GENERAL INFORMATION

While different people have different idea and judgment on what to bring for their vacation, we would like you to check some of the most important items that you would need to consider taking with you when you come to Myanmar depending on the time of visit… Please click on the appropriate link as follow below:

From March to May (from dry & hot season to beginning of rainy season in the south by mid-May)

  • Sunscreen / Sun block lotions, or creams (all-time requirement for visiting any southeast Asian countries)
  • Hat/Cap, and sunglass
  • Flashlight for visiting temple and caves
  • Oral Rehydration tablets to prevent from the loss of body fluids and salts due to extreme temperature
  • Casual light clothing (preferably made from white color cotton fabrics) – shorts can be wear in most places while major temples/pagoda may not be allowed to enter unless dressed properly
  • Slip-on shoes, sandals, or flip-flops (enormously helpful for visiting temples/shrines etc)
  • If trekking trip is included please consider bringing a trekking/walking shoe (not jungle boots)
  • Mosquito repellent spray/lotion/cream
  • Malaria precaution (for visiting places other than main tour destinations – please consult with us while you’re developing the itinerary)
  • Medicines that you’re taking daily (it is difficult to find the exact brand)
  • Medicines that you might need on tour such as pain relief, antibiotics, antiseptic, diarrhea etc.
  • Accessories for your digital equipment such as laptop, palmtop, iPod, digital camera, memory card, battery etc since there are very limited choices/supplies/brand/quality can be found in Yangon
  • You might need to bring waterproof begs to prevent from splashing water during water-festival or mid-May’s beginning of southwest monsoon season
  • Leave a copy of itinerary and contact details with someone at home
  • Recommended: Presents for the local people when visiting villages such as pencils, books, candies, old magazines (these items are more suitable than money)

From Mid-May to October (Rainy Season)

  • Rain coat & umbrella
  • Waterproof bag for your digital camera/equipment
  • Sunscreen / Sun block lotions, or creams (Bagan/Mandalay/Inle Lake areas can have more sunshine / high humidity)
  • Hat/Cap, and sunglass
  • Flashlight for visiting temple and caves
  • Casual light clothing / light jerkin or sweater for visiting Kalaw/Pindaya/Inle Lake areas – shorts can be wear in most places while major temples/pagoda may not be allowed to enter unless dressed properly
  • Oral Rehydration tablets to prevent from the loss of body fluids and salts due over perspiration
  • If trekking trip is included please consider bringing a trekking shoe with anti-slip (well-gripped) sole since some hillside can be very slippery with the rain
  • Slip-on shoes, sandals, or flip-flops (enormously helpful for visiting temples/shrines etc), as well as normal shoes and socks
  • Mosquito repellent spray/lotion/cream
  • Malaria precaution (for visiting places other than main tour destinations – please consult with us while you’re developing the itinerary
  • Medicines that you’re taking daily (it is difficult to find the exact brand)
  • Medicines that you might need on tour such as pain relief, antibiotics, antiseptic, diarrhea etc.
  • Accessories for your digital equipment such as laptop, palmtop, iPod, digital camera, memory card, battery etc since there are very limited choices/supplies/brand/quality can be found in Yangon
  • Leave a copy of itinerary and contact details with someone at home
  • Recommended: Presents for the local people when visiting villages such as pencils, books, candies, old magazines (these items are more suitable than money)

From November to February (Cool season)

