FAQs

Trails of Myanmar Travel: Frequently asked questions:

The following questions and answers reveal the essential facts for travelling in Myanmar (Burma). Trails of Myanmar try best to answer all the possible questions. However those information may change since anything or regulations in Myanmar may change without prior notice to anyone.

 

What is Trails of Myanmar Travel, do we need to book our trip with a travel agency and what can you organize for guests?

Are you looking for locally organized social work in Myanmar? Want to see the real Myanmar? Are you afraid of being ripped off? Have you not been satisfied with a travel enquiry? Then don’t forget to contact Trails of Myanmar Travel. We are a group who have participated in humanitarian works. We deeply value on the concept of fair trade, we give our utmost services and just charge reasonable amount and part of our profit directly goes to our humanitarian works.

Since Myanmar is a safe country it is possible to travel on your own. However, to get the best out of your holiday and to avoid any problems that do sometimes arise, it is advisable to use the services of an experienced travel agent who will be able to make your visit to Myanmar as comfortable and pleasurable as possible, all the way from your initial enquiry through to when you return home. We can make sure that everything you need for a memorable holiday can be arranged expertly and professionally.

 

Is there any additional cost or any hidden cost if we book with Trails of Myanmar Travel?

There is no hidden cost with Trails of Myanmar Travel since we will mention exactly what is included and excluded in our tour tariff and our offered prices.

 

How can we be sure that we will like the booked hotels etc.?

The more information you provide what’s your preference to us, the better we can recommend with your most suitable one. We take great care of what we should recommend to our guests with their preferred taste. We often conduct hotel inspection with our partners’ hotels and make sure that they provide best service and care on cleanliness.

 

When do we have to pay for our booked vacation?

Some percentage of down payments (based on total tour tariff) is required in order to guarantee your bookings and balance should be settled in cash upon your arrival to Myanmar. Almost all of the beach hotels require to make advanced payment at the time of booking and some hotels charge cancellation fees especially in the high season (from October to March ). For details of payment please see our “Trading terms and conditions”

 

Can you arrange for us travel permits to restricted areas?

There are areas which you need to apply for permission since the government will not let you travel on your own for safety purpose. Trails of Myanmar can arrange travel permits but it would be great to book with Trails of Myanmar for two months ahead.

 

Visa for Myanmar

What kinds of visas are available in Myanmar?

Usually you will be granted a tourist visa that is valid for 28 days from your arrival in Myanmar. You have to arrive in Myanmar within 90 days of visa issue date.

 

Can I extend my visa for Myanmar?

We can arrange that for you in Yangon. You must however stay in or around Yangon until the visa is extended.

 

Where can I apply for a Myanmar visa?

There are different methods:

  • Apply for visa at any Myanmar Embassy
  • Have a “visa on arrival” arranged through us against a service charge IN ADVANCE of your arrival, if the other methods are not convenient to you and if you book a complete tour with us.

 

 

International and domestic airlines in or to Myanmar

How can I fly to Myanmar (Burma)?

The international flights connecting to Myanmar are mostly connected from Bangkok, Singapore and Malaysia. Amongst the airlines flying to Yangon are:
Thai Airways, Myanmar Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia and Phuket Air from Bangkok.
Silk Air, Myanmar Airways International and Jet Star Asia (code sharing with Myanmar Airways International) from Singapore
Malaysian Airlines and Myanmar Airways International from Kuala Lumpur.
Myanmar Airways International from Siam Reap
Vietnam Airline from Ho Chi Min City
There are at present no suitable flight connections to other airports in Myanmar although there were flights offered to Mandalay previously.
Air Mandalay offers flights from Yangon to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand.
China Airlines flies from Beijing via Kunming.

 

Which domestic Airlines are available in Myanmar?

Is it safe to fly Myanmar Airways?

One needs to distinguish between “Myanmar Airways” and “Myanmar Airways International”, which are different companies although the names are similar.

Myanmar Airways offers only domestic flights within Myanmar and does not enjoy a good reputation. Most travel agents will avoid Myanmar Airways where another airline flies to the same destination.

”Myanmar Airways International” is regarded as a reasonable alternative to other international airlines. Thai Airways has a code-sharing agreement with Myanmar Airways International on the route to Bangkok.

 

MONEY

Can I use traveler checks and credit cards in Myanmar (Burma)?

Automatic teller machines are not available in Myanmar! Since October 2004 credit cards and traveller checks are not anymore accepted in the whole country at all! Any other information you may read is outdated.
PLEASE BRING SUFFICIENT US DOLLAR CASH WITH YOU!

 

What is the local currency in Myanmar?

The local currency is called Kyat. Kyat bank notes are available between 1 and 1000 Kyat. 1000 Kyat are roughly equal to one 1 USD but sometimes heavily fluctuating. Coins are since long not anymore in use.

