About Myanmar

GENERAL INFORMATION

Visa | Transportation | Health | Vaccination | Time | Airport Tax | Customs Formalities | Money | Dress | Climate | Religion | Culture | History | Location | People | Useful Links


TRAVELLING IN MYANMAR

Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your tour departure date. A visa is required for Myanmar.

VISA

Tourist visas are valid for 28 days. At the moment Tourist visas and business visas can not be extended for another 14 days anymore. In Case you will stay longer, you must pay 3.- per overstay-day before departure at the immigration counter in the Airport. Transit visas are valid for 24 hours.

You must enter Myanmar before the expiration of the visa (valid 90 days after issue)!!!

since August 2003
Visa Information for Myanmar

1. There are two types of Entry Visas for Tourists

 

E.V.T. – (F.I.T):

This Visa can be obtained at every Myanmar embassy or consulate by submitting passport and 3 photographs!
Normally need to change US$ 200,- into F.E.C (Foreign Exchange Certificate) on arrival.
But for time being nobody needs to change the US$ into FEC at the airport!
Visa fees: equivalent: 20 US$ per person

E.V.T. – (Package):

We will send you our Package Tour Confirmation Letter. With this letter plus passport and 3 Photos, you can apply PACKAGE VISA at the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
For the Confirmation letter we need Guest's names and passport-no.
No need to change 200, - US$ into FEC on arrival.
Visa fees: equivalent: 36,- US$ per person

Both kinds of visa allow the stay of 28 days in Myanmar

2. Visa on arrival:

We also can arrange Visa on arrival. We need following details:

  • Names
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation
  • Father’s name
  • Home address
  • Nationality
  • International flight number
  • Itinerary

You need to bring 3 passport photos from abroad to show at the visa counter at the Airport as there is no possibility to take photos at the airport!!!
Passport photos send by e-mail!!!! NEW NEW NEW

Please fax or e-mail us the passport copy latest 29 working days before arrival date!

NEW NEW NEW Starting from 1. January 2006!!!

We need to send the application with your passport photos!!! That means, we need to receive a scanned passport photo from you via e-mail, latest 1 month before arrival date!!!

We can offer this service only, if the tour is booked through us! As we need to send the complete itinerary as well!!!

So we can get permission and then submit to Immigration Department.
After Visa is approved, we will inform the International airline that they will allow your boarding without Visa in your passport!

The permission we normally get 5-7 days before arrival, if the Visa is approved!

Visa fees: 20, - US$ per person + our service fees,
Non-refundable Service charge: 35.- US$ per person

Please note that the application procedure changed! So we need minimum 4 weeks!!!

>>> Official links from Myanmar:

Myanmar Missions abroad: There you can apply for your Visa!
http://www.mofa.gov.mm/myanmarmissions/indexmyanmarmissions.html

Foreign Missions in Myanmar:
http://www.mofa.gov.mm/foreignmb/indexforeignmb.html

The Union Of Myanmar Travel Association

http://www.umtanet.org/visa.htm

NEW NEW: Online Visa: http://www.visa.gov.mm Sorry, it does not exist anymore!!!

Please contact Gracious Myanmar Travel! We will apply for you!!!
On Arrival Visa can be arranged only for Visitors who book a complete tour through us!

download the on-arrival-form


TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN

In general we do not suggest travelling through Myanmar with Children under the age of 6, even if Myanmar people are outstanding child-loving. The travel conditions are not suitable for young children. Also special facilities are not available for children.
We would not suggest travelling with Children without Guide service or even with station guide service only.
If you decided to travel with Children, only main destinations like Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake and maybe Ngapali and Ngwe Saung Beaches are suitable for Children. All other destinations are very adventurous for families, as accommodation and transportation are not really suitable for very young Children.
Some hotels at the beaches offer special games at certain times for the youngsters. Please ask for further details to our office.
Some people told me NOT TO MENTION this in our information sheet. But we believe, to be honest is finally the best service for our clients.


SPECIAL NEED TRAVELLERS

For special need travellers, only a few places may offer special facilities. Please check with your physician if you are fit for travelling in underdeveloped countries. On request we will send more details (wheelchairs, special facilities etc.).


