Myanmar Travel Guide for Your Next Visit
If you are after a local experience with a ton of fun activities to keep you busy, then Myanmar is your best option. When traveling for the first time, some various dos and don’ts can make the experience worth it. In this guide, you will find all the important information that you need to know before you pack your backs and travel.
Get Your Visa Ready
Just like any other country, if you are a foreigner that wants to visit Myanmar, then you will need a Visa. Depending on which area you are traveling from, a single entry visa costs around $50. While the approval rate can range between a few hours to days, it is best to start the application process early. Travelers who will be Using e-Visas should remember that it expires after 90 days yet enables you to stay in the country for 28 days only. However, you should check beforehand whether or not e-Visa is available in your country.
Avoid Language Barriers
The primary language in Myanmar is Burmese. However, several other dialects are spoken by the citizens. You can find some locals whose English is not so good. The best way to eliminate any language barrier is to learn a few phrases. You can download a language translation app to help you out with that. An easy mode of communication will come in handy when you need to buy bus tickets from a local person. The reason for this is that some of the dialects can be confusing to a foreigner. Besides, you can also hire a local to translate English to Burmese for you.
The Best Way to Get to Myanmar
There are four main ways to travel to this country:
- By air
Flying from one city to another is a popular means of transport preferred by many foreigners. For long-distance travel, it is fast and cheap. If you plan to visit the area during holidays or festivals, it is best to book your tickets in advance.
Traveling by bus is the cheapest means. However, the terrible road conditions can cause the coach to break down, and the seats can be a bit uncomfortable. VIP express buses are a bit expensive but are more comfortable and tend to be on schedule.
For enjoying the local scenery, then boats are ideal. While in Myanmar, you can opt for a cruise that passes the five major cities, including Mandalay. For those traveling between Mandalay and Bagan, a 9-hour boat journey can cost around $40 per trip. Most of the fast boats are clean and comfortable.
Traveling by train is time-consuming but great for those who are adventurous. For long-distance journeys, for example, from Mandalay to Yangon, which takes approximately 16 hours, the seats can be uncomfortable; hence, it is best to take a flight. However, those on a tight budget or people who want to enjoy the scenes, then trains, can be the best choice. The trick is to go for trains that are always on time and purchase your ticket at the railway station a day in advance.
Taxis and Tuk-tuks are cheaper if you bargain and are great for short trips. You can hire a private car and get a local driver to act as a guide for various locations. Travelers who are in Yangon are better off walking as in most cases there is always a traffic jam.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Myanmar?
The season to travel all depends on which weather you prefer. March to May is hot and humid, while July to September is a rainy season, which can be unconducive for some. On the other hand, optimum climates which are great for sightseeing are between October and February.
Where to Stay and Which Places to Visit
If you do thorough research and book early, you are likely to get a fair deal. Street food is cheaper as compared to local restaurants, and drinks are reasonably priced. Myanmar is expensive than in other areas in Asia. Therefore, when traveling on a budget, look for discounts and avoid holidays. Guesthouses are better than hostels (which are cheaper) as they allow you to experience the local life.
There are many fun activities to do Myanmar, such as:
- Boarding a hot air balloon to watch the sunset.
- Hiking on Mandalay hills.
- Enjoy a boat ride and trek on Inle Lake.
- Go for a swim in Ngapali beach.
- A liveaboard trip to scuba dive is a must.
To have a fun experience in Myanmar, start by exploring Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan. While in Yangon, go for a ride in the local circular train and visit religious sites such as Shwedagon Pagoda. Besides, there are plenty of cities, coastal areas, beaches, villages, and tourist attractions that are worth exploring.
What to Pack
Myanmar is a very conservative country with a warm climate. So pack light clothes and avoid skimpy outfits, especially when visiting temples, Pagodas, and worship areas. No matter the season, Myanmar is a tropical country, so pack breathable and lightweight outfits.
Whether you are planning a solo trip or taking a long-needed vacation with your family, Myanmar will surprise you in many wonderful ways. From the hospitable people, delicious cuisines, and endless tourist attractions, you will never lack fun activities to do.