Currently Yangon International Airport is the major gateway into Myanmar and Mandalay International Airport is also the gateway into Myanmar.
Yangon International airport is located about 20 km, approximately 45 minutes drive from downtown Yangon. Air International carriers flying into Yangon, Myanmar are Air China (CA), Air Asia (AK), Bangkok Airways (PG), China Airlines (CI), China Southern Airlines (CZ), China Eastern Airlines (MU), Condor Airlines (DE), Dragon Airlines (KA), Eva Airlines (BR), Indian Airlines (IC), Jetstar Airlines (3K), Korea Airlines (KE), Malaysian Airlines (MH), Myanmar Airways International (8M), Nippon Airlines (NH), Asiana Airlines (OZ), Quarter Airways (QR), Silk Air (MI), Thai Airways International (TG), Thai Air Asia (FD), and Vietnam Airlines (VN). Aside from domestic destination, Air Bagan also flies to Chiang Mai in Thailand from Yangon.
Mandalay International Airport is located about 35km, approximately 1hr to get from the airport to the centre of the city.
Myanmar shares common borders with China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India. Some of the borders are closed at the time of writing this manual. At present, there are border checkpoints which allow tourists from Nothern Thailand or Yunnan, China you must receive a visa to Myanmar before arrival at the border. If you book a full package tour with Wazo Travels, we may be able to arrange special permission for your arrival either from the Thai border at Mae-Sai into Myanmar, at Tachilek or from the Thai border at Ranaung into Myanmar, at Kawthaung by boat ride or from the Chinese border town of Ruili in Yunnan into Myanmar at Mu-se. Departing from Myanmar through these border towns may also be arranged. Please contact our office.
Passport (at least 6 months validity from date of arrival to Myanmar) with entry visa is required for all visitors, applicable at Myanmar Embassies and Consulate General Offices abroad. Visitors must always carry their passport whilst travelling.
A tourist visa is vaild for 28 days, extendable for an additional 14 days and the visa fees is US$ 30 per pax.
A business visa is vaild for 70 days, extendable up to 12 months on a case-by-case basic and the visa fees is US$ 50 per pax. Visa processing time takes 3-5 days. The current regulations for entering Myanmar are as following:
Entry Visa for FIT which does not need any tour confirmation letter when apply the visa at Myanmar Embassy abroad.
Entry Visa for Package Tour can be obtained a tour confirmation letter of your travel arrangements from the authorized travel agencies in Myanmar. Wazo Travles need your details (name: as per passport, nationality) to send the invitation letter to Myanmar Embassy in your country. A copy of the letter will be send to you by fax or e-mail and take this letter plus passport, 3 photos and visa fees to apply the visa.
Visa on arrival if there is no Myanmar Embassies and Consulate General Office in your country, you can obtain Pre Arranged Visa (which must not be more than 6..), flight code. You have to take a package tour from an authorized travel agencies in Myanmar and the processing time takes at least 2 weeks. So, please advise your personal details (Full name as mentioned in the passport, Father’s name, Religion, Race, Passport No., Date of issue & expire of passport, Nationality, Sex, date of birth & place, Occupation, Home address, scanned passport size photo which must not be more then 6 months old and flight code & time of flight in/out. After getting data, we will apply pre arrange visa on arrival through the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism and the departments concerned. Once visa is approved, we will send you a copy of this authorization by fax or scanned by email. Wazo Travels will apply service charges for the application regardless the visa is approved or denied. E Visas are currently unavailable.
Foreign currency exceeding US$ 10,000, jewelleries, cameras and electronic goods must be declared at customs upon entry. Duty fees allowance for each visitor is two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars, half liter of perfume. Yangon Airport arrival hall has a selection of duty free shops with a full range of items at a good price.
Departure Gems and jewellery purchased from authorized dealers (with vouchers) are allowed to be taken out. Export of Buddha images, antiques and archaeologically valuable items is prohibited.
Credit cards and traveler’s checks are currently mostly not accepted in Myanmar. Only a few major hotels, some international shops and restaurants accept Credit cards (visa, master & American Express cards) with surcharge minimum 5% for payments for payment purchase but not for cash out. So, travellers should bring enough cash in US Dollars for your purchases and payments during your stay in Myanmar. Most of the hotels, restaurants and shops accept US$ for payment. The traveler checks are not acceptable in Myanmar at present.
