Myanmar (Burma) has been the hottest name in the bucket list of world wide travelers in recent years. Undeniably, Myanmar really includes the most amazing values to encourage any travelers: magnificent temples, simply warm people and the most important: this country still have an original beauty without any negative intervention of commercialization. The following summary will give you the most basic informations for a trip to Myanmar in 10 days & 9 nights.
1. How to get a visa
After 30 years of closure, visas to Myanmar have become much easier in the last few years.
Citizens of Europe, North America and Australia can apply for visas on arrival at Yangon, Na Pi Daw and Mandalay International airports for a 30-day limit for $50.
You can also apply for an e-visa through the government website. Visa will be issued after 3 working days, valid for 90 days from the date of issue and allows a maximum stay of up to 28 days (for tourists) or 70 days (for travelers business with invitation).
The fee for business eVisa is US $70, travel eVisa is $50.
For customers traveling with Asiatica Travel, a visa is free of charge.
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2. Currency exchange in Myanmar
The official currency of Myanmar is Kyat (pronounced tʃɑːt), you can exchange money at the airport with the exchange rate of 1400 kyat = 1 USD. Note when exchanging money: money must be new, no folds, musty or dirty. Popular currencies such as USD and EUR can be exchanged easily.
You can exchange about 500 USD on the first day arrival.
3. International flight to Myanmar
It is currently quite rare direct flights from Europe to Myanmar.
There are many flights from Europe to Bangkok, Singapore then transit from Bangkok or Singapore to Yangon with prices ranging from 700 to 1000 USD/way.
Recommended airlines: Thai Airway, Qatar, Singapore Airline.
For young travelers who spend a month traveling to Southeast Asia, they can book plane to Bangkok and use cheap airlines like Airasia, Nok Air to travel through Myanmar.
4. Weather in Myanmar
Myanmar has a dry tropical climate with rainy season (from June to September) and dry season (from October to May of the following year). The ideal season to travel is the dry season with a cool climate at 22 to 28 degrees Celsius. Summer is extremely hot weather up to 40 degrees Celsius, especially in Center and border zone with India.
Tropical storms rarely occur in Myanmar seas. Earthquakes are likely to occur in northern Myanmar but there have been few casualties.
5. Itinerary and number of days to visit
You can visit Myanmar with a basic journey from 7 to 11 days to be able to explore all the most famous destinations in a leisurely way. Here is the journey that I experienced:
Day 1: Yangon arrival
Day 2: Yangon – flight to Mandalay
Day 3: Mandalay visit
Day 4: Mandalay – Monywa
Day 5: Monywa – Bagan
Day 6: Bagan visit
Day 7: Bagan – flight to Inle
Day 8: Inle visit
Day 9: Inle – flight to Yangon
Day 10: Yangon departure
You can skip days 4 and 5 because Monywa is not a must- visit place and flies straight from Mandalay to Bagan. Some of my friends have an extra day in Bago to visit the golden rock.
Some beach lovers will spend another 3 to 4 days relaxing at Ngapali Beach before returning home.
6. Price for a trip to Myanmar
Depending on how much you spend, a 10-day & 9-night Myanmar trip, including a 3-star hotel, two meals per day, English travel guide, 3 domestic flights and a private car will cost around 1300USD/person, excluding international flight tickets.
If you travel by road instead of flying, staying at the B&B, the price will be lower, but you must pay attention to arrange the schedule and prepare the luggage appropriately.
7. Security in Myanmar
Myanmar is very safe, people are very honest and open because they are imbued with Buddhist philosophy. Absolutely no pickpocket, robbery, selling at the right price and even they are very enthusiastic when interacting with tourists.
The area of Mrauk U bordering with India still has local rebels so I highly recommend not going to this area.
8. Travel costumes to Myanmar
You should wear cool clothes, made of cotton and always bring with you a shawl because Myanmar is very hot. Always wear long pants and long sleeves to show respect in the temples.
Hats should not be worn in the prayer space to show respect. When going to the temple, it is mandatory to remove both shoes and socks, only barefoot.
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Tôi bắt đầu thấy quyết định mua Huawei của mình là đúng đăn sau bức ảnh này. Bức ảnh đầu tiên chụp ở Myanmar cùng với Huawei p30 lite. Không phải quảng cáo đâu nhé. Rảnh quá nói nhảm thôi. #zostajewdomu #wspomnieńczas #polkawpodróży #podróżemaleiduze #podróżować #odkrywaj #wartomarzyć #zdjęcietelefonem #podrozniczki #hobbyturysta #paszport #podróżepełneinspiracji #wpodróży #odaucungchup #odcc #vscovietnam #viajar #viajesyturismo #viajerosporelmundo #viajealmundo #viajesbaratos #viajerafeliz #viajesfotograficos #voyageuse #voyager #blogvoyage #voyagedumonde #tourdumondiste #petitfute #routards
9. Which beach to stay in Myanmar
The Myanmar beaches is not as beautiful and has professional services like in Thailand but possesses the most original beauty in Southeast Asia. These are two most famous coastal cities in Myanmar you can choose for vacation:
Ngapali: the most famous beach city and closest to Yangon, you can get to it from Yangon by plane in 2 hours, and if traveling by road it will take 10 hours. The beach is most beautiful from September to July next year. The hotel system in Ngapali is the best among the coastal cities in Myanmar.
