, but this has been less of an issue since 2010 as a result of new and severe fines placed on bus drivers involved in accidents.

Surprisingly, Burma has a mix of cars with steering wheels on the right and left, and the majority are right-hand drive, although driving is generally done on the right side of the road.

Avoid driving in Burma unless you have prior experience in nations with badly disciplined drivers and extremely outdated cars.

Civil conflict

Several rebel organizations continue to operate along the Thai and Chinese borders in the Myanmar regions of Mon and Chin (Zomi). Traveling to these areas generally requires the acquisition of a government permission. Due to rebel activity, the government also limits travel to Kayah, Rakhine, and Kachin states on occasion. The excursions, however, are not limited to the districts of Yangon, Bago, Ayeyarwady, Sagaing, Taninthayi, Mandalay, and Magwe. Some locations that were previously listed as closed have reopened without prior notice, while areas that were previously deemed open may reopen without prior notice. Furthermore, local immigration authorities may interpret the rules differently.

Internet

Because the cost of a computer and an Internet connection at home is too expensive, most individuals visit cybercafés. However, new mobile operator licenses have enabled many city dwellers to access to the internet for the first time. In Myanmar, the most popular applications and services are Facebook and Viber. To monitor Internet use, the government takes screenshots of PCs at cybercafés every five minutes. If you do not want your privacy to be compromised in this manner, record your navigation for Thailand or another location. And the connection is very sluggish, so forget about YouTube or any other video streaming.

Politics

Myanmar has been under a powerful military dictatorship for the last 40 years, and it ended in 2012 with a reputation for repressing dissidents, like in the instance of democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi’s former house imprisonment. There were almost 1500 political detainees (prison sentences of 65 years and hard work in remote camps were given to the leaders of the Saffron Revolution). Some have lately been published. If you are in Myanmar, avoid political activity and do not criticize the administration.

Discuss the policy with individuals who have gotten to know you. However, the risk is mostly with people you speak with, therefore you should be concerned about their safety. Allow him to lead the discussion. Keep in mind that many telephone lines have been tapped. And you’ll be on the next aircraft if you need to wave a democratic flag in front of a police station.

However, under the current administration, freedom has usually grown by a modest but significant amount in recent months. Some politically critical pieces have been published in official publications, and a satirical film that criticizes the government’s censorship policy has been released, which was not feasible in 2010. The return of tourists to Myanmar may encourage people to be more receptive to political debates.

However, avoid doing anything that might make the military or police feel uneasy, such as: B. Recordings of police and military facilities or vehicles.

Stay Healthy in Myanmar

To the typical Westerner, hygiene in Myanmar may seem deplorable, yet it is easy to remain healthy with some simple measures such as preventive medicine, food and drink hygiene, and antibacterial ointment. Never drink from the tap. Restaurants are legally obliged to utilize ice produced and supplied by bottled water businesses, thus asking ice in the most essential locations is usually safe. Always drink bottled water and make sure the lid is shut, not just screwed on. Dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria are all common. Malaria and TB drug-resistant strains are prevalent in many regions. Vaccines against hepatitis are strongly recommended, as is the oral cholera vaccine. The Burmese use a spoon and a fork at the table, or their fingers when it is more practical. It may feel more comfortable to rinse them completely before eating. At regular intervals, antibacterial wipes or alcohol rubbing by hand are an excellent idea.

“If you can’t fry, roast, peel, or boil it – forget it,” as the saying goes in any poor nation.

HIV

Myanmar has a high HIV prevalence. (In 2014, 0.7 percent of the population)

Healthcare

Myanmar’s health-care system is underfunded. If you become sick in Myanmar, you may go to the doctor in large cities for mild ailments like coughs and colds. However, for more severe medical treatment, hospital facilities are typically unsanitary, and medical supplies are often in low supply. Pun Hlaing Hospital, a privately owned hospital situated in a rural hamlet of Yangon named Hlaing Thar Yar, is the only hospital that comes near to contemporary standards, therefore one can anticipate extremely expensive costs there. Because the government owns the majority of hospitals, funding is limited. The majority of government officials and affluent residents go to Thailand or Singapore for more severe medical care and hospitalization, and they should do the same. Just make sure you have enough insurance, since organizing a drift in an emergency may be very costly.

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