FEMALE TRAVELLERS

Myanmar is one of the safest countries in the world, also for single female travellers. But of course there is no 100% guarantee like anywhere else in the world. Women should wear over-the-knee skirts or shorts, T-shirts with at least short sleeves especially when visiting temples and other religious places. Some temples and/or pilgrimage places do not allow women wearing brief shorts or even mention to wear a brassiere. It is necessary to dress modestly, as any kind of revealing clothing is frowned upon in Myanmar.


TRANSPORTATION

bull-cartMyanmar is still an underdeveloped country and therefore the infrastructure is still quite poor. You may need some patience for travelling through Myanmar, especially beside the main destinations!

 

 


Domestic Airlines:

Air Bagan and Air Mandalay will be used for regular destinations.
Myanmar Airways will be used where the others will not operate!
Schedules may change without prior notice. Travelling by plane is the fastest way of transportation.

check our domestic Airfares


Train:

The government owned railway is an experience, but not very comfortable as the existing tracks are very bumpy. You also need a lot of patience and a good stamina to travel by train. Travelling by train can cause delays. Even travelling in a sleeper carriage may disturb during night-time and sleeping will be almost impossible. Departure and Arrival times are not very reliable!

train-03train-04train-05

check our "VIP Train Carriage" Info-Sheet!                    check our Train schedule!


Cars & Coaches:

The road conditions in Myanmar are still quite poor and travelling by car/ coach is not very comfortable, roads are mostly bumpy. But in the last few years a lot of streets got repaired, paved and enlarged or even new streets were built. Most available cars and coaches are quite old, please do not expect the newest vehicles and the best conditions.
We can arrange private a/c cars and coaches of best local quality for transfers and transportations, on request also public buses.

 cars

>>> our tip: Travel by car between Bagan or Mandalay to Inle Lake if time permits. The route is very interesting as you pass a lot of villages and towns. Overnight stops can be made in Kalaw or Pindaya for some trekking! Especially trekking with one-night stop at a local monastery will be unforgettable!!!

check our special Car offers!


Cruises and Boats:

cruiseWe offer different private cruises, ships and boats and/or government owned ships for transportation over lakes, through rivers and channels.
Inya Lake, Indawgyi Lake, Moeyungyi Wetlands only simple wooden boats are available.
Cruising on the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin River, you can choose between Luxury, Middleclass and simple boats, offering 1 - 28 days cruising.


Photo: the legendary “Road to Mandalay”, the most luxury Cruise in Myanmar!

check our special Cruise offers!


Others:

There are many different transportation opportunities in Myanmar. What about you go by horse-cart, ox-cart, trishaw or even by elephant??? Don’t miss the chance to use the local transportation system, that’s real fun!

 transport-others

HEALTH

For travelling in Myanmar you may need to be in good health condition. We suggest discussing your health condition with your physician if you are fit for travelling in underdeveloped tropical countries.

If you are on medication, better prepare the necessary amount of medicine for the whole trip as it may be difficult to arrange in Myanmar.

We suggest bringing your own medical kit, as you may get different items or drugs in Myanmar. Please prepare medicine against diarrhoea, as it is quite common to get diarrhoea during travelling in a tropical country. Different places, different climate and different food can cause diarrhoea.


Electrolyte beverage powder: Diarrhoea or heavy sweating can cause dehydration, different products of electrolyte powders are available in Myanmar shops and pharmacies. But just in case, better be prepared!

Different Altitude may be a health concern to some travellers as well.

Further you should bring your own mosquito repellent to protect from mosquito bites!

Also bring sun-lotion and sun-blocker, sunglasses and a hat to cover your head as the tropical sun can be very intense! Protection against the sun is necessary throughout the year and not only at the beaches!!!

For example: At Inle Lake many visitors forget to use sun protection and after a day on local boats on the lake, visitors may suffer from sunburns!

Just follow some simple suggestions to avoid unpleasant health problems:

Only drink boiled water or water out of sealed bottles
Never eat raw vegetable and/or salads
All fruits should be peeled just before eating
Avoid to eat from little small street stalls

 

VACCINATION

You should take adequate supplies of prescription medicines with you as such medicine might not be available while you are touring. No vaccinations are officially required for a visit to Myanmar. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, but travellers should check with their doctor or a travel immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis.


TIME

Myanmar's time is six hours and thirty minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


AIRPORT TAX

International departure: When leaving Myanmar, an airport tax of FEC/US$ 10. - p.p. must be paid before check-in.

