Facts

  • Population: 53 million
  • Currency: Kyat
  • Major language: Burmese
  • Major religion: Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 64 years (men), 69 years (women)
  • Electricity: 230V/50Hz
  • Currency: Burmese Kyat (MMK)

Notes

  • Defaming, disturbing or threatening any person using a telecommunications network is illegal in Myanmar. Do not post negative comments on social media.

Geography

  • Area: 676,552 sq km (261,218 sq miles)

Tourism

  • Myanmar is a beautiful country and has a dynamic culture.
  • Check with Ministry of Hotels, Tourism and Sport before finalizing plans.
    • There are many strict rules and regulations. The Ministry has a section of “Do’s and Don’ts” on their web site.
  • Consider visiting Mandalay
    • Tour the UNESCO site along with old temples that populate the region and enjoy a traditional Burmese cooking class.

Overland

  • A tour guide must accompany any overland travel through Myanmar.
    • Overlanders will often group up to spread the cost of the guide, which by all reports, is quite expensive.
    • Even if overlanders are in self-supporting vehicles, the authorities will prefer foreign nationals rent hotel rooms during their stay in an effort to boost the economy.
  • As per the government web site (Dec 2018):

The process to be done by tourists who want to pass Myanmar with own vehicles is

  • Get the visa from the concerned Myanmar Embassy.
  • Firstly, contact with the compatible travel agency in Myanmar to make necessary arrangements for tour.
  • Contacted travel agency need to have the passport copy, schedule of the visit, detailed information of vehicle (photos, type   of car, car model No., engine No., and so forth).
  • Travel agency has to apply the approval for permission from Ministry of Hotels and Tourism two week prior to visit.
  • When the approval is ready, one of the officials concerned from the Ministry and tour guide from the travel agency will  accompany with the tourists throughout the whole visit.
  • Foreigners may be required to apply for and obtain a Myanmar Driving Licence at the Department for Road Transport and Administration in Rangoon prior to driving in Myanmar.
  • Overland travel can be hazardous, particularly in the rainy season — from May to October. Roads can become impassable and bridges damaged. Check weather forecasts prior to travelling.
  • Travel by road between beyond key destinations of Rangoon, Mandalay, Bago, and Irrawaddy is restricted.
  • Expect poor road safety standards. Avoid night driving, due to poor lighting and road surfacing.
  • Under Burmese law, the driver of a car involved in an accident with a pedestrian is always at fault.
  • Many vehicles, including taxis and buses, are in a poor mechanical state, and serious road traffic accidents are common.
  • Although drives on the right, the majority of cars on the road are previously used imported and right hand drive.

Safety & Security

  • There are ongoing armed conflicts (2019)
  • Myanmar is the fourth largest source country for refugees in the world.
  • About 1.2 million people who identify as members of the Rohingya ethnic group have fled their homes in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
    • As many as 700,000 have relocated to Bangladesh.
  • Despite the country’s lovely beaches, incredible historical attractions, snow-capped mountains, and jungle wilderness, the ongoing persecution of the Rohingya people make it difficult to recommend travel to Myanmar at this time (December 2018).
    • In 2018, two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were sentenced to seven years incarceration for exposing a military massacre of Rohingya civilians.

Current Government Advice

News

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