MYANMAR PRE – DEPARTURE INFORMATION

Myanmar is still one of the most mysterious and undiscovered nations in the world. With centuries-old temples, virgin jungle, snow-capped mountains, and an interesting colonial history, charming Myanmar is sure leave an impression. We wish you a memorable trip in Myanmar, and offer the below information to help you prepare.

VISA

According to the official requirements from the Myanmar immigration authority, visitors to Myanmar who have a Myanmar embassy in their home country are required to obtain a tourist visa in advance from that embassy in their home country. This can take up to one week to obtain.

E-visa

E-visa is now available in some countries. Please check the website of Myanmar Ministry of Immigration at http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/HowToApply.aspx to see if it is available for you and then follow the instruction to apply for e-visa. The processing will take around 3 working days and you will pay directly over the internet to Myanmar Ministry of Immigration.

Upon arrival, you are required to bring E- visa Approval Letter with you which is issued to you based on the information provided in the application. You must also bring the Visa Approval Letter (printed) and show to the immigration at the airport with passports. On arrival the application is processed and entry immigration pass granted.

Possession of a valid Approval Visa alone does not guarantee entry into Myanmar. You must also meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Have a passport with at least 6 months validity.
  2. Have sufficient funds for the period of stay in Myanmar.
  3. Have confirmed onward/ return air ticket(s).

Note: The validity of the visa approval letter is (90) days.

The E-visa is only available for travelers who are flying into Yangon International Airport, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw International Airports. All other travelers flying into other airports or arriving by cruise have to apply visa to the Myanmar consulate in their home country in advance.

Land border crossing are allowed in some border entry crossing subject to approval from the Ministry of Tourism in Myanmar and Minister of the Interior Security. You must obtain a tourist visa in advance from your home country and then apply to permission via the Ministry of Tourism.

Please keep a copy of your completed Immigration and Customs form as you will need to present it at Immigration upon departure from Myanmar.

INSURANCE

Travelers are highly recommended to purchase trip and travel insurance. Trip insurance covers the cost of your trip should you be forced to cancel your trip before you start the trip. Travel insurance covers such cost as emergency and medical evacuation, hospital fees, property loss, etc. which could possibly happen during the trip.

Please note in Myanmar credit card or bank insurance will not cover you in the event of a medical emergency.

HEALTH

Please consult your doctor to discuss your particular health or immunization requirements. If you would like to have a source of further information, please refer to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov

AIRLINES

  • International Airlines

The following airlines currently fly into Myanmar: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Myanmar Airways International, Malaysia Airlines, Biman Bangladesh, Indian Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Myanmar National Airlines, Silk Air, Vietnam Airlines, etc.

  • Domestic Airlines

The following domestic airlines are operated in Myanmar: FMI Air (ND), Air KBZ (K7), Air Mandalay (6T), Asian Wings Airways (YJ), Golden Myanmar Airways (Y5), Maan Yatanarporn Airways (7Y), Myanmar Airways International (8M), Yangon Airways (YH). These airlines fly French – Intalian ATR turboprop planes (Avion de Transports Régionaux), or small Airbus jets.

  • Seat Assignment on Airplane

In Myanmar, pre-designated seats are not available. All domestic airlines have a ‘’free seating policy’’. The best way to secure a seat of your choice is to arrive at the airport early and board first.

  • Luggage allowance

Each airline has its own luggage allowance policy but it generally 20kg. Excess baggage is charged at a specific rate depending on the individual route. You are advised that domestic airlines may deny you boarding if you are carrying more than the allowed luggage policy. We strongly recommend you only bring essentials and where possible store larger luggage at hotels. You are advised to check your airline prior to travel. All airlines now stipulate that liquids, gels and/or aerosols in your hand luggage must be in completely closed containers of 3oz/100ml or less (even if the container is partially filled).

For passenger’s convenience and safety/security reasons, it is allowed to carry on board only one cabin luggage within reasonable size and shape in the cabin to fit under passenger’s seat.

Articles which may be carried free in addition to the free baggage allowance. An overcoat, wrap or blanket, An umbrella or walking stick, A reasonable amount of reading matter for  the flight, A handbag, pocket-book or purse appropriate to normal travelling dress, A small camera and/or a pair of binoculars, Infant’s food for consumption in flight: infant’s carrying basket*. In addition, for infants paying 10% of the applicable  fare, one fully collapsible stroller/ pushchair, A fully collapsible invalid’s wheelchair* and/or a pair of crutches and/or braces or other prosthetic device for the passenger’s use provided that the passenger is dependent upon them. These articles may also be carried in the cargo compartment.

Economy: 20kg (44 lbs.) checked baggage, 7kg (15.4 lbs.) cabin baggage

Excess baggage charge: US$2-3 per KG for domestic flights. For extra luggage prices cannot make a fix price for international flight. It is depends on the airlines.

  • Departure Airport tax

Departure tax is included in all flights booked by Trails of Indochina. Flights not booked by Trails of Indochina may be subject taxes for both domestic and international departures which must be paid in USD only at point of departure. The departure tax fee is currently $10 and is subject to change

MONEY

CREDIT CARD & TRAVELLERS CHEQUES

WARNING – CREDIT CARD & TRAVELLERS CHEQUES

Myanmar is starting to open up to the world and recently credit cards and is being accepted at some larger hotels. Currency – The Myanmar currency is known as the ‘kyat’ (pronounced ‘chat’). The official rate is about 1050 kyat to the dollar and it’s almost same rate everywhere.

Myanmar does not have a dual currency system. You are required to change USD to MMK at international airports and authorized currency exchanges only. Authorized exchange booths are open across the region and open 09:00 – 16:00 daily. At weekends authorized exchange booths may not be open outside of Yangon. In Yangon we advise to change money at the PCL Currency Exchange on the Anawathra Road Yangon. Your guide and our Myanmar Customer Care can advise you further should you need more information on arrival. This exchange is open weekdays and at weekends 10:00 – 16:00, and accepts USD, GBP and Euros (no traveler’s cheques or card transactions).

Goods and services including restaurants must be paid for Myanmar Kyat

USD notes must be new notes issued after 2007 and must be unmarked and untorn. Old USD notes are not accepted.

Credit and debit card payments are subject to two charges. One by the local bank in Myanmar whom the card passes through and a charge by your own bank. These vary between 3-7%

Whilst there are an increasing number of ATMs across the country, cash in the main currency here and often ATMs do not work and are non-existent in remote areas. Please ensure you bring enough money for your stay. We advise a minimum $100 per day.

Please ensure on departure you change all Myanmar Kyat back into USD as it is illegal to take it out of the country and it is a non-changeable currency outside of Myanmar.

TIPPING

Tipping is not compulsory but it is greatly appreciated throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the service industry. For reference, we have provided a general guideline below.

Tour guide/ Driver

If you are pleased with the services provided by your tour guide and driver, a tip for their hard work will be very much appreciated. In general, we recommend around US$10-20/day for guide and US$5-10/day for driver if less than 4 people in a group. We recommend around US$15-25/day for guide and US$10-15/day for driver if there are 5 people or more.

Hotel and Restaurant staff

A tipping of 5-10% of the bill in restaurant is appreciated. If you stay a couple days in the same hotel, a tip to the maid service of 1-2$/day is appreciated.

Boat Cruise

If you travel on a local basic boat such as in Inle Lake, a suggested tip from US$5-10 per boat is appreciated – more or less depending on the group size and the trip’s duration. For an overnight boat trip such as on the Road to Mandalay, the suggestion is $20 – $30 per person to cover all the boat crew.