  • Sunscreen / Sun block lotions, or creams (Bagan/Mandalay/Inle Lake areas can have more sunshine)
  • Hat/Cap, and sunglass
  • Flashlight for visiting temple and caves
  • Casual light clothing for most day-time tours. Light jerkin or sweater may bring but long pants, sweaters, thick socks are highly recommended for visiting Shan, Chin, & Kachin States as it can be very cold (from 0°C to 15°C). Shorts can be wearing in most places while major temples/pagoda may not be allowed to enter unless dressed properly.
  • If trekking trip is included please consider bringing a trekking/walking shoe (not jungle boots)
  • Slip-on shoes, sandals, or flip-flops (enormously helpful for visiting temples/shrines etc), as well as normal shoes and socks
  • Mosquito repellent spray/lotion/cream
  • Malaria precaution (for visiting places other than main tour destinations please consult with us while you’re developing the itinerary
  • Medicines that you’re taking daily (it is difficult to find the exact brand)
  • Medicines that you might need on tour such as pain relief, antibiotics, antiseptic, diarrhea etc.
  • Accessories for your digital equipment such as laptop, palmtop, iPod, digital camera, memory card, battery etc since there are very limited choices/supplies/brand/quality can be found in Yangon
  • Leave a copy of itinerary and contact details with someone at home
  • Recommended: Presents for the local people when visiting villages such as pencils, books, candies, old magazines (these items are more suitable than money)
We want to travel to Myanmar in our summer time in Europe, but people say there is a lot of rain there so it’s not a good time to do so. Is it correct? 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 Inle lake, 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 Inle Lake. (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.

How can I get Myanmar (Burma) Visa ?

Everyone except some Asean nationalities need visa to come to Myanmar.

Valid Passport with Entry Visa is required for all travelers to Burma. Visa can be obtained at any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate abroad. Visa fee is about US$ 30 in local currency.

Can I get visa online?

E-Visa, ‘Electronic visa online 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.

  • Visitors must have a valid passport with an EVT [Entry Visa for Tourist: Package visa and FIT visa] to enter Myanmar. EVT can be obtained at any Myanmar Embassy / Consulate offices with validity for 28 days. Visa-on-Arrival can be arranged for those countries where Myanmar Embassy / Consulate office does not exist.
  • ENDORSING THE VISA ON ARRIVAL AT THE YANGON AND MANDALAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS SUSPENDED *

Pre-Arranged Visa on Arrival(Only for those who live in the countries where no Myanmar Embassy Exits)

Travelers who request Pre-Arranged Visa on Arrival would follow below practice.

1) The Service is only for travelers who buy package tour. (Not for FIT)

2) Travelers must stay and visit as per purchased package tour. Not allowed any furthermore activities.

3) Stay extension is not permitted.

Visa on Arrival

For a pre-arranged visa on arrival, please provide us the below documents;

1) Full names in your passport

2) Passport No.

3) Father’s Name

4) Date of Birth & Place of Birth

5) Place of Issuance / Expiry date,

6) Nationality & Sex

7) Date of arrival & Flight in/out no.

8) Current Address

9) Occupation

10) Vision of visit to Myanmar

11) Religion

12) Photo copy send by email to be required

How do you care for transportation service during the tour in Myanmar?

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO MYANMAR

Three gateways are ‘Yangon’, ‘Mandalay’ and ‘Nay Pyi Taw’ International airports. Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways , Thai Air Asia , Air China, China Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Biman Bangladesh Airline, China Southern airlines, Dragon Air, Jet Star, Korean Air, Malaysia airline, Myanma Airways Int’l , Nok Air, Qatar Airways, Silk Air, Singapore airlines, Tiger Air, Vietnam Airlines and Viet jet airlines fly to ‘Yangon’. Bangkok Airways, Thai Air Asia, Silk Air and China Eastern Airline fly to ‘Mandalay’. Bangkok Airways and China Eastern Airlines fly to ‘Nay PyiTaw’.

