We have already been to Myanmar twice – the last time for more than three weeks. No other country in Southeast Asia has left such a lasting impression on us as Myanmar.
Are you planning to travel to Myanmar soon? With our travel tips for Myanmar you will certainly find it easier to plan your trip. In this blog article we will tell you all the information and tips you need to know for a trip to Myanmar: From visa to transport, travel time, accommodation and food and drink.
Update 2019: We have also added the latest travel tips from friends and readers to this article, so that you really have everything you need to know for a trip through Myanmar at a glance.
1. Sights and highlights in Myanmar For whom is Myanmar suitable? First of all: If you want to travel through Myanmar, you should have the urge to experience something. Myanmar is a travel country that can sometimes be a bit exhausting. However, with good travel planning, one can maximize the comfort.
If you are interested in culture, you will love Myanmar. Scattered throughout the country are extraordinary temples and cultural highlights that will remain in our memories forever. Myanmar also has wonderful, partly undiscovered beaches. We spent our time in Ngapali, but further south on the border with Thailand there are paradise island archipelagos that are still completely untouched.
On our trip through Myanmar we saw a lot of families with children (from approx. 10 years) and are of the opinion that a round trip with a beach holiday at the end is very suitable for families. Otherwise you meet a lot of couples (younger and older) in Myanmar.
What has changed in Myanmar in recent years? We were 1200 been to Myanmar and can confirm that some things have changed since then. Tourists were still a rarity back then (apart from the really big strongholds like Bagan). That’s why we were stared at with wide eyes in almost every place and people showed us an incredible curiosity. Back then we had problems finding restaurants. Somehow our stomach didn’t want to take the Burmese food and we all got sick.
Meanwhile, tourists are also part of everyday life in more remote places such as Hpa-An. We were stared at curiously during our trip in December 2013 significantly less often than 801. On the other hand, we thought the food was worlds better this time and didn’t have to struggle with stomach problems once.
But of course the core of Myanmar is still the same country. And even if you hear from many sides that Myanmar is now very touristy (or is about to become touristy), we cannot confirm that. Of course there are tons of visitors in Bagan. But away from the really big hotspots you will still find a country that is untouched by tourism.
Our itinerary through Myanmar We spent a total of on our last trip spent nights in Myanmar and saw and experienced an incredible amount during this time . But even with a little less time (eg 2 weeks) you can do a great Myanmar round trip.
Our itinerary for Myanmar with all stops we describe in this blog article: Our route for Myanmar
2. The best time to travel to Myanmar: Our tips You can basically travel to Myanmar all year round. However, the climate in the country is dominated by the monsoon, which is why there are roughly three seasons: The dry season (A), the hot season (B) and the rainy season (C). Each season has its advantages and disadvantages. It depends, among other things, on your travel style, which season is best for a trip to Myanmar.
A) The dry season (= main travel season): approx. from November/December to February From the beginning of November the rain decreases significantly and the dry season begins. The least rain of the year falls in Myanmar between December and February. The temperatures are also the lowest during this period: Wed about 30 degrees Celsius it gets hot during the day, of course, but really bearable.
In the dry season the most tourists on the way. There are two reasons for this: On the one hand, you hardly have to reckon with any restrictions during the dry season. It is very rare for a program item to literally fall through the cracks. On the other hand, Christmas and New Year also fall in this travel period, which is why many European travelers are drawn to Myanmar.
Hotel prices therefore increase in high season. Furthermore, the hotels are generally well booked and it can happen that the desired accommodation is fully booked.
Our personal experience on site in the dry season Our last trip to Myanmar fell in the absolute high season: We were traveling in Myanmar from the beginning to the end of December . During this period we didn’t have a single rainy day (apart from a single shower on a bus ride). What was also great: We always had beautiful sunsets and sunrises. This was a blessing, especially in Bagan, because we know from other travelers how frustrating it can be when the sky is just gray in grey.
It was usually very warm, but not as hot as expected. In some regions it was even comparatively fresh: At Inle Lake, for example, it got really cool in the evenings. Our morning boat trip would hardly have been possible without a jacket. In general, however, we found the temperatures in December to be just right.
