TO GET TO MYANMAR
Yangon International Airport (Mingalardon Airport)
and Mandalay International Airport are the main
International Airports in Myanmar. Yangon has direct air
links with Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Calcutta,
Chiang Mai, Taipei, Kunming, Doha and Dhaka. Mandalay has a
direct air link with Kunming.
- Air Asia (FD) www.airasia.com
- Thai Airways International (TG) www.thaiairways.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Biman Bangladesh (BG) www.bimanair.com
- Bangkok Airways (PG) www.bangkokair.com
- Phuket Airlines Co., Ltd. (9R) www.phuketairlines.com
- SilkAir www.silkair.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Myanmar Airways International (8M) www.maiair.com
- Malaysia Airlines (MH) www.malaysiaairlines.com.my
- Indian Airlines Limited (IC) http://indian-airlines.nic.in/scripts/index.asp
- Air Mandalay (GT) www.airmandalay.com
- Mandarin Airlines (AE) www.mandarin-airlines.com
- Air China (CA) www.airchina.com.cn
- China Southern Airlines (MU) (only to Mandalay) www.cs.air.com/en/
- Qatar Airways (QR) www.quatarairways.com
- Biman Bangladesh (BG) www.bimanair.com
We recommend to purchase the air tickets from the country
which is your starting point in order to get the best
airfare. No agent in Myanmar, or in another country, can
offer you a better deal.
It is true and an attempt of International Airline
regulation to prevent air-ticketing monopoly in one single
region, so that world-wide local ticket agents can exist.
Overland entry with a Border Pass is permitted at the
following Border Check Points: Tachileik and Kawthaung on
the Myanmar-Thai border and Muse on the Myanmar-Yunnan (China)
PASSPORTS & VISA ON ARRIVAL -
SINCE MAY 01, 2010
Myanmar requires a valid passport of minimum 6 months.
Tourist visa are issued for a duration of 28 days starting
from the day you enter the country.
Every tourist can get the
visa at the international points of entry and exit in
Myanmar which are Yangon and Mandalay International Airport.
TO BE REQUIRED AT THE
- 30 $ US for a
28 days Tourism Visa (can't be extended)
- 40 $ US for a 28 days Social Visa (can be extended, with
- 40 $ US for a 71 days Business Visa (can be extended)
- 18 $ US for 24 hours transit Visa
- A valid Return Ticket
- Prove of stay at a Hotel, Motel, Guesthouse under hotel
- 2 Passport Picture size 4 cm x 6 cm (not older than 6
- Free of charge for children
under 7 years with own or in parents passport
- In case of other entries
than Yangon or Mandalay please contact
EMBASSIES: Please click here for an updated list of Myanmar Embassies and
All foreign currencies (above US $ 2,000.-), jewelries,
electrical goods and cameras must be declared to the Burma
Customs at the Airport. Export of Myanmar antiques is
totally prohibited. Only gems and jewelries purchased at
the licensed dealers, or who can issue an export permit are
allowed to be taken out of Myanmar. Travelers may bring in
duty free 200 cigarettes, one quart of wine and one pint of
perfume. You can bring your mobile phone with you, but the
Burma‘s GSM system does not allow " international
Roaming" so mobile phones from other countries do not
work in Myanmar. Laptop computer can be brought in freely
for the travelers’ own use.
The airport tax is US $10.- for international passengers,
payable in FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates). There is no
airport tax on domestic flights.
The official Myanmar currency is Kyat (pronounced “Chat”).
The official exchange rate is 6 Kyat to US$ 1.-. The
unofficial or market rate is as high as 1200 Kyat (Feb.
2007). There are several authorized moneychangers in Yangon
who will exchange US$ into Kyat. For paying by credit card, please click here.
The cost of living in Myanmar depends very much on where you
are: While in an expensive hotel a beer may cost you US$ 5.-
you might get it for about US$ 1.-(or its equivalent in Kyat)
in a restaurant. Generally spoken, Myanmar is a low-priced
country but as soon as you go for imported articles the
price level easily matches the one in Thailand or even other
Western countries - import taxes are rather high! As long
"as you go local" you might pay one fifth of the
International Hotels between US$ 10 and 15 per person
Local restaurants between Kyats 3.000 and 6.000 per person
Mineral water: US$ 1,5 to US$ 3
Soft drinks: US$ 3
Beer: US$ 3 to US$ 5
Glass of wine: US$ 3 to US$ 5
Tee or coffee: US$ 3
Mineral water: Kyats 500 to Kyats 800
Soft drinks: Kyats 300 to Kyats 700
Beer: Kyats 1200 to Kyats 1800
Tee or coffee: Kyats 500
For the Guides
Average is US$ 3,-- per day/per person - any additional
amount to be given is the decision of our clients.
For the Drivers
US$ 1,5 per person/per day.
