In a trying time in the nation’s history, Myanmar retains its extraordinary ability to enchant.
Despite recent unrest, the golden pagodas, ancient villages and tranquil landscapes of Myanmar still transport us to an earlier time, when temples glittered on every horizon and every breath was an act of worship. We believe it is more important than ever to foster a connection with the locals, the ones who truly make this country shine. Whether it’s a chat across the family table in a local Dawei home, an offering to a monk at a Yangon monastery, or barter and banter with a Bagan street merchant, it’s precisely these kinds of connections the world needs more than ever. Come and experience timeless Myanmar.
Myanmar (Burma) travel highlights
Pilgrimage to Golden rock
Picture a golden boulder about the size of a two-storey house balancing on the edge of a mountaintop. Now picture a resplendent golden temple sitting on top of that boulder – the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda defies all belief.
Wander through a city of temples in Bagan
When the city of Bagan was founded over 1000 years ago, it had over 10,000 pagodas, temples and monasteries. Over 4,000 crumbling structures remain in this beautiful yet eerie plain.
Climb to the peak of Mount Popa
777 steps trail like a colourful serpent to the precipice of this inactive volcano. At the top, the ancient shrine sparkles like a gem.
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Myanmar (Burma) travel FAQs
In light of the recent unrest, there has been much discussion around boycotting travel to Myanmar. However, we believe there is a great deal of value in continuing to run our small-group trips in Myanmar.
At the heart of the argument to boycott lies good intentions: to do the right thing. In practice, however, travel boycotts can have a negative impact on the people they aim to help, as the drop in tourism directly affects local families who rely on travellers purchasing their wares. The vulnerable can become isolated, and binary world views are reinforced.
We at Peregrine believe travel can be a force for good. Connection between people at a grassroots level is a powerful source of change. This is especially true in countries with censorship laws that restrict diversity in the media – something that can only be remedied by outside influences.
We respect that the decision of whether to travel to another country is an individual choice. But we believe in tourism as an agent of change for the better, and this is why we continue to travel to Myanmar.
Most nationalities require a visa to visit Myanmar, and can obtain a tourist visa using a eVisa system. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit website: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/
Important to note when applying for an eVisa:
- Passport validity must have at least (6) months validity from date of return.
- You will need to present one colour photo (4cm X 6cm) taken within the last 3 months and a copy of your return ticket.
- Length of stay is 28 days from the date of arrival in Myanmar.
- The eVisa fee is US$50 per person, payable by credit card (note: visa fee is non-refundable should the eVisa be denied)
- The processing time is approximately 3 working days for granting an eVisa however we recommend allowing longer in the event of delays.
- The validity of eVisa approval letter is 90 days from the date of issue. If it has expired, entry will be denied.
- eVisas are applicable for single entry into Myanmar only and you will not be permitted to re-enter on an eVisa that you have previously entered on (multiple entries not possible).
- eVisas are only obtainable if you are arriving into Yangon International Airport, Nay Pyi Taw International Aiport and Mandalay International Airport, as well as land border crossings at Tachileik, Myawaddy and Kawthaung. If arriving into another Myanmar entry point you will need to apply for your visa in advance through a Myanmar Embassy.
Nationalities who are unable to obtain an eVisa should contact the Myanmar embassy in their country of residency.
Tipping isn’t customary or expected in Myanmar, however with many Burmese earning a low wage, you may like to offer a tip to show your gratitude for the service.
The availability of Internet is increasing in Myanmar, with wifi and access points in most hotels. However, Internet speeds are often very slow and unreliable, particularly in rural areas. Myanmar is not a country that relies heavily on technology, so expect to have limited access to technology while traveling here.
International roaming with an increasing number of western mobile networks is now possible in Myanmar; the situation is rapidly changing, so it is best to check with your provider in advance. Tourist SIM cards can also be purchased at international airports and some post offices.
Most toilets in Myanmar are squat toilets and can be quite basic compared to standards you’re used to. Soap and toilet paper isn’t always provided, so you may like to carry some with you. Most hotels and high-end restaurants will have western style toilets that cater to travellers.
Street food snack = 500-1000 MMK
Bottle of beer in a bar or restaurant = 2000-2500 MMK
Banquet in a small, locally-run restaurant = 3000-5000 MMK
Dinner in a high-end hotel restaurant = 15,000+ MMK
Drinking tap water is not considered safe in Myanmar. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.
Credit cards can be used in some hotels, restaurants and shops however use will be very limited. Myanmar is still largely a cash economy, so it is best to still carry local currency.
There are a ATMs in cities and most major towns in Myanmar, however they are often unreliable, out of service, or have limits on how much you can withdraw. Your safest option is to bring US Dollars or Euro with you into the country and then exchange it for the local currency on arrival.
Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their Myanmar trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For more information on insurance, please go to: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/how-we-can-help/our-services
For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/myanmar/public-holidays