Updated: Jul2013

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Myanmar has three seasons:
Cool Season – October through February with average temperatures 20-24 C
Hot Season – March through May with average temperatures 30-35 C
Green Season – June through September with average temperatures 25-30 C

Myanmar can be visited all year round regardless of the seasons. Even during the green season, Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers, while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and Southern Shan State is usually quite pleasant all year round, but cold at night from December to February.

We believe that we have the right contact details and prices for the hotels that we list on our website and in our documentation. Since June 2012 there have been 4 clear price increases in hotel costs. If you stay somewhere or know that our details are incorrect, then please take 30 seconds to email us to allow other travellers to stay informed.

As with the rest of Asia, lots of hotels have email addresses but few use them. If you are going to book ahead, then it is better to do this by telephone. In general the level of English is very good. Do this from your hotel reception and you'll have someone to help you as well.

There have been arguments in several forums on-line whether to book well in advance (3-6 months). In our experience, it can work but you MUST contact the hotel again at least 3 days ahead of arrival to make sure you have your booking still; if a large tour group books in then they will cancel your reservation. We would normally do the big 4 and then play it by ear on the others.

Booking via and agent or Agoda?
Although this is strongly recommended by the travel guides, the only real benefit to this is that you can pay for it in advance of entering the country. You will pay a larger fee and can miss out on special offers such as free-pickup or breakfast. All of the hotels that we’ve booked in person, either by phone or by email, have confirmed our bookings without an prior payment, making the need for an agent superfluous.
If you do decided to book through

In July 2013, the average exchange rate was 1 US$ = 980Ks. Before passing through customs at the airport there is a government service offering generally the best rates to the US$. Banks are now accepting US $, European €, Singapore $ and FEC (but only at banks outside of the airport). is still one of the best websites out there for checking international exchange rates.

As with the banks if you are changing currency with the hotels/ black-market, then you will get a better exchange rate for $100 bills than $50 bills descending accordingly. Black-marketeer’s hang out near most of the tourist attractions; the exchange rates they offer is only just above the XE value, so you have to consider yourself if this is worth the risk!? For us, not.

The general rule of thumb is to keep you currency in pristine condition (a suitably sized pencil case has proven ideal for this task and it fits under your pillow at night!). Every site that we’ve visited had plenty of dollars to be able to give change. Be prepared to hand back currency that you are not happy with. The best places to use your worst dollar notes are at sites where you have to use US$ as an entrance fee.

Branches of Yoma Bank are now accepting slightly soiled/ marked dollar bills for exchange, though you must also give them some nice notes at the same time! In addition, we’ve been told by a local guide that they also give a better rate of exchange for smaller notes than other banks. 

ATM Machines
Currently KBZ and Co-op have ATM’s that will accept International cards, though not all machines. We have listed branches that have external ATM machines in anticipation of the future. If you spot one, then please email us. US sanctions have started to ease so hopefully soon travelers will have access to all currency machines directly. A withdrawal charge of 5,000K is applied though.

Opening times for banks and dedicated currency exchange outlets differs. Banks are generally open Monday to Saturday from 0900-1500, though not all exchange currency (closing at 1400 on Saturday). Dedicated currency exchange outlets (such as KBZ) are open 7-days a week from 0900-1500, closing early on Saturday and Sunday at 1400. Banks are closed on full-moon festivals.

Euro or Dollar?
There’s much debate on the Internet about this topic – hopefully if you’re travelling from the Euro zone, this will help set your mind at rest.
All hotels charge in US$ or occasionally they will accept Kyats. You will always get a better rate by paying in US$. We’ve not heard of any hotel that has an issue with handling $100 bills. The money that they give you in return has already passed the scrutinous eye of the hotelier; that said, check them again yourself.
All sites of interest require US$ and when they do accept €, they are treated like for like (i,e. $5 = €5), so it makes sense to pay in US$. The best places to use your worst dollar notes are at sites where you have to use US$ as an entrance fee.
Comparing the exchange rate of the US$ and the € against the GB£, you will get 47 Kyats more for your money exchanging € as opposed to US$. So if you’re travelling from the Euro-zone, bring some along for exchange

In summary, you will need US$ for hotels and sites, but bring your € for exchanging into Kyats.

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Some countries are now allowed to arrange a visa-on-arrival. You still need to organise this BEFORE you travel. Also, some airlines, such as AirAsia may refuse to allow you to travel. They have financial an obligation to take you back to your port of origin if your visa is not accepted, so they are not keen on e-visa's. Check with your embassy in advance and beware of scams. Our advice, if you can arrange it in advance and have it in your passport, then do! 

Questions and Answers
Do I need a visa before departure?

