Myanmar / Burma
FEBRUARY 2021 – Our friends in Myanmar need us to listen and share the stories coming out of the country right now. When Myanmar suffered before, those that knew and loved the country were few outside of the country. Now thanks to a decade of tourism there are millions who have friends on the front line of the protests. If social media has any purpose it is to project the voices of the people on the front line loud and clear.
21.02.21 - This evening there is a serious sense of unease as the Generals have imposed an all day curfew and the internet is down for the next 10 hours or so. It looks as though the military are gearing up for a crackdown in Yangon. A clip shows military vehicles moving into the city. Roads being blocked, including the whole road between American and Korean embassies in Yangon. This area has been one of the most crowded places with protestors in previous days. Reports of military vehicles having been painted white and marked as police vehicles.
If any of you would like to connect with powerful stories from Myanmar and to help to project them loudly, please see the attached and contact us.
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"The most spectacular country, with the most wonderful people – organised with sensitivity and attention to detail. Classic highlights mixed with something a little different – all with the Panoramic Journeys touch that makes every trip so magical and eternally memorable."
There are no direct flights to Myanmar from Western Europe, USA or Australia. You have to go via Bangkok, Malaysia, Doha, or Singapore, from whence there are regular direct flights to Yangon. Qatar Airlines fly three times a week via Doha from the UK and is a very good option. The flight via Bangkok generally offers a greater choice of airlines and ticket prices vs. other routes and Bangkok is a great stop over. We have agent contracts with a flight consolidator, and can purchase flight tickets for you, we are also ATOL bonded.
You will need to talk to your doctor about vaccinations for the trip well in advance of departure. You should discuss getting vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis, as well as confirming that your vaccinations and boosters are up to date. Vaccinations for hepatitis B, rabies, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis and cholera are also sometimes recommended for travel in Burma. Exact requirements may depend on the regions you are visiting, activities you are participating in, and the length of time you are spending in the country.
You will need a visa to visit Myanmar, which will need to be obtained before departure this can be done by post or in person at the embassy. The e-visa system has recently launched and although more expensive can be done online and takes one week to process.
We design journeys that use locally owned hotels, restaurants and shops – come with cash to purchase Christmas and birthday presents for years to come! Give time to any cultural exchange that you have whether it be a conversation with a rickshaw driver, a chat with a crafts person or a exchange with a market stand holder. Don’t go rushing in with your camera poised.
Burma has three seasons:
Cool Season – October to February, with average temperatures 20-24ºC
Hot Season – March to May, with average temperatures 30-35ºC
Wet Season – June to September, with average temperatures 25-30ºC
The ideal time to visit Burma is during the cool season. However, even during the wet season, Yangon normally only receives morning and afternoon showers, while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and in Shan State is quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February.
Read more about When to visit Myanmar
Myanmar’s national currency is the kyat (pronounced ‘chat’), abbreviated as ‘K’ but US dollars are also widely accepted. Banknotes are available in the following denominations ranging from K1 to K1000. Only US dollars (and sometimes Euros and very occasionally GBP) can be exchanged in Myanmar. Take only crisp clean notes as these are most likely to be accepted.
Tipping is common place and US Dollars will be very acceptable. When you book a journey with us we will provide you with a detailed practicalities document with advice on appropriate tipping levels.
Electrical Plug Sockets
Sockets sizes vary across the country, so it is useful to travel with a set of multiple plug adaptors readily available at electrical and travel stores. Electrical supply in Myanmar is 230 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. Visitors are advised to check the voltage tolerance of electrical appliances (usually printed on the appliance) before using them.
What to Pack
Myanmar is obviously a large and climatically diverse country so giving advice on clothing is difficult; pack for the time of year! It is important to note that arms and legs must be covered when visiting religious sites and shoes must be removed. Insect repellant is important and anti-bacterial hand wipes will be very handy. A torch/flash-light and a sun hat will be useful and sturdy, comfortable shoes will help you enjoy your holiday.