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For this post I’m going to be talking about tips to prepare for trip to Myanmar since I’ll be going Myanmar soon.
Why Myanmar ?
Myanmar is one of the most underrated country and one of least touristy country to visit in South East Asia . It is not the within the typical backpacker route but Myanmar has many things to offer if you are interested.
Tips 1: Find out how to get there ?By air or land ?
If you are travelling by air ,you need to search which airline that can bring you into Myanmar . Most airline don’t fly directly and you need to find out which one does. My suggestion for traveler from other countries it always use the internet or search engine to search how to get to your point of entry in Myanmar regardless if you are travelling by air or land into Myanmar.
Based on my experience ,i usually use Goggle flight or Skyscanner to always check how to travel from my home country or departing country to the destination place.As for me because I live in Malaysia, There is 3 airline from my country which fly directly to Yangon .Myanmar which are Malaysian Airline , Asia Asia & Malindo Air. Air Asia also fly to Mandalay via Bangkok but you need to transfer flight at Bangkok .
The popular international airport are Yangon International Airport (RGN),Mandalay International Airport (MDL) and Naypyidaw International Airport (NYT) . Local airport that are popular for domestic flight are Bagan in Nyaung-U (NYU), Inle Lake in Heho (HEH) and Ngapali in Thandwe (SNW).
If you are traveling by land ,you need to be careful when crossing the border as certain border area are high risk for tourist due to the recent conflict within the country. If you like to found out more on border crossing latest information please click here.
Tips 2 : Apply for Visa
Some countries does not required visa to enter Myanmar . Check if your passport required a visa to enter and any passport need at least 6 month before expired date to travel. For me ,I need to apply for visa and my nationality allow me to apply for tourist e-visa
Here I put a link down below is the official Myanmar website to apply to e-visa .
Please apply visa in advance before traveling to Myanmar to avoid risk of being rejected by immigration (if your passport require a visa to enter).Through this link you usually get a reply of visa application minimum 3 days but i suggest you do it at least 1 week ahead before your travel.In case you need the visa urgently ,please allow 24 hours and apply through as Tourist Visa Express .
Visa charges is about 50USD but if you apply for express one it might cost more and the e-visa is allow for single entry only for 28 days from the date of arrival .Not all point of entry in Myanmar can accept e-visa and you must check the website for latest info.
Most South East Asia Country can enter Myanmar visa free .Singapore is one of the country where its citizen can enter Myanmar Visa free for 30 days and others about 14 days for Brunei, Vietnam,Cambodia,Indonesia,Laos,Philippines and Thailand (only through 3 International Airport which is Yangon,Mandalay and Naypyidaw ).
To know more which country are valid to to apply for e-visa ,please click the link below for more info.
Very Important Note : Do not overstay .Even thought Myanmar is very relaxed with it immigration but you might get fine for overstaying and sorry there is no way to extend your visa except reapply for new visa .
Tips 3 : Get Vaccinated
It always good to be overly prepare than under prepare. World Health Organisation recommended the following vaccination if you travelling to Myanmar hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. There is so much vaccination to take right ? Most suggested immunisation is to take is the Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid due to food related .Food hygiene in some Asian countries is still a questionable when travelling to these countries.
Tips 4 : Bring adequate cash and bring recognizable foreign money
Despite some places in Myanmar do accept credit card in major city and places with tourist but it is still advisable to bring sufficient cash to pay for some things like buying food or product from street vendor. In Myanmar they use the local currency called Kyat . It always a good idea to bring some US dollar with you when entering the country and change it into local currency in case some places don’t accept credit card. ATM are available in some cities but it always a good idea to bring some additional cash to be exchange in case you can withdraw money from the ATM.
Up to 1 May 2019 1 US Dollar = 1500 kyat (This is the rate I change in the airport money changer once I get out from the immigration department. Please remember to bring US dollar notes which is the latest and bring those with not folded in half or edge of the bills.
