If you are looking for an offbeat destination in Southeast Asia, Myanmar (formerly Burma) can fit the bill. Before you arrive here, knowing a few things can come handy. Check the 10 tips below.
- Citizens of more than 100 countries can apply for e-visa in Myanmar. This visa is valid for 90 days after issuance and permits a stay of 28 days only. Entry with the e-visa is permissible through Nay Pyi Taw International Aiport, Yangon International Airport, and Mandalay International Airport only. Burmese kyat is the currency here. As of March 2018, 1 US dollar is about 1333 Burmese kyat.
- Plan in advance. Cliché as it may sound, but for Myanmar, you have to plan things in advance. There are many websites that offer deals on boutique hotels and luxury resorts in Myanmar, which can be a huge advantage. If you are traveling with your family, packages can be customized and are super cheap.
- Be careful with food. Okay, Southeast Asia is known for its food, especially street food, but in Myanmar, you have to be a bit more cautious. It’s not uncommon to fall ill with street food, so stick to the best-rated restaurants if you can.
- Dress appropriately. Myanmar is heavily influenced by Buddhism and ancient Indian cultures, so dressing appropriately is always recommended. Do not wear shorts to temples, and since there are quite a few temples here, wearing flip flops might be a better idea. Most taxis will take you to craft stores, but if you are not interested, do not hesitate in saying no, especially when using a private Taxi.
- Get a SIM card. Many hotels and eateries claim to have wi-fi, but services are really patchy in most parts of Myanmar. Getting a SIM card is always a better idea, especially because the rates are cheap and networks are reliable. Please note that SIM cards at airports might be more expensive, so check the local stores.
Finally, if you want to view the beauty of this country, wake up early. Except from the main cities, there isn’t anything extraordinary that you can enjoy in terms of nightlife, so it is always better to be up early. Also, don’t use the night buses, because you will get off at around 6 am in the morning, and hotels usually don’t allow check-in before 12 pm, which means you are struck with luggage.