Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Population: 55.2 million
Capital: Naypyidaw (Population: 925,000)
Ethnicities: Bamar 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, China 3%, India 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%
Language: Myanmar (Bamar)
Official currency: Kyat (MMK)
Time zone: GMT + 6:30 Hours
International telephone prefix: +95
The highlights of Myanmar
Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia. Surrounded by India, Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Laos, it is a country that possesses many cultural, religious and natural treasures. As he has been isolated from the outside world for a long time, an air of mystery and adventure surrounds him in Myanmar (Burma). In recent years Myanmar has opened and has experienced rapid development at all levels. Many of its treasures, such as the ancient ruins of the Bagan temples, the vestiges of the colonial era of Rangoon, the unique local lifestyle of floating houses on Inle Lake and the magnificent beaches of the Bay of Bengal, are being rediscovered by travelers and tourists.
Yangon is an ideal point from which to start a journey through Myanmar, since it has a wonderful network of flights, both national and international, Yangon has many attractions, such as its large pagoda or the surrounding gardens, as well as having its commuter a multitude of charming villages and the world's longest famous Teak bridge.
Mandalay, connected to cities like Bagan by river, is an ideal place to start a river cruise, the beauty of this city appears in poems by famous authors such as Kipling and has some of the most famous pagodas in the country.
Bagan is the great jewel of Myanmar, with hundreds of temples over a thousand years old scattered among nature, you can see them from the river, ride to them by bicycle or even marvel from a hot air balloon, you can to see the sunset from each of them .
The Inle Lake is the ideal place for sports lovers, as it is the chosen by many tourists to make a trek for several days, and can also sleep at home of the inhabitants of the various local ethnic groups, once on the lake Do not miss the floating markets and the traditional fishermen.
Ngwesaung is still considered a hidden treasure, and inherited its name from its silver colored sand. You will love the tranquility of the place where it is easy to lose track of time, lying on the edge of the beautiful waters of the Bay of Bengal. Twice a day, when the sea level descends, you can walk to the "island of lovers" and be "shipwrecked" until the next low tide.
Ngapali is the perfect place to relax, you can stay at the beach relaxing, or rent a bicycle. So you can visit the surrounding villages and discover their ancient traditions that are perpetuated. Another option is to take a boat that will take you to contemplate some of the islands that surround the coast.
The Burmese, as they were known before, or the people of Myanmar are incredibly friendly people and Myanmar's beautiful cultural and historical heritage is being discovered by more and more people each year to finally be able to access tourism to this mystic country. Myanmar is known as the "Land of Gold", and remained closed to the outside for many years because of a military dictatorship. Myanmar, with the opening to world tourism that it has known since recently, is now beginning to show its true brilliance.
The first to settle in what is now known as Myanmar were the Msgr. They brought Buddhism to the region, but it was not long before many other peoples followed. Around the ninth century population of the Bamar ethnic group were the first to establish a Burmese empire. The wealth of natural resources attracted other ethnic groups in the region to create first Burma and then what is now known as Myanmar, a culturally rich country.
Not only did its natural resources attract attention at the regional level, the British rushed in and colonized Myanmar, then called "Burma" or Burma. Myanmar fought for its independence from foreign domination and achieved it in 1948 led by the revolutionary Aung San, father of Aung San Sun Kyu, who was subsequently killed as a result of the internal conflicts that gave rise to a military dictatorship. After years of impoverishment and deprivation, Myanmar is finally showing signs of positive evolution and openness that now show the whole world why this beautiful country has been coveted by many throughout its history.
A passport with at least six months of validity is required from the date of entry into Myanmar. We recommend that you make a photocopy of your passport and keep it in a different place while traveling, or you can also scan your passport and keep it in an accessible email account.
The visa is mandatory for all nationalities and must be issued before arrival in Myanmar. A visa can be issued by the relevant embassies of Myanmar. The processing of a tourist visa can take up to 3 business days and is valid for 28 days. The cost is between 20 - 40 dollars depending on the urgency required for the issuance of the visa (the service in a single day is more expensive). You also need to complete a visa application form and provide two passport-size photographs and a copy of your valid passport. A copy of the additional travel documents can be requested.
Since September 2014 an E-Visa form is available for some countries. This process lasts approximately 5 working days and the validity of the letter of approval of the E-Visa is 90 days. Only a number of E-Visas will be processed and do not forget to read the terms and conditions.