How do I get a visa?
You must apply in person at the Myanmar embassy for applications in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur or in person/ by post in the UK. 

Is it possible to apply online?
Not for all countries and even so, some airlines will not let you travel without the visa. You can check online but still the price for arranging the visa on entry is more than purchasing it in advance.

What do I need?
You must complete the application form available at the embassy and provide them with:
Two passport photos
A photocopy of your passport

How long does at the process take?
Completing the form at the Myanmar embassy in Thailand was very quick (15 minutes) but this depends on how busy it is. Your visa will be ready within two working days. If you want a same day visa you need to be at the embassy first thing when there can be more of a queue. See the table below.

How much does it cost?
It depends on which processing time you choose. See the table below

Is it possible to extend my visa once I have arrived?
No. The maximum stay in Myanmar for a tourist is 28 days.

Can I come straight back to Myanmar after departure?
Your visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue. This means that you can only enter the country once, for 28 days, within those 3 months. You cannot apply for another visa until after the 3 months have expired.

Application & Costs
Bangkok, Thailand (payment in Thai Baht).
  • Bangkok Visa Application

    Visa Duration

    Processing Time


    US$ Equivalents


    28 Days

    Express – Same Day

    1210 Baht





    Next Day

    1035 Baht





    Two working days

    810 Baht




    Embassy Information



    Contact Details

    132 Th Sathon Neu, Bangkok

    +66 (0) 2233 2237



    Opening Times

    Open Mon – Fri (closed for Thai and Myanmar public holidays)

    Application: 09:00 – 12:00; Collection: 15:30 – 16:30



    Getting there

    The Myanmar Embassy is in the Silom/Sathon area of Bangkok.

    Tha Sathon (Central Pier) is the closest boat station, then a 30 minute walk or two stops on the Sky Train.

    Surasak is the closest Sky Train station (Silom Line)



    Posted 30 Jun 2013, 21:59 by Elli Murr
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The office has now changed from the embassy in the Jalan Ampang area of KL to the more central location of Masjid Jamek. This has been outsourced to Ever Fine Travel & Tour. This is a few minutes walk from the Central Market and China Town area of KL. Alternatively, take the LRT there. It is located south of the station before the HSBC bank. Check out our map for more information. [Map]

Opening times: 0900-1800
Fees: RM140

To apply, they request the following:
completed application form
two photographs
one A4 photocopy of your passport

For the same day service, you must drop off your passport before 1230; collection between 1600-1700hrs. You will also need one A4 photocopy of your return flight ticket.

United Kindgdom
To apply for a VISA in the United Kingdom send a special delivery envelope off addressed to the 
Visa Department, 
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, 
19A Charles St, Mayfair, 
London W1J 5DX. 

Inside this place separately sealed envelopes sufficient for the number of applications.
Also include:
2x copies of the visa application form completed. 
2x Normal UK standard Passport size photographs
1x Passport (minimum 6 months validity)
1x postal Order for £14 with recipient left blank
1x return pre-paid special delivery envelope

As with most countries in Asia, when applying for a visa they request a hotel name and address. Any will suffice as this is just a formality.

You can download the visa application form [here].

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Email/ Web access
Although some hotels have email addresses, the practicality of it is that they don’t have dedicated internet access themselves or they just don’t check their emails. Other than a few services, most web sites are available. Internet connections can be slow and intermittent in more remote towns.

Postcard stamps now cost 500Ks/ also can be used for a letter up to 20g - no longer a good deal Postcards generally cost 1,000Ks for 10 (unless you’re in Inle Lake area, then expect anything up to 6,000Ks!).

Mobile Phones
SIM cards can be picked up from most mobile phone shops in Yangon and other major cities. Minimum purchase we’ve found has been $20, and that’s with $20 credit for your phone. Be aware though that you may be shown a list of numbers (these are normally "special" numbers that have some Asian significance and these cost more!). There’s no internet/ data access at the moment as this requires a contract. Some hotels do offer a "local" sim card for around 5,000Ks. For obvious reasons, we've not listed any of these but do ask at the reception of your hotel.

Note - this is a changing country and mobile phone access is something that is expected to change quickly. If we're wrong, then please update us!

Telephones/ Land lines
Your hotel will give you access to a telephone, generally for about 200Ks/ min to make hotel bookings; the nicer ones won’t charge at all. You can use the telephone stalls on the streets, but using your hotel at least means that someone will end up talking to you in English. All of our telephone numbers contain the area code. For international calls add +95 and omit the starting 0. 

