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Touring Season

Myanmar has three distinct seasons, with the dry and cool winter months from November to March. Temperatures start to rise in early March and it can get up to 40 degree C in Yangon, remaining this way until the rains, which start in May and last until October.

Mandalay and Upper Central Myanmar remain drier during July to September. The best time to visit to Myanmar is during September to May, however upper and middle Myanmar is good to travel all year round.

Popular Destinations

  • Yangon
  • Mandalay-Amarapura-Inwa- Sagaing-Pyin Oo Lwin
  • Bagan-Naung Oo- Mt. Popa
  • Inle Lake-Inn Dein-Taunggyi- Kalaw- Pindaya
  • KyaikHti Yo-Mawlamyaing
  • Mrauk U (Rakkhine Region)
  • Ngapali Beach, Chaung Tha Beach and Ngwe Saung Beach,
  • Myeik -KawThaung and TheHtay Island

What to Wear

  • Hot season : Light casual cotton wear
  • Rainy Season : Quick drying clothes, an umbrella during the rainy season, Sandals or slippers, quick drying clothes are recommended if you visit during the rainy season or Thingyan (Water Festival)
  • Cold season : A cardigan or light jerkin
  • The dress code for pagodas and monasteries prescribe decent apparel
  • No footwear is allowed when visiting pagodas and monasteries

What to Bring

  • Insect repellent
  • Sun Block, sunglasses, hat, umbrella
  • Personal Medical KitLanguage

Language

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

Religion

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

Currency

Local currency in Myanmar is the Kyat, which can be used to pay for all goods and services. The best form of currency to take on your trip is US Dollars, in cash. It is absolutely necessary to bring enough cash in USD or EURO. Please seek assistance from our local guides in converting your foreign currency into local currency at exchange counter. It is advisable to exchange small quantities at a time as any unused Kyat cannot be reconverted back into foreign currency upon departure. A few hotels in Myanmar accept Credit Cards and Dollar Travellers’ cheques, usually with a hefty surcharge. Please be warned that torn, dirty and stained notes might not be able to accept.

Foreign Exchange

Visitors may bring in any amount of foreign currency but it must be declared to the customs if it exceeds US$2000. Foreign Exchange Certificates can be purchased with US Dollar or Pounds Sterling either in cash or Travellers Cheque.

Money Exchange

Yangon

  • Money exchange counter at Yangon airport arrival lounge
  • Large Money exchange counter in downtown Yangon on Theinbyu Road, lower block, Botataung Township, near
  • Monsoon restaurant. Closed on Saturday & Sunday
  • Money exchange counters at Asia Green Development Bank (AGD bank) Kamayut branch, on Pyay Road, near Hledan market & Sule branch, near Sule Pagoda. Closed on Saturday & Sunday
  • Many other money exchanges counters on Aung San Bogyoke market and in the bank’s branches and have the private exchange counters throughout the City.

Bagan

  • Money exchange counter at Bagan airport arrival lounge (operating during morning & afternoon flight arrival & departure times, daily)

Mandalay

  • Money exchange counter at Mandalay airport arrival lounge
  • Exchange counter at some banks in Mandalay city, but not as smooth as airport MDL Airport is the best place for this service

Heho (On the way to Inle Lake)

  • Money exchange counter at Heho Airport arrival lounge. Closed on Saturday & Sunday

Traveller Cheques

Traveller Cheques are not accepted at present


Credit Cards

Major financial institutions like Master and Visa are active in Myanmar. Visa, MasterCard, China Union Pay and Japan Credit Bureau have been granted permission by the Central Bank of Myanmar. Tourists and business travellers with an international Master Card, Maestro or Cirrus card are now be able to withdraw money, and in the local currency ‘Kyat’, for the first time at 36 CB Bank ATMs around Myanmar, including Yangon International Airport. You can convert your foreign currency into local currency at exchange counter. Please be warned that torn, dirty and stained US Dollar notes might not be able to accept.


Insurance

We strongly recommend that all travellers are properly insured for the holiday. While taking insurance, please check that it includes repatriation costs. 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 24 hours on call service for emergency evacuation and medical assistance.

Cancellation Policy

In Myanmar the cancellation policy of most hotels have twenty-one days notice for groups and seven days notice for individual travellers. And some have strict cancellation and deposit policies especially apply for bookings of River cruises and beach hotels.

Duty free Allowance

In Myanmar the cancellation policy of most hotels have twenty-one days notice for groups and seven days notice for individual travellers. And some have strict cancellation and deposit policies especially apply for bookings of River cruises and beach hotels.

Airport Facilities

Yangon: Yangon International Airport is located 20 km from downtown Yangon. The Arrival Terminal is located separately from the Departure Terminal and the Domestic Terminal and simplified procedures ensure that on arrival and departure. International passengers are processed quickly through immigration and customs. The Yangon International Airport works 24 hours daily.

Mandalay: Mandalay International Airport is located in the centre of Myanmar about 35km outside Mandalay. the country’s second largest city. It takes approximately 1hr to get from the airport to the centre of the city. It is a modern airport with six passenger boarding bridges and three of them can handle modern Boeing 747-400 planes.

