Why Myanmar?
Myanmar is the perfect example of a trip that isn’t simply a holiday or a reward, but a deeply satisfying and life-changing experience. The “Golden Land” truly lives up to its name, with gilded spires dotting the skyline of the capital, Yangon, and beaming smiles meeting you at every corner. Myanmar can offer travelers not just unforgettable memories of incredible temples and exciting boat races, but a true sense of spirit as this diverse people welcomes you all into an entirely new, culturally-rich world.
Yangon
Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, is quite verdant and cool, with lush tropical trees, shady parks, and beautiful lakes, earning it the title of “The Garden City of the East.” At the same time, it also exudes an atmosphere of a typical, bustling Asian city. As the main arrival point to the country by both sea and air, it is very much Myanmar’s hub of both commercial and administrative activities, as well as the country’s main center of learning, hosting numerous educational institutions. On the other hand, in many ways, Yangon (formerly known as The city remains focused around the Shwedagon Paya, an inspiring, golden Buddhist monument, around which everything else in the city revolves. Quite close to it are the parks and lakes that provide Yangonites with an escape from the surrounding bustle and a bit of natural peace.
  • Quick facts MyanmarQuick facts Myanmar

    Neighboring Countries: bordered on the north-east by China, on the east by Laos and Thailand, on the south-west by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and on the north-west by Bangladesh and India.

    Area: 676,578 km²

    Population (2018): 53.37 millions

    Capital: Nay Pyi Daw

    Religion: Buddhist (87.9%), Christian (6.2%), Muslim (4.3%), Hindu (0.5%), Animist (0.8%) and others (0.2%)

    Language: Burmese

    Currency: Myanmar Kyat (1US$ = 1509.19 Kyat, March 2019).

    At present the following kyat banknotes were in use: K 50, K 100, K 500 and K 1000. A sum of 100,000 is called “thein” in Burmese, so K 100,000 is thein kyat.

  • Quick facts MyanmarQuick facts Myanmar

    Neighboring Countries: bordered on the north-east by China, on the east by Laos and Thailand, on the south-west by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and on the north-west by Bangladesh and India.

    Area: 676,578 km²

    Population (2018): 53.37 millions

    Capital: Nay Pyi Daw

    Religion: Buddhist (87.9%), Christian (6.2%), Muslim (4.3%), Hindu (0.5%), Animist (0.8%) and others (0.2%)

    Language: Burmese

    Currency: Myanmar Kyat (1US$ = 1509.19 Kyat, March 2019).

    At present the following kyat banknotes were in use: K 50, K 100, K 500 and K 1000. A sum of 100,000 is called “thein” in Burmese, so K 100,000 is thein kyat.

  • Access & TransportationAccess & Transportation

    Travel to Myanmar

    By Air

    Direct flights to Myanmar are relatively difficult to find. However, many travelers from all corners of the globe can still generally fly to Yangon or Mandalay with one stop. The country is home to three international airports situated at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, the last one operating mostly regional flights.

    By Land

    Fees for the border crossing sometimes apply and special permissions by the ministry of tourism and immigration are needed for most borders.

    Four border entry/exit points along Myanmar-Thai border have been upgraded to International Gateways and one entry/exit point along the Myanmar-India border officially opened in August 2018 ; meaning that all travelers with valid visa/electronic visa are allowed to enter or leave the country via below border towns:

    (a) Tachilek – Maisai (Thailand);

    (b) Myawaddy – Mesok (Thailand);

    (c) Htee Kee – Phunaron (Thailand);

    (d) Kawthoung – Ranong (Thailand); and

    ( e) Tamu – Moreh (India)

    For the border to China, we currently still need to apply permission for Entry/Departure at Muse (China). A Friendship Bridge has been opened in May 2015 along the Myanmar-Laos border. This border-point has not yet been designated as International Gateway and still requires a permit for any arrival or departure. There is currently no entry/exit checkpoint along Myanmar-Bangladesh border.

    Please contact your sales consultant for further details and up to date information.

