Information in General
Travellers’ Tips for Myanmar (Burma)
• Never drink tap water. Purified, bottled water is available everywhere.
• Use an insect repellant against mosquitoes, especially in upcountry and forested areas. A hat and high-factor block cream is advisable as protection against the hot tropical sun when sightseeing, especially a pair of sunglasses.
• Casual and light clothing is required, preferably natural fibers, year-round, but a sweater or jacket may be useful in hill areas, particularly during winter months, when evenings can be quite cool. A windproof jacket is essential when touring Inle Lake November to February. An umbrella or raincoat is essential if visiting during the monsoon months (May-September).
• Travelers should take adequate supplies of any prescription medicines they may need, as supplies may not be available locally. A spare pair of eye glasses, if worn, is also advisable. Useful, too, is a flash light, for exploring caves or details of temple interiors which are often not properly illuminated.
• Take plenty of film, as locally available supplies are not always reliable. Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military installation is forbidden. Please use discretion when photographing people, especially with tribal people, who may have superstitions against this. For close-up shots always ask first.
• Visitors are required to dress decently within the precincts of religious buildings. Ladies should not wear shorts or bra-less T-shirts in such places. Shoes and socks/stockings must always be removed at pagodas and monasteries.
Shoulders and knees should be covered. Disregard of these rules causes serious cultural and religious offence to the devout Myanmar people.
• Visitors are advised to ignore touts who may approach them to exchange foreign currency, or to sell gems of dubious quality. Such offers, although apparently attractive, are breaking strict laws.
• Begging is not widespread in Myanmar and visitors are requested not to encourage development of this practice by giving money, sweets etc. to children. If travelers wish to contribute to say, a village community, gifts should be directed to the local school teacher or headman. Contributions can also be arranged for recognized local charities.
(a) Passport: Required
(b) Visa: Required
All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Myanmar. A 28-day tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors. The current regulations for entering Myanmar are as follows:
• FIT visa (Foreign Individual Traveller)
This visa is issued by the Myanmar embassy or consulate. An invitation letter is not required and it usually takes 3-5 working days to issue this visa. Upon arrival at the airport in Yangon you are required to change 200 US Dollars into 200 FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates).
• Package Tour visa
This visa is issued by the Myanmar embassy or consulate and is only given if Gold Backed has sent a letter of invitation. Usually it takes 3-5 days to issue the visa. With the confirmation of your booking Gold Backed will send an authorization letter to the embassy. Gold Backed need the full names, passport numbers, nationality and name of the Myanmar Embassy where the visa is to be collected. One copy of the authorization letter is sent to the embassy and another to the client by fax or e-mail.
ON ARRIVAL VISA
If the country you are living doesn’t have a Myanmar Embassy you can either send your application to the closest country with a Myanmar Embassy or ask Gold Backed to arrange a visa upon arrival. Detailed passport information (a copy of the first four pages of each passport) should be faxed to us. Gold Backed can take care of the procedures and upon arrival you will get your visa stamped in your passport and pay the visa fees. It is important to remember to bring 3 passport pictures. Please note that we need at least 21 day for visa on arrival arrangements
Weather & Climate
Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate.
1. Hot Season - March to May with average temperature 30-35 C.
2. Rainy Season - June to September with average temperature 25- 30 C.
3. Cool Season - October to February with average temperature 20- 24 C.
Cool season is the best time to visit Myanmar.
At the port of entry all foreign currencies and cameras must be declared to a custom officer. Export of antiques and archaeological objects is prohibited.
Visitors are advised to change their foreign currencies only at authorized moneychangers in banks, airports and hotels. You can use credit card in major hotels only. The use of credit card is very limited in Myanmar. American dollars are used widely & nobody here used “ euro “. So, it is advisable to change your “ euro “ to “ US $ “. Every incoming tourist can bring in US $ 2000 on arrival to Myanmar.
