A 28 days tourist visa is available at any Myanmar embassies or diplomatic missions abroad. Two application forms and three passports size photos will be needed. Visa fee is about 30 US$ payable in local currency.
The Myanmar government reserves the right to change visa regulations at short notice, contact APJ Travels for the latest information.
Pre-arranged visas on arrival at Yangon International Airport can be obtained in exceptional cases upon request in advance, contact APJ Travels for further information.
Business and Tourist Visa will also soon be possible to obtain with advance arrangement. The visa fees will be 30usd/- for tourists and 36usd/- for business travelers, plus a surcharge of 10usd/-.
Customs and Formalities on Arrival
All items of jewellry, cameras and foreign currency in excess of USD 2,000, must be declared upon arrival and on the currency declaration forms. Travellers should have completed these forms during the flight to Yangon and should submit them upon arrival. No Myanmar currency may be imported or exported.
Duty free allowance is 200 cigarettes and one liter of wine or spirit. Export of Buddha images, gemstones and antiques without an official receipt is prohibited.
It is not permitted to bring mobile phones into the country. Even if they are not connectable to international networks such as GSM, they will be confiscated upon arrival at Yangon International Airport and released only upon departure.
APJ Travels Ltd will arrange air transportation with reliable private domestic Airlines
(either Air Mandalay or Asian Wings or Air Bagan or Air KBZ or Yangon Airways) with a fleet of French made ATR-72 or ATR-42 aircrafts wherever possible. We will use Myanmar Airways only for the selected areas which cannot be reached by private airlines.
Baggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg. Excess luggage will be on clients account or can be left in Yangon hotels for collection on return from upcountry (only if they have second call in Yangon)
No vaccinations are officially required to visit the country. Malaria prophylaxis is no longer recommended, but travellers are suggested to check with their doctor the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, hepatitis and tetanus. Insect repellent is recommended as well as a sun protection cream. Never drink tap water, but only purified bottled water anywhere.
During recent years, tourism industry flourish speedily in Myanmar and as a result, Yangon,Bagan and Mandalay offer a wide choice of accommodation including luxury boutique hotels and international five/four-star properties. In the Inle Lake region travelers should not expect deluxe properties, but have a choice of charming, traditional accommodation or Chinese style multiple-storied hotels. Being remote and undeveloped area, the standard of accommodation will be basis in Kyaikhtiyo, Hpa An, Mawlamyaing, Loikaw, Sittwe, Mrauk-U, Kengtung and Monywa. But APJ Travels will endeavor its utmost effort to provide most convenient accommodation available. And so also due to limited hotel supplies outside of Yangon and Mandalay, APJ Travels cannot guarantee specific hotel requests and reserves the right to substitute accommodation of the best available alternative standard especially during the high season.
Post and Communication
The postal service in Myanmar is considered unreliable and letters sometimes are taking months to arrive at their destination. The country code for international calls is (95) and these can be made from major hotels and the Central Telegraph Offices in upcountry. The service is improving however the connection is sometimes does not working well and international calls are expensive. There is no public phone system with a pre-paid call systems. The e-mail services and internet access can be available at limited internet cafes in Yangon and major hotels in big cities.
Rice is the staple food in Myanmar and served with a variety of side dishes; curries with cooked meat or fish, vegetables, salads, soups and etc. Curries taste less chili hot than Thai Cuisine. Myanmar, Chinese, Thai and Indian style restaurants can be found in major cities but European cuisine is available only in major hotels and some outstanding restaurants in Yangon.
The restaurants used by APJ travels are carefully selected from the gastronomical and hygienic point of view. But at some districts where only poor dining opportunities are available, APJ travels will arrange the best possible.
Even though Myanmar has opened most areas of the country to foreign visitors, few areas still require government permission. APJ Travels will try its best to get the required permission in time but advance procedure is a must. We would like to suggest to enquire the updated situation in advance.
