Good to Know
Myanmar is a country deeply respectful of their religious and cultural
traditions. Visitors will not cause offense if they note a few things:
Remove shoes and socks before entering religious buildings and compounds.
Some monasteries allow foot- wear in the compound but not inside the buildings,
starting with the lowest step! Better make sure first. It is also polite
to remove shoes before entering a private home but socks may be left on.
When handing someone money or a gift use the right hand or both hands,
with the exception of paying the bill in a teashop or restaurant. Then
it is a more casual transaction.
Women should not ride on the roof of buses or boats; it is offensive to
the men or elderly sitting underneath. Women should not touch a monk's
robes or body of monk or nun. In most pagodas women are not al- lowed
to go up higher levels.
When you wear Myanmar dress, which is sold ready -to-wear, make sure you
do not wear it carelessly such as with knees showing or unbuttoned or,
in the case of women, without underwear. Going braless is definitely not
done in Myanmar. Make sure not to be wearing shorts or skimpy tops when
you visit pagodas. Even in the streets skimpy clothing would be considered
insulting to the public.
TRAVEL TIPS Visa:
All foreigners entering Myanmar must have a valid visa issued by the Myanmar
Embassies and Consulates abroad. There are two kinds of visas applicable
to tourists; (1) package tour visas and (2)FIT visas. Package tour visas
can be obtained for persons arranging tours through registered local tour
operators or their agents abroad. FIT visas are for persons not making
any arrangements for sightseeing etc with local tour operator but prefer
to explore the country on their own. All tourist visas are valid for 28
days with an option for extension. Visa on arrival can be arranged prior
to your arrival by your travel agent but only for package tours.
Airport tax is US$10 per person on international departure.
Myanmar currency is called Kyat, and comes in notes of 1000, 500, 200,
100, 90,50,45,20, 10, 5 and 1 kyat.
cards and Travellers' Cheques:
Currently credit cards and travellers cheques cannot be used in Myanmar.
So please make sure you bring enough United States dollars in cash for
your intended purchases and avoid disappointments.
Temperate and cool during the months of November to February and the best
time to come visiting. Warm to scorching from March to May in the Dry
Zone but moderate on the Shan and Kachin States. It is monsoon season
from June to October in Yangon and the coastal regions, so plan to go
to Bagan and Mandalay during this time.
Light cotton clothing, slip-on shoes or sandals, a sun hat, maybe a light
jacket for cooler evenings of hilly regions.
Comfort and Care:
Mosquito repellent and sunscreen are a must. Try to avoid going out in
the midday sun when it's very hot. Don't forget to bring medication you
would normally use in emergencies, such as antibiotics etc. Most medicines
are available but maybe not the brand you normally use.
Drink only preboiled water such as green tea or bottled water of reputable
brands. Better to avoid ice cubes in the street stalls.
Avoid eating shellfish in hot weather, if you are not actually on the
You cannot post parcels home, although some shops will do the shipping
for you. Ask first before you buy anything bulky. You cannot take back
antiques. Better to avoid buying old-Iooking Buddha images even if they
were made a week ago, as the Custom Officers may not allow its export.
Buy jewelry only from authorised dealers and be sure to get a receipt
which must be shown at Customs.
Crime rate is low, so you are safer than in most countries but prudence
is never wrong.
Myanmar Standard Time:
Myanmar is 6.30 hours ahead of G.M.T