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About Myanmar

From ancient empires, colonial rule and military regimes, Myanmar is country with a fascinating history.  A melting pot of cultural diversity, where Hindu temples sit alongside mosques, and glittering gold spires of Buddhist pagodas touch the sky.  It is a land rich in tradition and steeped in myth, of natural beauty and wonder.  But what makes Myanmar magical is the warmth and genuine friendliness of the people. 
 
 
Capital City: Naypyidaw 
 
Language: Myanmar (Bamar)
 
Currency: Kyat (MMK)
 
Time Zone: GMT + 6:30 Hours
 
International Dialing Code: +95
 
 
Passport and visa
Everyone except some Asian nationalities need visa to come to Myanmar.
Valid Passport with Entry Visa is required for all travel ers to Burma. Visa can be obtained at any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate abroad. Visa fee is about US$ 30 in local currency.
eVisa, 'Electronic visa on line system' for visitors to Myanmar has started practicing since '01 Sep 2014' and it has been running well. Visa fees starts from USD 50/pax and the process takes about 5 days to obtain the approval.
If you are visiting Myanmar via cruise, you have to apply for Pre-arrangement Visa on Arrival from Myanmar embassy at your country. You will not be able to use eVisa to enter Myanmar via seaport. If the decision is not allowed to entry, you may return by the same flight. 
Ordinary passport holders from the following countries are giving visa exemption for 14 days
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Philippines
  • Thailand (Three International Airports Only)
  • Viet Nam
  • Singapore
 
Currency
The monetary unit is the Kyat (pronounced 'chat'), denominations are Kyat 10000, 5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50. The exchange rate is around 1300 to 1400 Kyats to US $ 1. Bank rates and market rates can vary from 3 to 5 Kyats depending on the bank.
Money Changer counters, ATMs and Credit Cards
Tourists can easily change any foreign currency into Local Kat at any exchange counters with market rate. USD is the most popular foreign currency.
Local currency: ‘kyat’ can also withdraw three times a day from the ATMs in Yangon International Airport and all tourist destinations and Major cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Taunggyi. Limit for one transaction is only Kyat 300,000 ( Three lakh)  and the bank will charge about 5000 Kyats for each transaction and  daily withdraw limit is Kyat 1,000,000 (Ten Lakh).
Regarding credit cards; Master Card and Visa Cards are accepted in Myanmar now especially in the tourism related businesses like hotels, travel agencies and high end restaurants.  We, Exotic Myanmar Travel also accept credit card payment.
 
Phones & Internet service
For many years SIM cards in Myanmar were expensive and difficult to obtain. But now three operators compete each other and selling with very cheap price, K1,500 ( 2 USD ). These SIM Cards work on a top-up basis, with K1000, K3000, K5000 and K10,000 recharged Cards available.
Only Yangon downtown area can use 4G Network only and other cities can use 3G Network.
SIM cards and top ups can be bought at numerous street-side retailers in every cities and even in very small towns.
Internet access has improved. Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, guest houses, restaurants and cafes. You can even find internet access in remote areas. However, Internet access can be slow sometime so you cannot down load large files
 
Weather
The climate of Myanmar is tropical with three main seasons.
1. The rainy season is from mid-May to mid-October with an average temperature of 25-30 C. Although it rains heavily in Yangon and Inle Lake, traveling in Myanmar during this season is still enjoyable because Mandalay and Bagan lie in dry zones where it barely rains. For InleLake, rainy season is the best.  The lake, the mountains, the stream, the paddy fields, everywhere is green and clean. This is the most beautiful time for InleLake.
2. The cool season ( Winter ) is from mid-October to mid-February with an average temperature of 20-24 C. This is the best season to visit Burma. Some regions in upper Burma, Kalaw( South-West of Shan State ) and Kyaing Tong ( Eastern Shan State ), has a temperature that ranges between 5 – 10 C, so travelers may need to bring some warm clothes to tour around this area.
3. The hot season ( Summer ) is from mid-February to mid-May with an average temperature of 30-35 C. Although it’s a bit hot, our programs are designed to make traveling enjoyable as we avoid the heat by touring about in the mornings and evenings.
 
Health and Safety
HEALTH
Ministry of Health has been implementing better health care management system and the international health regulation for the support of health tourism. There are points of entry health services at the international airports and passengers are requested to fill in the health declaration form.
 
