MYANMAR TRAVEL BLOG: Everything you need to know!

MYANMAR TRAVEL BLOG:

Everything you need to know to plan a trip to Myanmar

Myanmar travel blog | Plan a trip to Myanmar

Why travel to Myanmar?

Myanmar is the hidden gem of Southeast Asia.

In 2015, after years of isolation, the country opened its doors to tourism.

Myanmar offers divers landscapes and incredible cultural experiences. From the Himalayan foothills to thousand of desert islands and ancient temples.

Is Myanmar safe?

The country is relatively safe but considering the current political situation is important to check restricted areas as some locations might be closed to foreigners!

Burmese people are extremely friendly and always happy to help!

Myanmar budget travel

The country is relatively more expensive than its neighbours Thailand and Cambodia.

Currency: Burmese Kyat.

Money exchanges:  A fun and very peculiar fact about Myanmar is that official banks and money exchanges only except brand new dollar bills. They won’t change old and used notes. You can find questionable establishments ( a guy on the street) that will accept used notes but you will get a considerably worst exchange rate.

Budget break down:

  • Accommodation: Budget (Hostel) $10-15, B&B $20-35, Mid Range $40-60, fancy $70+
  • Food: Street food $0.30-3, Mid range £4-7 (including drinks), fancy $20+
  • Drinks: Beer from local store $1-2, Cocktails in a bar $4-10, Local whiskey/rum $4-8 per litre, fresh coconut $0.50
  • Coaches: regular $2-8, VIP $5-17 . VIP is always worth it. Make sure you see the coach you will be travelling on before you pay.
  • Trains: Myanmar trains are not recommended as they take twice as long as any bus $5-15.
  • Flights: Internal flights are relatively expensive compered to the rest of Southeast Asia $100-300 https://www.flymna.com/
  • Taxi: Short trip (5-10 minutes) $2-3, long trip (20-40 minutes) $10-25 but it’s important to agree the price before getting in. You might have to share the taxi with others as they will try to fit in as many people as possible.
Myanmar travel blog | Plan a trip to Myanmar
Myanmar travel blog | Plan a trip to Myanmar

Visa

Tourist Visa: Around $50 and it’s valid for 28 days (Approved within 3 days)

Bagan Visa: If you are visit the ancient city of Bagan you have to buy an archeological visa. It lasts for 3 to 5 days and it coasts around $18. There are check points on the way to the city where you can pay in cash (dollars or kyat).

Best time to visit Myanmar

Generally speaking you can visit Myanmar all year around, December to February are the best months while June to September are the worst due to tropical storms.

What to eat

Burmese food is the perfect mix between Thai and Indian food.

Some of the most popular dishes are:

  • Myanmar tea: Tea houses are a good places to meet locals and try traditional dishes. The tea is prepared in large quantity and mixed with condensed milk so the result is a very sweet drink served with deep-fried savoury snacks! ( https://planetthings.com/yangonstreetfood.html ).
  • Tea leaf salad: Sour tea leafs mixed with nuts (mainly peanuts), cabbage, tomatoes, beans, garlic and chilli by hand.
  • Noodle salad: A very famous cold dish with noodles, nuts and a wide range of spices and seasonings.
  • Mohinga: A famous breakfast dish made off rice noodles in a fish broth with lime juice, dried chilli and an egg.
  • Burmese curries: A large selection of different spicy curries (fish, chicken, pork, vegetable..) served all separately in little bowls (like tapas). It comes with rice and a side of soup.
  • Wet Thar Dote Htoe: (Pork on stick) A true local delicacy. Pig offal on the end of a stick to dip in a warm both. (This one is for the bravest only).

