Myanmar Travel Guide
According to Bridgat, Myanmar is a country located in Asia with name that begins with letter M. The Republic of Myanmar (formerly Burma or Burma) is located in Southeast Asia and borders China in the north, India and Bangladesh in the west and Laos and Thailand in the east. Around 51 million people live in an area that is almost twice the size of Germany, the majority of whom belong to the Bamar ethnic group from Tibet.
Myanmar was a military dictatorship from 1962 to 2011, and a civilian head of state has ruled since 2011. During the military rule, the capital of the multiethnic state of Yangon, located on the Irrawaddy River Delta, was relocated to Naypyitaw, which lies on the route between the Burmese cities of Yangon (4.5 million residents) and Mandalay (1.5 million residents) lies. Check Countryaah to find more countries that begin with letter M.
Austrian, German and Swiss citizens need a visa, which they can apply for at the responsible embassy in Myanmar. Alternatively, you can also apply for an e-Visa online.
Myanmar has a predominantly tropical climate that is influenced by the Indian monsoons. During the rainy season from May to October, rainfall can also cause heavy flooding. The average annual temperature is around 27 °C in the central parts of the country.
Food and drink
Myanmar is a classic rice country: curry dishes (called Hin), rice noodles and tasty soups are at the top of the menu. Unlike in neighboring countries, Myanmar uses milder spices. Green tea is often served with the meal.
Restrained, calm and polite behavior characterizes public life in Myanmar and is also expected from guests. “Keep smiling” is the motto. Wear appropriate clothing, especially when visiting temples and monasteries. Since the head is considered the most noble part of the human body and is taboo for strangers, you should never touch Burmese children on the head. In return, it is considered very rude to stretch your feet towards someone while sitting – especially Buddha statues and monks are to be spared.
Medical care does not meet European standards. No vaccinations are required to enter Indonesia. It is recommended that you contact your general practitioner or another suitable facility about 8 weeks before you travel to find out about recommended vaccinations.
You should also pay attention to the strong tropical sun and appropriate sun protection.
Crime is not a major issue in Myanmar. However, in some regions there are conflicts between the different ethnic groups.
- Military objects are not allowed to be photographed.
- Possession of even a small amount of drugs carries heavy prison sentences.
Climate and travel time
Myanmar has a predominantly tropical climate with alternating rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season (monsoon) lasts from June to September. October to March is the best time to travel with pleasant temperatures and lots of sunshine. The greatest heat is usually in April and May. In the northern regions of the country (e.g. Kalaw, Inle Lake, Pindaya, Kengtung, Putao) the nights between October and March can get cold (bring a jacket or sweater). Most of the hotels have no heating. Warm clothes are also recommended for an early morning boat trip on Inle Lake.
All about money
Kyat (MMK), 1 Euro = approx. 1,800 Kyat (pronounced “Tschatt”) – as of Oct 2018
Travelers should be prepared for the fact that paying with cash is still the easiest and most reliable way to go. It is strongly recommended that you bring enough cash with you.
Credit cards are increasingly recognized, but sometimes with high fees. Mainly Marstercard and Visa (with PIN) are accepted. Bank cards (Maestro & Cirrus cards) should be checked before departure to see whether they can be used in Myanmar. Not all banks have activated their bank cards for Myanmar.
Cash withdrawals with credit or debit cards are possible at numerous ATMs across the country. The ATMs are located in many supermarkets with an international range of goods (eg “City Mart”, “Ocean Center”), in larger hotels, at international airports and tourist markets. However, the ATMs don’t always work.
Series before 2000 US dollar bills will not be accepted. The same applies to worn, damaged, badly kinked or soiled notes. It is recommended that you only carry absolutely new, undamaged and smooth dollar bills with you.
The euro is increasingly being accepted for exchange in Yangon. Here, too, it applies that it should preferably be unused banknotes. The exchange of money (US dollars or euros in kyat) should take place in the exchange offices (“Money Change”), which can be found in many places in the larger cities. Exchanges at street vendors (e.g. at Bogyoke Aung San Market) are strongly discouraged (scams, poor exchange rate). There are different exchange rates depending on the size of the banknote. 100 US dollar bills achieve the cheapest exchange rate, 1 US dollar bills are exchanged at a correspondingly worse rate.
In restaurants and bars in tourist regions, around 10% of the total bill is expected as a tip. In rural areas, tips are not expected, but certainly appreciated.
It is common, but not mandatory, to tip the guide and driver at the end of a tour for good service. Appropriate payment for our local guides and partner agencies is part of our sustainability guidelines. So please be aware that tips do not replace wages. It is therefore not an absolute must, but an (expected) recognition for good service.
Other essential information
Time difference to GMT + 5.5 hours time difference to Mežs + 4.5 hours
230 volts / 50 Hertz alternating current, sockets mostly for round and flat plugs. Because of the different sockets, it is advisable to take a universal adapter with you.
We recommend light, comfortable clothing made of natural fibers. During the rainy season, a light raincoat or umbrella is useful. In the mountains of the north, the evenings between November and February can get cold, so it is advisable to bring a sweater or jacket. For the hikes, you should bring a functional hiking guide with a jacket and ankle-high hiking boots.