    Travel in Myanmar

    Travel within the country is pretty much unrestricted in the for tourists accessible areas. You may travel freely without being questioned. Some remote areas are however restricted to foreigners and need permission to be arranged a few weeks before arrival.

    Some methods of local transport are still powered directly by people such as the trishaw or horses, although there are many places to rent a bicycle if you would prefer that. Taxis and other modes of travel are available for long journeys within Myanmar.

    Easia Travel recommends traveling by air, some public buses, riverboat or private vehicle for long distances. Domestic flights are arranged only with Myanmar’s privately owned airlines that are very well regulated. All cars used on tours are air-conditioned (except for some remote rural areas). Other vehicles such as jeeps, vans, coaches and buses are available upon request. There will also be the opportunity for you to charter a ferry and/or a cruise ship.

    Buses

    Tourist buses in Myanmar are roomy and are air-conditioned making travel on them comfortable. Taking a local non-tourist bus can be a fun experience for a short period but be aware that they tend to be very full, unsafe and uncomfortable. Some VIP night coaches between Yangon-Mandalay, Yangon – Nyaung Shwe (Inle lake) and Bagan – Nyaung Shwe (Inle lake) are very comfortable with reclining seats, good service. Furthermore, the cost of traveling by local bus in Myanmar is very affordable in comparison to flights.

    Trains

    Myanmar’s railway network comprises 2900 miles of railway track and 550 train stations. Traveling by train in Myanmar can be very enjoyable and scenic, especially if you are a fan of trains. However the ride on trains in Myanmar can be on the other hand very bumpy due to bad but steadily improving rail conditions at times and be prepared for delays caused by any number of reasons.

    – The Yangon – Mandalay line has the least problems of staying on schedule of any train.

    – The Hsipaw-Mandalay (150 km) is very popular and offers some of the most stunning views ever. (Paul Theroux managed to do this back when foreigners weren’t supposed to, in his book The Great Railway Bazaar).

    – Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung (Inle) offers beautiful views over the mountainous landscapes of the Shan State.

    – Most of the other lines are slower and are less comfortable and are not desirable to travel on.

    Trains that travel long distances have dining cars that are accessible to passengers traveling by first, upper and sleeper class. There is also the opportunity to buy food from vendors on the platforms when the train stops which happens quite frequently.

    Cars

    This is by far the most convenient and scenic way to travel in Myanmar except walking. The cost of renting a car however might be more expensive than one would think due to a shortage in gasoline and car parts in Myanmar. The cost of renting a car for drive between cities is between $100 and $190 US dollars. Bear in mind that you cannot drive a car in Myanmar and if you do so it could cause some problems with local authorities. Easia Travel can propose a vast array of automobiles available for you to choose from for your drive. These vehicles are in good condition and have air conditioning.

    Among the most popular and reliable rental cars in the country are second-hand, reconditioned Toyota Corona hatchbacks imported from Japan from 1988. Cars that are slightly more up to date are Toyota Chasers (from 1990 to 1992).Myanmar also produces its own Mazda jeeps – MJs – 80% local parts. These jeeps are great for off-roading.

    Boats

    A cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River is often on the ‘wish list’ of visitors. These range from multi-day luxury cruises to simple one-day trips. Some of the key routes include:

    – Mandalay to Bagan – on IWT (Government ferries) or privately-owned boats such as Malikha or RV Shwe Keinnery. Charter boats are also available for rent such as MS Hintha or RV Yandabo.

    – Myitkyina to Mandalay via Bhamo – Operated by a number of privately owned speed boasts and IWT ferries.

    – Mawlamyine to Hpa-An – Small private boats

    – Sittwe to Mrauk U – Small private boats

    In addition to river cruising, the southern Mergui Archipelago is an increasingly popular place for cruising with the option of adding scuba diving around the islands.

    Luxury Boats

    For more affluent travel on newer vessels, some luxury boats operate in the upper and lower regions of the Ayeyarwaddy River. We offer cruises of between one and 14 nights along the river between the cities of Yangon and Mandalay. Please check with your sales consultant about the latest programs.