Things to do in Myanmar

  • Temple hopping in Bagan: The ancient city has over 2000 temples and pagodas with unique features. It’s the most popular destination in Myanmar. https://planetthings.com/templehoppinginbagan.html
  • Sightseeing in Yangon: Yangon is the most famous and international city in Myanmar. It’s easy to explore the city by yourself  https://planetthings.com/yangonstreetfood.html Otherwise there are many companies organising sightseeing and cycling tours: https://www.uncharted-horizons-myanmar.com/
  • Sightseeing in Mandalay:  It’s the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar. It’s home to many pagodas and monasteries.
  • Inle lake: This region has many floating gardens and temples rising above the water. The local fishermen are famous for their unique leg-rowing fishing technique.
  • Hpa An: A picturesque town surrounded by mountains and caves. Mt.Zwegabin is the highest mountain, It’s climbable in a couple of hours and offers an incredible sunrise and sunset view.  https://planetthings.com/thingstodoinhpaan.html
  • Myeik/Mergui Archipelago: Located in southern Myanmar it has more than 800 islands. The local people are an ethnic minority called Moken or Sea Gypsies. The area has incredible diving and snorkelling spots but a special permit is requested to visit the archipelago. The best way to travel across these islands is with a Burmese or Thai cruise, usually the price will include the special permit but it can take up to 30 days to be completed.
  • Ngwe Saung: The closest beach to Yangon, only a 4 to 6 hour drive. It has many luxury hotels, water sports and restaurants.   https://planetthings.com/surfing-in-myanmar.html
  • Ngapali beach: seven kilometers of white sand. The tourist industry is well developed with Hotels, snorkeling, scuba diving and golf clubs.
  • Trekking and Hiking: Myanmar is quickly becoming a popular destination for trekking and hiking. Some of the most popular locations are: Inle lake and Kawal, Putao and the Himalaya foothills https://www.putaotrekkinghouse.com/, Lashio and the Chin State https://planetthings.com/trekking-in-the-chin-state.html

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17 Comments
  1. We were hoping to visit Myanmar last year, but didn’t have enough time in the end and didn’t want to cram it into our itinerary. Looks like a place we would want to spend some serious time exploring and getting to know. So hoping to plan a trip for next year! This will be an incredibly helpful resource when we do. Thank you for putting it together!

  2. Really nice photos and beautifully written post. The place looks magical.

  3. Myanmar is pretty low on my list, just because I don’t know a ton about this. The photos and info you’ve shared are super helpful though! It’s definitely bumped up a few spots now.

  4. Myanmar is a place I really want to visit, I just haven’t found the time to go yet. This guide will definitely come in handy when I do. Lots of great information for first time travelers. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The food looks really unique- and the bank thing is super interesting! What are people expected to do with older, used bills!

  6. Your photos are incredible! I had no idea it was only possible to visit after 2015. Lots of great tips included for those looking to visit for the first time, thanks for sharing!

    Jaz

  7. I’ve heard a lot of good thing about Myanmar lately. Might want to add it to that ever growing bucket list!

  8. I have wanted to go to Myanmar for years, but whenever I am in Asia I usually run out of time. Bagan is on my bucket list so maybe the time has come to plan a trip. Visiting the islands in an option I never considered but I am going to do a bit more research. Thanks for the great info.

  9. An interesting post on a country which has so less information available.Burma or Myanmar sure sounds an exciting location. I didn’t know about many of the things you have mentioned.

  10. This was an interesting read 🙂 Brought back memories of when I had visited Myanmar. I ran my first 75 km Cross-Border, Cross-Country, Ultra Marathon run from Tamu which is in Myanmar to Kakching which is in Manipur, India. The roads (at least of the village that I visited) in Myanmar were very well maintained. I hope to see more of Myanmar and for that, I am saving this post of yours.

  11. Well written details about Myanmar. Would like to visit it sometime soon in near future.

  12. Great guide. I have still haven’t been to Myanmar. Very comprehensive, I have the inclusion of visa information as that is something that is a must with my passport.

  13. I have to be honest that I never considered a trip to Myanmar before! Your piece was eye-opening! Will definitely put it on our map!

  14. How amazing that tourism was closed up until only a few years ago. I have been seeing more and more post on Myanmar lately and each time I do, it keeps making me more and more curious to go check it out.

  15. Myanmar with its ancient pagodas and stupas is intriguing and stunning. I have already planned to visit Myanmar from India by the road next year. It’s going to be one of the most adventurous trips I have ever had, I’m sure. I have saved your guide for all the information I’ll need on Myanmar.

  16. What an interesting article. I visited last year and I have to say, I think you covered all the important aspects one should know before visiting this beautiful country.

  17. Oh Myanmar… Very impressive country. I have spend around 3 weeks there and fell in love with the country. Temples in Bagan, Hpa An caves, Yangon buzz is something which will stay in your memories forever! Thanks for sharing this wonderful itinerary.

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