 

Where can I change US Dollar / Euro into Kyat in Myanmar?

There are a number of money changers. The best exchange rate usually is offered in Yangon.
Large USD denominations are exchanged at a higher rate.
Euro can be reasonably changed only in Yangon. Still, it is favourable to change your Euros at home into USD.

 

Is there a mandatory exchange required in Myanmar?

Since August 2003 there is NO requirement anymore to change on arrival (previously 200 USD had to be changed into Foreign Exchange Certificates, FEC)

 

Safety

Is Myanmar a safe country to travel?

Myanmar, in those parts open to travelers, is a very safe country to visit. Capital crime is virtually unknown and foreigners are treated especially respectful. The number of any theft or other cases involving foreigners is negligible. Carrying larger cash amounts does not pose a risk, of course don’t show it openly. Substandard health facilities probably are the biggest risk. Do bring with you sufficient stock up on any medicine you may depend on and possibly a first-aid kit. When traveling on cars, seatbelts are often not available. End of 2004 and beginning of 2005, on 2 occasions small bombs exploded in touristic spots in Yangon, which did cause minor damage. Although it is not exactly clear who was behind those bombs, it seems that there was no intention to cause major damage but rather to draw attention. There are in times smaller tremors in Myanmar which usually cause no or small damage only.

 

Transport and roads in Myanmar

Is it easy to travel in Myanmar?

Infrastructure within Myanmar is often much worst than visitors from foreign countries are used to. Even compared with Thailand, it is worse. Therefore one needs to put into account considerably more time and little comfort for travel than at home. Most cars are rather old, although we do take great care to choose cars in good condition. Especially in the high season, there are however shortages. There are no budget domestic airlines, flying reduces travel time considerably. Myanmar people are very friendly and helpful. There will always be someone to help you. However language barriers might make it difficult if you are are traveling without an English-speaking companion. During the rainy season (May to September) there might be disruptions to travel.

 

Which is the best time to visit Myanmar (Burma)?

Most people visit Myanmar during the “cool” and dry season from November to February. In this time, night temperatures drop to 17 Celsius in Yangon and just above 0 in the mountains. Many people have a wrong perception of the rainy season (May to September). Although in the coastal region, monsoon rainfalls are very heavy, in the middle parts of the country they are not marked. It rains in regular intervals, uninterrupted and day-long rainfall is rather unusual. Very often sun and rain change in short intervals. The rainy season is certainly very pleasant to people enjoying the green nature and all plants growing. It is also possible to visit Bagan and Mandalay during the rainy season as they lie in the dry belt. High humidity in connection with very warm weather however can be very disturbing to some people. The danger of Malaria is generally greater in the rainy season.

 

General matters

Should I visit Myanmar at all?

There are many pro’s and con’s. The overall economic situation and American sanctions (since 2003) have brought hardship to ordinary people in Myanmar. Many people have income generated from tourism. Be it directly through employment in hotels, as tour guides or be it as souvenir producers, sidecar (rickshaw) drivers, food stall operators or fruit and cigarette vendors. Myanmar people appreciate contacts to the outside world. At the end, everybody has to answer the question himself. As a visitor, you have the choice to spend your money where you think fit.

 

Should I take Malaria prophylaxis for a trip to Myanmar?

The first advice on this should always be: Avoid mosquito bites!! Especially at dawn, wear long clothes and use mosquito repellents. The answer on prophylaxis is a very difficult one, depends on where you go at what time of the year. The side effects are sometimes very strong and there is no guarantee that you prevent getting Malaria with a prophylaxis. Doctors with experience in tropical regions or Tropical institute offer the best advice based on your itinerary.

 

Do I need any insurance for travel to Myanmar?

Although there is no mandatory insurance required, we suggest the following: Health insurance with emergency evacuation (please ensure to check with your insurance company that they do cover your trip to Myanmar). Insurance to cover cost in case of not being able to travel.

 

Communication with Myanmar

Can I access my e-mails and internet in Myanmar?

There are in the meantime a number of Internet cafes in the main tourist areas and larger towns. However a great number of e-mail providers are blocked. You may use a local address provided by the shop to send.

 

Can I use my mobile phone in Myanmar?

The answer is short: NO
Mobile phones, if discovered in your luggage, might need to be deposited until your departure. At certain occasions, foreign mobile phones might be accessible in Myanmar, those however are only of short duration.

 

How do I have to behave in Myanmar? What offends Myanmar people?

Myanmar is still a country with very conservative manners. Please act and dress accordingly. Wearing very short skirts or shorts is considered impolite especially while visiting Pagodas. Pointing out to something with your legs and patting someone on the head is also regarded as a bad manner. Sitting etc. on Buddha images e.g. for photo shooting is strictly unacceptable.