Foreign currencies such as Euro, US Dollar and Singapore $, can be exchanged in banks, airports and money changers at the main destinations (Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan & Heho). Authorized money changers throughout Myanmar will accept US DOLLARS and can be exchanged to Myanmar Kyats and the EURO is getting more and more popular, especially in Yangon. The money exchange bank counter will open from 09:30-15:00 on weekdays and airport bank counter will open from 09:30-15:00 on Monday to Saturday. It is advisable that travellers should bring enough cash in US Dollar for trip to Myanmar and with series numbers not starting with CB as these are not accepted in Myanmar due to rumors of these series being counterfeit. Please note that money changers, shops, restaurants and hotels accept payment in US Dollar notes, which are in good condition and not torn, dirty or washed out as these will not be accepted in Myanmar.
No vaccination is normally requi#e91d26, although malaria prophylaxis are often recommended by personal physicians. Occasionally, typhoid fever, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis vaccinations are also recommended. Drink only bottled or boiled water not any tap water and a good selection of Asia and Western foods. It is not advisable to buy food or fruit from street vendors. Use sunscreen liberally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.
Light casual wear preferably cotton is suitable for all year round. A sweater and jacket will be needed in the cool season when visiting the hill regions like Northern and Eastern areas. Mini skirts, shorts and revealing clothes are prohibited when visiting religious sides. Visitors bring a pair of slippers or snadals because the visitors entering the precincts of pagodas and monasteries, must be removed shoes and socks.
Sun hat, sun glasses, sun protection for your face and body, prescription medicines, insect repellent, an umbrella (rain or shine) and rain coat (rain). An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight, extra passport photos and passport copy for visa.
We do recommend all clients to take out their own personal travel insurance which covering health, trip cancellation, lost and damage luggage etc. 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, Tel : (95-1) 66787, 667879 • Kandawgyi Clinic Natmauk Road, Tel : (95-1) 530083 • Pacific Medical Centre & Dental Surgery 81, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road Tel : (95-1) 548022 • Pun Hlaing International Hospital Pun Hlaing Golf Estate, Tel : (95-1) 684323, Fax : (95-1) 684324
The voltage in Myanmar has 220-230 Volts AC. Most of the international hotels have their own generators. 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.
Normal print films are available in Myanmar but good quality film is available in Yangon and Mandalay at the better hotels. However for professional quality film it is best to bring your own. In towns like Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Nyaung Shwe, digital photos can easily be downloaded and loaded onto a CD-ROM in case you run out of memory. Photography in airports, railway stations, police stations, wharves, bridges, government offices and near any military installation is forbidden. For close-up shots of people, always ask for permission first.
Airport departure tax for international flight is USD 10 per person is payable cash by US Dollars. Domestic airport departure tax is 1000 kyats per person/per way.
The basic Myanmar food is mainly rice and curry. A clear soup called “ hingyo” accompanies most meals and a fermented fish sauce or paste called “Nga Pi Ye” is usually served to add to the flavor. Myanmar dishes are oily, sour, salty and spicy. Popular dishes include Mohinga, rice noodles served with fish gravy; and Ohn-No-Khauk-Swe, noodles served with coconut and chicken curry, for breakfast and light meals. Another Myanmar favorite dessert are Sa Nwin-Ma-Kin (Myanmar sweet cake) and Kyauk Kyaw (Sea weed jelly) Myanmar also enjoys tea. Myanmar has many excellent restaurants specializing in Myanmar, Chinese, and Indian food. Shan food and delicacies also are available. Shan style of cooking belongs neither to Myanmar nor Chinese nor Thai cuisine but they taste really good in their own way. European cuisine is also available some specialized restaurants or at most of the larger hotels.
Only drink purified bottle water and the popular brand in Myanmar is Alpine & Oasis purified drinking water . Other bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentary. Carry a bottle with you throughout the day.
* You can send your letters and post cards from the Central Post Office. It is located at the Strand Road in Yangon and this office closed at the weekend. Post cards can be bought at all the main tourist sites and stamps are available from post offices and some hotel reception desks.
