Things to know before going to Myanmar

The first thing goes first. You definitely must obtain valid VISA in order to travel into any country and so is Myanmar (Burma). Unless your country is in VISA exemption list, it is your responsibility to get valid VISA before arrival. There are two ways to get Myanmar VISA

Passports and Visas

The first thing goes first. You definitely must obtain valid VISA in order to travel into any country and so is Myanmar (Burma). Unless your country is in VISA exemption list, it is your responsibility to get valid VISA before arrival. There are two ways to get Myanmar VISA:
  • Go to Myanmar Embassies and Consulates in your home country and you will be guided procedure. You may want to check the list of countries where Myanmar has embassies and consulate offices by clicking here.
  • Obtain VISA On Arrival (VOA). For tourists coming from countries has no Myanmar Diplomatic Rep offices, you can obtain VOA online via www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm – the official portal for VOA by Myanmar government. The portal launched in Sep 01, 2014 and took its pilot operation for a month. Providing you encounter any issue, please contact us for support.

Climate & Clothing

Generally speaking, Myanmar is a tropical country with rather hot weather. Sometimes in year or in some Northern places, temperature cools down but not that can be called cold. Roughly saying that the best time to travel Myanmar is from Oct to March due to dry and cool season. Other months, however, you may get very nice deals of promotion.
For clothing: comfortable clothes, absolutely. We suggest you should take at least one long pan, a long skirt and a sleeve top because we will visit some religious site and many of them require proper code of dress.
All of temples and pagodas require you enter with bare feet. A pair of sandals is highly recommended.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards

You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. Myanmar service is dominated by the GMS technology standard, while some of the world such as U.S uses the incompatible CDMA standard. We suggest that you should check carefully or you may incur high international roaming fees.
We said previously “the SIM card in Myanmar is not very popular and still quite expensive”. But now, forget it! SIM cards in Myanmar now are cheap and easy to buy in any main city as cheap as about US$ 02 each. Cell phones, even smart phones are available on sales widely.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another

When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country’s Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number. Country Code of Myanmar is 95.

Wireless Internet Access

Passengers traveling with WiFi enabled devices (such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot). Wifi is now popular in most hotels from three stars up. Most of them are supplying Free Wifi but some may incur extra charges. We suggest you should ask the receptionist before.

Cards and Currency

Myanmar’s national currency, the KYAT (pronounced chat, abbreviated in MMK) is divided into the following banknotes: K1, K5, K10, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500 and K1000.
We once said “ATMs are still very hard to come” but from my latest inspection of Myanmar, the country now starts using ATMs. Most three stars hotels up often have at least one AMT machine right at their lobbies. Main hotels now accepts credit cards payment.
Anyway, we suggest you should bring with some cashes just in case. Local buying there accept Burmese and US dollars widely. However please pay at attention when bring US notes with you:
  • The US$ notes must be new.
  • The US$ notes torn, marked, folded will not be accepted.
  • The US$ notes having series before 2003 backward may not accepted.
You are allowed to bring up to US$ 5000 in cash per person to enter Myanmar.

Trip Preparation

A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. We suggest you should taking a checklist below:
  • Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you.
  • Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order.
  • We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. If you lose the originals while traveling, you’ll have copies for easier reporting and replacement.
  • You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names.
  • We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock.
  • Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage.
Happy Travelling with S.E.A WANDER ASIA!