Terms and Conditions:
• The applicant will not be allowed to travel to the restricted area without first obtaining authorization.
• The approval letter is not a confirmed visa.
• The Letter of approval is valid for 90 days after its issuance.
• Visa issuance expenses will not be reimbursed.
• In the unfortunate event that your visa is denied, you can not claim or ask for explanations.
Money and currency in Myanmar
The official currency is the Kyat. However, US dollars are also widely accepted and sometimes produce slightly lower prices due to a favorable exchange rate. It is recommended that you always carry cash with you in small bills. These bills should be clean and free of tears or tears. The US dollars especially must be recent and in perfect condition. Banknotes, even simply by a wrinkle, can sometimes be rejected.
ATMs that accept VISA and MasterCard are widely available in Rangoon and Mandalay. These ATMs distribute the local currency of Myanmar, the Kyat. There are almost no ATMs outside the big cities, so keep in mind that you will need to stock up on cash. Keep in mind that it is usual for many ATMs not to work for technical reasons and may take time to find one that dispenses banknotes.
Internal transport in Myanmar
The taxi is the usual means of transportation in large cities. Travel fares within the city limits range between 1000 and 4000 Kyat. In Myanmar there are no taximeters so the price must be agreed with the driver before getting into the taxi and thus avoid surprises at the end of the route.
Traveling by motorcycle in Myanmar is not safe and in no case is it promoted or recommended by Passage To Cambodia as it can be very dangerous for travelers. Keep in mind that motorcycle accidents are not usually covered by travel insurance. Check the fine print of your travel insurance policy to be sure of your coverage, before getting on a motorcycle taxi.
Health and Safety in Myanmar
Myanmar has a monsoon tropical climate with 3 seasons: hot, rainy and cool. The coastal regions have an average temperature of 32 ° C and the northern region, considered the coldest, has an average temperature of 21 ° C. The central areas are the driest, while the coastal areas receive more rain during the monsoon season.
March - May - Hot season; hot and humid
June - September - Rainy season; cloudy, humid
October-February - Cold season, less rainy, warm
Please keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and that it is a good idea to bring an umbrella or raincoat with you. You can buy raincoats at low prices in supermarkets and stores in general.
Health and well-being
The general level of health care in Myanmar (Burma) leaves much to be desired. The facilities and medical care are poor, especially in rural areas. Pharmacies and hospitals may not be available during parts of your trip and it is advisable to carry a full supply of any medication that you have been prescribed. We strongly urge not to undergo any invasive treatment in Myanmar, for serious injuries, it is better to opt for a treatment in a neighboring country such as Thailand. Each traveler is responsible for their own health. First, make sure that you have valid travel insurance. You should also consult your local doctor or local travel clinic for the latest information and travel tips about Myanmar before leaving your home country.
Note: If you have a medical condition or allergy that requires special attention, bring a letter from your doctor describing in detail the nature of the illness and the necessary treatment. It is also recommended to include in the suitcase a medical kit, which includes paracetamol and a remedy for diarrhea.
Many vaccines are required to travel to this part of the world. It is important to make sure you have adequate protection against the tropical diseases that you might get when visiting Myanmar. Book an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic, no less than two months before your departure due to the anticipated nature of some prophylactic treatments.
Travel insurance (mandatory)
Passage To Cambodia does everything possible to ensure a safe and pleasant trip to its customers and this is usually the norm, so they can travel with complete peace of mind. However, travel inevitably involves some risk and this must be taken into account by tourists and travelers. Travel insurance is a cheap way to protect yourself and your group in the event of a problem, such as cancellation of a trip, delays, medical emergencies, accidents, loss of luggage or damage. It will also give you peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your trip to Myanmar. Also make sure that your travel insurance covers all the planned activities in the circuits and stages of your trip.
Culture and customs
Behaviors and cultural differences
One part of traveling to another part of the world is to experience differences with local residents at the level of their culture and customs. Trying to adapt to local customs is part of what it means to be a good guest. The inhabitant of Myanmar is normally calm and tolerant when travelers are not very familiar with their customs. Pay attention to these tips to have a behavior appreciated by your guests:
• Try not to show anger or anger by shouting or rude words and out of tune. It is considered very rude and it is unlikely that you will get a positive result behaving like that. In Myanmar, people always try to consider the feelings of others before taking an action and will always try to avoid making others "lose face", something very common throughout the Southeast Asian region.
