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TRAVEL GUIDE TO MYANMAR

 

We’ve gathered the following information for  you in preparation for your trips which we thought were appropriate.  If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-785-1233.

 

Airport Taxes
The departure tax for international passengers is US$10 collected at the airport at time of departure. The amount and policy are subject to change by government authorities without notice.

Baggage
On Domestic flights, passengers are allowed 44 pounds of luggage per person. On International flights, passengers are allowed two pieces of checked luggage. Excess luggage fees will be charged if you check more than the stated allowances, and these charges are your responsibility.  At most major airports, baggage carts are available for your luggage, usually for a small additional fee.

Climate & Clothing
Myanmar has three seasons. *Cool Season – October through February with average temperatures 20-24 C *Hot Season – March through May with average temperatures 30-35 C *Wet Season – June through September with average temperatures 25-30 C The ideal time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, even during the wet season, Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and in Shan State is quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February.

Shorts, short skirts or revealing clothing are not appropriate especially when visiting temples or any religious site. Myanmar is a conservative Buddhist culture and improper dress can be offensive. Please dress with respect for the local culture. Lightweight, easy to care clothes of cotton and cool fabrics are ideal all year round. A winter sweater or jacket and socks may be needed in the cool season when visiting up country especially around Inle Lake and Kalaw when the weather can drop to near freezing during the night. Wear sensible walking shoes which can be easily removed when required. Sandals, thongs or flip-flops (available locally) are very convenient footwear.

Communications
Telephones & fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon and Mandalay, nternational phone calls can be arranged at Central Telephone and telegraph Office, but charges are quite expensive which cost US$6-7 per min.  Internet is widely ad cheaply available in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan, but more limited elsewhere.  International mail out of Myanmar is quite efficient, but there is a risk of sending valuable parcels.

Currency
We recommend visitors to bring US Dollar in cash only – larger notes receiving a better rate in exchange. Exchange of other foreign currencies such as Euros, Yen and Pounds Sterling are maybe time consuming and difficult. Authorized money changer throughout Myanmar will usually only accept US Dollars. The FEC (Foreign Exchange Currency) used in Myanmar as currency next to the local currency Kyat (pronounced “Chat”) is equal to the US Dollar (1=1) and can easily be used for payment of purchases throughout the country. However, the exchange rate of US$1=aprox. 98HMK (July 2013).   Credit Cards are generally not accepted. We suggest to bring a sufficient amount of cash for personal expenses. The exchange of traveler checks may be difficult and time consuming as well. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.

Custom Regulations
Your valuables ( jewelry, cameras, electronic equipment, etc.) should be declared on your customs declaration form upon arrival. Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.

Electricity
The voltage in Myanmar is 220-230 Volts AC. Most of the international hotels have their own generators. Other places may experience power cuts and voltage fluctuation which can damage equipment like computers. Please travel with the required protection for your electrical items. Electrical appliances will require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs, as well as an electrical voltage converter that will allow a normal 110-volt American appliance to take the 220 Volt current.

Food & Water
Tap water is not potable in Myanmar. Only drink purified bottle water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentary. Throughout most Asian countries including Myanmar, MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – known locally as ‘AJINOMOTO’ – is still used in food preparation in most restaurants. For travelers that may be allergic to MSG, you should inform your guide when ordering if you do not wish it to be added to your food.

Health Matters
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area. Travelers should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.

Holidays
Independence Day – Jan 4th
Union Day – Feb 12th
Fullmoon Day of Tabaund – March
Peasant’s Day – Mar 2nd
Armed Forces Day – Mar 27th
Thingyan Festival – April
Myanmar New Year – April
Fullmoon Day of Kason – April/  May
World Workers Day – May 1st
Martyr’s Day – Jul 19th
Tazaundaing Festival – Nov 22nd
National Day – Nov 27th
Christmas Day – Dec 25th

Passports & Visas
A visa is required in advance for travelers who wish to enter Myanmar. Tourist visa for Myanmar can be obtained from any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate world-wide. A new way to apply for visa is the E-Visa service of the Myanmar government directly via the Internet. Approvals are usually returned per Email within 24 hrs. Travelers who plan to arrive via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong can sometimes obtain their tourist visas within one working day. Tourist visa are valid for a stay of up to 28 days.

Time Difference
Standard Time in Myanmar is 7.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 12.5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, USA.

Tipping
Myanmars are genuinely happy to help foreign visitors and don’t expect anything in return. But if your guide or any other person during your trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.  On tours of $10-$12 tipping per person per day is customary.

Transportation
Arrangements for domestic air and ground transportation are included and made by the ground operator. All ground transportation, airport transfers and sightseeing, will be provided via private car and guide. Taxis are available from major hotels and the use of mass public transportation is not recommended.

What to pack
Valid Passport. Travelers Checks. Copy of Your Airline Ticket. Mosquitoes repellent. Your Medicines. Departure documents. Travel alarm clock. Camera(s), batteries & films. Sunscreen/Tan lotion.  Pocket size Kleenex. Extra luggage locks/keys. First Aid kit. Soft, foldable slippers. Extra set of eyeglasses. Folding Umbrella.  Comfortable walking shoes.