The visa is valid for a period of 3 (three) months from the date of issue. A visa may be obtained from any Myanmar embassy abroad. Since 2003, it is no longer mandatory to exchange US Dollars into local currency at the entry point.
Visitors must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond their tour departure date along with 2 passport photos and an empty page in their passport visa section.
Foreign Exchange not exceeding the equivalent of US$ 2,000- (two thousand) may be imported into Myanmar without declaration. Any foreign currencies exceeding the amount of US$ 2,000- must be declared as well as gemstones, jewelry, gold, electrical appliances and video cameras. You are not allowed to bring Mobile phones into Myanmar; they are strictly forbidden. Every visitor is permitted to import two liters of alcoholic beverage and two cartons of cigarettes free of charge.
Myanmar does not allow the export of antiques and objects of archaeological value exceeding a certain age. Gold, silver and jewelry may be exported only if they are purchased from a store licensed by the government.
US Dollar notes are the best option to bring into Myanmar as spending money. But be sure to bring new notes, as sometime old notes are not accepted. The currency in Myanmar is the Kyat (pronounced chaat). The exchange rate is however, very flexible.
As of now, no inoculations are required for travel to Myanmar. However, some inoculations are recommended such as for Polio, Hepatitis, Typhoid and Malaria. Altitude may be a concern for some travelers. Please consult your physician for your specific needs.
Some of the dreaded tropical diseases one may have heard of usually do not constitute a threat to tourists because they are mainly the result of unsanitary conditions, lack of medical care due to poverty or similar factors. Malaria, however, should never be underestimated. However, we have learned from experience, that it is not a serious problem in areas visited by tourists. The threat of being bitten by dangerous or poisonous reptiles/animals should also not be overestimated. However, one rarely encounters poisonous snakes and spiders, and even when encountered, they usually run away before a human gets close as they avoid confrontation. Nevertheless, it is advisable to stay away from the all too common stray dogs as well as from cats. You should also be aware of the fact that the quality of medical care in Myanmar leaves a lot to be desired. Minor indispositions can be handled by local doctors and some local pharmacies do stock a fairly extensive spectrum of drugs, mostly sold under their English trade names. We recommend that you bring along all regularly needed drugs in sufficient numbers, as well as cosmetics. In case of more serious health problems, we would advise you to seek treatment in Bangkok or Singapore where you will find plenty of good hospitals. The most common health problems encountered here are flu and diarrhea: You may not be able to prevent them entirely, but you can limit them by being cautious and eating only clean and proper food. You should also avoid staying too long in air-conditioned rooms.
Facilities for telecommunications have improved considerably in recent years. Visitors can reach their home countries by phone or fax – at least from the major cities in Myanmar. The formerly exorbitant prices have dropped quite a bit. However, at US$ 3.20/minute, making long distance calls from Myanmar to Europe is still not a bargain.
It is important to ask for the price before making phone calls from Myanmar since some hotels will charge double the official rate. E-mail service is available in the big hotels; again, it should be remembered that this comes at a price as well. Prices in Myanmar cannot be compared to the ‘rock bottom’ prices in the west. It is also better to leave your cell phone at home as they will be confiscated at the Custom’s office; and anyway, they will not work in Myanmar.
The local mobile telephone net is practically useless for tourists: A mobile phone costs over US$ 4,000.-! To make matters worse, the local phone nets are permanently overloaded and the quality of the connections leaves much to be desired.
LETTERS & PARCELS
What has already been said previously about telecommunications is also true for the mail service. However, postage is definitely cheap in Myanmar. Expect letters and postcards to take some time to reach their destinations but usually most of them do arrive.
You may give any letters you need to post to your local guide as he can take care of it. Many hotels also offer this service.
Parcels may be sent from or delivered in Myanmar but again it is rather time-consuming, especially if you try to pick up a parcel at the Foreign Post Office – be sure to bring along a lot of time and patience! Private services like DHL come at a price but are more efficient. If you should wish to send bulky and heavy items home, it can be done by airfreight or by sea. Our guides are always at your service if you need their help and assistance.
The normal supply of electricity in Myanmar uses 220 Volts. However, fluctuations can be quite unexpected. Be prepared for amazing jumps from anywhere between 80 and 300 Volts! This explains why most Myanmar households are equipped with at least one, if not a battery of voltage regulators. Make sure to protect your electrical appliances from high voltage – your laptop especially may be susceptible to damage.