(g) Where to Stay
Visitors have a choice of accommodation from Budget Class Guest House to Deluxe Hotels. There are 595 hotels, guesthouses and Inn all over the country. Reference from Hotel Directory 2005.
(h) Travel & Tour
Licensed travel agencies can arrange for travel and tours to the tourist destinations. Restricted Area are not allowed to stay but day trip visit. Take permission to accomode at Monastery & Village House.
(i) Entrance Fees
Entrance fees are collected at the famous pagodas, temples, monasteries, museums, old palaces and archaeological zones. Tickets offices are at the sites or concerned Airport in some destinations.
(j) Tour Guide
Visitors are advised to avoid touts and use the services of licensed language guides available at the licensed travel agencies.
You are advised to buy gems, jewelleries and silverware at the authorized gem-shops where you will be given a voucher with a permit for Export. Visitors are required to ignore touts who may approach you for offering guide services, for some shopping places like Traditional Market, manufacture factories, etc ..........
(l) Duty Free Allowance
Personal effects in actuasl use by the passenger
400 sticks of cigarettes
2 litres of wine, spirit or liquor
250 gm of tobacco
100 sticks of cigars
0.5 litre of perfume
(m) QUARITINE Health
No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area.
220-230 Volts A.C
IDD telephones, internet and fax facilities are available in most hotels.
The Buddhist religious titles of Abhidhajamaharatthaguru and Aggamahapandita have been traditionally presented to worthy monks. Since 1992, 20 new kinds of titles have been awarded not only to monks but also to nuns and lay devotees. It is on the 4 th of January of each year that Notifications are published.
Theravada Buddhism is the predominant, with 80% of the people embracing it. Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are also practiced among the minority.
If you prefer you can join meditation groups. Many foreigners are trying meditation. They claimed that it made them more decisive in their corporate management day-to-day decision-making. Why don’t you give it a try?
(1) Chan Myae Yeik Thar Kyaung
55 A, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Yangon
Ph. 951- 661479
(2) International Maha Si
Near Nawaday Cinema Hall, Yangon
Ph. 951- 664762
(3) International Meditation Center
31 A, Ground Fl. Inya Myaing Road,
Shwe Taung Gyar Ward (1), Yangon
Ph. 951- 531549
(4) Maha Si Sasana Yeik Thar
9 mile, Mayangone, Yangon
(5) Mogok Meditation Centre
82, Ground Fl., Nat Mauk St.
Bo Cho Ward (1), Bahan, Yangon
Ph. 951- 541860
(6) Mogok Vipasana Yeik Thar
82, Nat Mauk St. Bahan, Yangon
(7) Myittar Aye Maha Si Sasana Yeik Thar
San Pya 5th St.
Sanpya Si Man Kein Ward, Thinganjune, Yangon
(8) Nyaung Kan Aye Kwin Kyaung Sasana Yeik Thar
Aung Tha Pyay St. Kyee Pwar Yay Ward, Thinganjune, Yangon
(9) Nyaung Kan Aye Sasana Yeik Thar
16, Yangon- Insein Road, Insein
(10) Nyaung Kan Aye Shwe Pyi Yeik Thar
6, Aye Yar Waddy Patt St. Pabedan, Yangon
(11) Shwe Minn Wun Sasana Yeik Thar
70, Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd. Shwe Gone Daing (Mid) ward
Myanmar is mother tongue but English is widely understood. Myanmar was a Brith colony for 10 years & most Myanmars speak English. The local guides & tourism community staff are fulent in English. You can also get the services of guides who are fluent in German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese & Indian.
The basic Myanmar Food is mainly rice and curry. Mohinga, rice noodles with fish gravy, Ohn –No- Khaukswe, noodles with chicken in coconut milk, are popular Myanmar dishes for breakfast and snack meals. Myanmar seafood-Crabs, prawns, lobsters and other shellfish are among the popular dishes available at most Myanmar and Chinese restaurants in Yangon and in other parts of the country. Other Asian foods include Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Singapore-style. European food is served mostly at the hotels and there are a couple of restaurants in Yangon serving Italian food.
