TRAVEL TIPS

How to get to Myanmar?

International Flights
Yangon International Airport (Mingalardon Airport) and Mandalay International Airport are the main International Airports in Myanmar. Yangon has direct air links with Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Calcutta, Chiang Mai, Taipei, Kunming, Doha and Dhaka. Mandalay has direct air link with Bangkok and Kunming.

Bangkok:
– Thai Airways International (TG) www.thaiairways.com
– Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
– Bangkok Airways (PG) www.bangkokair.com
– Thai Air Asia (FD) www.airasia.com

Singapore:
– SilkAir www.silkair.com
– Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com

Kuala Lumpur:
– Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
– Malaysia Airlines (MH) www.malaysiaairlines.com.my

Hanoi:
– Vietnam Airlines (VN) www.vietnamairlines.com

Chiang Mai:
– Air Bagan (W9) www.airbagan.com

Calcutta:
– Indian Airlines Limited (IC) http://indian-airlines.nic.in/scripts/index.asp

Taipei:
– Mandarin Airlines (AE) www.mandarin-airlines.com

Kunming:
– Air China (CA) www.airchina.com.cn

Guang Zhou:
– China Southern Airlines (CZ) www.csair.com/en

Air ticketing from Europe/USA/Austalia:
We recommend to purchase the air tickets from the country which is your starting point in order to get the best airfare. No agent in Myanmar, or in another country, can offer you a better deal.It is true and an attempt of International Airline regulation to prevent air-ticketing monopoly in one single region, so that world-wide local ticket agents can exist.

Air ticketing from Asia:
If you book with us several countries within Asia/South East Asia we can offer you the ticketing.

By Overland:
Overland entry with a Border Pass is permitted at the following Border Check Points: Tachileik and Kawthaung on the Myanmar-Thai border and Muse on the Myanmar-Yunnan (China) border.

VISA & EMBASSIES
Myanmar requires a valid passport of minimum 6 months and a Myanmar visa for all foreigners visiting the country. Tourist visas are issued for a duration of 28 days starting from the day you enter the country, three months from the date of issue. You can obtain a visa at all Myanmar Embassies or Consulates with three photos and your passport. The international points of entry and exit in Myanmar are Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport.

Myanmar Embassies Abroad
Please click here for an updated list of Myanmar embassies and consulates.

Visa on Arrival:
As of October 22, 2014 pre-arranged Visa on Arrival are not available any longer.

a) you may get the visa online: Myanmar E-visa (18.8.2014)
Online e-Visa will be available to all tourist visa applications from 1st September 2014. You just need to fill in the secure online eVisa form and make $50 payment. Approval within 5 days. Get visa stamped upon arrival.
https://www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm/

b) you may apply the visa at the Embassy/Consulate in your country.

CUSTOMS
All foreign currencies (above US$ 10,000.-), jewelries, electrical goods and cameras must be declared to the Burma Customs at the Airport. Export of Myanmar antiques is totally prohibited. Only gems and jewelries purchased at the licensed dealers, or who can issue an export permit are allowed to be taken out of Myanmar. Travelers may bring in duty free 200 cigarettes, one quart of wine and one pint of perfume. You can bring your mobile phone with you, but the Burma‘s GSM system does not allow “International Roaming”, so mobile phones from other countries do not work in Myanmar. Laptop computers can be brought in freely for the travelers’ own use.

MONEY/CREDIT CARDS
The official Myanmar currency is Kyat (pronounced “Chat”). The exchange rate is  beween Kyats 900 and 950.- to US$ 1.- (Mar. 2014). There are banks in in Myanmar (also at the airport) where you can change your money.

As a result of the ‘opening’ of Myanmar, you can use the credit card. There are ATM machines in Yangon and Mandalay, but still cash is king. Euro is well liked and has a better rate than the USD.

TRIP EXPENSES
The cost of living in Myanmar depends very much on where you are: While in an expensive hotel a beer may cost you US$ 5.- you might get it for about US$ 1.- (or its equivalent in Kyat) in a restaurant. Generally spoken, Myanmar is a low-priced country but as soon as you go for imported articles the price level easily matches the one in Thailand or even other Western countries – import taxes are rather high! As long “as you go local” you might pay one fifth of the price!

Lunch & Dinner
International hotels: Between US$ 15.- and  ‘up’  per person
Local restaurants: Between Kyats 4,000.- and 10,000.- per person

Beverage

International Hotels:
Mineral water: US$ 1 to US$ 2
Soft drinks: US$ 3
Beer: US$ 3 to US$ 5
Glass of wine: US$ 4 to US$ 6
Tee or coffee: US$ 3

Local restaurants:
Mineral water: Kyats 300 to Kyats 500
Soft drinks: Kyats 300 to Kyats 700
Beer: Kyats 1500 to Kyats 2000
Tee or coffee: Kyats 500

Tipping
For the Guides: Average is US$ 5.- per day/per person – any additional amount to be given is the decision of our clients.
For the Drivers: US$ 2.- per person/per day.
For the Porters: Per luggage: Kyats 500.-.
At local Restaurants: App. Kyats 200.- per person – depends again on the service you got!
At international Hotels: App. Kyats 1000.- per person.