Hpa An: contrary to Ngapali which located in the Bay of Bengal, Hpa An is located in the Gulf of Thailand. So the climate and landscape are quite similar to the Thai sea. Mergui Islands has limestone mountains and turquoise waters as beautiful as Phuket but extremely pristine. Best time to get there is dry season from October to April next year.
Ngwe Saung: Ngwesaung is a beach city located 48 km to the west of Pathein, Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. The beach is a 5 hour by car far from the city of Yangon.
10. What vaccination before going to Myanmar?
It is not necessary to get any vaccines upon arrival in Myanmar. Just bring your own antipyretic, anti-diarrhea and anti-heat medicine when traveling.
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11. Domestic transportation in Myanmar
Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia with complex mountainous terrain, highways and trains are not developed here, so between the main places you should move by plane to ensure the convenience. Coach is also an option but the travel time is quite long.
Between places like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle can travel by plane. The best and highest priced airline in Myanmar is KBZ Air, then Myanmar Airline.
Some of my friends travel by night bus between Inle and Yangon because of the distance. Between Mandalay, Bagan & Inle you can move by bus in 3 or 4 hours.
12. Local cuisine
Myanmar’s food is influenced by Indian cuisine with spicy curry soup dishes and Chinese cuisine with stir-fried dishes. Burmese eat rice with more salty, spicy foods than boiled dishes. Not as rich as Thailand or Vietnam, the taste of the food is somewhat difficult to eat with Westerners. Big cities have restaurants that specialized in Western cuisine.
The fruits of Myanmar stand out most with mangoes, durian, and pineapple but not as rich as Thailand or southern Vietnam. In Inle Lake, fruits are richer than temperate fruits such as strawberries, grapes.
Shan noodles: big noodles with meat and spices are quite tasty
Tea leaf salad: served with local tea leaves and spices, onions and peanuts
Burmese curry: the main dish of the country
Shan rice: turmeric sprinkled rice with spices is easy to eat
Mohinga: a form of Myanmar noodle that is greasy.
Myanmar beer is extremely delicious, the price of a can is only $1.
Wine in Inle Lake is of international standard with internation level farms like Red Moutain with French grape varieties such as Carbenet Savignon, Savignon Blanc.
14. What to visit in Myanmar?
For first-time visitors to Myanmar, there are 4 must visit places:
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Bagan: is the most famous place with thousands of temples and pagodas built of earthenware, bricks and stones in the style of Theravada Buddhism from the 8th to 14th centuries. Bagan has just been recognized as a UNESCO’s World Heritage in late 2019.
Mandalay: is the last capital of the Burmese feudal dynasties before British colonization in the 19th century. Mandalay owns many white-painted pagodas and monasteries made of teak wood.
Yangon: The capital of Myanmar until 2008. Yangon is famous for the “national treasure” of Shwedagon Pagoda.
Inle Lake: The lake is located on the Shan State plateau, has a cool climate all year round and unique ecosystems.
15. Experiences to try in Myanmar
Visit the ancient capital of Ava by horse carriage.
Watch the sunset at Ubein Bridge, Mandalay: Ubein Bridge at sunset is quite crowded, so it is better to watch the sunset by boat on the river. The price for a boat for 4 person is 20,000kyat. In the dry season, you should go watch the sunset from 5pm.
Visit Mahagandayon monastery, Mandalay at lunch time of the monks. The ideal visit time is 10 to 10:30, the monastery has many Chinese visitors. Do not film while the monks are in line for lunch.
At Mahamuni temple, don’t forget to experience applying pure gold powder to the Buddha image. However, female visitors cannot participate in this experience.
Ride an electric motorbike to explore Bagan.
The temples to visit in Bagan: Dhma Yazaka: the temple has very beautiful reliefs, Dhmayangyi: the largest temple, Sulamani is famous for its murals, Ananda is the most sophisticated and artistic temple, Thatbyinyut: the place to watch the sunset, Gubyaukgyi: there are many wall original painting.
16. Crafts in Myanmar
Silverware in Inle: quite expensive, crafted in traditional Myanmar style.
Cigars in Inle: very fragrant and quite expensive
Gold leaf in Mandalay: very beautiful and sophisticated.
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17. Restaurant for foreign guests
Mandalay: Unique Myanmar Restaurant
Monywa: River Garden Kitchen near Pakkoku boat pier
Bagan: Art @ Bagan Restaurant has a good curry, Amanta Boutique House has a traditional puppet show, Rangon Restaurant.
Inle: Mr. Toe restaurant, Green Chilli Restaurant.
See more: Mrauk U Myanmar Travel Guide