Myanmar is a country of teashops and there are several fast food centres and snack bars in all destinations.
Myanmar has a variety of vegetables and fruits, both tropical and citrus all year round or seasonally. The most common ones are avocado, banana, durian, jackfruit, grapefruit, grapes, mango, mangosteen, orange, papaya, pomelo, pineapple, watermelon and Washington navel.
(s) Domestic Airlines
Named Air Mandalay, Yangon Airways, Air Bagan and Myanmar Airways International are operating domestic air route, zero Accidence, Remote Area not land in Rainy season.
* Some privileges of Gold Backed Travels & Tours
Gold Backed T&T is able an authorized travel agency and should an international tourist and foreign traveler are desirous to make a tour in the restricted area, Gold Backed T&T can arrange the tour after getting prior permission from the authority concerned.
* Provided a tourist wants to stay more, we can make a visa extension of two weeks.
* Our tour tariff is more attractive comparing to other travel agency.
* We can provide prompt emergency assistance should it is needed.
* We can give full guarantee to the satisfaction of our clients.
GENERAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
Except as otherwise expressly agreed, Gold Backed Travels & Tours and its client (or “Client”) and/or Agent (or “Agent”) agree that the terms and conditions for the services rendered by Gold Backed Travels & Tours to the Client, whether on an individual or a tour basis (or the “Services”) shall be governed by the General Booking Conditions set out below and that the said General Booking Conditions shall form an entire part of the service contract, whether verbal or written, entered into between Gold Backed Travels & Tours and the Client/Agent:
All prices quoted to the Client/Agent are on a net basis and in United States Dollars and valid according to the date specified on the Gold Backed printed tariffs and/or quotation and/or invoice issued to the Client/Agent. Gold Backed Travels & Tours warrants that the prices or rates quoted to the Client/Agent are correct at the time of issuance of the Client’s/Agent’s quotation and/or invoice but are subject to change in line with market, tax or currency fluctuation, with or without prior notice.
(b) RESERVATION & CONFIRMATION
Reservations are to be made to our office or to our appointed General Sales Agent. Upon confirmation of a reservation, a 30% (thirty per cent) deposit is requested, and the total package tour price for the Services should be paid at least 30 days (thirty days) prior to client’s arrival in Myanmar or starting date of the tour, or otherwise Gold Backed Travels & Tours may at their sole discretion cancel the bookings without any refund of sums already paid to Gold Backed Travels & Tours by the Client/Agent.
Gold Backed Travels & Tours also reserves the right to change any arrangement (including tours, programmes, prices and services) in the best interest of its Client/Agent, with or without prior notice.
Except as otherwise agreed by Gold Backed Travels & Tours, Client’s payment shall be executed by cash or credit card. Except for cash payment, service charge may apply. The Client/Agent is responsible for any bank charges relating to bank transfers. In cases credit facilities have been agreed with the Client/Agent, payment shall be executed by swift, telegraphic transfer or bank draft to the following bank account: The client can transfer the due amount of credit card to the Gold Backed Travels & Tours PayPal account the service surcharge will be added.
Save for the case where a Client/Agent loses its deposit as mentioned above, charges for cancellation of bookings are not levied by Gold Backed Travels & Tours but if hotels, carriers and other contractors apply charges for cancellation, the Client/Agent shall be liable to pay those charges to Gold Backed Travels & Tours or to the concerned parties directly as the case may be.
Agent’s Vouchers are to be issued for all booking arrangements. A copy of the Client’s itinerary should be enclosed with the voucher and should reach Gold Backed Travels & Tours at least ten days prior to the Client’s arrival or beginning of the arrangements booked. Vouchers are to be issued by Gold Backed Travels & Tours for all booking arrangements. A copy of the Client’s itinerary should be enclosed with the voucher and should reach the Client on their arrival or beginning of the arrangements booked.
