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Travel Tips

Electricity

Myanmar uses AC220~250V and 50Hz. The electricity is mainly powered by the hydropower plants and some small-scale gas & diesel turbines. The blackouts are common from December to June every year, and this is the time where the people use electricity on quota basis. However, most tourist class hotels have backup generators to provide at least 12-hour per day electricity. This may also be varying to the prevailing fuel costs.

It is recommended to bring some adaptors to recharge your camera batteries and for your gadgets. The power plugs used in Myanmar are mostly two-pin (rounded) and three-pin (both rounded and flat).

Health & Vaccination

You may need to discuss with your medical supervisor what vaccinations might be needed when you travel to a country where you can encounter hepatitis A/B/C, typhoid fever, HIV, Tuberculosis and Polio. The medication for diarrhea is somehow necessary. Other immunizations may be required depending upon the circumstances of the trip such as malaria prophylaxis vaccination may be need if you are traveling outside the usual tourist circuit. You should discuss about the malaria precaution with us before coming to Myanmar.
Insect repellents are highly recommended, in conjunction with other measures to prevent mosquito bites. All travelers should visit their personal physician before commencing your trip. More importantly, don’t forget to bring the medicines that you are taking regularly because you may not find the identical brand easily here.
The sun can be remarkably hot during the day times. We would like to advise you to use moisturizer and high-factor sun block creams.

General Clothing & Suggested Items 

• Light, casual cotton wear because of hot weather
• A cardigan or light jerkin, or a windbreaker when visiting northern / northeastern Myanmar especially in the period between November & February
• An umbrella and the raincoat during the rainy season if you are coming during June through October
• Sandals or slippers for all time visits
• Sunglass and hat
• Sporting shoes for trekking tours in the hills
• Quick drying clothes are recommended if you visit during the rainy season or Thingyan (Water festival)
• The dress code for pagodas and monasteries prescribe decent apparel, no footwear is allowed when visiting pagodas and monasteries
• Torch / Flashlight
• Enough film rolls if you’re still using old-fashioned film camera and its extra batteries
• You should be asking us what might be needed for the overnight trekking tours

Public Holidays

Please refer to our 101 festivals of Myanmar for more precise public holidays

January 4 Independence Day
February 12 Union Day
March 2 Peasant's Day
March 2nd week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Full moon day of Tabaung
March 27 Armed Force Day
April 2nd week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Water Festival
April beginning of 3rd week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Myanmar New Year
May 1 World Workers Day
May 2nd week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Full moon day of Kason
July 2nd week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Full moon day of Waso
July 19 Martyrs Day
November 1st week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Full moon day of Thadingyut
November 25 National Day
December 1st week
(depending on lunar calendar)
Full moon day of Tazaungmone
December 25 Christmas Day
Myanmar Calendar

The Myanmar calendar subscribes to both the solar and lunar months, thus requiring an intercalary 30-day 13th month every second or third year. Therefore, the full moon days may change from one month to another in the usual calendar. The Myanmar months are:

Tagu March/April Thadingyut September/October
Kason April/May Tazaungmone October/November
Nayon May/June Nadaw November/December
Waso June/July  Pyatho December/January
Wagaung July/August Tabodwei January/February
Tawthalin August/September Tabaung  February/March
Getting into Myanmar

By Air to Myanmar
There are three international airports in Myanmar; Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay. Apart from Yangon international airport, there are very hardly any intercontinental flights going in and out. So, please forget about entering Myanmar by air from other cites rather than Yangon. Here is the list of airlines that are currently having linked with Yangon International airport.

The above airlines have the direct air link to Yangon from the following countries:

Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Thailand
Singapore
Hong Kong & Kunming, China
Taipei, Taiwan
Vienna, Austria
Calcutta & Delhi, India
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Brunei
Bhutan
Dhaka, Bangladesh
For more international fight connection, please see our airline information.

By Sea to Myanmar

With the arrangement of cruise liners, one can be arrived Myanmar from Yangon Port with On Arrival Visa.