In the high end hotels, the voltage usually should be o.k., even though you can never be completely sure. You will also encounter a “bewildering” variety of plugs and sockets in the country; extension sockets for three different types of plugs are the rule. Don’t rely on world plugs and sockets – Myanmar is a world apart! However, if the need arises, you can always find what you need in any roadside shop – the problem is all too common in the country. Power cuts all over the country are the rule rather than the exception, even though one has to admit that the general situation has improved during the last few years. Many hotels and shops have their own generators to ensure a regular 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 p.m.!
DOS & DON’TS
Remember that the Myanmar people are very religious and anyone visiting a religious site such as a pagoda is expected to remove his/her shoes before entering. They believe that religious grounds are donations to the Buddha and the countless holy Buddhist monks. Thus they strive to keep them clean and pure. It is part of their tradition “not to wear’‘ shoes, sandals, thongs or flip-flops and even socks within religious compounds.
Bagan & Mandalay are tropical zones, so bring your hats and sunglasses for protection against the strong sun. On the other hand, if you are visiting Yangon and Inle Lake during the rainy season (June to September) then an umbrella or raincoat will come in handy to keep from getting drenched.
A WORD OF CAUTION
You should be aware that you’re traveling within an under-developed country, where things are less predictable than in developed regions like Western Europe or North America. One should not expect the same quality of emergency health and safety services as in the west. Travel by rail is generally unreliable and traveling along bumpy roads around the country is naturally not comfortable. Generally, hotel and other service standards have yet to reach the high standards of the west, although in the past few years, some Myanmar hotel services can compete with 5 star facilities in western countries! But of course, not always! In Myanmar, the unexpected is the norm and no matter how much planning and organizing has gone into your preparations one cannot take adventure travel for granted like a normal holiday. But travel in Myanmar is unique; a new experience for all visitors who will cherish this special journey inside a very special country!
Myanmar Visa On Arrival/ latest Policy (with effect from 7th June’ 2011 )
A Myanmar tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival for all nationalities at Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport in case you do not have sufficient time to get a visa in your country. Here is some detailed information for getting Visa On Arrival.
(1)- Any nationals holding a valid normal passport will be issued Visa On Arrival if found in accordance with regulations.
(2)- Passport of the applicant must be valid for at least 6 months starting from the date of arrival.
(3)- Visa On Arrival (for Tourist): fee USD 30 ( + 10 USD/pax service charges ) will be collected and will be permitted for 28 days. Application for renewal of Stay Permit is not allowed.
(4 )- Applicant must have a return air ticket to leave from Myanmar.
(5 )- Applicant must stay in the licensed hotels, motels or guesthouses recognized by the Myanmar Government. The exact address of accommodation must be shown.
(6 )- Those visitors who have a place to stay/accommodation such as house of friends or relatives, Industry or Workshop must show the exact address of the host.
(7 )- Applicant must bring two photos (4×6 cm in size) taken/photographed within the past 6 months.
(8 )- Applicant must undertake to follow all the existing rules and regulations including Myanmar Immigration ACT.
(9 )- Children below 7 years of age shown on the passport of their parents will be granted Visa for free. Children (below 7 years of age), of Individual Passport Holder will be granted Visa for free.
(10 )- Individual Travelers must be able to show at least USD 300 in their possession.
(11)- Applicant must observe the existing Myanmar Visa Regulations during visit.
(12 )- Access to unauthorized restricted areas is not allowed. Foreigners must be aware of restricted areas.
(13)- Applicant can get the Application form for Visa On Arrival from the airlines or tour agents.
In Myanmar, casual clothes are the norm.
Myanmar has three distinct seasons which are: hot season, rainy season and the cold season. The Hot and dry season lasts from March to May with monthly average temperatures between 30 deg C to 35 deg C, the rainy season begins in June and ends in October with monthly average temperatures between 25 deg C and 30 deg C, followed by the cold season which starts in November and ends in February with average monthly temperatures of 20 deg C to 24deg C. The monsoon as expected is normally cloudy, rainy and hot; the humid summers are less cloudy with scant rainfall while the winter brings mild temperatures and lower humidity.
Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay enjoy warm weather throughout the year and accordingly, you should bring light clothing suitable for warm weather but around the Inle Lake area and in the mountainous region in higher elevations, the temperature dips down to almost freezing during the night in the winter months from November to February.
Hence, you need appropriate winter clothing for visits to the following places: Kanpetlet- Chin, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Kyaing Tong, Maymyo, Lashio and northern Myanmar. But although the nights are cold, temperatures are up again by mid day and it becomes quite pleasant to move about.
While visiting Buddhist temples in Myanmar, refrain from wearing suggestive or revealing clothing as they will be frowned upon. In fact, when visiting any religious area, you are expected to wear a modest and decent dress and footwear that can be easily removed before entering the premises.