How to travel Myanmar? It will be certainly a very difficult question if you have no idea or experience about Myanmar. The Land of Golden Temples has become more and more familiar with tourists all over the world, making them enchanted by its stunning natural landscapes, majestic religious sites, and rich culture. Here’s the list of handy thing you should know before your Myanmar travel so that making your trip is easier.
1. Money, Exchange and ATM’s in Myanmar
You can exchange dollars into Myanmar Kyat in a local bank or at the airport, your hotel or guesthouse. It’s better for you to know that only brand new dollar bills or at least the one which is uncreased and unmarked are accepted in exchange. You should bring cash with yourself because ATM machines are not popular in Myanmar. Although there are many ones in Yangon and less one in small towns, you hardly find them in rural areas.
When you travel to Myanmar, notice that dollars are usually used for paying for some means of transport, such as internal flights and your accommodation. Everything else such as street snacks, food, tuk-tuks, and guides are paid for in kyat.
2. Travel to Myanmar is not expensive
It will cost about $30-$40 a day on average, including your transport and accommodation. Travel Myanmar could be really expensive in case you choose to stay in upmarket hotels and eat at expensive establishments.
3. When to travel in Myanmar
Popularly, high season in Myanmar is from November to February (of the following year) when it’s warm, and attracts the greatest number of travelers. In this period, you have to book your accommodation long advance and the price is very high.
In the low season (the rest of year), there are limited numbers of tourist. You can book your room more easily with a better price. The fees for other tourist services are also more pleasant. However, you should be aware that your travel to Myanmar in this time may be awful if you cannot stand the hot weather with the temperature of up to 40 °C
Hotel price in Myanmar is considered expensive, compared to that of neighbor countries. You will have to pay at least 25 USD for a standard double room (with only minimum amenities). In major cities such as Yangon and Mandalay, most hotels are all booked up as far as a month in advance. It’s predicted that the shortage of accommodations for tourists will continue in the ten next year.
A more affordable choice for you is staying in a dorm room. In rural areas of Myanmar, a number of monasteries may accept visitors for a small fee.
5. Getting off the beaten track in Myanmar
When you travel Myanmar, you will always advise visiting 4 main tourist highlights of Myanmar, including Yangon (the biggest city), Bagan (the former capital), Mandalay (the second biggest and cosmopolitan city) and In Lake (the world natural wonder). It’s undeniable that they are totally worth visiting. However, there are more wonderful places in Myanmar than those. Therefore, get off the beaten track to discover mysterious lands of Myanmar such as the western Chin State and the far reaches of the southern Tenasserim region and Mon State. Notice that you have to apply for a government visa in advance to enter these places.
6. Bus journeys in Myanmar
Bus journeys will be an experience you have hardly forgotten when you are having your Burma tours. Buses are everywhere and can take you to almost parts of the country where tourism is permitted. Bus journeys are long, sometimes 10-12 hours. Night buses may take you to your destination at 3 or 4.am. Never ask a driver about the arrival time as it’s believed in the belief system of Nats (spirits) that asking when you will arrive at a destination conjures up bad spirits and is taken seriously.
7. The internet is very slow
Although wifi is free at most hotels and guesthouse, its slow speed can make you crazy. More terribly, it does not work sometimes.
8. Learning the Burmese language
The two most important Burmese words you should always learn are “thank you” and “hello”:
Thank you: Jay-zu-de-bar-dee
Replying the locals by their own mother language is not only polite but also well-received. You may see most locals giggle in response. It does not mean that are not mocking you; they are just not expecting it.
These 8 things above may help you answer the question, “How to travel Myanmar?” Remember those to become a smart traveler Myanmar, and have a favorable and interesting trip.
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