Domestic departure: no Airport Tax required (March 2005, subject to change without prior notice)


CUSTOMS FORMALITIES

Foreign exchange not exceeding the equivalent of US$ 2,000.- (two thousand) can be imported to Myanmar without declaration. Any foreign currencies exceeding the amount of US$ 2,000.- must be declared as well as gemstones, jewellery, gold, electrical appliances and video cameras. It is not permitted to bring mobile phones into Myanmar, it will not work anyhow. Every visitor may import two litters of alcoholic beverage and two cartons of cigarettes free of charge.
Antiques and objects of archaeological value exceeding a certain age may not be exported. Gold, silver and jewellery may only be exported if acquired in a store licensed by the government.


MONEY/CURRENCY

The currency in Myanmar is the Kyat (pronounced chat). Present denominations are in notes:

Kyats.: 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5!

It is advisable to bring for personal expenses like meals, drinks, buying souvenirs etc. enough US$ in cash to Myanmar. You can use old and new US$ notes here in Myanmar. In case of using 100 US$ notes > ONLY new notes after 1996 will be accepted.

 

For banking reasons, we are unable to accept the following USD currency notes:
(1) CB serial numbers for USD 100 notes
(2) AB serial numbers for USD 50 notes
(3) Notes with "small head",
(4) very dirty and damaged notes
Very sorry for inconvenience, but this restrictions are done by the Myanmar banks, money changers and most Hotels here in Myanmar!!!!

All other currencies are not widely accepted. We suggest to bring US$ and/or EURO only as it may be difficult to change BRITISH POUNDS or other currencies!!!

Official exchange rate at the airport counter or at the bank: 1 US$ = 450 Kyats
Un-official market rate: 1 US$= approx. 1100 Kyats (Jul 2008)
1 €= approx. 1800 Kyats (Jul 2008)

 1000 kyats200 kyats100 kyats


TRAVELLER CHECKS/CREDIT CARDS 

If you have traveller checks, you can cash them into FEC here in Myanmar. Either on arrival at the airport (FEC exchange counter after the immigration) or at the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank on Mahabandoola Garden Street. You can change for up to US$ 1000 and they charge for 10 checks only US$ 2 and for more than 10 checks US$ 3-4 commission.

If you have credit cards (American Express / Visa Card) you can cash them also into FEC. Either on arrival at the airport (FEC exchange counter after the immigration) or at the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank on Mahabandoola Garden Street. On Visa Card you can get up to FEC 2000 and on American Express up to FEC 500 and they charge 4% commission on total amount. 

 

PLEASE KINDLY NOTE, THAT CREDITCARD PAYMENTS ARE NOT POSSIBLE ANYMORE!!!

Only a very few hotels accept Visa Card incl. Some surcharge!!!!!!!!!

ALSO TRAVELLER CHEQUES ARE NOT ACCEPTED ANYMORE!

Gracious Myanmar Travel Ltd. does not accept any traveller cheques and creditcards!!!

 

DRESS

Cotton clothing and a light wrap on evenings during the winter season (between Oct and Feb) are recommended. When visiting temples, pagodas or other places of religious worship, it is necessary to dress modestly, as any kind of revealing clothing is frowned upon in Myanmar. Removal of all foot wears and socks is necessary before entering all places of religious worship.


CLIMATE

climateThe country's climate is ruled by the monsoons. There are three distinct seasons that can differ considerably in various parts of the country: For example, in Yangon precipitation is four times that of Bagan. This is a blessing for the country's tourism as the major attractions are located in the dry zone of Upper Myanmar and can be visited during the rainy season as well, while the delta and both the Rakhine as well as the Tanintharyi coasts are blessed with plenty of rain. Some attractions like the Golden Rock, Sittwe, Mrauk Oo, Kyaingtong are nearly inaccessible in the rainy season! Mandalay on the other hand can be rather cool in winter and extremely hot in summer, while climatic conditions in Yangon are not that extreme.

Winter: From November to February; the most pleasant season for travellers. During this season the climate resembles a fair European summer. However, in some mountainous areas the temperatures can drop to 0 or even minus centigrade. PLEASE NOTE: A JACKET, PULLOVER, SOCKS, WARM PIJAMAS ARE NEEDED!!! Especially at INLE LAKE; PINDAYA; KALAW; Kachin State; Chin State temperature can fall rapid at night time!!!

