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TRAVEL TIPS

AIRPORT TAX

Any passengers departing Myanmar on international flights will have to pay a departure tax of USD 10.00 per person.

CLIMATE & WEATHER

Myanmar has three seasons. * Winter season - October through February with average temperatures 20-30 C * summer season - March through May with average temperatures 30-35 C * Raining Season - June to September with average temperatures 25-35 C. The ideal time to visit Myanmar in winter . But even in the rainy season, Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and in Shan State is quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February.

CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELERS CHECKS

Credit cards accepted only in a few major hotels, airlines and some international shops and restaurants. We propose to bring a sufficient amount of cash for personal expenses. Exchanging travelers' checks and are very difficult and time consuming. You must bring the original purchase agreement for the travelers checks with you as proof when cashing your check's. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all holidays.

CURRENCY

We recommend visitors to bring U.S. dollars in cash only - larger notes (ONLY NEW U.S. $ 100 notes) to achieve a better exchange rate. Exchange of other foreign currencies such as euro, yen and British pound may be time consuming and difficult, and you get a very low price compared to U.S. $. Authorized money exchangers throughout Myanmar will usually only accept U.S. Dollars. The FEC (Foreign Exchange Currency) used in Myanmar as currency next to the local currency Kyat (pronounced "Chat") are more or less equivalent to the U.S. dollar (a = 1??) And is usually tender throughout the country.

DOMESTIC AIRLINES & FLIGHTS

Air Mandalay, AIR KBZ, Air Bagan, Asian Wings and Yangon Airways are privately drives airlines flying throughout Myanmar. There is a 20 Kilo limit for luggage per person and excess luggage fee is charged. We suggest that you leave what is not needed upcountry in Yangon and collect them on your departure.

DRINKING WATER

Only drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide complimentary. Bring a bottle with you throughout the day.

DUTY-FREE ENTRY

Two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars and half liter of perfume are allowed per person. It is not recommended to put these things in as Myanmar shop prices are generally far below duty free.

Admission Fees

Cost in U.S. $ / FEC payable in some places, namely pagodas, museums, parks, etc.

Festivals

Try to arrange your trip to coincide with a festival. These unique celebrations - such as the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival around Inle Lake - offers a good opportunity to visit villages and join the locals as they celebrate their festivals throughout the year. Click on our festivals button to recent events.

Gratitudes & TIPPING

Myanmar's really happy to help foreign visitors, and expect nothing in return. But if your guide or any other person on the trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.

HEALTH

No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or through an infected area. Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if necessary and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc. Please contact us if you want detailed information on emergency health services available.

IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS FORMALITIES

Your valuables (jewelry, cameras, electronic equipment, etc.) must be declared on your customs declaration upon arrival. Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelery may be required upon departure.

INSURANCE

We advise all customers to have the necessary personal baggage, medical and accident insurance before arrival. SOS Worldwide has a local representative office in Yangon with a 24 hour on call service for emergency evacuation and medical assistance.

LANGUAGE

Most people speak Myanmar (Burma), and English is widely used in tourist areas.

Local Time in Myanmar

GMT + 6.5 Yangon 0700 hours on Mondays
GMT - 5 NEW YORK 1930 hours on Sundays
GMT 0 LONDON 0030 hours on Mondays
GMT +1 PARIS 0130 hours on Mondays
GMT +7 BANGKOK 0730 hours on Mondays
GMT 8 HONG KONG 0830 hours on Mondays
GMT 10 SYDNEY 1030 hours on Mondays

CELLULAR

Hand-phones or mobile phones from other countries not currently operational in Myanmar. It is possible to buy a GSM SIM card in Myanmar.

Monosodium Glutamate - (MSG) ALERT

In most Asian countries including Myanmar MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) - known locally as "AJINOMOTO" - is still used for cooking in some restaurants. Some travelers may experience swollen feet, hands or headaches will more than likely have had a good amount of MSG in food. It is always best to inform your guide when you book if you do not wish to be added to your food.

POWER & ELECTRICITY

Our recommended hotels in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan offer 24 hours electricity (with a generator, if necessary). In other more isolated areas such as Kyaingtong, the Shan Hills, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake - generated electricity can not always be available. Most rooms have screens and mosquito nets.

RELIGION

The majority of the people of Myanmar are Buddhists (85%) even though Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are also practiced.

TELECOMMUNICATONS IDD

Telephones & fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon, Bagan, Inle and Mandalay but charges are quite expensive. E mail facilities Incl WI-FI is now available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon, Bagan, Inle and Mandalay.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

A visa is required in advance. Tourist visa for Myanmar can be issued by the Myanmar embassies worldwide. Travelers planning to arrive via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong can sometimes obtain their tourist visas within one working day.

Visa on arrival: Tourist Visas on arrival can be arranged within 1-2 weeks. Tourist visa is valid for a stay of up to 28 days.

Once we have approval we will send you a message. The airlines have already been informed of your arrival, so nothing else is needed. (Rules amended March 2010). Immigration Service / Immigration at Yangon International Airport will issue the visa for you and our representative will also be there to help you.

CURRENCY

Previously, you have to change 200 USD for the FEC at the airport.

Now, things have improved. Many banks can exchange, just a few "moneychangers." However, travelers can get confused.

VOLTAGE

The voltage in Myanmar is 220-230 volts AC. Most of the international hotels have their own generators. Other places may experience power cuts and voltage fluctuation which can damage equipment such as computers. Please travel with the necessary protection for your electrical items.

What to take with you

Sun hat, sunglasses (available locally), sunscreen for your face and body, prescription medication, insect repellent and an umbrella April to October (rain or shine). An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight, extra passport photos.

CLOTHING

Shorts, short skirts or revealing clothing is not appropriate, especially when visiting temples or any religious site. Myanmar is a conservative Buddhist culture and improper dress can be offensive. Please dress respecting the local culture. Lightweight, easy to care clothes of cotton and cool fabrics are ideal all year round. A winter sweater or jacket and socks may be necessary in the cool season when visiting up country especially around Inle Lake and Kalaw when the temperature can drop to near freezing during the night. Wear sensible walking shoes, which can be easily removed as required. Sandals, slipper or flip-flops (available locally) are very comfortable shoes.

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