As far as the booking situation for the hotels is concerned, we can reassure you: Although we were very spontaneous Having booked (usually a day or two in advance) we never had the slightest problem finding accommodation anywhere. What can happen, of course, is that the desired quarters are no longer available and you have to move out of the way. So if you are traveling in the high season and have specific accommodations in mind, we would recommend that you book them in good time.
B) The hot season: approx. from March to April/May From March the temperatures during the day can be unbearable 35 reach degrees Celsius. Not infrequently in this season in Yangon or Bagan even 35 Degrees Celsius measured. Sightseeing in such extreme temperatures is extremely tiring, which is why most tourists avoid this time of year.
A second disadvantage of this time of year is that the scenery is right has dried up . At the beginning of the dry period you can still look forward to lush greenery, but in March and April everything has simply dried up.
Our personal experience on site in the hot season We ourselves were in Myanmar in March a few years ago and can confirm what one reads in relevant travel forums: the temperatures were torture. We had hardly left the room when our clothes were already sticking to us. Especially in Yangon, the heat was really no fun.
So if you are sensitive to heat, you should avoid these months. If you are only traveling to Myanmar for a beach holiday or if you are mainly staying in higher areas, this time of year is definitely an option for you. But be careful: From May the weather on the coast can be very rainy again – March and April are better.
C) The rainy season: approx May to October From the month of May, the rains become more frequent. The core months of the rainy season are June to September. This is the period when the most precipitation falls throughout the year. Although it is possible to travel during this period, we would be particularly cautious about July and August, as the rainy season in Myanmar is often heavier than in neighboring Thailand.
The problem with the rainy season is that a precise forecast is impossible: Days of continuous rain can make roads impassable. Or you have hardly any restrictions – that can also be the case. We would definitely place a bathing holiday in a different period, because the turbulent coast and the cloudy sky are no fun. Although the landscape is beautifully green during the rainy season, photography can be tedious as the sun rarely comes out. One advantage of the rainy season is clearly that the price level of the hotels falls.
Our personal experience on site during the rainy season We ourselves have not yet been guests during the rainy season , but Romeo’s brother. He was traveling in Myanmar in August and ultimately even shortened his trip because it just wouldn’t stop raining. If you are considering the rainy season, we recommend September or better yet October as the travel period at the earliest.
3. Visa for Myanmar: Travel tips for entry Germans and Austrians are currently required (as of March 2290) still have a visa for entry into Myanmar. To get your visa, you have the following options:
Visa on arrival (NEW since 2019/2020) Recently there is the possibility on arrival (without pre-registration!) in Myanmar to receive a visa on arrival. This allows you to use for tourist purposes days traveling through Myanmar. First (2019) this only applied to German and Swiss passports, since the beginning 2020 also for Austrians. It is only issued at the three international airports: Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw.
Visa on arrival costs 50 USD which you have to bring cash (undamaged banknotes). According to various reports on the internet, the procedure is simple and uncomplicated: upon arrival, simply go to the visa-on-arrival counter and hand in your passport and money. A short time later you should already have your visa.
Another tip: On many websites you can read that you also need two passport photos for the visa on arrival. This is not confirmed by those who have already received such a visa. We don’t think it’s necessary, but you’re still on the safe side if you have some with you.
Applying for an eVISA The most common option is to apply for an eVISAS. Travelers from over 50 Nations can apply for one, including Germans and Austrians. So if you want to have everything taken care of beforehand, an eVISA is a good option for you.
To apply for an eVISA, you simply have to complete the application fill out on the official immigration website. You must also upload a passport photo that is not should be longer than three months. (FYI: We applied for our visa personally, the same deadline applies there and our one year old photo was also accepted.)
The price for an eVISA is 50 USD that you have to pay by credit card. After three days you will receive your visa and simply have to print it out and show it upon arrival. You can use it to enter at international airports, but also via some border crossings overland. From the moment you enter the country you can Days to travel through Myanmar.