For the Porters
Per luggage: 200 Kyats.
At local Restaurants
App. 200 kyats per person - depends again on the service you
At international Hotels
App. 500 kyats per person.
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 and extra passport photos.
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. Shoes and socks must be
removed at pagodas and monasteries so it is advisable to
bring a pair of slippers.
BUSINESS HOURS & HOLIDAYS
Government offices open from 10:00 to 16:00 on weekdays.
Banking hours are from 10:00 to 14:00. Private companies
work daily except Sunday and gazette holidays. Shopping
centers and super markets open daily. The most famous
Bogyoke (Scott) market is open daily from 10:00 to 16:00
except on gazette holidays.
JAN 4 Independence Day
FEB 12 Union Day
MAR 2 Peasant’s Day
MAR 2 Full moon day of Tabaung
MAR 27 Armed Forces Day
APR 13-16 Thingyan Festival (Water Festival)
APR 17 Myanmar New year Day
APR 30 Full moon day of Kason
MAY 1 May Day (Workers’ Day)
JUL 19 Martyrs’ Day
JUL 29 Full moon day of Waso
JUL 30 Beginning of Buddhist Lent
OCT 26 End of Buddhist Lent (Thadingyut Festival of Lights)
NOV 24 Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights
DEC 04 National Day
DEC 25 Christmas Day
JAN 8, 2008 Karin New Year
Myanmar is a Land of Festivals: a festival for every month
of the year. Most festivals are cultural and religious.
Majority are nation-wide celebrated while a few are
distinctly regional. The dates of the festivals and special
events are determined by the Lunar Year.
POST & TELECOMMUNICATION
The postal service in Myanmar is definitely cheap. Of course,
letters and postcards take quite some time to reach their
destinations but usually most of them will arrive. Parcels
may be sent and delivered in Myanmar but again it is rather
time-consuming, especially if you want to pick up a parcel
at the Foreign Post Office - bring along a lot of time and
patience! 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 guides will be willing to give you the
necessary help and assistance.
calls can be made from major hotels and the Central
Telegraph Office in Major cities. Whenever making phone
calls from Myanmar it is important to ask for the price
first - at some hotels the tariff might be double the
official rate. The service is improving but connections are
poor and international calls are expensive. Internet is
available at several locations throughout the country,
however, travelers have to be aware that their e-mail
websites might not be available due to government
restrictions (e.g. Yahoo, Hotmail and many other e-mail
websites cannot be accessed). You can bring your own laptop
with you and also your cellular phone, but please remember
that the local mobile telephone net is practically useless
GMT + 6 ½ hours
Is mainly 220-230 Volts/50 cycles. However, fluctuations can
be amazing: Be prepared for anything between 80 and 300
Volts! That’s why no Myanmar household is complete with at
least one if not a battery of voltage regulators. Make sure
to protect your electrical appliances from over voltage -
your laptop might take it rather ill...
exists a "bewildering" multitude of different
plugs and sockets in the country; extension sockets for
three different types of plugs are the rule. Most electrical
wall outlets take British-style plugs with a 3 flat plugs in
a triangle; some outlets accept round plugs and combined
round/flat holes for either type. You are advised to bring
an international adaptor with you and if the need arises you
can find what you need in any roadside shop - the problem is
all too common in the country. Power cuts are all over the
country more the rule than the exception. That’s why many
hotels and even shops have their own generators to ensure a
permanent power supply. However, that doesn’t necessarily
mean 24 hours of power supply as many hotels switch on the
generator only after sunset and switch it off at around 11
You should be able to get such books and maps from your book
shop or check amazon.com.
In Yangon we
would recommend on 37th Street, between Maha Bandoola Street
and Merchant Street, the marvelous little Pagan Book House
at No. 100. Great books, new and ancient, and a fine place
to chat with the ever-affable owner, U Ba Kyi.
book stores we can recommend are:
Innwa Book Store, 226 Sule Pagoda Road, Kyauktada, Yangon,
Mandalay Book Agency, 80M Kanbawza Lane (1), Bahan, Yangon.
Ph 553468, 511343.
Three morning newspapers Myanmar Ah Lin and Kye mon in
Myanmar and The New Light of Myanmar in English are
published in Yangon and The Yadanabon News in Myanmar is
published in Mandalay. Myanmar Times Journal (English
Version) is distributed every Monday, and the Myanmar
Version is distributed ever Friday. Both journals are
published in Yangon. The locally published magazines in
English; Golden Myanmar, Myanmar Chronicle, and Myanmar
Perspective, are available in bookshops. Foreign newspapers
such as International Herald Tribune, Singapore Straits
Times and some foreign magazines and periodicals are
available at In-wa (Ava) Bookshop, No.232, Sule Pagoda Road.
