Traveling during monsoon season is not difficult in the proposed areas. Rainfall in Central Myanmar, including Bagan and Mandalay, is very moderate while Yangon receives more precipitation. Besides the substantially lower prices, visitors will benefit from greener and less crowded tourist sites. Beach holidays, however, are less recommendable during this period. The Western part of the country including its coastal area is exposed to the southwest monsoon and rainfall there is heavier than in Central Myanmar.
PASSPORT AND VISA
Visitors to Myanmar must have a valid passport and obtain a Tourist Visa from a Myanmar embassy or diplomatic mission abroad. Two application forms and three passport-size photos will be needed. The fee is approximately US$
30 in local currency.
For visa procurement in Bangkok allow two working days, longer if national holidays are involved.
The Myanmar government might change visa regulations at short notice.
POST AND COMMUNICATION
Postal service in Myanmar to date is unreliable; letters and postcards to overseas sometimes do not reach their destinations. Most hotels have IDD lines, but calls are very expensive with average costs of a call to Australia, Europe and USA approximately US$ 9 per minute. Public phones that use pre-paid phone cards or 'callback' systems as well as public Internet/Computer service centers are not available in Myanmar.
FRI 04 JAN Independence Day
TUE 12 FEB Union Day
SAT 02 MAR Peasants' Day
WED 27 MAR Armed Forces Day
THU 28 MAR Full-moon Day of Tabaung
SAT 13 APR Thingyan Festival & Myanmar New Year
SUN 14 APR Thingyan Festival & Myanmar New Year
MON 15 APR Thingyan Festival & Myanmar New Year
TUE 16 APR Thingyan Festival & Myanmar New Year
WED 17 APR Thingyan Festival & Myanmar New Year
WED 01 MAY May Day
SUN 26 MAY Full-moon Day of Kason
FRI 19 JUL Martyr's Day
WED 24 JUL Full-moon Day of Waso
(Beginning of Buddhist Lent)
MON 21 OCT Thadingyut Festival of Lights
(End of Buddhist Lent)
TUE 19 NOV Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights
FRI 29 NOV National Day
WED 25 DEC Christmas Day
Large parts of Myanmar are now open to foreign visitors. Access to some remote or border areas, however, is still subject to government or military permission.
Best buys include lacquer wares, silver, wood and stone carvings, hand-woven silk and cotton, gems, "Kalaga" embroidered tapestries, traditional puppets and tribal handicrafts.
Jewelry is generally not up to international standards for design and workmanship and buyers should check that 'gold' is not, in fact, gilded silver. All gem and jewelry purchases should be made through a government-authorized dealer, who must issue an official receipt, which is required for export of such items.
Bargaining is essential for all souvenir shopping, if travelers are to obtain reasonable prices. Possible price reductions of up to 50% are not uncommon.
Widely practiced, in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges shown on bills. Porters expect approximately
500 Kyat per bag, slightly more at airports.
For all tours and transfers inside the country. In remote areas, however, air-conditioned vehicles may not always be available and travelers should be advised that the quality of roads varies throughout Myanmar from reasonable to bad. Due to road conditions, long distance overland travel generally takes longer than the traveler might expect - averaging only 40-50 km/hr.
The boat trip between Mandalay and Bagan (daily, except on Wednesday and Sunday) takes about 8 hours (depending on the river conditions, it might take longer).