Travel Tip

Geography and Climate

The union of Myanmar is 676,577 square kilometers. It stretches for 936 kilometers from east to west and 2,051 kilometers from north to south. The rich natural resources country in the South-east Asia Peninsula sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. It has a 2832 km long coastline on the Indian Ocean. Over 50 percent of the total land area is covered with forests. The Union of Myanmar is geographically situated in Southeast Asia between latitudes 9° 32′ N and 28° 31′ N and longitudes 92° 10′ E and 101° 11′ E.

Myanmar has three seasons. The best time to visit Myanmar is the cool season from November to February. At this time of year the weather is very pleasant – not too cool at night and not too hot in the day. In the hill stations it can get quite chilly in the evening. During the hot season from March to May the temperatures rise and will often topping 40C and it can be unpleasantly hot. The rainy season is from June to end of October. During the rainy season, lower Myanmar and coastal areas heavy rain showers but it is dry and pleasant in central regions.

Population and National Races of Myanmar

Myanmar is a union of 135 National races with their own dialects and traditions and the major races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The population of Myanmar is over 56 million with the Bamar, the majority race making up about 70 percent. Religion Predominantly a Buddhist country with more than 80 percent of the people embracing Theravada Buddhism. There are also Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some animists.

International Entry Points

  1. Yangon International Airport
  2. Mandalay International Airport
  3. Nay Pyi Taw International Airport

Overland Border Crossings

  1. Myawaddy – Mae Sot, Thailand
  2. Kawthaung – Ranong, Thailand
  3. Tachilek – Mae Sai, Thailand
  4. Muse – Shwe Li (Tali), China

Arriving and Departing Over Land

When travelling over land to Myanmar, you must always obtain your visa beforehand. It is not currently possible to get Myanmar visas at the border and e-visas are not valid.

International Airlines

The following airlines currently fly into Myanmar : Thai Airways International(TG), Bangkok Airways (PG), Air Asia (FD), Nok Air (DD),  Myanmar Airways International (8M), Singapore Airlines (MI), Silk Air (SQ), Qatar Airways (QR), Condor Airlines (DE ), EVA Air (BR), Vietnam Airlines (VN), Malaysia Airlines (MH), China Airlines (CI),  Mandarin Airlines (AE), China Eastern Airlines (MU), Air China (CA), Air India (IC).

Currency Exchange

US Dollar is the most widely used foreign currency and visitors may change their dollars into kyat (the local currency) at the local bank easily. Authorized money changer throughout Myanmar will usually accept US Dollars and other major currencies such as Euro and Singapore Dollars.

Currency

The currency is kyat pronounced (chat) and is divided into 100 pyas. At present the following kyat bank notes are in use: K 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000.

Credit Cards

Traveler’s cheque and major credit cards are not available around the country. Only deluxe hotels, gems and souvenir Shops in major cities accept credit cards. Therefore it is recommended to bring enough cash to cover all personal expenses for entire trip, and general purposes. USD is preferred and widely accepted throughout Myanmar. Euro and Singapore dollars are accepted in the larger cities like Yangon and Mandalay.

Bring new bills

Only crisp, unfolded, unmarked bills without any tears will be accepted, whether you are using them to pay for something or just to exchange for Myanmar kyat.

Office Hours

Government and business 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Monday through Friday.

Shops – 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Usually Monday through Saturday.

Health

The same precautions as anywhere else. Drink only bottled water. Do not eat raw vegetables’ only eat fruits that you can peel or cut yourself. Be wary of eating food from street stalls. Use insect repellent to keep malaria, dengue fever and the like at bay. Use sun cream liberally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.

Dress

Light summer wear is ideal. Rubber slippers or sandals are recommended as foot wears are strictly prohibited at Pagodas, temples and monasteries. A sweater and a raincoat will be useful if tour includes Taunggyi (4,675 feet above sea-level), the Inlay Lake and Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) 3,600 feet above sea level.

Time

Myanmar Standard Time (MST) is 6:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 0:30 minutes behind Thailand and 1:30 hours behind Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong.

Festivals

There are literally hundreds of colorful festivals and temple fairs celebrated throughout Myanmar during any year, many of them religious or featuring traditional sports.

Shopping

While department stores, supermarkets and mini-markets in Yangon offer a wide choice of products, both foreign and local with fixed prices, the real magic of shopping is to be found mainly in the Bogyoke Aung San Market where shopping is fun and easy; and bargaining is acceptable.

Car Hire

Self-drive and chauffeur-driven cars are not allowed in Myanmar. Car Rental Companies have desks at Yangon International Airport and have also so many hotels in Yangon.

Electricity

Electric current is usually 230 Volts AC, 50 HZ. Various plug sockets are in use: better hotels supply adapters and transformers for 110V equipment.

The People

Myanmar is a union of over 100 nationalities with their own dialects and traditions. The major races are the Bamar, The Chin, The Kachin, The Shan, The Kayah, The Mon and the Rakhine. The population of Myanmar is over 56 million with the Bamar, the majority race, making up about 70 percent.

Language

The official language is Myanmar. English is widely spoken and understood.

Insurance

We highly recommend you to obtain travel insurance before coming to Myanmar as it is not available in the country.

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