Radio Myanmar broadcasts English on the following schedule:
8:30 am to 9:00am 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm; and 9:00 pm to 10:30
pm. The new City FM broadcasts from 08:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.,
and from 13:00 P.M. to 17:00 P.M. daily, starting from
January 1, 2002.
There are two local TV channels: TV Myanmar and Myawaddy
with programs running from 7 am to 4 am; and from 4 pm to 11
pm. Most hotels also have satellite TV. Myawaddy was started
on the 27th March, 1995. The average broadcasting hours is
about 8 hours per day when it started.
In a country as photogenic as Myanmar many photo enthusiasts
realize long before the end of their journey that they
didn’t bring along enough films.
Nowadays that is not a problem anymore as supplies can be
replenished in most places where tourists congregate.
However, in some cases it might be difficult to get a
special film or the films on sale are expired. So it might
be a better idea to bring a sufficient supply of films.
Generally the Burmese do not have any objections against
being photographed. However, courtesy commands to obtain the
'victim’s' approval. Many pagodas charge a minimal fee for
cameras; video cameras might be a little more expensive.
Some museums restrict photography. It’s not a problem any
more to bring along video cameras.
Important: Photography in airports, railway stations and
near any military installation is forbidden.
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,
The dreaded tropical diseases usually do not constitute a
threat to tourists because they are mainly the result of
unsanitary conditions, lack of medical care due to poverty
and similar factors. Malaria, however, should never be
underestimated, but, according to our experience, is not a
grave problem in areas visited by tourists. The threat of
being bitten or poisoned by dangerous animals should also
not be overestimated.
On one hand poisonous snakes and spiders are rarely to be
found and on the other hand they anyway usually run away
before a human gets close. However, we advise to stay away
from the all too common stray dogs as well as from cats.
Unfortunately the quality of medical care leaves a lot to be
desired. Minor indispositions may be handled by local
doctors and some local pharmacies stock a fairly extensive
spectrum of drugs, mostly sold under their English trade
names. We recommend bringing along all regularly required
drugs in sufficient numbers, as well as cosmetics. In the
case of aggravating health problems your place of treatment
should be either Bangkok or Singapore where you will find
plenty of good hospitals. The most common health problems,
however, are flu and diarrhea: Even though you may not be
able to prevent them entirely you can limit them by choosing
clean and proper food and avoid staying in air-conditioned
rooms for too long.
Glutamate - (MSG) Alert
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.
Only drink purified bottle water. Bottled water is readily
available and some hotels provide complimentary. Carry a
bottle with you throughout the day.
If you should get sick in spite of all the precautions,
following hospitals are recommended:
Inya Lake Hotel, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road,
Tel : (95-1) 667877, 667879
Tel : (95-1) 530083
Medical Centre & Dental Surgery
81, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road,
Tel : (95-1) 548022
Improved a lot since 1996. Yangon offers a wide choice of
accommodation including boutique hotels and international 5
star properties for a reasonable price. You can get a
superior room including breakfast at a 4 star hotel already
for US$ 60 per room/ per night. In Mandalay you have to pay
for the same standard US$ 20 more per room/per night. The
new Mandalay City Hotel (2-3 star ), situated in the city
center offers superior rooms and deluxe rooms for a
In Bagan and
Inle Lake you have a choice of charming, traditional
accommodation from 1-2 star to 4 star hotels. Hotel
developments continue around Inle Lake with the newly opened
Inle Resort on the eastern shore of the lake. The Inle Regal
Resort now offers 18 junior suites and 10 superior rooms and
is recommended as the best quality accommodation built on
The renovated deluxe rooms at the Thazin Garden are some of
the best in Bagan and the Kaday Aung Hotel is our
recommendation for our superior class category.
developments of boutique style hotels take place at Ngapali
Beach, but we have to check them first, before we are going
to offer them to our clients. Till then we recommend the
Amata Resort & Spa and the Sandoway Resort at Ngapali
Beach. The Sandoway Resort has now also a swimming pool as
well as air-condition in all rooms.
The Silver Beach Hotel is our recommendation for the
standard category. For people who just want the beach
atmosphere it is the perfect little Bungalow Hotel. The
rooms are simple, but have air-con and the food is excellent.
Meanwhile the Silver Beach has also 8 Deluxe Bungalows with
sea view... Bungalows are 3 star accommodation.
other places in Myanmar accommodation can be simple and
Myanmar cuisine uses rice or noodles as staple dishes,
usually served with a variety of side dishes: curries with
meat or fish, vegetables, salads, soup, condiments etc.
Myanmar curries tend to be less chili-hot than those served
in Thailand, In order to give travelers a true feeling for
the Burma, Restaurant and food are carefully selected for
hygiene as well as gastronomic considerations. Meals &
drinks at International Hotels are considerably expensive.
