Before the trip to Burma
Passports and visas
Visas are required for travel to Burma. You apply for the show online: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/index.aspx
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return. The passport must have at least two blank pages and must not be damaged, cracked or have loose sides.
Vaccinations and health
Review your basic protection and contact your vaccination center or doctor for advice well in advance of departure. In the event of serious accidents or illness, transport to e.g. Bangkok, where there is the possibility of more advanced emergency care than in Burma. Remember to bring documentation that proves current travel / health insurance. We do not visit malaria areas, but still protect you against mosquito bites with the help of mosquito repellent. Feel free to bring a small set of “first aid” with patches, headache tablets, etc. Do not drink tap water, avoid ice in chilled drinks and brush your teeth in bottled water. Eat only fruit that you peel yourself and wash your hands often.
Weather and clothes
Burma has three seasons. The hottest season lasts from March to mid-May when the temperature varies between 25 and 38 degrees. The rainy season extends from mid-May to September / October. It is not uncommon for roads to be difficult to access during this period due to. floods. The best tourist season is the “winter season” between October and February when it is pleasant, warm and dry. In highland areas like Kalaw and Inle Lake, it can get really chilly in the evenings during December and January.
Feel free to bring swimwear, a hat to protect against the strong sun and your most comfortable shoes (there will be some walking). When visiting temples, wear clothing that covers the knees and shoulders, but take off socks and shoes at the entrance.
Climate table for Rangoon
|Max ° C||32||34||35||36||33||30||30||30||20||31||31||31|
|Min ° C||19||19||22||25||25||25||24||25||25||24||23||20|
Currency and exchange rate
The currency in Burma is Myanmar Kyat (MMK). Bring enough USD for the entire stay in new hundred dollar bills. Old, dirty or folded banknotes are not usually accepted. It can also be useful to bring some USD in smaller denominations. There is a new exchange office at the airport. NOTE! Credit cards are hardly accepted and there is almost no possibility of withdrawing money on the spot in Burma.
Transport and communications
On our round trips, buses with air conditioning are used for transfers and excursions. Pedestrians are expected to make room for cars, so be careful when crossing a street. Neither mobile phone nor calling card works in Burma. Calling internationally is often very expensive. Therefore, check the price before you call. There is often internet access in some of the hotels, but the connection does not always work any further and some websites are still blocked by the authorities. Gmail (google mail) seems to be the only email that works reasonably. There are Internet cafes in the cities and nowadays there are also plenty of free Wi Fi zones. We use the private airlines Air Mandalay and / or Air Bagan for domestic flights within Burma and avoid airlines owned by the regime.
Do not sign with jewelry or other valuables. Keep a copy of valuables such as passports and visas in a safe place. We recommend all travelers to follow the media coverage of the situation in Burma.
Food and drinks
Burmese cuisine has borrowed features from the food traditions found in India, Thailand and China. Fish and rice are also among Burma’s favorite ingredients, but the dishes are not as spicy as in neighboring countries. Traditionally, people in Burma eat with their right hand or with a fork and spoon. During our trips to Burma, we sometimes even eat at restaurants that serve Indian, Thai and Chinese food. We advise you not to eat “street food”, no matter how tempting this may be. Food and drink are also cheap in Burma. A bottle of beer (640 ml) costs, for example, about SEK 25 – 40. Water or Coca Cola costs about SEK 20 (Jan-16). On our round trips, we eat as far as is practically possible at privately owned restaurants and avoid government-owned restaurants.
Shopping – gifts
During your trip to Burma, you can advantageously find beautiful lacquer work, wood carvings, silk weaving, cotton clothes, embroidery, jade etc. Do not forget to bargain, often 50% or more! Please note that it is forbidden to bring antiques out of the country.
Respect the dress code when visiting temples (clothes should cover shoulders and knees and shoes and socks should be taken off). Ask for permission when you want to photograph someone from the local population. It is forbidden to take photographs at airports and to take photographs of military installations. Avoid people who want to exchange money or sell gemstones.
Time difference: Burma is five and a half hours ahead of Swedish time (summer time 4.5 hours).
Electricity: 220-230 volts, 50 Hz, ie the same as in Sweden. The connectors can be of different types, but adapters can often be borrowed at the hotel reception. Feel free to bring a universal adapter.
Tips: Wages in Burma are low, which is why tips are appreciated in restaurants, etc.
Luggage: It sometimes happens that checked luggage gets lost. Therefore, pack important medicines with a certificate from your doctor in your hand luggage. The same goes for valuables. Label all your luggage carefully with the luggage tags you receive with the tickets. This is important as these notes are our identification at the airport and at our hotels. It is good to have a proper, lockable suitcase because the bags are not always handled carefully.
Languages: The official language is Burmese. In addition to the well-educated elite, few people speak English.