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Practical information about Myanmar

Practical information about Myanmar

Practical information about Myanmar

1. Climate in Myanmar

Myanmar has a tropical monsoon climate, which means it is hot all year. However, the temperature and rainfall vary a little between the coastal areas and the highlands.

Myanmar’s climate can be divided into two seasons: a dry season and a rainy season.

The dry season is from around October to May. The period offers plenty of sunshine and, especially between December and February, there is very little rain.

The rainy season is from around May to October. The period can offer heavy, tropical rain showers that last a few hours, typically late in the day or in the evening. It rarely rains all day. The heavier rainfall during this period makes for incredibly lush, green scenery.

Coastal Areas (Yangon – Ngapali):

Near the coast of Myanmar are the green city of Yangon and the seaside resort of Ngapali. The fresh sea breeze here makes the temperatures feel a little milder compared to the highlands, where Bagan and Mandalay are situated. The coastal areas are usually affected by monsoon rains in the period between July and September.

Weather statistics for Yangon: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 32 35 36 37 33 30 30 30 30 32 32 32
Average minimum temperature 18 19 22 24 25 25 24 24 24 24 23 19
Rainfall mm 5 2 7 15 303 547 559 602 368 206 60 7
Weather statistics for Ngapali: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 31 32 33 35 34 30 29 29 31 32 32 31
Average minimum temperature 12 13 17 22 25 24 24 24 23 23 20 15
Rainfall mm 2 1 1 17 299 1299 1408 1404 614 206 64 8
Average sea temperature 27 27 28 29 30 29 29 28 29 30 29 28

The highlands (Bagan – Mandalay – Monywa – Pyin Oo Lwin – Inle Lake):

Situated in Myanmar’s highlands, which are also known as the country’s dry zone, are the big cities of Bagan and Mandalay, the smaller cities of Monywa and Pyin Oo Lwin as well as the beautiful Inle Lake. In all of the cities in the highlands, the temperatures are relatively high all year round, and even during the monsoon season from May to October, there is considerably less rain than on the coast in the same months. At Inle Lake, which is situated in the mountains, 900 metres above sea level, temperatures are somewhat lower than in the highland cities, although still hot.

Weather statistics for Bagan: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 29 32 36 38 36 33 32 32 32 32 30 28
Average minimum temperaturef
15 16 20 24 25 25 24 24 24 23 20 16
Rainfall mm 0 1 5 14 94 93 48 91 127 102 38 8
Weather statistics for Mandalay: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 29 32 36 38 37 34 34 32 33 32 30 28
Average minimum temperature 13 15 20 24 26 26 26 25 25 24 19 15
Rainfall mm 4 2 1 40 138 116 83 136 150 125 38 6
Weather statistics for Inle: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 23 25 28 30 28 26 25 25 25 25 24 22
Average minimum temperature 8 10 14 17 18 18 18 18 18 17 13 9
Rainfall mm 5 4 6 49 163 208 216 273 256 189 67 11
2. Form of travel

The tour takes place in small international groups with English speaking guides.

3. When is it best to travel to Myanmar?

You can travel to Myanmar all year round. The best time to visit Myanmar is in the period October–March. April and May are the hottest months, and the rainy season affects the coastal areas from June until September. We do not recommend taking a holiday on Ngapali beach from the middle of April until the middle of October.

4. Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from Asiatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions of travel.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

5. Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their tour.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

6. Language

The population of Myanmar is made up of many ethnic minorities, each with their own language: Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. There is also a relatively large Chinese population, who speak Mandarin. The official language, however, is Myanmar, which is spoken by the majority of the population. English is spoken by the educated population and most people in the tourist industry. Myanmar has its own alphabet, mranma akkha.ra, which is a branch of an ancient Indian written language.

7. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another country where yellow fever is present.

Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. So be sure to bring your vaccination certificate with you in these cases.

8. Visa

As a citizen of the UK, you are required to obtain a visa approval letter before travelling to Myanmar.

The visa approval letter must be taken with you when travelling to Myanmar. On arrival in Myanmar the authorities will stamp the visa in your passport. Visas are valid for 28 days stay in Myanmar.

Visa applications and payment can be made online. Your visa application can be completed at the following link and we advise that you read the below information before starting the process: e-visa Myanmar

Please note:

• The earliest point at which you can apply for your visa, is 90 days before entry date into Myanmar. We recommend to apply approx. 60 days before travelling.
• Travellers passports must be valid for at least 6 months after return date to the UK from Myanmar.
• You will need a digital passport photograph saved to your computer, which is uploaded to accompany your visa application.
• Each visa costs 50 US dollars and can be paid for using a credit or debit card. It is a good idea to have your card ready for payment before starting the application process.
• Turn off any “pop-up blockers” that are activated in your internet browser. If you feel that you are experiencing issues, we recommend that you try using a different internet browser to complete the application.

The rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

You are of course always welcome to contact us if you have any questions.

9. Currency

The unit of currency in Myanmar is the kyat. The currency abbreviation is MMK. You cannot buy this currency outside Myanmar, so you will need to bring some US dollars with you and exchange them for kyat when you arrive in the country.
Most major hotels accept credit cards, but few other places do so. There are very few cash machines (ATMs) either.

10. Tipping

Tipping is appreciated and usual practice. It is generally accepted that the tip you leave corresponds to the service you have received.

11. Time difference

Myanmar is 3½ hours ahead of GMT during the UK summer, and 4½ hours ahead during the winter months (standard GMT).

12. Electricity

Mains electricity in Myanmar is usually 230 V. Most hotels have plug sockets that accept 3-pin plugs. Please note, however, that there is no common standard in Myanmar, so you may encounter various types of plugs and sockets. Therefore, we recommend that you bring a travel adapter with you that is able to accommodate multiple plug/socket combinations.

13. Telephone and Internet

The international dialling code for Myanmar is +95. It can be expensive to place calls to – or receive them from – Europe while you are in Myanmar. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges.

There are internet cafés in the big cities, and Wi-Fi connections in some hotels.

14. Safety

It can be said without fear of contradiction that Myanmar is one of the safest tourist destinations, not only in Asia but also in the world. The people of Myanmar are extremely friendly and open, and they are keen to help tourists with advice and guidance. You can walk the streets of the towns and cities at night without any fears or reservations. In most places, everything closes at around 20.00, it is only in the larger towns that restaurants, etc. stay open until 22.00.

15. Food and drink

The food in Myanmar is heavily influenced by Indian cuisine in particular, but typical Myanmar dishes feature elements of Sichuan and Thai styles as well. Boiled rice is a staple ingredient of almost all meals, typically served with spicy meat or fish. The fish sauce called ‘ngapi’ is very common, as is noodle soup. Bananas, coconuts, mangosteen and durians are common fruits. A very common soft drink is a weak green tea, which is drunk in small sips throughout the day.
It is generally best for tourists to avoid buying food from the street kitchens in Myanmar.
The hotels always serve a western-style breakfast.
Only ever drink water from bottles. Never ask for or put ice in your drinks.

16. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

17. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you find any mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

18. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

19. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

20. Checked luggage and hand luggage

We use many different airlines for our flights to Myanmar, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. For information about this, seewww.checkmytour.com or contact us if you have any questions.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.

21. Transfers to and from airports

On arrival in Myanmar, you will be met at the airport by our local agent, who will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with an Asiatours sign. You will naturally also be driven to the airport on departure. Our local agent in Myanmar will inform you of the pick-up time.

22. Etiquette and cultural differences

Experiencing differences in culture and etiquette is one of the delights of travelling, and it is essential to respect these differences. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ is good advice, and the section below contains a number of useful hints and tips intended to help you make the very most of your visit to Myanmar.

  • Never touch a person of the opposite sex in public, and do not hold hands with your partner.
  • Do not shake hands either. The polite and normal way to greet someone is to place your palms together in front of your chest and then bow.
  • The accepted way to give and receive items is to use your right hand, while your left arm rests on your right forearm.
  • The elderly are accorded great respect in Myanmar. For this reason, you should always show respect for the elderly by stepping aside for them on the street, for example, and by bowing respectfully to them.
  • If you are travelling as a couple, the man always walks on the woman’s right-hand side.
  • Most women and children have a white powder – called ‘thanakha’ – smeared on their face, arms and feet. Thanakha is made from the bark of a specific tree. It cools the skin, protects it from the sun and keeps it feeling fresh and soft.
  • Always remove your shoes and socks when entering a pagoda, a temple, a monastery or a private home.
  • Always wear long trousers or a long dress/skirt when entering a pagoda, a temple or a monastery.
  • Buddha figures are sacred to the people of Myanmar, so it is very insulting to do ‘funny’ things in front of them, and it is absolutely forbidden to climb up on them.
  • Always ask permission before taking photos in a pagoda, a temple or a monastery.
  • Never touch anyone – adult or child – on their head. The head is considered sacred in Buddhism and should not be touched by human hand.
  • When sitting on the floor, make sure that the soles of your feet are always pointing away from whoever or whatever you are facing.
  • Monks are not permitted to touch women, and must not be touched by women. If, as a woman, you wish to give something to a monk, place it on the ground for the monk to pick up himself.
23. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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