There are many good local restaurants with almost the same
quality of food and hygiene as hotels but at reasonable
Most of the
restaurants in the major cities serve various dishes of
Chinese, European,Thai and Indian cuisine. Myanmar dishes
are oily, sour, salty and spicy. There are also a wide
variety of local snacks and delicacies. Mouk-hin-kha (thin
rice noodles served with fish gravy) and Ohn-noh-khauk-swe (noodles
served with chicken chunks and coconut gravy) are the most
popular in Myanmar. 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.
There are all kinds of entertainment in Yangon, from
cultural shows to marionette performance, theatre, cinemas
and others. There is plenty of Karaoke entertainment.
Real good fashion shows (the fashion show is the local
substitution of a modern show elsewhere, since there are
strict limits set by the government), with high professional
exotic designs, mainly as an add on in various discos offer
an interesting entertainment. Discos are plenty and "sing
a song" restaurant entertainment many.
An interesting nightlife is going on near the Shanghai
Shopping Center complex after 8 pm. This is in Chinatown and
the spoken name is -- denjisa -- and in the basement of the
the hotels have also happy hour
The Traders Hotel
Has happy hour every day from 18:00 to 20:00 with live music
on Thursday till 21:00
The Savoy Hotel
Has happy hour every day from 18:00 to 20:00 with live music
on Wednesday till 23:00
The Strand Hotel
Has happy hour every Friday from 17:00 to 20:00
Much of the Burmese theatrical arts have been influenced by
U Po Sein, one of the greatest dancers of all time. He
started the dancing of the Jatakas -- the stories of Buddha's
several lives before he reached Buddha hood. Before his time,
the Jakatas were danced only by puppets for humans were too
sinful to perform such holy stories. However, Po Sein was so
sincere in his act and his religion that he was allowed by
the Sangha to dance the stories.
There are several basic dance moves and postures an aspiring
dancer has to learn. Chin up, chest out, bottoms up, knees
bend is a strict to rule to follow by. In addition, a smile
has to be always on the face, unless otherwise required by
the particular dance. Burmese dance requires the movement of
every body part that one has. From the eye to the chin, from
the shoulders to the fingers, and from the waist to the feet.
There can be lively music that requires much jumping, or
there can be classical music that requires much grace.
Indeed, although at a glance, the dance may look easy,
learning it can prove to be hard.
As modern popular music and culture penetrates into Burma,
the Burmese theatrical and performing arts have decreased in
popularity among the Burmese youths. However, those who know
the value of the Burmese dances can appreciate the beauty
they depict. The Burmese dances tell a long story that goes
hand in hand with the Burmese history.
Myanmar Music Ensemble
The composition of the Myanmar Music Ensemble is somewhat
different from that of the European orchestra. The strings
are absent, their function being taken over by the drum-circle
which takes the tune instead of being only the tympani. The
gong-circle supports it. There are the wood-winds, the
bamboo flute and the oboes (Nhai) big and small, but no
brass. Our tympani corner (Pat-ma-gyi) which is at the
bottom of our gusto is very strong. The stalwarts are: the
big drum (Pat-ma) with its companion the big Cymbals (Yagwin)
and support drum (sa-khunt) with its companion the smaller
cymbals, the stick-drum (si-doh), the six side-drums, the
tiny time cymbal (than-lwin) and the irrepressible bamboo
Myanmar Cultural Variety Show we would recommend:
In Yangon the Lakeview Theatre Restaurant at Kandawgyi
Kan Yeik Tha Road
Tel: 249255-9, 242613-19
They have a daily show from 19:30 - 20:30.
Price for the cultural show including Thai buffet dinner is
US$ 6,- per person
Mandalay the cultural show and dinner at the Mandalay Hill
Resort / Kinsana Garden Theatre
No. (9), Kwin (416B), 10th Street, At the Foot of Mandalay
October to April: Daily show with dinner from 19:00 till
Myanmar Puppetry was not only for entertainment, but also a
high art held in much esteem by all classes. Marionettes
were a means of making people aware of current events, a
medium for educating the people in literature, history and
religion, display of lifestyles and customs. At the same
time, they functioned as mouthpieces for the people in the
days of royalty, tiny hands in state and social affairs.
Everyday from 20:30 to 21:30
US$ 3.- per person.
There are a lot of restaurants in Bagan, showing daily
puppet shows during dinner time. The most popular place is
the Nanda Restaurant (02-67542, 67039).
Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly pure hand-made, are best
souvenirs. Lacquer ware, woodcarvings, tapestries,
silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics and shoulder
bags are some of the favorite items.
For jewellery, there is Burma rubies, sapphires, jade and
pearls available at Myanmar gems shops. All gems and
jewellery purchased should be made through the government
licensed dealers, who can give a voucher for export.
Bargaining is essential for obtaining the reasonable prices.
Possible price reductions of up to 50% are not uncommon.