Gold Backed Travels & Tours shall always do its utmost to provide the Services to the best of its capacity and upon the satisfaction of the Client. It is the understanding of the Parties that Gold Backed Travels & Tours acts as an intermediary between the Client/Agent and airlines, hotels, transport operators, local tourist offices and other contractors providing the Services to the Client. Gold Backed Travels & Tours shall in no event be liable to the Client/Agent, by reason of breach of Services or unsatisfactory Services provided to the Client by third parties or by way of indemnity or in tort or otherwise, for any loss, injury, damage, delay, change in schedule or other adverse events which are beyond the control of Gold Backed Travels & Tours and/or sustained by an act or default of any person or company providing the Services to the Client. The Client/Agent warrants that Gold Backed Travels & Tours shall not be responsible and/or liable for additional expenses and/or damages incurred due to any delay, accidents, natural disaster, political action or unrest.
All disputes, claims and litigation regarding the Services shall first be settled by way of negotiation and mutual understanding. In the event such negotiation and mutual understanding would fail, the disputes, claim or litigation shall be finally settled by arbitration of the Union of Myanmar. All claims must be submitted in writing within 30 days after the end of the Services.
Gold Backed Travels & Tours reserves the right to substitute hotel and means of transportation of the tour if such changes as may be necessary due to circumstances.
Gold Backed Travels & Tours acts only as an agent for the passenger in regard to travel whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, plane or any other means of transport.
Gold Backed Travels & Tours will not be liable for any personal injury, property loss or other damage to any tour member sustained on the tour or otherwise. The acceptance of the initial service to be provided under the tour shall be considered an acceptance by the tour member of these conditions.
(i) TERMS OF PAYMENT
Full payment to be made (30) days before the commencement of tour.
No Cancellation Fees - If cancelled 25 days before the commencement of tour.
25 % of total Room charges cancellation fees if cancelled within 25 days
50 % of total Room charges cancellation fees if cancelled within 15 days
100 % of total Room charges cancellation fees if cancelled within 7 days
TELEPHONE & FAX:
Overseas call can be patiently made through operators. IDD phone can be available at some telephone offices, companies and hotels.
Internet & Email service available at some large hotels.
POST & TELECOMMUNICATION
Central Post Office, corner of Bo Aung Kyaw Street and Stand Road, Open 9:30 am to 2 pm. Make international calls, send telexes and faxes at the Central Telegraph Office, 125 Pansodan Street, Yangon.
Radio Myanmar is on the air in English from 8:30 hours to 9:00 hours in the morning, 13:30 hours to 15:00hours in the afternoon and 21:00 hours to 22:30 hours in the evening.
Myanmar Radio and Television committed to serving State and public interests, all of them using the information superhighway and uptodate, sophisticated information technology, in order to implement the tasks, books, journals and periodicals are published through the print – media and electronic media. And the State-owned news papers are published. In order to enable the world to know the true facts of Myanmar, new MRTV – 3 Channel was introduced on 19.8.2001. MRTV has been carrying out commercial advertising services.
Myanmar Radio & Television (MRTV)
TV Myanmar with NTSC System, TV Program start from 16:00 hours to mid-night and Satellite News at 20:45 hours in the evening. On every Saturday and Sunday, TV Myanmar starts from 08:30 hours to 09:30 hours. In the afternoon from 12:00 hours 14:30 hours.
This TV Station transmits every day 07:00 hours to 08:20 hours in the morning and 16:00 hours in the evening to mid-night.
New 24 hours channel for local & foreigners.
CNN, CNBC, BBC, STAR, TV5, CCTV, SITV, etc.
The New Light of Myanmar is the only newspaper in English. Four Newspaper in Myanmar- “Myanma Alin”, “Kyemon” (the Mirror), “Myodaw” (evening tabloid in Myanmar) and “Yandanabon” (in Mandalay).
Over 100 from publish publishers.