Myanmar Travel Guide
Myanmar is a beautiful country located in the heart of Southeast Asia and second only to Indonesia in terms of size.
With the changing political situation, in recent years, Myanmar opened its borders to travelers and visitors from all over the world.
Since then, the country has seen significant growth of tourism and after years of isolation is quickly becoming one of the most popular travel destinations in the region.
The history, the culture and the pleasant climate are only a few of the many aspects that contribute to making Myanmar a perfect holiday destination.
Best Time to Visit Myanmar
Myanmar has a humid tropical climate which means the weather is relatively hot all through the year.
From November to February, the weather is pleasant but not too hot during the day, with large variations in temperature between day and night. In fact, it gets pretty cool in the evenings and at night so warm sweaters and long sleeves are recommended. Very little or no rain is to be expected.
From March to May in Myanmar is the hot season with temperatures going up both during the day and at night.
The hot season in Yangon and in Ngapali Beach finishes a bit earlier, in late April. Keep that in mind, especially if you’re planning a relaxing holiday on the beach.
This is a dry season which means it almost never rains during those months.
Finally, from June to October is the rainy season when most of the country’s average annual rainfall occurs.
Apart from the heavy rainfalls, high temperatures and high humidity are also to be expected.
Myanmar Travel Tips
Is it safe to go to Myanmar?
After the first democratic election in 2016, Myanmar is still in the early and delicate phase of transition.
Some of the issues the country is now facing are the contrasts between the ethnic groups, the tensions between the Muslim minority and the Buddhist majority and the growth of petty crime.
Because of this, there are some areas in the country that are totally off-limits and it is recommended to visit only the main tourist destinations in Myanmar.
Here are some locations to avoid during your trip to Myanmar.
Avoid border areas with Thailand, Laos and China.
Avoid the North and East of the Shan State, as well as some of its central areas, in particular the municipalities of Monghsu, Lashio, Hseni, Kutkai, Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw.
Avoid the north of the Kachin State and the Kayin State.
Avoid the South of the Chin State and Central North of the Rakhine State.
When you travel to the most popular travel destinations such as Yangon, Bagan, Ngapali Beach, Mandalay or Inle Lake use common sense and stay careful and responsible like you would in every other similar location in the world.
Don’t flash your wealth, don’t get drunk, stay in a group whenever possible and be respectful of the local population and their traditions.
Do you need a Visa to travel to Myanmar?
The citizens of most countries including the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom need to have a visa in order to enter Myanmar.
Luckily, it is now possible to apply for an e-Visa online which will give you the possibility to stay in the country for up to 28 days.
The process of obtaining an e-Visa is fast and straightforward, all you need to do is to upload a photo of yourself and to make a payment of 50 $.
Keep in mind that your passport must have at least 6 months of validity.
The citizens of countries such as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam do not require a visa for tourist visits of up to 14 days.
Tourists from Hong Kong, Macau, Japan and Korea may travel to Myanmar for up to 30 days without applying for a visa.
Simple Burmese Phrases for Travelers
Hello – Mingalabar
What’s your name? – Nah meh be lou kor d’le?
Thank you – Kyei Zu tin ba de
Yes – Ho de
No – Ma ho bu
How much? – be laule
Where is the toilet? – Ein tha beh meh lay?
Keep the change – maan ne daw
How are you? – nei kaun ye la
Money in Myanmar
The official currency of Myanmar is the Burmese kyat but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted, especially in the most popular tourist destinations.
It is important to remember that whatever money you decide to bring to Myanmar, it has to be completely new and not even slightly damaged.
Banknotes that are even just a little bit dirty, bent or crumpled simply won’t be accepted.
Places to Visit in Myanmar
Yangon, the former capital city of Myanmar is, of course, one of the most important places to visit in this stunning country.
Home to the breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon is a vibrant and fast-growing metropolis with a wide choice of attractions and fun things to do.
Some of the most important points of interest in Yangon are the Sule Pagoda, Chauk-htat-gyi Buddha Temple, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Kandawgyi Lake and Botataung Pagoda.
Of course, the list of attractions doesn’t end here and you could easily spend a whole week discovering the city, exploring its most picturesque corners and soaking in the unique atmosphere.
Ngapali Beach is known to be the best holiday destination in Myanmar. Long stretches of warm, white sand, postcard-like and calm ocean and awe-inspiring sunsets will make your stay in Ngapali an unforgettable one.
If you dream about relaxing holidays in a peaceful setting, surrounded by nature and by the soothing sound of the waves you should definitely take Ngapali Beach into consideration.
And if you want to add some sightseeing to your trip, worry not! Not far from Ngapali lie a picturesque Fisherman’s Village and some stunning Buddhist pagodas too.
If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy some shopping, head to the lively Thandwe Market – a local market filled with fruits, vegetables and handmade goods.
Because there isn’t much of an exciting nightlife going on there, Ngapali Beach is especially recommended to couples and families.
No trip to Myanmar can be considered complete without visiting one of its most famous locations and we’re of course talking about Bagan.
This ancient city, situated in central Myanmar is home to thousands of temples and pagodas that will simply take your breath away.
A visit to Bagan feels like taking a step back in time and being transported to a magical period, centuries ago.
When you’re in Bagan, anywhere you look, there seems to be a temple or pagoda waiting to be discovered and explored.
The most important points of interest in Bagan are the Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Dhammayangyi Temple, Shwesandaw Pagoda and Thatbyinnyu Temple but there’s so much more to see than that.
Depending on how much time you have, you could spend days admiring all of the beautiful places available and soak the unique, mystical atmosphere of Bagan.
One of the most picturesque locations in Myanmar is without a doubt the beautiful Inle Lake.
If you want to take a break from the chaotic and busy metropolis of Southeast Asia you should definitely visit Inle Lake.
Traveling to this stunning place will give you an opportunity to spend some time in nature, enjoying a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.
Although it is becoming increasingly popular among tourists from all over the world, Inle Lake is still one of the most authentic and traditional places in Myanmar.
In fact, you’ll get to see floating farms, villages and gardens and you’ll also have a pleasure to meet the friendly Intha people who live around the lake.
Mandalay is another wonderful location to add to our Myanmar travel itinerary. The former royal capital of Myanmar is chaotic, busy and fascinating at the same time.
And it comes with a long list of attractions and amazing places to see!
Take in the views of the city from the Mandalay Hill, admire the stunning Kuthodaw Pagoda that is home to the world’s largest book and visit the Mahamuni Buddha Temple from the 18th century.
If you want to take a break from the city’s heavy traffic you can go and spend some time by the Irrawaddy River.
Mandalay is well connected with all the other main cities and tourist attractions in Myanmar and you can easily continue your journey through the country from there.