DOMESTIC TRAVEL & TRANSPORTATION WHEN VISIT AROUND MYANMAR

Domestic air services in Burma (Myanmar) have greatly improved over the recent years. However, travel by trains is still not so comfortable. The clients of Global Hawk Travels will travel by reliable private airlines ; Air KBZ (K7), Yangon Airways(YA) , Air Mandalay(6T) , Asian Wings Airways(YJ) , Mann Yadanar Pone airlines(7Y), Golden Myanmar Airlines (GMA) , Apex Airlines and sometime by Myanmar National airline(UB)with ATR-flights , Air Bus , Fokker , Jet and Embraer aircrafts. Baggage allowance on Burma (Myanmar) domestic flights is basically limited to 20 kg. Land transportation is by luxury Air-con buses or private Air-con vehicles. Excess luggage can be left in Yangon hotels for collection on return from up country. In remote areas, air-conditioned cars or buses may not always be available and travelers should be advised that the conditions of roads in the remote area not the same. Due to poor road conditions, long distance overland travel generally takes longer than the travelers might expect, averaging only 45 to 50 kilometers per hour. For cruising on Ayarwaddy River and Chindwin River, various choices of regular scheduled day boats as well as better and luxurious cruises with overnight trips along the rivers are available.

Myanmar Currency & Exchange

The monetary unit is the Kyat (pronounced ‘chat’), denominations are Kyat 10000, 5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 & 1. As in many countries of the area the US Dollar is the most useful currency to carry and it can be exchanged into local currency. However Traveler’s Cheque and International credit cards are not widely used. Traveler’s cheques can currently NOT be used or exchanged in Myanmar. It is absolutely necessary to bring enough cash in USD or EURO. Other foreign currencies are difficult to change.

Money Changer counters, ATMs and Credit Cards

Tourists can easily change any foreign currency into Local Kyat 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.

Examine your bills

You cannot expect to change any rumpled, torn bills. Most money changers and travel services do not accept US$100 bill starting with CB… and regarded as counterfeiting. And the old bills (also called small head) published earlier than 1991s are also not accepted. All the hotels, travel agents, transport services, shops, and money changers in Myanmar accept crisp, clean, un-creased bills only preferably that of 1996 series.

Where and when do we need to use the local currency Kyat?

Most of the local restaurants accept payment only in Kyat. When you need to buy bottles of water, souvenir items, hire taxi/trishaw/bicycle/horse cart/ferry boat you can use Kyat also. Most upscale hotels prefer US dollars for using the services or for food. You must use US dollars for entrance fees, buying flight/boat/train tickets and hotel payments.

Can I buy travel insurance in Myanmar?

It is advisable to purchase travel insurance in your own country. Please choose a reputable insurance company who has agent in Myanmar. This is very important.

Is there any compulsory vaccination for travel to Myanmar?

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.

GMT + 6 1/2 hours

Myanmar uses 220-250V, 50Hz. power-cuts are quite common but most hotels have their own generator. 

A flashlight is helpful when traveling up country where electricity is poor.

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.

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 (about 1.2 USD). These SIM Cards work on a top-up basis, with K1000, K3000, K5000 and K10, 000 Cards available.

SIM cards and top ups can be bought at numerous street-side retailers in every cities and even in very small towns.

Government offices open from 09:30 to 16:30 on weekdays. Banking hours are from 10:00 to 14:00. Private companies work daily except Sunday and gazette holidays. Shopping centers and super markets open daily. But the most famous Bogyoke (Scott) market closes on Monday and gazette holidays. Busy hours at this place are from 10:00 am to 17:00 pm.

All foreign currencies in excess of US$-2,000, Traveler’s Cheque and jewelry, cameras and electronic goods etc, must be recorded on the customs form which may be checked on departure.

Myanmar lies between two great civilizations, India and China, but it has developed its own distinctive culture. Buddhism has a great influence in the daily lives of the Myanmar people. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for elders and simple native dress. While tolerance and contentment are the characteristics of the people, Myanmar hospitality is legendary. Myanmar is a country deeply respectful of their religious and cultural traditions. Visitors will not cause offense if they note a few things:

Remove shoes and socks before entering religious buildings and compounds. Some monasteries allow food-wear in the compound but not inside the buildings, starting with lowest step! Better make sure first. It is also polite to remove shoes before entering a private home but socks may be left on.

When handing someone money or a gift use the right hand or both hands with the exception of paying the bill in a teashop or restaurant. Then it is a more casual transaction.