APJ Travels provides air-conditioning sightseeing cars and coaches where available. But in some remote areas, the mean of transportation will be very basis and for these exceptional places, APJ Travels will arrange the best available. The road conditions are also not good especially for the highways and duration takes longer than expected in rainy season.
Public train, ferryboat and express buses are available to major towns, however, these services are generally lower standard and uncomfortable. The boat trip between Mandalay and Bagan is operated by a local Chinese-built ferry (except in summer season) is used and takes about 8-10hours. The type of transfer by boat (between Sittwe- Mrauk U/ Bagan – Pakokku/ Mandalay- Mingun) will be by local private boat and the standard will be very basis.
Currency and Exchange
There are three currency used in the country. Kyat which official rate is 600 kyat for 1 US$, the market rate is 600 Kyat for 1 US$ (as for September 2011). US$ can be changed in Kyat and used by everyone. The US$ can also be used, but it is officially accepted only by those holding a license. Euro money are accepted only by international hotels in Yangon and Mandalay.
We strongly recommend to bring along cash US$ also in small denomination with good conditioned bills. Please kindly be informed that either traveller’s cheque or any kind of Credit Cards -including Visa, American Express Card and Master cards are not accepted at most hotels and even accepted they charged high commission.
International Airport Tax
Departure tax for international flights is US$ 10 (subject to change)
Domestic Airport Tax
Departure tax for domestic flights is US$ 2 in each destination (subject to change)
The country has a tropical monsoon climate. November to February is the coolest months (15-25 C). March to May if the hottest months (25-33 C). May to September is the Monsoon, rainy season. Rain is not heavy in the central plain.
GMT + 6 ½
Tipping is practiced widely in addition to the service charge shown in the bill of restaurants and hotels and also to the drivers and boat men. There is no exact limit but depends upon the generosity and the satisfaction of their services. Portage fees at airports are more or less 500 kyats per bag (In our package tour prices -the portage fees are already included for maximum 20kg per person).
Myanmar is one of best counties for shopping. All varieties of souvenirs including -lacquer ware, silver ware, wood and stone curving, hand -woven silk and cotton, precious and semi precious gems, tapestries, puppets and traditional are available throughout the country. Jewellery should be purchased through an authorized dealer who will issue a receipt so that the items can be exported. Export of antiques and archeological objects are prohibited. Visitors are advised to purchase only the allowed items of handicrafts and art objects from the registered souvenir shops asking the official certified receipt from the shops. Any illegal trade of prohibited items will result in heavy penality. Bargaining is an elemental part of Myanmar life in small shops and markets.
Power supply and electricity
Almost all the types of accomodation recommended by APJ Travels have 24hr electricity supply (with a generator if needed) but in some isolated areas generated power will not always be available.(for example, operate between 6-10pm only) especially in the low season.
Being a tropical country closed to Equator, light cotton and cool fabric are most appropriate throughout the year. But it is advisable to bring sweater or jacket and socks when visiting to the hilly regions especially in the cool season since the temperature is sometimes below 0 degree centigrade.
We would like to recommend all our clients to obtain necessary personal baggage, medical and accidental insurance before arrival. The insurance which is reliable commercially for vehicles are available in Myanmar only at world-chain hotels and international organization. But most of the vehicles we used are of local private own and they insured their property according to the local regulation only and not reliable for commercial use.
Myanmar is national language whereas there are different tribal languages and English is widely used.
Buddhism is the major religion although Christianity, Islamic and Hinduism are also practiced among the minority.
Myanmar is a very devoted Buddhist country. Visitors are requested to dress appropriately when visiting pagodas, temples, monasteries, religious buildings as well as in open public areas. Shoes and socks must always be removed before entering temples, pagodas and monasteries. Shorts, shorts skirts, bare shoulders or bra-less T-shirts are not appropriate. Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military installation is forbidden. We would like to recommend asking the permission before taking photographs individually, especially with tribal people.