Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Travel Tips for Myanmar

Any passengers departing Myanmar on international flights will need to pay a departure tax of US$ 10.00 per person.

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.
Credit Cards are only accepted at a very few major hotels, airlines and some international shops and restaurants. We suggest to bring a sufficient amount of cash for personal expenses. The exchange of traveler cheques as well is very difficult and time consuming. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.
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 been used for payment of purchases throughout the country.
Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways are privately operated airlines flying throughout Myanmar. There is a 20 Kilo limit for baggage per person and excess baggage fees may be charged. We suggest you leave items not needed upcountry in Yangon and collect them upon your return.

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

Two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars and half litre of perfume are allowed per person. Yangon Airport arrival hall has a selection of duty free shops with a full range of items at a good price.

Try to arrange your journey to coincide with a festival. These unique celebrations - such as the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival around Inle Lake - offer a perfect chance to visit villages and join the locals as they celebrate their festivals throughout the year.

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.

No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area. Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc. Please contact us if you would like detailed information on emergency health services available.

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.

We recommend all clients to obtain the necessary personal baggage, medical and accident insurance before arrival. SOS Worldwide has a local representative office in Yangon with a 24 hour on call service for emergency evacuation and medical assistance.

The majority of the people speak Myanmar (Burmese) and English is widely used.

GMT + 6.5 YANGON 0700 hours on Monday
GMT - 5 NEW YORK 1930 hours on Sunday
GMT 0 LONDON 0030 hours on Monday
GMT +1 PARIS 0130 hours on Monday
GMT +7 BANGKOK 0730 hours on Monday
GMT +8 HONG KONG 0830 hours on Monday
GMT +10 SYDNEY 1030 hours on Monday


Hand Phones or Mobile Telephones from other countries currently do not operate in Myanmar. Customs will hold your telephone upon arrival and you can collect on your departure.

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.

Our recommended hotels in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan offer 24 hour power (with a generator if needed). In other more isolated areas like Kyaingtong, the Shan Hills, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake - generated power may not always be available. Most hotel rooms have screens and mosquito nets.

The majority of the people of Myanmar are Buddhist although Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are also practiced.

Telephones & fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon and Mandalay but charges are quite expensive. E mail facilities are now available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon and Mandalay.

Travellers Cheques may be very time consuming to transact. You must bring the original purchase agreement for the travellers cheques with you as proof when cashing your cheques.
A visa is required in advance. Tourist visa for Myanmar can be obtained from any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate world-wide. Please see our list of Embassies and Consulates below. 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.

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.
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, extra passport photos, decaffeinated coffee (if you require). 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. Sandals, thongs or flip-flops (available locally) are very convenient footwear.
  • Shwedagon Pagoda
  • National Museum
  • People's Park
  • Gem Museum
  • Ngar Htut Kyi Pagoda
  • Bogyoke Aung San Museum
  • Yangon Zoo

  • Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha
  • Shwemawdaw Pagoda

  • Kanbawzathadi Palace & Museum
  • Mahazedi Pagoda

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

  • Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

  • Museum
Bagan & Vicinity
  • Zone fee
  • Museum
  • Mt Popa
  • Salay -Youqson Kyaung Museum
Mandalay & Vicinity
  • Mandalay Hill
  • Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda
  • Kuthotaw + Sandamuni Pagodas
  • Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery)+ Atumashi Pagoda
  • Maha Muni Pagoda
  • Royal Palace
  • Mandalay Museum & Library
  • Ava & Bargaya Monastery


  • Kaungmutaw Pagoda
  • Soon U Ponya Shin Paya (Sagaing Hill)
  • Mingun

  • Po Win Daung Caves
  • Shwe Ba Hill
  • Thanboddyi Pagoda
Rakhine State
  • Sitwee - Rakhine State Cultural Museum
  • Mrauk-U Zone Entrance fee

  • Zone Entrance to Lake
  • Kak Ku Temples
  • Shan Museum, Taunggyi
  • Shan Museum, Nyaung Shwe
  • Pindaya Caves


