A COUNTRY OF AMAZING DIVERSITY
Myanmar sits at the crossroads of India, China and Thailand and stretches from the southern Andaman Sea up into the eastern Himalayan Mountain Range. This is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the region and remains relatively untouched by modern intervention, and is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction. Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is the main point of entry to the country and the largest city and offers a fascinating mix of rundown colonial buildings, impressive Buddhist temples, upmarket hotels and lively markets. The ancient city of Bagan houses hundreds of magnificent temples and is best explored by bicycle or horse and cart and offers excellent photographic opportunities. Elsewhere across the country you will find wonderful archaeological sites and ancient cities with stunning 2000-year old pagodas, dense forests and beautiful mountain trails, stilted villages, Buddhist cave art, friendly people, 13 different ethnic groups providing a rich array of cultures, and relatively untouched coastal resorts. The countries rivers, particularly the Irrawaddy, are crucial to the existence of the people and therefore it is also recommended to spend time on the river with options ranging from luxury cruises to more affordable tourist boats operating between Bagan and Mandalay.
Flight Time: Approx. 13 hours to
Time Difference: GMT +6½ hours
Currency: Burmese Kyat
Area: 261,000 sq miles
Total Coastline: Approx. 1,200 miles
Population: Approx. 53 million
Capital: Naypyidaw (Some nations still recognise Yangon/Rangoon)
Myanmar has a monsoon climate with three main seasons with the hottest period being between February and May, when it is generally dry with little or no rain and temperatures can rise above 40°C. The wet rainy season is then generally from May to October, whilst between October and February it is cooler but also still generally dry. The coastal areas and the mountains experience a lot more rainfall than the arid central plains and places such as Mandalay and Bagan. During the rainy season many roads are impassable in the mountainous regions.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
You can basically visit Myanmar year-round, although the best time to visit is during the dry season between November to May, although for cruising it should be noted that the river levels can be low towards the end of the dry season, which means that the cruise boats have to travel slower.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. Malaria prophylaxis is also required in most areas except Yangon or Mandalay. Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. British passport holders also need a visa to enter into Myanmar for stays of up to 28 days. You can now apply for your Visa online before you travel. This E-visa system is through the Myanmar Ministry of Immigration and Population. Click here to apply.
The visa approval will be sent to you within 7 days from the application. You will then need to print this visa approval off to show to the immigration staff at Yangon International Airport together with your passport. The visa is then valid for 3 months for a single entry only and the maximum stay in Myanmar is 28 days. The cost of the visa is US$50 per application (charged through your credit card).