• Avoid touching other people's heads and feet. Also, do not point fingers or objects at people. It is considered very rude.
• Public demonstrations of affection between friends of the same sex are not considered strange, however, lovers usually do not show their affection in public.
• It is customary to remove their shoes and socks before entering someone's home, the temples and other buildings. You will notice that there are many shoes in front of the doors of many houses and buildings.
• Myanmar people normally greet each other by asking "where are you going / are you going?", However, the more formal "ming galabar" is widely used and appreciated if used by a foreigner.
Visit of the temples
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country and foreigners are always welcome in temples and monasteries. However, it is important to follow some simple rules about etiquette and protocol:
• Dress appropriately and act with the utmost respect when visiting the Zedi (pagodas) and the monasteries.
• Do not wear shorts or tank tops, and make sure that the shoulders and knees are covered.
• Take off your hat and leave your shoes at the entrance of any temple or monastery.
• If you sit in front of the platform (the platform on which the Buddha stands), sit with your feet to one side and not in the lotus position.
• Never point your finger or the soles of your feet towards a person or a Buddha figure.
• A woman can accept something from a monk, but should never touch it.
• Show respect and turn off mobile phones, remove headphones, lower your voice and avoid inappropriate tones.
Food and drink
It is not advisable to drink tap water in Myanmar. You will not have difficulty finding bottled water, it is usually cheap.
The cuisine of Myanmar is a mix of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Local curries and soups are basic components of the local diet. Most meals are based on rice. The national dish is Mohinga, rice noodles in fish broth with onion, garlic and lemon, served with fish cakes and donuts.
There are many holidays, most of which are related to religious holidays. In each of the 12 months of the year there is at least one holiday. The biggest festival is Thingyan and precedes Myanmar's New Year. The celebration takes place during 5 days in mid-April according to the lunar calendar. During the first four days of this festival you can observe how people throw themselves and spray water.
Information about the visa
Ready to check the essential points before embarking on your trip to Myanmar:
• Travel insurance
• Passport with at least six months validity from the date of entry
• A copy of your passport
• Foreign currency (dollars) and / or credit / debit card for ATMs
• The relevant tickets
• Flights confirmed
• Light clothing and shoes
• Waterproof and / or umbrella
• Long-sleeved shirts and pants (recommended for evenings)
• Electrical adapter: 220V, 50Hz, two-pole plug
• A small bag / backpack for day and night excursions
• Shoes suitable for trekking, cycling and walking
• Insect repellent
• Medication / primary care kit
Note: Domestic airlines impose baggage weight restrictions of around 20 kg maximum, so travel lightly when possible.
We love sharing our passion for Myanmar! We are at your service to answer all your questions about Myanmar (Burma), do not hesitate to contact us and ask us any question that occurs to you, we would love to help you even if you are not going to hire a trip with us! Our best wishes for your trip.
You will be taken to a pier to sail between five and seven hours, depending on the conditions of the river. You will arrive at Mrauk U in the afternoon and will settle in your hotel. This city in western Myanmar, whose name means "remote north," is a quiet town. But this has not always been the case, because it was the capital of Arakan from 1431.
Yangon is still the most dynamic and lively city in Myanmar, although it is no longer the capital. You will explore the different cultural and historical sites that are in an environment of constant urban agitation. Admire the colossal Reclining Buddha of the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda and stroll in the Kandawgyi Lake Park. From the Botataung pagoda, you will slide into the old streets lined with colonial buildings and maybe haggle at the Scott market to get some nice memories.
You can do as much or as little as you want in the next two days, with the word relaxation as the only motto. You can take a good book, for example, and choose a location on the splendid white sands of Ngapali. Or maybe, choose a place on the island Pleasant View, to appreciate the idyllic view on the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.
The tour will begin in the afternoon, touring the bustling streets of Yangon, embroidered with old colonial buildings. You will walk through these vestiges of past eras in the old harbor district, in particular, with its busy traders. At night, you will appreciate the spectacular illumination of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most important Buddhist site in the country, which they say retains tufts of Buddha hair and other relics. Its tip, which rises to 110 meters, is inlaid with diamonds and is covered with a gold plate.
You will sail in a small boat to Indein, a village located on the shores of the lake. It is famous for its impressive jungle of stupas of the sixteenth century, and for its craftsmen. You will see some at work, building wooden boats or making Buddha images from dried flower dust. You can also watch the Burmese cigar rollers.