Everyone in Myanmar has their independent right in religion. Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion with over 80% of the population professing it. There are also Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

Visitors are required to dress decently on the precincts of religious buildings. Ladies should not wear shorts, briefs or bra-less T-shirt on Shwedagon Pagoda or and any other Pagodas, temples and monasteries. Shoes and socks or stockings must be removed at Pagodas and Monasteries.

How do you charge the cancellation fees?

We, Global Hawk Travels is very flexible about cancellation policy on all bookings till last minute. But in Myanmar, the cancellation policy of most hotels are twenty-one ( 21 ) days’ notice for group travels and seven ( 7 ) days’ notice for individual travels. Strict cancellation and deposit policies apply for bookings of river cruises, beach hotels and some small and beautiful boutique hotels. So the action of cancellation charges will occur according to the hotel cancellation policy.

Tipping in Myanmar is depending on how well you think they have been at your service.

Some common practices are:
  • Porter at Airport : Kyat 500 per bag
  • Porter at Hotels : Kyat 500 per bag
  • Car Drivers : Depends
  • Your tour guide: Depends

The hotels’ standards in Myanmar vary especially in quality and availability. Numbers of new and refurbished hotels meeting international standards are available in most destinations like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Kyaing Tong, Ngapali Beach, Ngwe Saung Beach, and Chaung Thar Beach. Only basic and simple hotels are available in the remote areas.

Basic Myanmar food is mainly rice and curry. Myanmar curries tend to be less spicy than those served in Thailand. Meals & drinks at International Hotels are considerably expensive. Myanmar is also a country of seafood. Crabs, prawns, lobsters and other shellfish are among the popular dishes available at the most Myanmar and Chinese restaurants in Yangon and other tourist destination.

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 & food served towards the travelers are carefully selected for hygiene as well as gastronomic considerations.

Myanmar has a variety of vegetables and fruits, both tropical citrus all year round or seasonally. The most common ones are mango, banana, durian, jackfruit, avocado, grapefruits, grapes, mangosteen, papaya, pomelo, pineapple, watermelon, orange and Washinton navel.

Is Myanmar a good shopping place? What are the best buys?

Myanmar arts and crafts, mostly hand-made, are lovely souvenirs. Lacquer ware, woodcarvings, tapestries, silverware, brassware, silk and cotton fabrics, and shoulder bags are some of the popular items. For jewelry, there are Burmese 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 for export. You cannot post parcels home, although some shops will do the shipping for you. Ask first before you buy anything bulky. You cannot take back antiques. Better to avoid buying old-looking Buddha images even if they were made a week ago, as the Custom Officers may not allow its export. Buy jewelleries only from authorized dealers and be sure to get a receipt which much be shown at Customs checkpoint at the airport. Bargaining is essential for obtaining reasonable prices. Possible price reductions of up to 70% are not uncommon.

Mosquito repellent and sunscreen are highly recommended, especially when travelling to remote areas in conjunction with other measure to prevent mosquito bites. There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Myanmar (Burma) but it is advisable to take precautions against malaria. Don’t forget to bring medication you would normally use in emergencies, such as antibiotics etc. Most medicines are available but maybe not the brand you normally use.

Try to avoid going out in the midday sun when it’s very hot. Drink only pre-boiled water such as green tea or bottled water of reputable brands. Better to avoid ice cubes in the streets stalls.

Avoid eating shellfish in hot weather, if you are not actually on the beach.

During our stay in Myanmar, we want to see the nature, culture, history and people and their life style. Can you arrange a very comprehensive program?

Major sightseeing itineraries include a variety of religious and historic monuments, a rich cultural and artistic heritage, and beautiful scenery. We also seek out other attractions like interesting local markets, festivals, Myanmar traditional handicrafts and industries, and an opportunity to meet the local people in their own environment. A specialty includes the opportunity to try regional cuisines around Myanmar and to experience various typical and traditional forms of Myanmar entertainment. By including such extra dimensions, we make any visit to Myanmar a richer, more rewarding and more memorable experience.

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