Myanmar, a country that has opened its doors and focus on welcoming visitors to her country. The land filled with plentiful of raw resources (Rubies, Diamonds, Oil, etc) and natural wonders such as Ngwe Saung Beaches, Golden Rock, Mandalay Hills, Snow Capped mountain in Putao Region or how about experiencing one of the world most adventurous stretch of railway lines constructed magnificently on high mountain regions.
Myanmar has 3 seasons in a year.
Cold Season : Mid Oct to Mid Feb (Best time to visit Myanmar, cooling weather!) please note that it can be very cold at night for places in Putao region and Inle Lake (popular tourist attractions). Do bring along thick winter clothing.
Summer Season : Mid Feb to Mid May (Temperatures may be scorching in Yangon as high as 40 degree but usually is only in the afternoon for short period of time. Other than that, places in Northern Myanmar or highland still enjoy relatively cooler climate)
Rainy Season : Mid May to Mid October (It will be rainy in lower part of Myanmar like in Yangon. But places in Mandalay experience lesser amount of rainfall, so one can still visit such area even thou is rainy season.)
The national currency is call Kyat (pronounced as “chat”) It comes in K1000, K200, K100, K50, K20, K10, K5 & K1 denomination notes. Usually, one can use Singapore, Euro, Pounds, US Dollars preferably to change into local Kyat. It is not advisable and perhaps even difficult to find Kyat in your country. So you can always change it at Yangon International Airport after you had claimed your luggage. The rates offered are competitive and is very convenient since you may require some small change to take transport or give tips to porters along the way to hotel. However, an interesting fact and important to note that should you be bringing in USD dollars to change, please ensure the notes are neat, crisp and look brand new. Even if there is a fold at one of the corner, the money changer might refuse to exchange it. I have personally experienced that.
Most visitors arriving into Myanmar do require VISAs. I would say this might be one of the major deterrence to its tourism industry.
2 ways to apply Myanmar Tourist VISA:
First Way: Should you have a status in Singapore (E.g. Singapore Citizen, work permit holder, PR) you can directly go to Myanmar Embassy in Singapore to apply. By doing so, it will be cheaper as one only pay SGD$35 (visa fees) + SGD$10 (admin fees)= SGD$45.
However, you have to book an appointment first on the Myanmar Embassy website. Log on to: http://www.mesingapore.org.sg/visa.html
Book an appointment, fill up the details online. They will send you an email with the confirm appointment timing. Go to the embassy early (between 8am-9am, wait for your queue number to be call). Submit the documents with your passport.
Most likely, you will receive notification to collect your passport on the very same day in the evening around 4pm onwards. It can be done all within one day, easy & quick!
Second way: If you want to save the hassle, you can also chose to submit online at this website: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm
Get eVisa Approval Within 4 Steps
1) FILL IN THE SECURE ONLINE VISA FORM
2) CONFIRM AND PAY (Use your credit card to make payment online)
3) GET APPROVAL LETTER WITHIN 3 DAYS via Email. (Print out the approval letter and bring along with passport. You will need to present it upon arrival.)
4) GET EVISA STAMPED UPON ARRIVAL (See below floorplan of Yangon Airport upon arriving.)
You will come down by the escalator as indicated by No 1 in the picture. Go to Area No 3 (right hand side of the hall) and show your E-Visa Letter approval.
As Myanmar is a predominant Buddhism country, one have to dress modestly in most areas especially visits to pagodas worship areas. The best way is to dress in long pants and non sleeveless shirt. Skirts should not be worn. And follow the local way to wear slippers. You need it because of the weather (Too hot or rainy weather, slippers is the best choice). In addition, when entering temple/pagoda, you can conveniently remove/wear it.
Removing shoes is a sign of respect, and a requirement, along with socks, before entering every pagoda or temple
Destinations to Visit:
Myanmar is graced with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches along its 2,229km coastline along the Andaman Sea. In fact, most people would have heart of Phuket in Thailand. It share the same stretch of beautiful sea.
Filled with abundance of marine life, the beaches off Myanmar are definitely a must visit for diver enthusiastic. Don’t worry if you are not a diver as you would be in awe when you arrive at these resorts in Myanmar with the splendid crystal clear water in front of you.
If you found Phuket to be over touristy, you would be glad to discover that Myanmar beaches are a world apart with much lesser tourists and often you can have the whole crystal clear water beach to yourself! Of course, the challenge is to get to these beaches. But with domestic airlines and buses available, you need not worry much now.
Amazing Ngapali Resort
The #1 beach in Myanmar for tourist is Ngapali Beach, about an hour by air from Yangon. With its long, white sand beach, this beach has been priced as the most expensive resort in Myanmar. Room rates can be as high as USD$400 per night , but its all worth it as one will get to be pamper and experienced the good hospitality it offers just like your own private beach. The beach is about 6.4km from the Rakhine State town of Thandwe. The best time to visit the beach is mid October to May, when a number of airlines offer flights from Yangon. It is also accessible by road of course.
Ngwe Saung Beach
This beach is about an hour drive from Pathein and this would be your next choice should one find Nagapli Beach too expensive. This is where the locals normally goes to for seaside resorts. It may be slightly more crowded than Nagapli Beach. It can be reached by car from Yangon in 6 hours.
2) Pagodas/ Temples
Do you know that Myanmar has the most number of Pagodas in the world? Much more than the usual countries that most know in Thailand. Every township would need to build at least 1 pagoda in the area as what my tour guide told us.
In fact, the famous pagoda is located at the heart of Yangon. Shwedagon Pagoda with a rich history behind it. The pagodas alone would be a magical site to visit and makes one reflect on the teachings of Buddha. Many people chose to mediate at this site and one will know the reason why when you personally step there…
Voted by Lonely Planet as one of the must visit places in Year 2015 is none other than the land of Pagodas, Bagan in Myanmar.
3) Adventure ! Thrilling rides (Transportation)
If you seeking for adventure or perhaps an experience of a lifetime, head down to the Gokteik Viaduct on this amazing train journey.
Check out the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXFkV_N3Zvs&gl=SG&hl=en-GB
4) Natural Wonders
The Golden Rock or locals call it Kyaiktiyo, perched atop a cliff near Yangon. This is one of the most sacred sites in Myanmar. The great boulder precariously balances on the edge of a cliff and is topped by a small stupa.
5) Snow Capped Mountain Alps
Do you know Myanmar being situated in the Himalaya region has many high mountain peaks. In fact, many of them are not measure at this point of time thus they do not have a record of the height. If you do want experience snow, one can also do that in Myanmar (Putao region). And if you like water rafting, look no further than the challenges water rapid courses at Putao region.
Hidden treasures of Myanmar, taken during a hike in Northern Myanmar, 100km away from Putao.
This article was originally published by TheGuyTravel, a travel enthusiast who seeks adventure travels and aspire to visit exotic countries.
The original post can be viewed here.