Monosodium Glutamate – (MSG) Alert
Throughout most Asian countries including Myanmar MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – known locally as ‘AJINOMOTO’ – is still used in food preparation in some restaurants. Some travellers who may experience swollen feet, hands or headaches will more than likely have had a good amount of MSG in the food. It is always best to inform your guide when ordering if you do not wish it to be added to your food.

Drinking Water
Only drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentary. Carry a bottle with you throughout the day.

Medical Treatment
If you should get sick in spite of all the precautions, following hospitals are recommended:

SOS Assistance
Inya Lake Hotel, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road,
Tel : (95-1) 667877, 667879
Pun Hlaing International Hospital
Pun Hlaing Golf Estate Avenue, Pun Hlaing Street, Industrial Zone (6), Hlaing Thar Yar Township
Tel: (95-1) 684320-8
Fax: (95-1) 684324
Office:
FMI Shopping Centre, 4th floor, Bogyoke Aung San Street, Pabedan Township
Tel: (95-1) 243010, 248910, 243013, 243012
Kandawgyi Clinic
Natmauk Road,Tel : (95-1) 530083
Pacific Medical Centre & Dental Surgery81,
Kaba Aye Pagoda Road,
Tel : (95-1) 548022

WHAT TO BRING
Sun hat, sun glasses, sun protection for your face and body, prescription medicines, insect repellent and an umbrella April to October (rain or shine). An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight and extra passport photos.

WHAT TO WEAR
Shorts, short skirts or revealing clothing are not appropriate especially when visiting temples or any religious site. Myanmar is a conservative Buddhist culture and improper dress can be offensive. Please dress with respect for the local culture. Lightweight, easy to care clothes of cotton and cool fabrics are ideal all year round. A winter sweater or jacket and socks may be needed in the cool season when visiting up country especially around Inle Lake and Kalaw when the weather can drop to near freezing during the night. Wear sensible walking shoes which can be easily removed when required. Shoes and socks must be removed at pagodas and monasteries so it is advisable to bring a pair of slippers.

BUSINESS HOURS & HOLIDAYS
Government offices open from 10:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. Banking hours are from 10:00 to 14:00. Private companies work daily except Sunday and gazette holidays. Shopping centers and super markets open daily. The most famous Bogyoke (Scott) market is open daily from 10:00 to 16:00 except on gazette holidays.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:
JAN 4 Independence Day
FEB 12 Union Day
MAR 2 Peasant’s Day
MAR 27 Armed Forces Day
APR 12/13-16/17 Thingyan Festival (Water Festival)
APR 17/18 Myanmar New year Day
MAY 1 May Day (Workers’ Day)
JUL 19 Martyrs’ Day
DEC 25 Christmas Day
JAN 01 Kayin New Year Day

Please note: early dates of Full Moon Days/Kayin New Year/Beginning and end of Lent and Festival of Lights change.

CULTURAL EVENTS
Myanmar is a Land of Festivals: a festival for every month of the year. Most festivals are cultural and religious. Majority are nation-wide celebrated while a few are distinctly regional. The dates of the festivals and special events are determined by the Lunar Year.
Please click here for an updated list of the most magnificent festivals in 2016.

PHONE/INTERNET

Whenever making phone calls from Myanmar it is important to ask for the price first – at some hotels the tariff might be double the official rate. Theorically, you make an IDD everywhere in Myanmar. Practically it is very difficult from Inle and Bagan, but you will be able to make IDD calls from almost all the hotels without any problem in Mandalay and Yangon.

Phones
+ still not Western standard. Whatever your telecom company is…  it will not work in Myanmar except if your telephone accepts CDMA standard. In that case you can rent a Cdma Sim card.
In any case, there is absolutely no roaming and not having access to your normal phone company.
+ you can rent a sim card from a desk at Yangon airport. Quite simple and quick – costs US$ 2 per day which they deduct from a US$ 100 deposit when you surrender the card.

E-mail
+ Currently, the situation is far better than few years ago and it is very easy to find in the main cities a cyber cafe.
+ There is cyber cafe in a lot of cities in Myanmar, even sometimes in the small city like Taungoo, Bagan, Monywa, Taungyi etc…
+ The connection is usually far better (and cheaper) in a cyber cafe than in the business center of your hotel (except if there is free wifi).

Wifi access
+ Things are changing fast and now a lot of hotels have WIfi access , usually free of charge and often in the lobby. You can bring your laptop/I-pad. It is often slow… but better than nothing …