Limousine Service

A Limousine Service Counter is located in the Arrival Hall. Major hotels provide transfer services; and taxis are also available. Passengers are advised not to use the services of touts for taxi or other services.

Business Hours

Government Offices: 09:30 to 16:30 hours - Weekdays Monday to Friday
* Banks: 10:30 to 14:00 hours - Weekdays Monday to Friday
* Shops: 10:00 to 21:00 hrs – Monday through Saturday some open on Sunday Driving
International Driving Permit required which must be presented to the authorities to endorse or issue a Visitor license.

Customs

Foreign currency above US$2000, jewelleries, electrical equipments and camera must be declared at the airport. Export of antiques and archaeologically valuable items are prohibited.

Air Lines (Domestic)

The currently domestic airlines are: Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Air KBZ, Asian Wings, FMI UB Charter (Yangon to Nay Pyi Daw round trip only) and Yangon Airways.

Air Lines (International)

The airlines currently fly into Myanmar are: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Myanmar Airways International, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, Air China, Mandarin Airlines, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Eva Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airways, Condor Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Jet Star India Airlines Limited, Air Bagan and Vietnam Airlines.

Gratuities and Tipping

Myanmar are genuinely happy to help foreign visitors and don’t expect anything in return. But if your guide, driver or any other person during your trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.

Health

No 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 to get detailed information on emergency health services available.

Food and Healthcare

Myanmar is a tropical destination, so be sure to drink plenty of fluid to prevent heatstroke and dehydration. Avoid drinking tap water and taking ice in drinks. Stick to bottled water (or boiled/UV treated water available at the hotel) and ensure that the seal is opened by you/in your presence.

Cuisine in Myanmar has strong Indian, Chinese and Thai influences with plenty of fresh, spicy flavours and wonderful snacks. Rice is the main staple and usually served with curry. Beef and Pork is consumed to a lesser degree than neighbouring Thailand and China, due to religious preferences, Seafood is popular in the coastal areas and freshwater fish and shrimps is common in the more inland areas.

Myanmar cuisine also contains a variety of salads centred on one major ingredient, ranging from rice, noodles, glass noodles, vermicelli, to potato, ginger, tomato, pickled tea leaves and fish paste. These salads are popular as fast foods in Myanmar cities. You will also find Western alternatives available at many restaurants and hotels. Please note, meals during your trek will be quite basic and simple.

Eat moderately for the first few days. Allow your system to get used to the changes. Be cautious with local milk products like cheese, cream and ice-cream. It is also advisable to eat only cooked vegetables and avoid green salads. We recommend you carry with you a small supply of basic health care medication such as travel sickness tablets, anti-diarrhoea tablets, antacids for indigestion, insect repellent, sun creams and selected antibiotics after discussion with your doctor. Some of these items may be difficult to find in Myanmar and the security provided by brands one is used to is reassuring. We strongly recommend that all travellers are properly insured for the holiday. While taking insurance, please check that it includes repatriation costs.

Shopping

Myanmar provides great opportunities for shopping, including beautiful tapestries and fabrics, it famous lacquer-ware, silk clothing, painted umbrellas, silverware, woodcarvings, puppets, jewellery and gemstones (particularly Myanmar rubies), Shan bags and much more. If asked, our company will advise on where best to buy particular items. Please be careful while buying gems, these are often of a lower value than advertised, even from government approved shops.

Although uncommon, be prepared for the occasional mild pressure selling from some guides. Although they will generally take you to respectable establishments offering reasonable quality, it is quite likely that they have a vested interest. If you are not interested, and if the guide is particularly insistent, do not hesitate to refuse.

When purchasing an expensive item, always check the level of duty payable in your country on your import. Please remember Customs Duty and VAT is payable on all goods, even if an item is exempt from other import duties.

Please note, Our Company does not endorse any shop or factory outlet, we, or any of our associate offices, are not responsible for any shopping and related problems, although we assure you of any help that we can provide.

Voltage

The electric voltage in Myanmar is supplied at 220 volt AC. Most electric appliances work well, but a universal adapter is needed. Power-cuts are quite common but most hotels have their own generator. It is advisable to have torchlight in the hand baggage as power cuts frequently occur throughout the country.

Elderly People

Some roads in Myanmar are not in the best shape and most of vehicles are also a bit older. For elderly people or those with health and back problems especially, we recommend avoiding longer road trips like Bagan to Kalaw or Inlay Lake to Mandalay. In some places like Monywa-Po Win Taung, some jeep rides are planned. Please let us know in advance of people with back problem or who need special attention are travelling in order for us to make necessary arrangements.

Trekking

If going on Tribal village treks, please be aware that village houses are very basic accommodation with communal toilets. There is usually no electricity in these villages and it is advisable to carry flashlights. You should also carry your own sleeping bags as these may not be provided at your home stays.

Medical Treatment

If any tourist gets sick in spite of all the precautions, many hospitals can cater for foreigners medical needs. Some are as follows:

  • SOS Assistance
    Inya Lake Hotel. 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
    Tel : (95-1) 667877. 667879
  • Kandawgyi Clinic
    Natmauk Road
    Tel : (95-1) 530083
  • Pacific Medical Centre & Dental Surgery
    81. Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
    Tel : (95-1) 548022