Hot season: Starts in March and lasts until May. During this season temperatures easily exceed 40 centigrade, even in Yangon.

Rainy season: Starts in May and lasts until October. However, as mentioned above, the amount of rainfall differs according to the area. And indeed, it's wonderful to travel with less travellers around and after every rainfall temperature cools down!

PLEASE NOTE: Nowadays also here the weather "starts acting crazy" - above mentioned weather statements are just guidance!

 

Click here for Climate chart

myanmar travel agent - Monch


RELIGION

monchTheravada Buddhism is the predominant religion more than 80 percent of the population embracing it. Here are also Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

Mynamar Travel Agent - Earboring Ceremony Photo

 

CULTURE

earboringceremonyBuddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmar's. The people have preserved tradition of close family ties, respect for the elders and reverence for Buddhism. Myanmar's are well known for their hospitality and friendliness.

Mynamar Travel Agent - Ananda Temple in Bagan




HISTORY

anandatempleMyanmar's Golden Age dates back to the 11th century when King Anawrahta united the whole country into the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan well before the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the entire Menam valley in Thailand and lasted about 250 years, before it collapsed with the invasion of the Mongols under the leadership of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. The Second Myanmar Empire founded by King Bayinnaung, in the middle of the 16th century. King Alaungpaya founded the Third Myanmar Empire in 1752. It was during the zenith of the Konbaung dynasty, when the British colonized Myanmar. Myanmar became a sovereign state on January 4, 1948, after gaining independence from Britain.

 

WHERE IS "MYANMAR"? OR "BURMA"?

whereSince 1989, Burma has become Myanmar and its capital, Rangoon, has become Yangon, Pegu has become Bago, Maymyo has become Pyin-Oo-Lwin, and so on. Myanmar, also known as the Golden Land, is not only famous for their thousands and thousands of Pagodas and Temples, also for its natural beauties, famous precious and semi-precious stones, fascinating culture and history and of course of its many different nationalities.

 
Location:

situated in Southeast Asia between latitudes 09° 32' N and 28° 31' N and longitudes 92° 10' E and 101° 11' E.
Myanmar is bordered on the north and northeast by People's Republic of China, on the east and southeast by the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Thailand, on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and on the west by the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India.

Area:

261.228 miles² or 676577 km²
Size in comparison with some other countries in km²:
France: 543965 km²
Germany: 357022 km²

Physical features:

The topography of Myanmar can roughly be divided into three parts;

Western Hills Region, the Central Valley Region and the Eastern Hill Region!
The Himalayan Range has link with Myanmar and is known as the Western Yoma that runs to the south.
The Khakabo Razi (5889 m/ 19296 ft) is the highest mountain of south-east Asia which is situated in the most north part of Western Yoma, covered with snow and ice.

Union of Myanmar: 

14 States and Divisions, 64 Districts,
324 Townships, 2470 Wards, 13747 Village-tracts


States and Divisions

States and Divisions Capital
Union of Myanmar Capital : Yangon
New administrative capital of tde country since November 2005: Naypyidaw
Shan State Taunggyi
Sagaing Division Sagain
Kachin State Myitkyina
Magway Division Magwe
Tanintdayi Division Dawei
Bago Division Bago
Mandalay Division Mandalay
Rakhine State Sittwe
Chin State Haka
Ayeyarwady Division Patdein
Kayin State Hpa-An
Mon State Mawlamyine
Kayah State Loikaw
Mon State Mawlamyine
Kayah State Loikaw
Yangon Division Yangon


PEOPLE

peopleThe population of Myanmar, spread over seven states and seven divisions, is estimated in July 2003 at 52,4 million by a growth rate of 1,84 %. Myanmar is inhabited by 135 ethnic nationalities. The Bamars, comprising about 69 per cent of the population, form the largest group.


>>> OUR TIP: Visit some of the minority villages in Pindaya, Kalaw, Mount Victoria, Kyaingtong (Golden triangle) or in many other destinations! Surely you will be deeply impressed by the colourful costumes, the traditional way of living and their hospitality! If time permits we always try to arrange visits to private places, getting in touch with local people as much as possible to experience the different way of living of each area and each different nationality.