HOSPITAL& CLINIC
It is very lucky for the citizens as Yangon has many internationally qualified surgeons and physicians in all branches of medical field. Frequently medical experts from abroad visit Yangon to take care of medical and surgical cases together with Myanmar counterparts. In Yangon, there are several hospitals and clinics. Some of them are under the management of Ministry of Health and the rest are operated by private companies. Private companies running the medical service business are trying their best but still can not provide full facilities as the hospitals managed by Government. In private sector, there is, however, a wide range of variability in quality, expertise, expenses and services offered. Ask friends and colleagues for their recommendations and experiences and judge yourself. More and more private owned polyclinics are opening in Yangon. They are not recognized as hospital by Ministry of Health. Polyclinic which reaches international standard as hospital is rare. After some delays, Pun Hlaing International Hospital opened last year. It was the first international standard private hospital in Yangon. It is operated by FMI Group. The hospital stands on the bank of Pun Hlaing River which flow by the HlaingTharyar satellite town.
 
Vaccinations
There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Myanmar ( Burma ) but it is advisable to take precautions against malaria. Prescription drugs are not widely available in the remote areas of Myanmar so travelers should bring any required medication with them.
Insect repellents are highly recommended, especially when traveling to remote areas in conjunction with other measures to prevent mosquito bites. The sun can be remarkably hot so a hat and sunscreen is advisable.
 
Travel insurance

Indochina Charm Tours try out best to do everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, travel inevitably involves some risk and this should be recognised by holiday-makers. Travel insurance is a cost effective way of protecting yourself and your equipment should any problems occur such as cancelled trips, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind. Please also ensure your travel insurance covers all activities planned on your trip.

 
Food and drink
Myanmar cuisine is established around rice or noodles, usually served with a variety of curries between meat and fish, along with a dish of vegetables, salads, soup, and condiments. Myanmar curries tend to be less spicy than those served in Thailand. Meals & drinks at International Hotels are considerably expensive. There are many good local restaurants with almost the same quality of food and hygiene as hotels but at reasonable prices. They serve various dishes of Myanmar, Chinese, European (French and Italian), Thai and Indian cuisine. But roadside small restaurants are not recommended, as it can be risky for health.
There are also a wide variety of local snacks and delicacies. Mouk-hin-kha (thin rice noodles served with fish gravy and onion soup) and Ohn-noh-khauk-swe (noodles served with chicken and coconut gravy) are the most popular in Myanmar. Shan food is another delicacy. Shan style of cooking neither belongs to Myanmar nor Chinese nor Thai cuisine but they taste really good in their own way.
Restaurants and food served towards the travelers are carefully selected for hygiene as well as gastronomic considerations.
 
Breakfast – snack in the street: 1 to 5 USD per pax.
Myanmar lunch: 8 to 10 USD per pax.
Chinese – Asiatic meal: 10 to 15 USD per pax.
Tourist restaurant: 15 to 18 USD per pax.
Hotel: 20 to 30 USD per pax.
4**** : 30 to 50 USD per pax.
 
Public holidays
JAN 4 - Independence Day
FEB 12 - Union Day
MAR 2 - Peasant’s Day
MAR 12 - Fullmoon Day of Tabaung
MAR 27 - Armed Forces Day
APR 13-17 - Thingyan Festival (Water Festival) and Myanmar New Year Day     
MAY 1 - May Day (Workers’ Day)
MAY 10 - Fullmoon Day of Kason
JUL 8 - Beginning of Buddhist Lent
JUL 19 - Martyrs’ Day
OCT 4-6 - End of Buddhist Lent (Thadingyut Festival of Lights)
NOV 2-3 - Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights
NOV 13 - National Day
DEC 18 - Kayin New Year Day
DEC 25 - Christmas Day
DEC 30-31, JAN 1 - New Year Holiday
 
Notes: This holidays base on 2017.
 
 
Pre-departure checklist
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport with at least six months validity from date of entry
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Passport-sized photo and $USD for visa on arrival
  • Vaccinations
  • Foreign currency (US$) and/or ATM card
  • All relevant tickets
  • Reconfirmed flights
  • Light weight clothing
  • Long sleeved shirts and trousers (November-February evenings)
  • Depending on the season, your activities and the region you will be visiting (e.g. mountainous areas) it may be advisable for you to bring a jacket with you.
  • Electrical adaptor: 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs
  • A small bag/backpack for day and overnight trips
  • Appropriate shoes for trekking, cycling and walking
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Medication/first aid kit

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