One funny fact which I learn from my friend who is working here told me ,the money exchange here don’t accept money which folded half or the edges of the bills has sign it been folded .It has to be perfectly 100% clean and flat dollar only they accept the money .Any small crumbles or creases on the dollar bill they won’t accept it .
Note: Be sure to change back your Kyat Money to US dollar or Thai Baht before leaving if you left a lot of Kyat money before leaving Myanmar.
Tips 5: Learn Some Basic Burmese Language
Honestly not all Asian countries its people can speak fluent English and Myanmar is a country where some of it people are not exposed to the English language except some cities like Yangon. Learning some basic Burmese language could help you .
Do you speak English?: Inglei saga go pyaw tat de la?
Where is the bathroom?: Ein tha be ma shi tha le?
How much?: Be lau le?
Bill/cheque: Sin meh
Tips 6: Bring your slipper or bring a shoes bag
You be visiting a lot of pagoda temples and many of them require you to take out of your shoes before entering hence my friend advises me to bring slipper so it easier to slip in and slip out . Don’t forget to bring in a shoes bag or plastic bag to store your slipper or shoes whenever you take out your shoes slipper to enter the pagodas or temples.Some temple provided places for tourist to put their shoes but some don’t. I do not want to lose my slippers or shoes hence I bring along shoes bag to store my shoes or slipper wherever I go.Here I bought a lot of those portable travel shoes bag which is water resistant for easy storage for shoes or slippers .They are easy to wash ,dry and reuse.
Tips 7: Bring hand towel with bottle of water or wet wipes.
After touring the pagodas or temples ,if is advisable to use hand towel with water to wipe your feet clean or use a disposable wet wipes for hygiene purposes. Bring hand sanitizer along as well.You be surprise how “clean” their floor is . So for me I bought this Dettol Antibacterial Wet Wipe 10sheets (Pack of 3).
It easy to use and I bring it whenever I go any temple and use it to wipe my feet before wearing my slippers or shoes again. It comes is pack of three and I recommend you to bring it along if water is not available for you to wash your feet.
Tips 8: Bring modest clothing
It is advisable to bring clothing which is modest when going to scared places like pagodas or temples.When I say modest ,I mean no short or mini skirts or clothing that is exposed certain part of your body. Knee and shoulder need to be covered when entering places with strict dressing code.Bring or rent a wrap clothes /long big scarf or in some Asian countries they called it sarung to wrap around your waist for both men and women.If not you can always buy this longyi which is a long sheet of cloth widely worn in Myanmar.
Tip 9: Download the Voice Tra app
Download this app called Voice Tra either from google play store or apple store .This app is recommended by a friend who work in Yangon and she find this app useful to communicate with her staff who has limited English. This help to translate language you speak to Burmese language so the local people who don’t speak English can understand what you say.Here I put a a video link below as references how to use the Voice Tra. Trust me .it very useful not only in Myanmar but other country as well .You can download it for free.
Tip 10: Download the Grab App (E-Hailing Taxi App)
If you are visiting Yangon,you can use this Grab app to book taxi to go anywhere you want. The concept is same like Uber just that Uber don’t exist here only because they exited the South East Asia market.Click this website to know more and download the app from goggle play store or Apple store.
Note: I not sure if Grab can be used in outskirt area as I never tried it before myself but within Yangon city ,it works and easily can get taxi anywhere.
I hope you have enjoy reading my top 10 tips on preparing trip to Myanmar and if you have other better tips which I have not mention here ,please do comment here below and I like to hear from you. After travelling for so long ,I learn one or two mistake from my travelling experience which sometimes might cause me a lot of money due to my mistake in preparation for any trip despite overseas or within my country. Some of this links are affiliates link which mean if you click on the link and buy these products ,I would get a small commission in return for helping me to sustain this travel blog . I hope you get inspire by this post the next time you prepare for a trip to Myanmar.