Travelling in Myanmar and Things You Need to Know

In the past when Burma was ruled by the dictatorship, few people would have cared about such things like young Burmese punks’ tall Mohawks, unmarked cash or the purpose of a kissing sound in Yangon restaurants. But since this country opened its door for tourism, it shortly become a tourist hub in 2013 and still continues to thrive.

1. New Year Festival Lasts 4 days

The golden land not only attracts tourists for the diverse culture but also the outstanding monuments and beautiful beaches. Check out now to customize your dream trip to Burma or join in the lavish life onboard of Luxury Myanmar River Cruises to enjoy the once in a life time experience.

New year festival, also known as Thingyan – the water throwing festival, plays an important role in Burmese culture which is celebrated in April. Every banks, restaurants, stores, hotels will closed during this special occasion. People will spray water on each other because they believe that water will wash away the bad lucks and sins of the previous year. The biggest celebrations are held in Yangon and Mandalay.

On the last day of the festival, merit is shown as the people release the birds and fish and feasts will be prepared for monks.

Back from the day of destitution, staunch Burmese punks used the leather glue to spike up their hair then shave it off when the festival ended. Today, hairspray is used instead. 

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2. The Beaches are Incredible

Burma features more than 2,000 km of coastline along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea which are some of the most stunning beaches in Asia. Many of them still remain untouched and pristine as well as the perfect spots to watch sunset.

The most well – known stretch is Ngapali beach with the breath taking 2 mile palm fringed coastline. The beach can be reached from Yangon through a 45 minute flight. You can find a wide range of resorts here.

Ngwe Saung – the less famous stretch, also called Silver beach bear the amazing 13km coastline listing it in the top longest beach in Asia. It takes 5 - hour drive from Yangon to get to this wonderful unspoiled beach.

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3. The Internet is Slow

The Internet has been available in Burma since 2000 but not many people use it because of the high price and slow connection.

Under the former administration, many websites had been blocked such as Gmail and You Tube. Hence, the situation has been improved since the new authority took the charge and the chairman of Google Mr. Eric Smith has visited this country.

Mobile phones seem to be more popular in this country, however, the price is still higher than other neighbor countries in Asia. Local IT companies are trying their best to make progress in this industry. A new kind of SIM card is available for foreigners since June, 2015.

4. You Will Need Clean Notes and Plenty of Them.

Myanmar do not have many ATMs, therefore, tourists should bring a lot of cash, especially USD. You will get the best exchange rates with the 100 notes. 

Be careful with the notes you bring along because Myanmar has a very strict law on foreign currency. They will not accept the notes with marks, stains, tears or even folded. 

At the moment the country recently opened, there were only high - class hotels, restaurants and modern malls accepted the credit cards for a small fee added in the bill. But the situation is changing now.

Burmese currency is kyat, pronounced “chat” and you can get 1,366 kyat in exchange for $1US. The highest denomination is 10,000 kyat note (about 7.5 USD). So, keep in mind that when in Myanmar, your wallet will always be stuffed.

You might wonder that with that fat wallet, you will get into some trouble. Don’t worry. Most people in Burma follow the Buddhism, thus, they are very honest and the crime rate is pretty low in this religious country.

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5. How Can You Get a Beer in Yangon

What are you going to do to get waiter’s intention? Well, in Burma, especially in Yangon, they use the kissing sound – the sound to make when calling a cat. 

In the exciting 19th street, Chinatown, Yangon where both local and foreigners come to hang out and have a drink, you can hear a lot of that kissing sound. This street is a walking street with hundreds of vendors standing on either side selling all kinds of food, mainly BBQ. In addition, you can have all of that mouth – watering skewers with a delicious glass of Myanmar draught beer.

Here, you can see people from all walks of Burmese life but hardly a Burmese woman is spotted due to their customs and traditions. But that doesn’t mean foreign women are not welcome to this fascinating street. Feel free to enjoy the colorful and lilvely nightlife with tours in Yangon.

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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]