Although Myanmar has only recently opened its doors to tourists, visiting here won’t disappoint you as you will find a captivating place that boasts its sunsets, temples and ruins, among others. But traveling here presents challenges you might not have encountered in your other holidays. This is why it’s best to know more about this place before you fly here.
You can have your dollar, baht or euro exchanged to Myanmar Kyat at your local foreign exchange before you leave, at the airport or your hotel. If you decide to have your cash exchanged when you get to the country, be sure to search for the best places to do so to ensure you’ll get the best rates.
Peak season in Myanmar is between November and February when the weather is hot, but not too hot. This also means that booking your accommodation can be quite challenging, which is why you might want to book earlier or pay more for the pricier hotels.
May to June would also be a great time to travel here, as there will be fewer tourists. If you don’t mind the stifling hot weather, then you can choose to visit at this time.
If you have a Myanmar Lonely Planet, you’ll find it very useful. But don’t rely on the prices printed on it because establishments have hiked up their rates since tourism increased in this part of Asia. You can however ask a tuk tuk driver to take you to a hotel or guesthouse with a foreigner license. You can also search for hostels that offer double rooms or dorms.
Traveling in and around
Bus is the main mode of transportation here, which will take you to anywhere in the country. Travel takes 10 to 12 hours if you visit the countryside. But don’t ever ask the driver the time of your arrival as people here have a superstitious belief about it. As for going around the city, there are trikes or tuk tuks to take you.
Don’t be surprised if you get poor internet connectivity here. Unlike other parts of Asia, internet in Myanmar is almost non-existent. You can however have your home phone’s roaming service activated to be able to connect to the internet. But be sure to ask for their coverage in the country first. You should now be aware of what to expect when you travel to Myanmar. As for the places to see and things to do, you’ll find out on the next blog post.
Photos by: Shannon Holman, stephen_khine, Jason Eppink, Sjoerd Lammers