* Parcels may be sent and delive#e91d26 in Myanmar and private services like DHL come at a price but are doing a good job. If you should wish to send bulky and heavy items home, it can be done either by airfreight or by sea. In this case, our Wazo Travels will be willing to give you the necessary help and assistance.
* IDD telephones & fax facilities are available at government offices, businesses and major hotels in most hotels. Whenever making phone calls or send the fax from Myanmar, travellers should always check the rates before using IDD lines as the cost can be quite high. In Yangon and Mandalay overseas communication is fairly easy but in Bagan and especially in Inle Lake, it can be difficult.
* Most of the hotels have some internet terminals at the cities like Yangon, Mandalay and Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake), you will also find some small internet cafés. But free mail servers like Yahoo or Hotmail can NOT be accessed in Myanmar. Internet connections in Myanmar are generally slow and some patience will be requi#e91d26!
Mobile phones from other countries currently do not operate in Myanmar. A pre-paid GSM sim card (USD 20 with the prevailing market rate) is currently available in each mobile shops, some shopping center and Yangon International Airport. Local calls are charged with US$ 0.3 per minute, international calls with US$ 1.5 per minute (for all countries) and incoming calls with US$ 0.05 per minute. To send SMS messages to foreign countries is not possible. The GSM prepaid cards are valid for 28 days after activation and this sim card is for one use only and can not top up. When it is finished, buy another sim card and it will be a different number. You can bring your own GSM handset to Myanmar or rent one at Yangon Airport with deposit and rental fees. Subject to availability. Please note that the mobile network does NOT include Pindaya & Ngapali.
Each place has its own particular such as lacquer ware especially in Bagan, textiles such as silk, cottons, etc., in Mandalay & Inle Lake (Shan bags can be found as well), wood carving, tapestries, marionette in Mandalay are main souvenirs from Myanmar. All particulars which come from throughout Myanmar are available at the Scott Market (Bogyoke Market) in Yangon. Simulated antiques, fine ceramics and copies of famous paintings are also possible to buy. The rubies and jades are also famous but be aware before purchasing. All gems and jewelleries purchased should be made through the government licensed dealers, who can give a voucher for export. Bargaining is essential for obtaining the reasonable price.
Government offices are usually open from 09:30 until 16:00 on weekdays. Most shops and shopping centers are open from 09:00 until 21:00 every day. An exception is Bogyoke Market (Scott Market), which is closed on Monday, on public holidays and full moon days (like all markets in Myanmar). This market is open from 10:00 until 16:00. Banking hours from 10:00 until 14:00 on weekdays.
Private companies work daily except Sunday and gazette holidays. Some companies open the half day open on Saturday.
Holidays marked with an asterisk many vary as they are designated according to the Myanmar lunar calendar:
|4 January||Independence Day|
|12 February||Union Day|
|2 March||Peasants Day|
|12 March||Full Moon Day of Tabaung|
|27 March||Armed Forces Day|
|13 April - 16 April||Thingyan Water Festival|
|17 April||Myanmar New Year Day|
|1 May||Workers’ Day or May Day|
|10 May||Full Moon Day of Kason|
|19 July||Martyr's Day|
|08 July||Full Moon Day of Waso|
|04 - 06 October||Full Moon Day of Thadingyut Holidays|
|02 - 03 November||Full Moon Day of Tazaungmone Holidays|
|13 November||National Day|
|18 December||Kayin New Year Day|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
Myanmar’s 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.
The day on which you were born (Monday, Tuesday etc.) is very important in Myanmar’s Buddhist society. At the larger Pagodas there is a special ‘station’ for each day of the week where you can go and make on offering or pour water over the Buddha image for good fortune. Burmese love to go to the fortune tellers who focus on the birthday of the week. Note: Wednesday has two stations – those born before 12 noon and those born after.
You avoid from kissing and hugging in public, improper use of or behavior toward a sac#e91d26 thing as a Buddha image, and touching a monk. Not always necessary to shake hands. Shoes and socks must be removed when entering the precincts of pagodas, temples and monasteries. Visitors are advised to ignore touts who may approach them to exchange currency, of to sell gems of this practice by giving money.