Ethnic groups of each State and Division 

States and Divisions Main Nationalities
Union of Myanmar Bamar, Shan, Mon, Kayin, Kaya, Chin, Kachin and Rakhine
Shan State Shan, Danu, Taungyoe, Intda, Bamar, Palaung, Pa-O, Kachin, Lisu, Kokang, Wa, Arkha, Lahu
Sagaing Division Bamar, Shan, Chin, Naga, Kadu, Ganang
Kachin State Kachin, Bamar, Shan, Chin, Naga, Lisu etc.
Magway Division Bamar, Chin, Rakhine, Kayin, Shan
Tanintdayi Division Bamar, Kayin, Mon, Shan, Rakhine, Malay, Salon
Bago Division Kayin, Bamar, Mon, Chin, Rakhine, Shan, Pa-O
Mandalay Division Bamar, Shan, Danu, Lisu, Palaung, Asho Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Chin
Rakhine State Rakhine, Bamar, Chin, Mros, tdet, Khami, Dainet, Maramagyi, Kaman
Chin State Chin, Mros, Khamis, Bamars
Ayeyarwady Division Bamar, Kayin, Rakhine
Kayin State Kayin, Bamar, Pa-O, Shan, Mon, Rakhine
Mon State Mon, Bamar, Kayin, Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Shan, Pa-O
Kayah State Kayah, Kayan (Padaung), Paye, Yinbaw, Yinkale, Paki Kayin, Manumanao, Gaykho, Gaybar, Shan, Intda, Bamar
Yangon Division Bamar, Chinese, Indians, many otder nationalities


MARKETS

We always try to show as many markets as possible. In Shan State the markets are in different places and are on a kind of rotation basis. Observe the colourful and busy markets at each destination, where different ethnic groups selling local products.

Click here for 5 Days Market Schedule


Important Rivers in Myanmar

Myanmar's biggest rivers:

 

1. longest river tdanlwin River 2816 km
2. most important river Ayeyarwady River 2170 km
3. 3rd biggest river Chindwin River 960 km
4. 4td biggest river Sittoung River 560 km


RESTRICTED AREAS

We can arrange some special permission for general closed eras in Myanmar. Please contact our office for further details.

Since Oct. 2004 MOGOK & HPAKANT are closed for foreign visitors!


TELECOMMUNICATIONS

This field has seen a lot of improvement in recent years. Nowadays travellers can reach their home countries by phone or fax - at least from the major cities in Myanmar. The formerly exorbitant prices have dropped quite a bit; however, at US$ 3.20/minute phoning from Myanmar to Europe it is still far from being a bargain. (Hotels may even charge 4/5.- US$ per minute).
Whenever making phone calls from Myanmar it is important to ask for the price first - at some hotels the tariff might be double the official rate. E-mail is available in the big hotels; again, it should be remembered that this comes at a price as well. In no way prices can be compared with the prices in the West. Travellers better also leave their cellular phones at home as they are not going to work in Myanmar anyway! The local mobile telephone net is practically useless for tourists:
Some big hotels and private shops offer e-mail and/or Internet services. Internet users will be surprised that not every website is accessible; also HOTMAIL, YAHOO or similar e-mail addresses are not accessible!


LETTERS & PARCELS

What has been said about telecommunications is also true for the mail service. However, the postage is definitely cheap. Of course, letters and postcards take quite some time to reach their destinations but usually most of them will finally arrive. Many hotels as well offer this service. Private services like DHL come at a price but are doing a good job. If you should wish to send bulky and heavy items home it can be done either by airfreight or by sea. In this case our guides will be willing to give you the necessary help and assistance.


ELECTRICITY

The usual voltage in Myanmar is 220 Volts. (Fluctuations can be between 80 and 300 Volts!)
Make sure to protect your electrical appliances from over voltage - your laptop might not like it...
In the big hotels the voltage usually should be o.k., even though you can never be completely sure. There also exists a bewildering multitude of different plugs and sockets in the country; extension sockets for three different types of plugs are the rule. Don't believe in world plugs and sockets - in this aspect Myanmar is not a part of western world! However, if the need arises you can find what you need in any roadside shop - the problem is all too common in the country. Power cuts are all over the country more the rule than the exception, even though one has to admit that the general situation has improved during the last years as the former high subsidies have been cut back dramatically. Many hotels and even shops have their own generators to ensure a permanent power supply, but that doesn't necessarily mean 24 hours of power supply as some smaller hotels switch on the generator only after sunset and switch it off at around 11 p.m.! Especially in the remote areas, power supply is still a big problem.

