- Cultural Tips
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 footwear in the compound but not inside the buildings, starting with lowest step! Better make sure to check first. It is also polite to remove shoes before entering a private home. Socks may be left on.
+ When handing someone money or a gift use your right hand or both hands. You do not need to follow this rule when paying the bill in a teashop or restaurant as it is 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 should not touch the body of monk or nun. In most pagodas women are not allowed to go up to the higher levels.
+ For man and women when you wear Myanmar dress, which is sold ready to wear, make sure you do not wear it carelessly such as unbuttoned or with your knee showing, for women going without a bra and underwear is definitely not done in Myanmar. Make sure you do not wearing shorts or skimpy tops when you visit pagodas. Even in the streets skimpy clothing is considered insulting to the public.
Hello Mingala ba
How are you? Neh Gaung La
I`m fine Neh Gaung deh
What is your name? Nameh pelokaw leh
Goodbye Thua ba me
Thank you Jaysu dinba deh
Never mind Kehsa mashi ba bu
Excuse me Kwin pyu ba
No Ma hou bu
How much is…? …..beh lao leh
Where is …? …..beh ma leh
Pharmacy Seh sain
Hospital She youn
- Travel Tips
Restricted visiting area:
Kayah and Chin states are restricted for visitors. Doing adventures in Putao and the northmost divisions of Kachin requires a registration with local government
Departure tax is included in the airfair and no more airport tax charge in Myanmar any more (Updated June 6th 2012)
Myanmar currency is called Kyats (spells: /chet/), and comes in notes of 5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 90, 50, 45, 10, 5 and 1 Kyat.
General exchange rate $10 USD = 8,000 Kyats (updated June 6th 2012)
Credit Cards and Travelers’ Cheques:
Currently credit cards and travelers cheques are not widely accepted in Myanmar. So please make sure you bring enough new United States dollars for your intended purchases to avoid disappointment. Some guide book suggest couple hotels accept credit cards but they will charge you a 5% to 8% fee but the time Tan Thai - The writer of this artical was there recently in Apr 2012. There is no hotel in Yangon neither in Mandalay accept Credit Cards.
Myanmar Travel accept the deposit pay by credit card and the balance will be settled on arrival at Yangon office in Cash (Brand new Notes only)
***Important: Unlike the rest of the World, In Myanmar only new US dollar bank notes are accepted. Torn, worn or broken bills can’t used in Myanmar. Actually you might be able find couple places to change those notes but they offer you only 50% value of your money or less.
The US dollar bank notes with the serie start with A or B can't use in Myanmar and even the new ones but has some mark on it are not accepted in this place.
When we say "Brand New Notes" it really means new notes, they don't like the note with even a fold or any mark on it.
Now ATM is availabein Yangon from March 2013. More information about this at... Click
The best time to visit Myanmar is from November – February when the weather is temperate and cool. Warm to scorching heat prevails from March to May in the dry zone but it is moderate in the Shan and Kachin States. The monsoon season last 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, and maybe a light jacket for cooler evenings of hilly regions. Refer to the Cultural Tips above for additional guidance.
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 all medication you normally use including basics for emergencies, such as antibiotics etc. Most medicines are available but maybe not the brand you normally use.
+ Drink only pre-boiled water such as green tea or bottled water of reputable brands. It is best to avoid ice cubes in the streets stalls.
Avoid eating shellfish in hot weather if you are not actually on the beach.
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-looking Buddha images even if they were made a week ago, as the Custom Officers may not allow its export. Buy jewelry only from authorized dealers and be sure to get a receipt, as it must be shown at the Customs checkpoint at the airport.
There is no international roaming services in Myanmar. So your mobile (cell) phone will be useless here.
The telephones and fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon and Mandalay but charges are quite expensive. International phone call costs you about 5- 6 USD/ minute. You will usually be asked to pay in US dollars. The local call costs you about 100 Kyats/ minutes
Internet now is available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon and Mandalay and at some internet café in the major cities. They use Dialup net working and it is slow.
If you come with a mobile phone it must be declared upon arrival.
From August 2010 a Myanmar company provides the 2 weeks use SIM card. You could ask your tour guide get you this SIM card which costs you about 30 USD. This Amount of money allows you 60 minutes local call or about 8 minutes international call. They will need ID card of the local to fill in the registration form. This service is only runing for experiment and could be stop without any prior notice.
Mobile phone numbers in Myanmar begin with 09.
Visa: All foreigners entering Myanmar must have a valid visa issued by the Myanmar Embassies and consulates abroad. More information about Visa, please Click Here