  • Best time to visit Best time to visit
  • Dos and Don’tDos and Don’t

    When visiting Myanmar, there are some customs and beliefs that travelers should be aware of before coming to the country in order to avoid offending any of the locals.
    Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind whilst visiting:
    The Rules to follow:

    • When you offer something to a monk, nun, or an elderly person, use both hands. With others, apart from casual transactions at shops or food stalls use your right hand or both hands.
    • Please ask before taking photos of people– particularly monks.
    • Learn a few words of the Myanmar language. It is always greatly appreciated

    The Rules to Respect:

    • Never wear shoes and socks inside a pagoda or monastery
    • Visitors should avoid wearing anything alluring in public. In a pagoda, men and women should avoid wearing sleeveless shirts or revealing clothing
    • Do not step over the body of anyone else; but if you must, always ask to be excused first
    • Monks and nuns should not be touched. Women should be careful not to let any part of their body touch a monk’s robes.
    • Do not lose your temper. Furthermore, touching someone older than you on the head may also be interpreted as an act of aggression and should be avoided.
    • Don’t point your feet at anybody or anything. As well, be sure not to sit with your feet pointed at a Buddha image (sit cross-legged or with your legs tucked behind you).
    • Do not accept any kinds of drugs here. Penalties for drug-trafficking range from five years’ imprisonment to a death sentence.
    • Avoid posing or sitting with Buddhist images.
    • Do not show affection in public.
    • Do not give money directly to a monk.
    • Do not step voluntarily on a monk’s shadow
    • For more information: http://www.dosanddontsfortourists.com/
  • Money & BudgetMoney & Budget

    Money
    Myanmar’s currency is called the Kyat, pronounced “chat,” and the coins are called pya. Bills that represent Kyat are broken down into 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Kyat denominations. Please be aware that the Kyat is a non-convertible currency, and cannot officially be exchanged abroad Tourists are able to exchange money (US Dollars, Singapore Dollars, Thai Baht, and Euros) at the current market rate in the airport or at any licensed moneychanger upon presentation of a passport. Please ask your tour guide for assistance. Note: in smaller towns (Kyaing Tong, Monywa, Kyauk Me), currency exchanges may not be open on weekends. ATMs, which distribute kyats, are found throughout the country. However, ATM functionality is not consistent, so we suggest bringing foreign currency for exchange. The Central Bank of Myanmar has withdrawn all foreign currency exchange licenses for businesses, including hotels, restaurants, airlines, and souvenir shops. Since 1 November 2015, US dollars were made illegal to accept. However, some locations and businesses still accept USD as payment despite this law. It is still recommended to exchange your money, as kyats are readily and legally accepted throughout the country
    USD
    All USD brought into Myanmar must be in pristine condition (new or nearly new bills). Make sure that paper notes are not marked or stamped IN ANY WAY. Pencil marks can be removed, but any permanent marks will adversely impact a note’s value or cause it to be rejected entirely. Do not have any creases or fold lines on the bills either, since this will also decrease a note’s value. Make sure that your bills are current US currency; none of the older variations, such as those depicting smaller images of presidents, will be accepted. If you are carrying 100 USD bills, make sure that their serial numbers do not begin with “CB,” since this will possibly result in the bill’s rejection. 100 USD bills yield the best exchange rate, while smaller denominations are slightly more expensive to exchange.
    Euro
    The Euro is rarely used in Myanmar, even at major hotels, so visitors traveling with Euros will need to convert their cash to Myanmar Kyats, and it’s easy to exchange Euros into Kyats in major tourist destinations such as Yangon or Mandalay. We suggest exchanging your Euros into Kyats upon arrival in Myanmar, or exchange Euros for USD before you enter the country.