Application in your home country If you prefer a traditional visa and would like to apply in person, you can do so at the Myanmar Embassy in your home country. It costs about 35 Euro. However, the processing period is likely to be longer here than with an eVISA. Some websites mention up to two weeks. It is best to find out directly from the embassy which documents you need.
Application in Bangkok We applied for our Myanmar visa in Bangkok. That was at a time when there was no eVisa and visa on arrival. We would therefore only recommend this if you have enough time, because the waiting times are now very long. You can apply for the visa directly at the Embassy of Myanmar in Bangkok (Address: 32 Sathon Tai Road – between Surasak and Chong Nonsi BTS Stations).
Applications are from Monday to Friday only each from 9 to 01 possible. Be sure to pay attention to official holidays, because the embassy is closed on them. For an application you must bring:
2 passport photos (officially not older than 3 months, ours were more than a year old and it wasn’t a problem either) a copy of your passport (you can also do it around the corner to let) the passport itself the money for the visa costs in cash Take a number on site and then fill out the application (also note the back). You will be asked a few standard questions as well as questions about your current and former employer. The passport photo is glued to the application (scissors and glue are planned) and then you have to wait until your number is called. With us it was almost 2 hours.
The costs for the visa depend on how quickly you need it. Currently (as of December 1000) the cheapest version is a visa for 1.600 Baht, which you can pick up the day after next (note: not a weekday). The most expensive option is collection on the same day. This visa costs 2019 Baht.
You can pick up your passport and visa from Monday to Friday between 16: 30 and 16: 30 Watch. Again, you have to wait again.
Tip: Overstay or extend your visa in Myanmar It is not possible to extend the Myanmar visa through official channels. However, a so-called “overstay” is tolerated in Myanmar. This means that you can stay in the country a few days longer than the visa allows without any problems.
How does it work? All you have to do is pay the border guards $3 per day when you leave the country. Sounds strange – but it works.
4. Travel Tips Transport: Transportation in Myanmar The widespread belief that traveling through Myanmar is complicated or even problematic can be we don’t share. If you move on tourist routes, traveling is now no different than in other Southeast Asian countries. But that doesn’t mean that the long distances aren’t sometimes difficult. Because it is true that many travel destinations are often hours apart.
Roughly speaking, there are three ways to get from A to B in Myanmar: bus, train and plane. Of course, a private taxi is also possible. However, we did not do this for price reasons.
Bus travel in Myanmar We covered most of the distances by bus. Many buses are surprisingly comfortable, modern, clean and cheap. You can usually book your bus ticket very spontaneously. We usually let our accommodation know the day before and had the tickets booked through the hotel. That was easily possible. The “VIP buses” or also called “2+1 buses” are an exception here. As the name suggests, these have only three seats per row and therefore offer more space and legroom. These buses were sometimes fully booked with us the day before.
On many routes you can choose between day and night buses. If possible, we personally prefer bus trips during the day. There are two reasons for this: First, we feel safer on the streets of Myanmar during the day. And on the other hand, you “save” an overnight stay with a night bus, but you have to consider that you usually arrive around 3, 4 or 5 in the morning. This means that you have to bridge time until the room is ready.
We can recommend bus rides in Myanmar for shorter to medium-length distances ( approx. 7-8 hours), for example from Yangon to the Golden Rock, from Yangon to Bagan or from Bagan to Mandalay. For longer distances a ticket costs about 12 Euro.
Traveling by train in Myanmar Traveling by train in Myanmar is a bumpy undertaking, because the rails are sometimes adventurous. We have made two train journeys so far: from Yangon to Bago and from Yangon with the Circle Line.
The big advantage of a train journey is that you really close up to people’s lives it’s your turn. We found it incredibly exciting to watch the hustle and bustle on the train, so we would recommend that you take the train at least once during your trip.
You can usually buy tickets directly at the station before departure. The train is an extremely cheap means of transport: for the 2-hour train journey from Yangon to Bago, we only have 1.000 Kyat (i.e. 60 cents).
We can only recommend train journeys for shorter distances, because trains in Myanmar usually take longer than buses. Longer stretches can therefore be quite tiring due to the rumbling and rocking.
