Travel Notes

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The following information is valid for all travellers.
Passports should have a minimum of six months validity from your date of arrival into Burma. It is vital that your air tickets show the same name as your passport. Please advise us immediately if the name on your booking form differs from the name on your passport and under which you will be travelling, otherwise this may cause complications on check-in.


Visas

Visas are currently required for entry into Myanmar (for a visit up to 28 Day). Visitors must hold proof of their return, or onward journey and a letter of invitation from our local supplier and this must be obtained prior to departure. Application for Entry visa into Myanmar may be made at any Myanmar Embassy or consulate. However, it is advisable to apply at the Myanmar Embassy or consulate of the traveller's country of residence. If that cannot be done, application at Myanmar Embassy at any other country would also be advisable. For the application process, the requirements of supporting documents and time taken for the application can be slightly varied in different Myanmar embassy in different countries; it is advisable to check with Myanmar Embassy before application.


E-Visa

Here can able to get E-Visa as well through on line, please kindly visit our link for your detailed information.


ARRIVAL PROCEDURES

On arrival in Myanmar our local representative will meet you (if you take the package tour service). Having collected your luggage, pass through customs and the representative will be waiting in the arrivals area. They will have a board with your name on. The representative will issue you with any necessary documentation, accompany you to your vehicle for the transfer to your hotel and assist with your hotel check-in procedure. If your tour involves any internal flights or coach journeys, you will be met at each new destination by a local representative in the same way and transferred to your hotel.
Declaration: Anyone bringing in more than US$ 2,000 and other valuable items such as jewellery, cameras and electrical equipment into Myanmar must declare this to customs upon arrival.


INSURANCE

It is mandatory for every client to have up to date travel insurance, including repatriation cover. Even if you choose not to take out our insurance policy we recommend that you have insurance at the time of booking to cover you against the possibility of cancellation. It is very important that you have an up to date policy document with you when you travel so that you can refer to it in the event that you need to make a claim when abroad. Your insurance company may not assist with your claim if the instructions given in the policy have not been followed.


HEALTH

Immunisation: Please contact your doctor or local travel clinic for advice before departure. Although inoculations are not compulsory, immunisation against tetanus, typhoid, Hepatitis A, tuberculosis and Hepatitis B is recommended. A certificate is required for travellers over 1 year of age, arriving from yellow-fever-infected areas of Africa or the Americas. Please check if this will apply to you.
Malaria: Travellers to Myanmar are advised to take precautions against malaria. Please contact your doctor or local travel clinic before departure.
Water: Running water is rationed even in the capital Yangon. Please never drink from the taps whatever category of hotel you are staying in. Drink only bottled water and check the seal is secure when you receive it. There is no need to take water purification tablets, as it is easy to buy bottled water. In the bigger city hotels, ice is generally made from purified water and is safe to drink. However, ice in smaller restaurants and hotels may not be. Always check if you are unsure.
Food: Avoid eating and drinking local products from street vendors and restaurants with suspect hygiene or refrigeration practices. We would recommend avoiding salads that have been washed in tap water and peeling all fruit before eating it, to avoid any illness.
Medicines: Those taking medicine for conditions such as diabetes or heart problems should carry these in their hand luggage at all times in case the main luggage is delayed.
Illness: Please advise your guide if you are feeling unwell at any stage of your holiday. Our guides will then be able to offer you the assistance and arrange for any medical attention necessary.


TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

When travelling to new destinations, it may take time for children to become accustomed to the unfamiliar sights, sounds and tastes experienced. We do advise you to take extra care whilst away and to ensure that you supervise your children at all times. You and your children should take particular care around balconies, playgrounds and swimming pools. Please note, in some destinations medical assistance may not be available at the hotels or may be some distance away.


LANGUAGE

Myanmar (Burmese), English is widely spoken in tourist areas.


FOOD & DRINK

Food: Mild curries made with fish, chicken or mutton and lentil soup are the most popular dishes in Burma. Mohinga (noodles with a curried sauce and chicken or fish) is a typical breakfast dish. Salads are also a favourite of the Burmese with tomatoes and aubergine popular ingredients. Shan style noodle soup and steamed fish in banana leaves are specialities of the Shan state around Inle Lake.
Restaurants and hotels catering for tourists generally offer large portions of food; it may therefore be necessary to order only a main course meal.
Drink: Myanmar offers lovely freshly squeezed fruit juices, with lemon being the favourite. Many of the soft drinks are imported and are thus more expensive. The same applies to the alcoholic drinks. Myanmar beer is a good beer, but other well-known varieties are also available including Tiger and Heineken. Myanmar produces some wines locally and there are also some imported wines, but the selection is very limited and supply is unreliable so they may not always have the same wines ordered making wines lists sometimes inaccurate. It is best to ask the waiter what is available.
Prices: The following is a guideline per person
Meal in a hotel restaurant (4 or 5 stars hotels): US$25-35 for buffet meals or set menu, US$45-60 for an a la carte main course.
Glass of wine in a hotel restaurant US$5-8 per glass
Beer in a hotel restaurant: US$3-5 per bottle (Local Brand only)
Soft drink in a hotel restaurant: US$3-5 per glass
Meal in a local restaurant US$15 for a buffet meal or set menu, US$20~25 for an a la carte main course.
Glass of wine in a local restaurant: US$5-8 per glass
Beer in a local restaurant: US$3-5 per bottle (Local Brand only)
Soft drink in a local restaurant US$3-5 per glass


