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ESCORTED TRIPS 2012 / 2013

Essential Information

Myanmar Visa:
Foreigners are required to obtain a non-immigrant or tourist visa before entering into Myanmar. Tourist visa can be obtained from the Myanmar Embassies and Missions and Consulates overseas. Please see Myanmar Visa page for more details.

Seasons to visit Myanmar:
Myanmar is a year-round destination and has three main seasons. The hot season runs from March to mid-May, the rainy season from mid-May to early October, and the cool season from mid-October until the end of February. Each season has its own attractions, and even during the rainy season there are many days of clear blue skies, and the landscapes are green and lush.

The cool dry season from October to February is the best time to visit Myanmar.

Population:
The population is over 50 million. More than 60 percent of Myanmar’s population is Bama (Myanmar) and the other major ethnic groups include Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan.

Language:
There are more than 100 ethnic groups in Myanmar, all with their own languages and dialects. The majority speak Myanmar (Burmese), although English is widely spoken. Helpful tour guides who can speak major foreign languages can be booked with advance request.

Religion:
Myanmar enjoys religious tolerance and since the ancient times, there has been full freedom of worship for followers of different religions. So, different religions can be practiced in Myanmar. The religious edifices and religious orders have been in existence and religious festivals can be held on a grand scale. The majority of the population embraces Theravada Buddhism with 89.3 percent. The rest embrace Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or animism.

Travelling within Myanmar:
Scheduled domestic flights are available through Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways and Air Bagan to Mandalay, Bagan, Thandwe, Heho, Sittwe, Tachilek, Myiek, Kawthoung and other destinations. Other modes of transport are train and bus (citywide and long distance), taxi and trishaw.

Flights to Myanmar:
There are numerous daily flights to Myanmar from its next door neighbor Thailand, India, China, and from regional South East Asian destinations such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has flight services to and from Yangon, Myanmar to the following destinations.
Guangzhou, China,
Gaya, India,
Siem Reap, Cambodia,
Changi, Singapore,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and daily flights to Bangkok, Thailand;

Air Mandalay has infrequent flight to and from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways have flight services to and from Yangon, Myanmar.
Vietnam Airlines has flight to and from Yangon, Myanmar and Vietnam.

In addition, there are other international flights that serve Myanmar during high tourism season from November to February. If you need help on any regional or international flight connection to the Myanmar, please let us know. We will be happy to help you.

Airport departure tax:
As is the case at most international airports, there is an international departure tax. In Yangon, US$/FEC10 per person is payable for departures on international flights. There are currently no airport taxes for domestic flights.

Climate and weather:
Myanmar is a year-round destination and has three main seasons. The hot season runs from March to mid-May, the rainy season from mid-May to early October, and the cool season from mid-October until the end of February. Each season has its own attractions, and even during the rainy season there are many days of clear blue skies, and the landscapes are green and lush.

The cool dry weather season October to February is the best time to visit Myanmar.

What to wear:
Casual and light clothing is recommended for Myanmar all year round. A light sweater or jacket will be useful during the cool season and when travelling in northern areas. Shoes and other footwear must be removed when entering religious buildings and homes. Miniskirts, shorts and revealing clothes are prohibited when visiting temples and pagodas.

Healthcare:
No immunizations are formally required, although malaria prophylaxis is often recommended by personal physicians. Occasionally, typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis vaccinations are also recommended. Drink only bottled or boiled water. All hotels supply bottled water, as well as a good selection of Asian and Western food. Use sunscreen liberally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.

Safety and security:
According to United Nations statistics, Myanmar enjoys one of the world’s lowest crime rates, ranking well above Europe and other mainstream Asian destinations in terms of personal safety.

Post and telecommunications:
Use the Central Post Office for letters and post cards. IDD telephone and fax facilities are available at most hotels in Myanmar. Email facilities are available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon and Mandalay.

Local time in Myanmar:
Local time is GMT + 6.5 hours.

Electricity:
220-240 Volt, 50 Hz. If this is not compatible for your electrical appliance, you should bring an electric converter adapter.

Currency:
Myanmar currency is known as “kyat” (pronounced chat). The present usable denominations are: 1000; 500; 200; 100; 50; 20; 10; 5. Licensed money changers can help you exchange US$/FEC into local kyats. Travellers’ checks are not normally accepted and are difficult to transact. Travellers are advised to bring US dollars in cash (small denomination notes) as other currencies are difficult to change.

Food:
Traditional Myanmar food such as mohinga, ohnokhaukswe, assorted baked and fried delicacies and a variety of Myanmar curries are available at reputable Myanmar restaurants. Chinese and Indian dishes are available at popular food outlets in major towns and cities.

Shopping:
Many different arts, crafts and antiques are available throughout Myanmar. Handcrafted lacquer ware, mostly produced in Bagan, comes in all shapes and sizes. Embroidered cottons and wood carvings also make good souvenirs. Myanmar is of course renowned for its precious stones, particularly rubies. You should only buy from government licensed shops, which must issue an official receipt.

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