How to get there
There are three Air accesses to Myanmar; Yangon – the former Capital, Mandalay-the third Capital and Nay Pyi Taw -The administrative Capital of Myanmar. Moreover, it can be accessible from border area such as Tachileik from Thai border and Muse from China border.
There are more than 20 International Airlines fly to Yangon International Airport such as; Myanmar Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Thai Air Asia, Air Asia, China Southern Airlines, China Airlines, Silk Air, Jet Star, Dragon Air, Tiger Airways, Nok Air, Korea Airlines, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Indian Airlines, Condor, Air France, Blue Panorama, Air Bagan& Air Mandalay from Chiang Mai, etc.
There are several Airlines fly to Mandalay International Airport such as; Thai Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Silk Air, China Eastern Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, JAL, etc.
We can arrange the charter flights on request for entering to Bagan directly.
As Myanmar is sharing the borders with China, Laos, Thailand, India & Bangladesh, some of the borders are open to foreign visitors. Please check the following. The rest of the borders are closed at the time of writing this manual.
From China (Ruili-Muse & Tar Law – Kyaing Tong)
Originally built to supply the Chinese forces in its struggle against the Japanese, the famous “Myanmar Road runs from Kunming in China – Yunnan province to the city of Lashio. Nowadays the road is open to travelers carrying permits, from the Chinese side (Ruili) into Myanmar via Muse.
Three hour-drive (90 km) from Kyaing Tong is another Myanmar-China border, Mine Lar. This access will bring us to China-Xishaungbanna province. The permit has to be asked at both sides, Myanmar and China. The permits from Myanmar can easily be arranged but only if the travelers book the whole arrangements with local tour operators and travel agents in Myanmar.
From Thailand (Mae Sai – Thachileik)
The bridge spans the Sai River between Myanmar – Tachileik & Thailand – Mae Sai. The border check-point opens daily from 6 AM to 6 PM. We just have to cross the bridge on foot for five minutes then, the border check-points of both Myanmar & Thailand sit in each side.
From Thailand (Sangkhlaburi-Three pagodas pass, Payathonezu)
This is one of the most interesting and accessible of the border crossing points. Now there is also legal trade going on at Three Pagodas Pass- Payathonezu. Travellers have been allowed to go inside the country but the road is quite bad.
From Thailand (Mae Sot-Myawaddy)
This crossing begins a route from Myawaddy to Mawlamyine via Kawkareik along a rough road. The following details are required at one month in advance for border-pass.
Date of Birth
Passport numbers with issued & expire dates
Airport Departure Tax
There is a departure tax of 10 USD per person payable on international departures only. The airport tax for domestic flight is Ks (Myanmar Kyats) 1000 per flight.
Passports & Visas
Myanmar requires a valid passport of minimum 6 months with Entry Visa is required for all visitors. A tourist visa allows a stay of 4 weeks, extendible of an additional 14 days. A business visa allows a stay of 10 weeks, extendible to from 3-12 months on a case-by-case basis. If the visa is expired by a day or two, it is possible to pay three dollars per day.
Online e-Visa application system has been available for tourists since 1st September, 2014.Please see Visa Information for more details.
You may bring in as much foreign currency as you want. However, foreign currency exceeding USD 10000 or equivalent taking in by a foreigner must be declared. Jewelries, electrical goods and video cameras must be declared at the airport.
Duty free allowance: 2 bottles of liquor, 2 cartons of cigarettes, 50 cigars; 250 gm of pipe tobacco,250 ml of perfume or eau de cologne.
Gems and jewelry purchased from authorized dealers (with vouchers) are allowed to be taken out. But antiques in museum quality are strictly prohibited.
A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a wise idea.Aspirin or Panadol (for pain or fever), Antibiotics, Calamine lotion (to ease irritation from bites or stings), Bismuth preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomoti (for stomach upsets and diarrhea), Bandages (for minor injuries), Insect repellent, sunscreen, suntan lotion, chap-stick and water purification tablets are recommended to carry.Ideally antibiotics should be administered only under medical supervision and should never be taken indiscriminately.
No vaccinations are presently required. The classical routes are not the malaria zones such as Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay&Inle Lake. There is malaria only in the extreme northern part and some parts of very high mountains and thick forest. So, actually it is not really essential to take any anti-malaria pills but malaria prophylaxis is often recommended by travelers personal physicians.
Please don’t drink the water and that includes ice as well as tap water. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added. Milk should be treated with suspicion, as it is often un-pasteurized. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yoghurt is always good. Tea or coffee should be OK since the water is boiled. In general, the juices, the milk, the water, the tea and coffee offered at the hotels and the restaurants we recommend, are safe. Bottled water and mineral water are obtainable at any shops in most places.
What to wear
Throughout the year, it is advisable to wear summer clothing: thin cloths in light color. In December and January, warm clothes are recommended for visits to Northern provinces. In rainy season (July to September), it is advisable to bring raincoats.
What to bring
Sun hat, sun glasses, sun protection for your face and body, prescription medicines, insect repellent and an umbrella May to mid-October (rain or shine),a light warm sweater, when travelling Inle Lake area and to the Golden Rock. An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight and extra passport photos.
