BURMA TRAVEL AND TOURS - BURMA TRAVEL INFORMATION
Thank you for joining us in Myanmar! We're looking
forward to sharing what past traveler's have remarked is one of the most
fascinating places they've ever traveled. Once you arrive, we'll ensure your
vacation is a pleasant, safe, and enjoyable one. Until then, please review the
tour preparation information below, paying special attention the initial,
IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION:
* A visa or visa authorization form issued in advance is required to enter
Myanmar (see below for visa procedures)
* Credit cards and traveler's checks are not accepted in Myanmar; only US and
local currency is accepted for all transactions. (see below)
* Only local mobile phones work within Myanmar (we can arrange a local rental
with international capability)
Myanmar may only be entered by air from Bangkok, Singapore and Kolkata, India.
VISA PROCEDURES (effective June, 2011)
A visa may be processed through the Myanmar embassy in Washington D.C (ask us
for procedures). However, the embassy has made several mistakes in the past and
we do not recommend using them. Rather, we can process a Visa on Arrival (VOA).
Please submit the following information to us for your Visa on Arrival at least
one month before departure:
1) Copy of passport (with photo and personal
2) Ethnic origin (e.g., American, Spanish etc)
4) Place of Birth
5) Occupation (do not enter reporter or journalist)
Once we receive this information our staff will
fill in the visa on arrival form on your behalf and these visa forms will be
given to immigration services at the airport in Yangon. After arrival, you will
need to go to Visa on Arrival counter to be processed.
You will still need to bring 2 passport photos
(b/w or color) to give to immigration.
We will inform your arrival airline that the you
are having visa on arrival so that they will be allowed to board the flight to
Yangon. We will also send a visa approval letter for the clients to show (if
needed) when boarding the international arrival flight.
Fees: There is a fee of USD 30-35 that the you
will pay direct to Immigration Services at the airport upon arrival.
Our charge for processing the visa on arrival is
USD 25 per person (group traveler). This cost will be included in your invoice. You will receive your VOA form letter about one
week before you arrive in Yangon.
** Please confirm dates on your visa authorizatin
form are correct for your dates of travel.
** To board your flight into Yangon, the airline
will locate your visa-on-arrival permission in their computer system. If there
is any issue with locating your permission, please show them your hardcopy visa
authorization. If there is still an issue, ask the airline to immediately
contact the Yangon office (contact below).
All visitors to Myanmar must arrive with a passport that does not expire within
six months after the date that you depart Yangon. If your passport expires in
less than six months from the start of your trip, you will need to renew your
passport immediately or you may not be allowed entry into Myanmar.
INSURANCE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
Medical and air evacuation insurance is provided to all Indochina travelers
through International SOS with an office and clinic in Yangon. This insurance
is for emergency treatment and air evacuation only and should be supplemented
by standard medical insurance.
MEDICATION AND CONTACT LENSES
If you are taking medication, we recommend that you bring enough medication to
last for the entire time that you expect to be in Myanmar. It can otherwise be
difficult to obtain a prescription for pre-existing conditions once in Myanmar.
We also recommend that you pack your medication as part of your carry-on
luggage in case your main luggage is delayed. If you have a notable medical
condition, please inform us in advance; no one likes surprises, and just
remember that this is all for your safety. All medical records will be kept
No special vaccinations are required in necessary in Myanmar. It is recommended
you have Hepatitis A and B, and an up to date Tetanus shot.
Data for malaria infections has yet to reach the accuracy of Thailand and
Indochina. The CDC and U.K. Health authorities (TRAVAX Scotland) lists malaria
as occurring throughout the country outside Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan.
However, local staff also consider Inle Lake a safe area (perhaps because of
altitude). Guides have also stated they do know malaria occurs, but only
sporadically with locals but have never had a traveler infected. Please carry
out your own research and consult with your medical doctor whether you should
to take a malarial prophylaxis. Of course, you should pack a repellent such as
3M's Ultrathon (we like the spray) and hotels will have mosquito nets or air
Aside from visas, exchange is the most common problem for travelers. There are
no ATMS, Western banks, and credit cards and travelers checks are not accepted.
Moroever, for exchanging euros or dollars, the Burmese are some of the
most strict about what bills they will accept, often rejecting even newer issue
US hundred dollar bills that are creased or may have a simple pen mark or tear.
Change money through your guide, or in hotels or shops, rather than on the
street. In rural areas, odd denominations such as tens or twentys may be harder
to cash as locals are reluctant to accept them (although your hotel and merchants
in larger cities such as Mandalay will). Instead, bring hundred dollar bills to
cash into the local currency, kyat, which of course gives you maximum
flexibility. In a pinch, we will provide you with a cash advance from your
places and services (such as museums, archaeological sites,and transport) and
airport fees are to be paid for in US dollars or FEC notes, not euros. Items
such as meals, bus tickets, trishaw or taxi rides, bottles of water or beer and
market items are usually quoted in the local currency, kyat.
Myanmar now has very good coverage for cell phones. However, almost all mobile
phones will not work in Myanmar (unless you have an iridium phone) and charges
for overseas calls and faxes at hotels may be expensive. Travelers should
always check the rates before using IDD lines. We recommend that you have a
local cell phone in Myanmar and you make arrangements through us for a
discounted group cell phone rental. We can provide your mobile number before
you depart so you may provide it to others in advance. Internet, with sporadic
performance, is available at most hotels or nearby providers. Wifi capability
is still not common.
Myanmar is typically dry and hot on the plains. However, during the cooler
months temperatures in Inle Lake can be chilly at night. Please pack thermals
and a fleece shell if you are visiting Inle or the Kalaw Highliands during the
Crime against foreigners in Myanmar is very rare. Like Vietnam, Cuba, and other
police states, commiting crimes against travelers is a serious offense few
locals will take a risk on (simple theft can bring a multiple-year jail
"Time is a Western Invention" ~Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum. At
some time during their trip, many travelers to Southeast Asia may be apt to
believe this. And nowhere is this sentiment more true than in Myanmar, where
Buddhism and a non-existent economy apparently leave little motivation to
syncronize daily life with a clock. At least in part, we hope that's why you
come, but please do prepare yourselfand expect a sharply diminished sense of
urgency than where you are coming from.
An excellent checklist for pre-flight information and to-dos can be found on this
Web page: http://samarabeach.com/hints.htm
reliabilty of your flight? http://www.flightstats.com
you are delayed en route to Myanmar, please contact our San Francisco, Yangon
or Bangkok offices (below) so we can reschedule your airport transfer or adjust
any other arrangements as necessary.
DEPARTURE NOTES : MYANMAR CYCLING TOUR GUIDE
Further notes about Myanmar and your trip, such as money matters, recommended
packing list, reading recommendations, and country information can be found in
our Myanmar tour Guide.