MONEY

Currency: Kyats (pronounced chats).
Exchange (official) Rate: US$1 = 5.76 kyats (April 2012) But current market rate is US$1 = 950 Kyats (round about)
Cash: US Dollars are the best currency for exchange. However, only crisp new notes, that have no markings and have not been folded are accepted and larger notes get the best rates of exchange into local currency. The best place to change your money is at your hotel.
Credit Cards and Cash Machines:
The cash machines are now available in Burma, but ATM machines are effective Only in Yangon at this point and only Burma Currency 'Kyats' will be issued from ATM.
The CB Bank ("Co-Operative" Bank), and KBZ Bank (Kanbawza Bank) offered ATM cash withdrawal services. The MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus Card holders can withdraw the cash from CB Bank, and Visa Cards holders from KBZ Bank.
A maximum limit allowed per transaction is Kyats 300,000 at a time. The cardholders can withdraw three times a day.
Except from some international hotels, Master card cannot be used at hotels and restaurants.

Remark: Some Visa cards issuing banks might restrict to its customers the use of the credit card in overseas and therefore, customers may require seeking the approval from the bank concern in order to do so.

Travellers Cheques: These are not accepted in Myanmar.

Airport Taxes: A departure tax of US$10 is payable before check in. A voucher will be issued as proof of payment.

Tipping: Wages in Burma are often low to avoid high levels of governemnt taxation and tipping therefore provides a most welcome supplement to an employees wages and ensures that the money goes directly to them. It is useful to keep a good supply of small denomination notes for tipping drivers and guides, as well as for small purchases. All porters at the Airports will be paid by your guides.

Guides (per day) 1-2 passengers: US$15
3-4 passengers: US$ 20
5-6 passengers: US$ 25
7-10 passengers: US$ 30
11-15 passengers: US$ 35
16-24 passengers: US$ 40

Drivers (per day) 1-3 passengers: US$10 4-7 passengers: US$15
8-12 passengers: US$20
13-25 passengers: US$25
Porters: US$1-2


CAMERAS

No refund shall be considered after commencement of the service includes in the program but not utiSome sites do not allow you to take photographs, others may charge 1-5,000 kyats and may charge extra for video recordings. Policies and costs change all the time so we are unable to include this in the holiday cost. Please observe local notices as some pagodas and temples do not allow photography, whilst other may ask for a payment. Please treat Buddhist images with respect and seek permission from monks before photographing them. Please do not take photogrpahs at or near airports, railway stations, police stations, military installations or government offices, as this may result in your images being confiscated.


DONATIONS

Donations of pens and exercise books are appreciated, but these should be given to the head Abbott of monastic education schools or to village heads, rather than handing out to children on the streets or individually. This enables donations to be shared equally. It is recommended that products to be donated are brought locally, as fancy looking or foreign pens are likely to be kept as souvenirs. We do not recommend handing out sweets or bathroom amenities as this encourages begging and stops children from going to school. Our local supplier can arrange for you to hand over donations at an appropriate location.


TRANSPORT

Flights: For your international flights please aim to check-in 1-1.30 hours prior to departure. For internal flights, our local representatives will advise you of the pickup time from your hotel. Baggage allowance for economy class is generally 20 kg.
On all flights, any sharp objects such as penknives, scissors or nail files stored in your hand luggage may be confiscated for security requirements, so these should be kept in your checked-in luggage to avoid delays.
In accordance with the recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there are aviation security control guidelines for screening liquids, gels and aerosols carried in cabin baggage on international flights. The ICAO security measures for cabin baggage of air passengers include.
All liquids, gels, aerosols in cabin baggage have to be carried in containers with a capacity not greater than 100ml. Liquids, gels, aerosols carried in containers larger than 100ml are not to be accepted, even if the container is only part-filled.
Containers have to be placed in a transparent re-sealable plastic bag of a maximum capacity not exceeding one litre. The containers must fit comfortably within the transparent plastic bag, which should be completely closed.