 

PHOTO & FILM

In a country as photogenic as Myanmar many photo enthusiasts realize long before the end of their journey that they didn't bring along enough films. Nowadays that is not a problem anymore as supplies can be replenished in most places where tourists congregate. However, in some cases it might be difficult to get a special film. So it might be a better idea to bring a sufficient supply of films.
Generally the Burmese do not have any objections against being photographed. However, courtesy commands to obtain the 'victim's' approval.
Many pagodas charge a minimal fee for cameras, video cameras might be a little more expensive.
At places where photography is forbidden, like in some museums and some temples, better follow the order!
It's not a problem any more to bring along video cameras.


GMT’S FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS: 

Yangon: Myanmar: Sandy's Myanmar Cuisine
Padonmar Restaurant
Royal tdazin Restaurant
  tdai: Sabei Sabei
Jamjuree tdai Kitchen
  French: J's Bistro, perfect for lunch!!!
Le Planteur
Le Molière
  Indochina: Monsoon
Mandalay: Chinese, tdai, Myanmar: Ayeyarwady Scene Restaurant
  Chinese, Myanmar: A Little bit of Mandalay
  tdai: Ko' Kitchen
  Chinese, tdai, Myanmar: AmarapurA Restaurant
  Myanmar, Chinese: Green Elephant Mandalay Restaurant
Inle Lake area: Chinese, Myanmar: Ann's Restaurant
Paramount Inle Resort (Sky Lounge Rest.)
  French: Inle Lake View Resort
Kalaw: Myanmar: Seven Sisters Restaurant
Pindaya: Chinese, Myanmar: Pindaya Scene Restaurant
Bagan: Chinese, Myanmar: Sunset Garden Restaurant
Nanda Restaurant, (offers puppet shows)
Yamonar (Green Elephant) Restaurant
  Western & Myanmar: Eden B.B.B Restaurant
....... and many more yummy restaurants.... Our Guides will always recommend good places!

 

SOUVENIRS

In Myanmar arts and crafts have a very long tradition and are still very much alive.
Accordingly a number of interesting souvenirs (Gems and Jewellery, Laquerware, Marionettes, Paintings, Pottery and basketry, Silverware, Tapestries) can be bought in the country and the best places to buy them are the tourist centres. In Yangon and Mandalay there are quite a few shops specializing in the needs of tourists. Contrary to a widely-held belief according to our experience the export of Buddha statues doesn't constitute a major problem as long as the statues are new (not older than 40 years) and not yet consecrated. Your local guide may also be willing to help you should the need arise.

>> our tip:
Mandalay is the so called capital of arts and crafts in Myanmar! Observe the astonish fine art of old, traditional handicrafts like woodcarving, stone carving, the famous marionettes and tapestries, gold leafs, silk weaving!!! Please ask our guide, as there are so many nice shops!
Bagan: That's the place to check for nice laquerware! Our favourite shop: U BA NYEIN, please ask the guide! Prices depend on your bargain!
Inle Lake: Visit a traditional silk weaving factory in INPAWKHON village. Sure you will find some beautiful hand woven Shan silk!
Yangon: Visit Bogyoke Market also known as Scott Market, where you can find all kinds of different products! Our favourite: small, but nice and friendly, also prices are very reasonable: MYA MAR LAR, souvenir shop at No. 62 (A) Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Or more exclusive: Art & Deco, MEEMOSA, TRADITIONS or J's IRRAWADY DREAMS (very beautiful designs, but expensive!!!$$$)

For Jewellery enthusiasts Myanmar is really the place to go. The world's most beautiful pigeon blood rubies, star sapphires, jade and a lot of other precious and semi-precious stones
are original from Myanmar. You may get a good bargain in many shops, but please be aware to buy only in licensed shops to avoid any problems with the custom clearance.

>> our tip: visit MOGOK, the city of the most famous mines! At the moment only organised tours are allowed, but we can arrange a trip from Mandalay to Mogok and return! Visit the mines, observe stone cutting and polishing of precious and semi-precious stones!

Since Oct. 2004 MOGOK & HPAKANT are closed for foreign visitors!

 

TIPS, always a difficult question!

We would suggest to pay tips in the local currency and not in US$ or other foreign currencies.

For the local guides: I use to say, 2 US$ or 2000.- Kyats per day/per person... in general it's up to the decision of the clients. Some clients pay even 5 / 10 US$ per day, but in comparison of the average income in Myanmar, Guides are highly paid anyhow.