By Land (Overland Entry to Myanmar)

It is also possible to enter & depart from the border checkpoints with prior arrangement. Usually it will take around 30-days to process the border entry / departure permission. You may need to take the Santa Maria Tours’ assistance to get the permission. Up to now, the government does not allow to enter or leave Myanmar from any of western borderline sharing with Bangladesh and India. These are the list of border entry points, which are currently allowing tourists to enter or leave Myanmar:
Tachileik (Northern Thailand)
Kawthaung (Southern Thailand)
Muse (Southwest China)

Passport & Myanmar Visa

Valid passport (at least 3-months to the expiry date before entering Myanmar) and Myanmar Visa (EVT Package Tour or EVT FIT) are required. Santa Maria Tour can also arrange Pre-arranged ON ARRIVAL VISA. Please see more information and requirements at the Myanmar Visa page.

Health Certificate

No health insurance and certificates are required unless you are coming from the recently outbreak areas. There are several hospitals and clinics in Yangon, some of which are under the Ministry of Health and some are privately owned. There is a wide range of variety in quality, expertise, expenses and services offered. The Pun Hlaing International Hospital is the first international hospital in Yangon, Myanmar with 24-hour emergency service (TEL: 684 323).

Travel Insurance

Although travel insurance is not mandatory, we would highly recommend arranging his or her insurance with a reputable insurer, with protection for the full duration of the tour, to cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, loss of luggage and the expenses associated with cancellation or curtailment of a tour. If a client becomes ill, all hospital expenses, doctor’s fees and repatriation costs are the client’s responsibilities and the company shall not be liable for any refund of the tour cost.

Customs

The custom officers at the airport barely oblige to declare the tourists who have brought foreign currencies in excess of U.S $2,000. However, jewelry, camera, video camera and electronic goods should be declared at the customs' counter at the airport on arrival. More…

Myanmar and Foreign Currencies

Where can I exchange foreign currencies into Myanmar local currency?
There is an exchange counter as you enter into the Yangon airport arrival lounge. This is an official exchange counter where you can exchange your currency (most preferably from US$ and Euro) officially, without needing to be nervous, although the exchange rate is not up to par. You can find several black marketers in Bogyoke Aung Sang market (usually in the central block) and near MFTB (Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank) adjacent to the Maha Bandoola Park near the city center Sule Pagoda. You may also change at the hotel reception desks. Usually, the best exchange rate you can ever get is only in Yangon, having approximately +10% differences with the other places.

Myanmar currency is known as “Kyat”. The bills are as follow:

Notes: Kyat 1000, Kyat 500, Kyat 200, Kyat 100, Kyat 90, Kyat 50, Kyat 45, Kyat 20, Kyat 15, Kyat 10, Kyat 5, Kyat 1.

Coins: Kyat 100, Kyat 50, Kyat 10, Kyat 5, Kyat 1, Pya 50, Pya 25, Pya 10, Pya 5, Pya 1.

FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificate)

Nowadays, the need of exchanging your 200US dollars into 200FEC (1US$ = 1FEC) upon arrival airport is waived, although these FEC notes are still widely using throughout Myanmar to pay for hotel charges, entrance fess, airfares etc., to circulate inside the country. By law, it is forbidden to keep any foreign currency in the hand of public. The market rate of FEC is usually lower than US dollar thus; some businesses refuse to accept FEC when the exchange rate difference is huge between USD & FEC. The licensed moneychangers can exchange from FEC to Kyat and vice visa legally.

Credit Cards & Traveler Cheques

We are sorry to inform you that the use of credit cards and traveler cheques are not fully functioning in Myanmar. A handful of upscale hotels can accept cards and cheques exclusively for their in houseguests with certain limitations. Some hotels allow their customers to withdraw cash but with very high commission fees.

Travelers are advised to bring US Dollars in cash (small denomination notes). British Pounds, and sometimes, even Euro is difficult to change. So bring US Dollars cash to be sure.