AIRPORT TAX

Any passengers departing Myanmar on international flights will need to pay a departure tax of US$ 10.00 per person.

CLIMATE & WEATHER

Myanmar has three seasons. *Cool Season – October through February with average temperatures 20-24 C *Hot Season – March through May with average temperatures 30-35 C *Wet Season – June through September with average temperatures 25-30 C The ideal time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, even during the wet season, Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and in Shan State is quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit Cards are only accepted at a very few major hotels, airlines and some international shops and restaurants. We suggest to bring a sufficient amount of cash for personal expenses. The exchange of traveler cheques as well is very difficult and time consuming. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.

CURRENCY

We recommend visitors to bring US Dollar in cash only – larger notes receiving a better rate in exchange. Exchange of other foreign currencies such as Euros, Yen and Pounds Sterling are maybe time consuming and difficult. Authorized money changer throughout Myanmar will usually only accept US Dollars. The FEC (Foreign Exchange Currency) used in Myanmar as currency next to the local currency Kyat (pronounced “Chat”) is equal to the US Dollar (1=1) and can easily been used for payment of purchases throughout the country.

DOMESTIC AIRLINES & FLIGHTS

Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways are privately operated airlines flying throughout Myanmar. There is a 20 Kilo limit for baggage per person and excess baggage fees may be charged. We suggest you leave items not needed upcountry in Yangon and collect them upon your return.

DRINKING WATER

Only drink purified bottle water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentary. Carry a bottle with you throughout the day.

DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE

Two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars and half litre of perfume are allowed per person. Yangon Airport arrival hall has a selection of duty free shops with a full range of items at a good price.

FESTIVALS

Try to arrange your journey to coincide with a festival. These unique celebrations – such as the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival around Inle Lake – offer a perfect chance to visit villages and join the locals as they celebrate their festivals throughout the year. Click on our FESTIVALS button for the latest events.

GRATUITIES & TIPPING

Myanmars 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.

HEALTH

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, etc. Please contact us if you would like detailed information on emergency health services available.

 

IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS FORMALITIES

Your valuables ( jewelry, cameras, electronic equipment, etc.) should be declared on your customs declaration form upon arrival. Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.

INSURANCE

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 a 24 hour on call service for emergency evacuation and medical assistance.

LANGUAGE

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

LOCAL TIME IN MYANMAR
GMT + 6.5 YANGON 0700 hours on Monday
GMT – 5 NEW YORK 1930 hours on Sunday
GMT 0 LONDON 0030 hours on Monday
GMT +1 PARIS 0130 hours on Monday
GMT +7 BANGKOK 0730 hours on Monday
GMT +8 HONG KONG 0830 hours on Monday
GMT +10 SYDNEY 1030 hours on Monday

 

MOBILE PHONES

Hand Phones or Mobile Telephones from other countries currently do not operate in Myanmar. Customs will hold your telephone upon arrival and you can collect on your departure.

MONOSODIUM 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.

POWER & ELECTRICITY

Our recommended hotels in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan offer 24 hour power (with a generator if needed). 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. Most hotel rooms have screens and mosquito nets.

RELIGION

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

TELECOMMUNICATONS IDD

Telephones & fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon and Mandalay but charges are quite expensive. E mail facilities are now available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon and Mandalay.

TRAVELLERS CHEQUES

Travellers Cheques may be very time consuming to transact. You must bring the original purchase agreement for the travellers cheques with you as proof when cashing your cheques.

VOLTAGE

The voltage in Myanmar is 220-230 Volts AC. Most of the international hotels have their own generators. Other places may experience power cuts and voltage fluctuation which can damage equipment like computers. Please travel with the required protection for your electrical items.

WHAT TO BRING

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, extra passport photos, decaffeinated coffee (if you require). 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. Sandals, thongs or flip-flops (available locally) are very convenient footwear.