For the drivers: : 1000.- Kyats per person/per day- depends again on the service you got!

For the Hotel porters: per luggage: 300.- Kyats per suitcase, but it depends on area. At train station, airports etc. it might be even 500.- Kyats per suitcase.

At local restaurants: approx. 500 Kyats per person - depends again on the service you got!

International Hotels: : you have to check it out: mostly service is included! But we suggest asking at the reservation desk for tip box, the tips will be equally shared. Also up to your decision!


PRICES

The cost of living in Myanmar depends very much on where you are: While in an expensive hotel a beer may cost you 3.- / 5.- US$ you might get it for about US$ 1.-(or its equivalent in Kyat) in a local restaurant. Generally spoken, Myanmar is a low-priced country but as soon as you go for imported articles the price level easily matches the one in Thailand or even other Western countries - import taxes are rather high! As long "as you go local" you might pay one fifth of the price!


LAST NOT LEAST:

Please don't forget you travel in an underdeveloped country, where events are less predictable than it is usually the case, for example Western Europe or North America. Places visited lack the same quality of emergency health and safety services. Travel by rail is generally unreliable and by road generally less comfortable due to the bumpy roads, flight schedules may change without prior notice. Some hotel & service standards may not approach Western expectations.

By reading all details, some would say warnings, don't think it's a risk to go to Myanmar! We just want you to know that Myanmar is not Europe, North-America, Singapore etc.! But that is exactly our beautiful country's Charm! Travelling through unspoiled areas, visit hill-tribes, enjoy fantastic beaches, and meet the locals to get touched by the friendliness and hospitality what you can not find anymore in most other countries


OTHER USEFUL LINKS IN THE INTERNET

Gracious Myanmar Travel Ltd. is not responsible for any information from these links. We only suggest these links for further information for your convenience.

 

Healtd: WHO (World Healtd Organisation) offer different information for travellers!
http://www.who.int/itd/countries/mmr/en/
  Here you may find some information about vaccination required or suggested for each country, disease maps, traveller check-list etc. In our opinion it's wortd to have a look!!
  All about Malaria: http://www.malariavaccine.org
General Travel tips: U.S. Department of State travel warnings and public announcements > http://travel.state.gov/
http://www.cdc.gov/
Das deutsche Auswaertige Amt > http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/diplo/de/Laender/Myanmar.html

 

International flight tickets:

As we offer only our service within Myanmar, you need to arrange the international flight tickets on your own. On request we can arrange return tickets from Thailand to Myanmar, to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. But Visitors need to stay at least one day in Bangkok for all arrangements.

For our visitors from Germany, Switzerland and Austria we suggest to contact following company REISEVERMITTLUNG BERRISCH, based in Germany. This company is neither our agent nor our partner. Gracious Myanmar Travel Ltd. is not responsible for any claims arising out of any service booked through REISEVERMITTLUNG BERRISCH.
You can contact direct to REISEVERMITTLUNG BERRISCH for international flight arrangements.

 

http://www.reisebuero-berrisch.de

Deutsch-sprachige Gäste können auch bei OPODO online Internationale Flüge einfach und schnell direkt suchen und buchen. Diese Organisation bietet auch Reise-Versicherungen an!

http://www.opodo.de/opodo/SearchServlet

Opodo > Zahlungsarten: Visa/MasterCard/American Express/Bankeinzug

Opodo ist ein Unternehmen von British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Austrian Airlines, Finnair und Amadeus

GMT hat keine Verträge mit Opodo, es weder ein Partner noch ein Agent von Gracious Myanmar Travel. Daher sind wir in keiner Weise für eine Buchung bei Opodo haftbar.
Das ist lediglich eine Empfehlung, weil einige unserer Gäste mit Opodo sehr zufrienden waren.

Delayed baggage arrival or lost baggage after an International flight

Please note, that at the moment so many times the clients do not get all their suitcases upon arrival in Myanmar, due to the International Airlines baggage handling outside of Myanmar!

Therefore we suggest packing following things in your hand luggage:

Urgent needed medicines
1 T-Shirt or light shirt/blouse
some underwear for 1 day
In case of baggage delay or lost baggage, we can assist you. But we will charge some extra service fees for handling and to deliver the delayed baggage to your hotel or to any other Place within Myanmar!!!