Domestic Travel

There are limited aircraft available to us to use and therefore flight times will always be early, due to the flight schedule and will depart around 5.30am to 9.00am. This is particularly the case for the flight from Yangon to Bagan. Some domestic flight tickets will be handwritten and some airlines cater e-tickets service, please ensure you stow these safely.


Road Transport

Road conditions are extremely poor. Many are dirt roads and even those that have a tarmac surface are often bumpy, dusty, narrow and littered with potholes. All vehicles that we use are in good condition and air-conditioned, but due to government restrictions on vehicle importing, they are all at least ten years old. Most are old Japanese right hand vehicles and are driven on the right hand side of the road.


CLIMATE

The best time to visit Myanmar is from November to March, when it is not so hot and rains the least. April is very hot and dry and from May to September is the rainy season, during which time some resorts close.


CLOTHING

Light clothing is recommended as most tourist areas are in the warmer climes of Burma. Long trousers, long shirts and long-sleeved shirts or blouses must be worn when visiting pagodas and monasteries. You will also be required to remove your footwear (shoes and socks) when visiting religious monuments.


SECURITY

Myanmar is generally a very safe country; Tourists may be followed by plain-clothes police officers for the first few Day to ensure that they are not intent on causing any trouble. The advice for visitors is to be aware and the following will lessen the risk to you and your belongings. Take the absolute minimum of valuable items with you. A camera is a necessity for most travellers but if it is possible to keep it in a jacket pocket, then do so. It is not advisable to take valuable jewellery.
Cash keep on your person should be kept to the minimum required for a particular excursion. Where possible, leave valuables, documents and passports in your hotel safety deposit box. Luggage is particularly vulnerable at airports or where crowds gather. Do not leave your belongings with any stranger even for a moment.
It is advisable to either carry a photocopy of your passport (and visa if applicable) with you whilst abroad, or ensure a copy is left with relatives in the UK. This will enable the local Embassy or High Commission to arrange a duplicate copy if the original should be lost or stolen. If you do take copies with you whilst abroad, please ensure these are kept separately to your original documents


SHOPPING

Jewellery made from jade and gold is a speciality of Burma. Handcrafted and decorated lacquer ware from the Pagan area makes a good souvenier. Silk is widely available and are made into items including sarongs, scarfs and ties, Amarapura offer the best value for money on silk purchases. Umberllas and fans made from Shan paper and other natural products including flower petals are also available in this area and can make wonderful gifts. NOTE: Gems and jewellery must have an official receipt before being exported.


Importing Goods

Please note that if you buy goods worth over US$145, you will be liable to pay VAT and duties on your return to the U.K. If an object is too large to bring back, or if you commission a piece to be sent to the U.K, you may have to collect this from Heathrow airport and pay storage fees for each day it is held there. Always check the levels of import duty for items you wish to purchase. Although shopkeepers may tell you no duty applies, this is not the case.


Shopping at non-EU airports and on board non-EU airlines

If you buy liquids or gels (duty free or not) at a non-EU airport and change planes at a EU airport, you should allow for the possibility that your purchases will be confiscated at the security checkpoint. This can happen with purchases you make on board an aircraft operated by an airline from a non-EU country.


RELIGION

The official religion in Burma is Buddhism.


DONATIONS

TIME DIFFERENCE


TELEPHONE

International Dialling Code: +95.


Hotels

Please note that hotels in Burma charge a heavy premium for making overseas telephone calls so it is advisable to check the rates with reception before making any call. Mobile Phones: Mobile phones that work in your country will not work in Burma. Now all GSM/CDMA mobiles are available for oversea calls. A local SIM card & Handset can be rent with US$ 3 per day + initial balance about US$ 12 equivalent to 10000 kyat (Which allows call duration to US about 10 minutes). Then top up afterwards. Internet Access: Internet access is unreliable and many websites including Hotmail are blocked. Many hotels charge for Internet use from US$2-3 per 30 minutes, US$3-5 per hour or US$1 per email sent. Patience is vital when using the Internet


ELECTRICITY

The electrical voltage in the U.K. is 230 volts, in Burma it is 220-230 volts. Electricity is rationed in Burma, even in the capital Yangon. Many hotels and restaurants have their own generators, but others rely on the government supply.

LOCAL ASSISTANCE

If you have a complaint regarding any aspect of your holiday arrangements, please advise the onsite representative / local agent as soon as possible. This will allow steps to be taken immediately to help you. Should you encounter any further problems, please do not hesitate to contact our office. #87, Level 6, U Kun Zaw Yeik Mon, U Kun Zaw Avenue, Hlaing Township, 11051, Yangon, Myanmar Te: (+95) 1 230 5003-7



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