  • Kachin State Cultural Museum

AUSTRALIA Canberra Tel: (61-2) 6273-3811, 6273-3751 Fax: (61-2) 6273-4357
BANGLADESH Dhaka Tel: (880-2) 601-915, 601-461 Fax: (880-2) 882-3740
BRAZIL Brasilia Tel: (55-61) 248-3747, 364-3145 Fax: (55-61) 248-1922
BRUNEI Bandar Seri Begawan Tel: (673-2) 450-506, 450-507 Fax: (673-2) 451-008
CAMBODIA Phnom Penh Tel: (855-23) 213-663 / 4 Fax: (855-23) 213-665
CANADA Ottawa Tel: (1-613) 232-6434, 232-6446 Fax: (1-613) 232-6435
CHINA Beijing Tel: (86-10) 6532-1584, 6532-1425 Fax: (86-10) 6532-1344
CHINA Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2827-7929, 2827-9843 Fax: (852) 2827-6597
CHINA Kunming Tel: (86-871) 317-6609 Fax: (86-871) 317-6309
EGYPT Cairo Tel: (20-2) 340-4176, 341-2644, 341-3450 Fax: (20-2) 341-6793
FRANCE Paris Tel: (33-1) 4225-5695 Fax: (33-1) 4256-4941
GERMANY Berlin Tel: (49-30) 2061-5710-14 Fax: (49-30) 2064-9757
INDIA New Delhi Tel: (9211) 688-9007, 688-9008 Fax: (9211) 687-7942
INDONESIA Jakarta Tel: (62-21) 314-0440 , 327-684 Fax: (62-21) 327-204
ISRAEL Tel Aviv Tel: (972-3) 517-0760, 517-0761 Fax: (972-3) 517-1440
ITALY Rome Tel: (39-6) 854-9374, 842-6863 Fax: (39-6) 841-3167
JAPAN Tokyo Tel: (81-3) 3441-9291-4, 3441-9029 Fax: (81-3) 3447-7394
KOREA Seoul Tel: (82-2) 792-3341, 796-9858, 796-7814 Fax: (82-2) 796-5570
LAOS Vientiane Tel: (856-21) 314-910, 314-911 Fax: (856-21) 314-913
LEBANON Beirut Tel: (961-1) 485-375/76/77/78/79 Fax: (961-1) 502-974
MALAYSIA Kuala Lumpur Tel: (60-3) 456-0280, 457-0680 Fax: (60-3) 456-8320
NEPAL Kathmandu Tel: (977-1)521-788, 524-788 Fax: (977-1) 523-402
NETHERLANDS Breda Tel: (31-76) 520-9054 Fax: (31-76) 520-9270
PAKISTAN Islamabad Tel: (92-51) 822-460, 828-818 Fax: (92-51) 828-819
PHILIPPINES Manila Tel: (63-2) 817-2373, 812-9587 Fax: (63-2) 817-5895
RUSSIAN FEDERATION Moscow Tel: (7-95) 291-0534 Fax: (7-95) 956-3186
Tel: (65) 735-0209, 735-1672, 735-6576 Fax: (65) 735-6236
SOUTH AFRICA Pretoria Tel: (27-12) 460-6544, 460-4333 Fax: (27-12) 346-0746
SRI LANKA Colombo Tel: (94-1) 697-602 Fax: (94-1) 681-196
SWITZERLAND Geneva Tel: (41-22) 731-7540, 731-7549 Fax: (41-22) 738-4882
THAILAND Bangkok Tel: (66-2) 223-2237, 234-4698, 233-7250 Fax: (66-2) 236-6898
UK London Tel: (44-207) 629-6966, 499, 8841 Fax: (44-207) 629-4169
USA New York Tel: (1-212) 535-1310, 535-1311 Fax: (1-212) 737-2421
USA Washington D.C. Tel: (1-202) 332-9044, 332-9049 Fax: (1-202) 332-9046
VIETNAM Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 845-3369, 823-2056 Fax: (84-4) 845-2404
YUGOSLAVIA Belgrade Tel: (381-11) 645-420, 645-128 Fax: (381-11) 361-4968/ 644-845

text taken from Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board



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