    Credit Cards & ATMs
    The network of ATMs covers Myanmar’s most visited cities. The maximum amount allowed per withdrawal is 300,000 MMK, and the daily maximum amount you can withdraw is 1,000,000 MMK, subject to the limit set up by the issuing bank. The ATMs charge a small fee of 5,000 MMK, or the equivalent for each transaction. Some Visa cards are restricted by the issuing bank for overseas usage, so guests may need approval from their issuing bank. Credit cards are accepted by a few vendors, which are usually high-end hotels or shops. However, they usually carry a 5-10% surcharge, and do not always work. Please note that the Burmese banking system is still developing, and neither ATMs nor credit cards should be relied upon as the sole source of cash for your holiday. Traveler’s cheques are not accepted in Myanmar.

    Traveller Checks
    Traveller checks are not accepted in Myanmar.

    Foreigner Exchange Certificate (FECS)
    These certificates are no longer in use in Myanmar, and were outlawed as of March 2013. Some guidebooks may still carry erroneous information about the validity of FECs.

    Bargaining
    In Myanmar you are expected to bargain. Do so freely but respectfully. Keep a smile on your face, be realistic about the expected discount and if the vendor does not reach your final price do not push him or her too hard.

    Tipping
    Tipping is a part of the local culture. It is customary in Burmese culture to offer a small tip for those in the service industry. For suggested amounts:

    • Pre- arranged meals: 0.50 – 1US$ per pax per meal
    • Meal on client’s own account: 5% of the bill if not already included
    • Housekeeping: 1US$ per room
    • Porter at Hotel and Airport: 0.50 US$ per luggage
    • Vehicles Driver: 2-3 US$ per pax per day
    • Station Guide: 3US$ per pax per day
    • Throughout Guide: 5 US$ per pax per day
    • Trekking Guide: 5US$ per staff
  • Health MyanmarHealth Myanmar

    If you travel to Myanmar prepared your chances of becoming ill are very low. Make sure that you have that all of your vaccinations are current and that you are vaccinated for Tetanus, Polio and Diphtheria. Other vaccines recommended include Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B (if you are in-country for over 3 months), Typhus and Tuberculosis, vaccinations against rabies and Japanese encephalitis are also advised. Officially there are no vaccinations required to enter Myanmar. However, any travels from West Africa, Central Africa, Central America or South America need to present vaccinations records against Yellow Fever upon arrival but this is often overlooked by the authorities.
    Please be advised that the medical infrastructure in Myanmar is still quite limited, and therefore we usually recommend that guests travel to Bangkok or Singapore (located quite close to Myanmar) in case of grave illness or serious injury. It is for this reason that we advise all guests to obtain comprehensive medical insurance, including on-site medical and repatriation expenses, in particular. Please also be aware that hospitals do request a guarantee that their costs will be covered. Without insurance, emergency services must be paid for immediately and in cash (USD), and are often very expensive. However, comprehensive medical insurance coverage will cover the costs directly, avoiding any immediate and expensive cash payments. Please rest assured that we will always assist our on-the-spot travelers to the best of our abilities in case of required medical intervention. While traveling upcountry, we will always send an agent from the office to help the guests communicate with the doctors.

    •  Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan: there are good hospitals in Myanmar’s major cities (Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan), whose teams are composed of international doctors: Parami Hospital, Victoria Hospital, Asia Royal, and Global Care Bagan International Clinic.
    • Inle Lake and Loikaw: in Inle lake and Loikaw, there are only local doctors. However, 2 hours away from Inle Lake (in Taungyi), there is a hospital, should the situation be serious.
    • Ngapali: in Ngapali, almost all hotels have a doctor on-call, and there is a small clinic, managed by the French AMFA, but its services are quite basic.
  • Emergency contacts MyanmarEmergency contacts Myanmar
    Your home embassy may be able to assist with advice during emergencies or serious problems. You might want to register if possible before you arrive so that the embassy staff will know where to reach you in case of emergency at home. If calling a Myanmar emergency number you may have to ask the aid of a Burmese speaker because there might not be an English-speaking operator on the line:
    Ambulance: 192
    Fire department: 191
    Police: 199
    Red Cross: (01) 392029 / 30

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