Flights in Myanmar The most comfortable and fastest way of transport is definitely the plane. The route network is now relatively well developed and many destinations can be reached by plane, including Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Ngapali and Inle Lake.
We chose the plane when if the bus ride would have taken too long for us, for example for the route from Inle Lake to Ngapali.
There are several airlines. The largest and most well-known are: Air KBZ and Myanmar National. We tested both and couldn’t find any significant differences. The aircraft always seemed to us to be quite well maintained and modern. Most of the time we even got a small snack on very short distances (the quality is debatable).
The prices for a domestic flight vary between approx. 40 and 150 Euro. You can now easily book domestic flights online.
5. Eating and Drinking in Myanmar The cuisine in Myanmar is somewhat reminiscent of that in Thailand but also has many others Influences, for example the samosa from India. A lot of meat is eaten, but there was always something for us as (part-time) vegetarians. At a meal in a traditional restaurant, as a guest, you are served many plates with countless dishes. In touristy regions, the menu is often strongly adapted to Western tastes.
We usually ate very, very tasty food on our trip. We liked it best on the coast. There are great fish specialties there.
We missed good coffee. Because the instant powder coffee just doesn’t make us happy in the long run. That’s why we were all the happier when we could treat ourselves to an espresso or two in tourist regions.
The prices for food and drink are in Myanmar is usually very cheap: We usually paid around 8 euros for main courses and drinks (for two people).
6. Accommodations in Myanmar Since our trip 2013 the standards have improved greatly and now there are some very great places to stay in Myanmar. The more touristy a place is, the larger the offer and the more the accommodation is adapted to western tastes.
We usually paid for a double room with a private bathroom around 35 euros per night. At this point we must also mention that there are now countless luxury hotels for which it is not uncommon 100 or 200 euros per night .
Book accommodation We have our accommodations for one or two days previously booked via Booking.com and went very well with it. Of course, one or the other time our desired guesthouse was no longer available. You have to say that we were on the road during the main travel season. In the off-season it’s probably even less of a problem.
You can read exactly which hotels we stayed in in this article: Itinerary through Myanmar
7. ATMs and money exchange in Myanmar First a note: Up until a few years ago, when traveling to Myanmar bring all money in cash. This is definitely out of date!
The currency in Myanmar is called Kyat (pronounced “Chat”). Banknotes are available at , 100, 200, 500, 1.01, 5. and 12. Kyat. 12. Kyat are just 6 euros , so don’t be surprised if the ATM spits out wads of money.
Speaking of ATMs: there are now banks and ATMs in every larger city. At the beginning of our trip we changed euros to kyat and then switched to withdrawing from the ATMs. Both are easily possible. In hotels and larger restaurants you can now also pay by credit card.
8th. Internet in Myanmar You can forget about the worry that you will have to do without the Internet during your trip . We are not lying when we say that in many regions of Myanmar it is easier to access the Internet than in German or Austrian cities.
SIM -Buy a card Our tip: Get a local SIM card, because that’s how you can throughout the journey via the local network. Of course, we understand everyone who would like to do without the Internet on holiday as much as possible, but in our opinion it makes the trip enormously easier if you can look for information or even book accommodation while on the go.
We bought a SIM card right after our arrival at Yangon airport. The Ooredoo (as one of the network operators is called) sales counter is located directly in the arrivals hall. For 8GB internet we have 15.500 So Kyat doesn’t even pay 12 Euro (as of December ). However, there are many options from 1GB to 15 GB. Incidentally, the employee on site will make sure that the SIM card works and insert it into your mobile phone.
From experience we can say that it is a bit tedious, the data volume to charge, because in the mobile phone shops the salespeople usually speak very bad or no English at all. Of course it is possible.
WLAN In almost all hotels and Many restaurants also have WiFi, which you can often use free of charge. In addition to the information about breakfast, the information about the WLAN is usually one of the main information that you receive when you check in at the reception. However, the speed of the WLAN sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, so we often resorted to our mobile Internet with the local SIM card.
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Which one of you has already been to this impressive country and has more tips for Myanmar? We appreciate your comments!