Seasons to visit Myanmar
Generally speaking, Myanmar is well access in all year round. Even though it has the effect of monsoon in June, July, August &September, it is not rainy the whole country. Only the parts, which are closed to the sea, such as Yangon and coastal regions have sometimes heavy rains but it does not happen in all these months. Since Mandalay & Bagan are in the dry-zone, even in monsoon period, there is very little rain. Since Inle Lake is hilly region, sometimes it rains and sometimes it does not. Nevertheless, the rains do not disturb your visit and sightseeing. The best period to come to Myanmar is from mid-October to end of March. April and May are the hottest months in Myanmar.
Things to buy
Shopping in Myanmar is better than ever now. Bartering is also quiet acceptable.In larger towns and cities the best bargains are usually found in the public markets. Each place has its own particular such as lacquerware in Bagan, textiles such as silk, cottons, etc., in Mandalay &Inle Lake (Shan bags can be found as well), wood carving, tapestries, marionette in Mandalay are main souvenirs from Myanmar. The rubies and jades are also famous but be aware before purchasing.Please don’t buy any antiques in museum quality. Simulated antiques, fine ceramics and copies of famous paintings are also possible to buy. Most of the souvenirs shops in the main towns accept the American Dollars. Very few shops accept Euros but not favorable. The most convenient currency to pay is in Kyats – local currency in all over Myanmar.
The following items are prohibitedin terms of the Sea Customs Act; Counterfeit coins and currencies,Pornographic articles,goods having counterfeit trade mark,all kinds of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,playing cards,goods bearing the imprint of the flag of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar,goods bearing the emblem of Buddha and pagodas of Myanmar.
Common types of items prohibited from exportation out of Myanmar are arms and ammunitions, pornographic articles, Antiques and all kinds of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The following items cannot legally be taken out of the country:Counterfeit coins and currencies,Pornographic articles,Piece goods without stamped measurement,all kinds of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances,Antiques,wild life and endangered species, pre-historic implements and artifacts, fossils, old coins, bronze or brass weights, bronze or clay pipes, Kammawas or Parabaiks, inscribed stones, inscribed gold or silver, historical documents.
For Gems &jewelry, there is Burma rubies, sapphires, jade and pearls available at Myanmar gems shops. All gems and jewelry purchased should be made through the government licensed dealers, who can give a voucher or certificate for export.
GMT + 6:30 hours (one hour difference with Singapore and 30 minutes with Thailand)
The voltage is 230 volt, AC 50 HZ. Most of the hotels and places have three-pin plugs. For those who have brought video camera, adapter is highly recommended. Most of the Hotels have their own Generators for emergency backup.Make sure to protect your electrical appliances from Over Voltage.
Myanmar is a very friendly and safe country in general. But basically, there is nothing on the road apart from 22:00 in the big cities and in the small towns or villages everybody goes to bed at 20:00 or 21:00.
It is recommended that you avoid kissing and hugging in public, pointing at things with your feet, sitting with your feet pointing to a Buddha image or a Shrine, improper use of or behavior toward a sacred thing like a Buddha image. Shoes and other footwear (including socks) must be removed when entering religious buildings and homes. Miniskirts, shorts and revealing clothes are prohibited when visiting temples and pagodas.
Language & Religion
There are over one hundred ethnic groups in Myanmar, all with their own languages and dialects. The majority speak Myanmar (Burmese), although English is widely spoken. 85% of Myanmar are Theravada Buddhist. The rest embrace Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or Animism.
Entrance fees are collected at the famous Pagodas, Temples, Monasteries, Old Palace and Archaeological Zones. Tickets are available at the entrance of the respective places or sites.
No problem, do not be worried !
Your arrival at Yangon or Mandalay is like
*Checkin your passport and visa.
*You get your luggage.
*The custom chek your luggage.
*You leave the airport.
Now you can make your change officially at Money Changers or bank in Myanmar.
The rate is usually very good, especially at the airport.
So, contrary to before, we strongly recommend that you make some changes at the aiport (for people travelling with us, we can, after your request, prepare some change for you and you will get it at your hotel).
What do you declare at the arrival ?
Nothing, you declare nothing as you do not bring nothing you need to declare (do not be worried about the jewellery).
– If you have really expensive jewellery (in Burma ?), mention it,
– If you have more than 2000 USD with you, you are supposed to declare it, but practically it concerns only Myanmar people who wants to take out of the country the amount they had when they arrived.
Your mobile phone will not work in Myanmar (except if you have a Singaporian phone company).
There is no roaming in Myanmar.
Nevertheless, you can use your phone to connect to wifi in hotels or restaurants (more and more common).
IF your telephone is unlocked, you may try to buy a GMS card but it is sure that it will work.
In case of emergency, you can rent a phone + a SIM Card at the airport of Yangon (and only here)
Visa on Arrival
For business people :
Yes it is possible but you need to have all the correct documents with you (invitation letters etc…)
It is possible for tourist to get a visa on arrival