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Basic Costs

1l Bottle of water 300–400Ks. Supermarkets though you can pay as little as 120Ks 
Glass of draught beer 600 - 800Ks
Big bottle of beer 1,200 – 2,000Ks + 
Market/ street food noodle soup/ noodle salads 500Ks- 1,000Ks
Meat dish in a restaurant 2,000Ks-3,000Ks
Rice/noodle/vegetable dish in a restaurant 1,000Ks- 2,000Ks
Almost all the intercity buses we took cost between 10,000 - 20 ,000Ks

Only drink purified bottle water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide it on a  complimentary basis. Carry a bottle with you throughout the day.

No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area. Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc. Please contact us if you would like detailed information on emergency health services available.


Hotels do not have mosquito nets and do not have the fixtures to hang your own. Even if your hotel room doesn’t have a window and seems mosquito proof they will find a way in. You can pick up mosquito coils, or electronic plug-ins in all supermarkets and many of the local shops and these will generally offer enough protection in your room. Coil’s cost 2-300Ks and plug-in’s a little more. Repellent is harder to come by, though is available, so it is advisable to bring your own.

We’ve given each city a percentage rating. So for example, Yangon gets a rating of 80% meaning that you’ll need some form of protection 80% of the time.

Bagan             20%
Bago               30%
Mandalay         20%
Nyaungshwe    30%
Pyin Oo Lwin    20%
Yangon             70%

Border Crossing Rules

Land border crossings
All travellers entering Burma/Myanmar are required to exit the country through the same border. E.g. people entering the country from Tachilek will have to leave through Tachilek. Departure flights from any airport or an exit from other border crossings are not allowed. 

All land border crossings into Myanmar give only restricted access to the border areas. Usually your passport will be kept at the border until you leave Burma. Land border crossing points:
Tachilek (Burma Shan State) – Mae Sai (northern Thai border) Tachileik
Muse (Burma Shan State) – Ruili (China border)
Tamu (Burma Chin State) – Morei (India border)
KawThoung (Burma Tanintharyi) – Ranong-Kawthoung (southern Thai border)

The only way to visit all of Myanmar (except the restricted area's), is to enter and exit Myanmar by air. This can be either Yangon or Mandalay Airport (AirAsia offer a service from Bangkok allowing you to fly into Mandalay and out of Yangon (or vice versa). From Kuala Lumpur you can only fly to/ from Yangon). You can fly to Yangon and leave from Mandalay airport, but you cannot fly to Yangon or Mandalay and then leave via a land border.

In the past, flying to Kengtung/ Tachilek and then exiting through the Tachilek border required a pre-arranged MTT permit (in addition to the standard visa) which could be bought in Yangon at the MTT office and took a long time for approval. It seems this has been discontinued. 

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    Posted 3 Jul 2013, 03:14 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Sidebar
    Free Shuttle Bus at Mandalay Airport
    A free shuttle bus has been introduced for AirAsia customers in Mandalay. This service provides a free bus transfer between Mandalay Airport to Mandalay Downtown and vice versa. 

    1. How much is the fare for the transfer bus? 
    It’s free for all AirAsia guest. 
    2. How do I get the free transfer? Who are entitled to the free service? 
    AirAsia guest can present their inbound boarding pass, flight itinerary and their passport. 
    Service is only available on actual date of the flight as specified on boarding pass 
    3. Where do I find the service? 
    At Mandalay Airport: Exit gate of Arrival hall 
    In Mandalay City: Street 79 near Mandalay Palace (between 26&27) 
    4. How long is the shuttle bus ride between Mandalay airport to downtown Mandalay? 
    Approximately 1 hour depending on traffic conditions.

    Posted 16 Jul 2013, 19:24 by Elli Murr
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  • Travel Guides
    Over 1,000 downloads of "A travellers Guide to Myanmar"

    We've had over 27,000 hits in just 7 months! For some, that's nothing, for the charities we support, approx. 2% of our visitors visit on.Which means all of our hard work is worth it. 

    Looks like we'll be publishing an update to "A Travellers Guide to Myanmar" in September ready for the new season. And already we have Peter and Anne from Balmain, Sydney Australia on board to give us updates for their pending trip in October.

    So we have "
    Fish out of Water" and "Powered by Noodles" and now "Cool for Cats" set to update us in Myanmar. Can you get any more up-to-date?

    Free guides and downloads.
    Posted 24 Jul 2013, 21:12 by Elli Murr
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

You will be directed to an Email window. 
If not, then email: volunteer@

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  • Myanmar: The true land of smiles?

    Powered by Noodles

    "Trip report March 2013" 
    Chelsea & Laim
     give us a factual report on Myanmar. Read there blog for the finer points and this report if you want the hard facts. Great report. [more]

    Time Travel Turtle
    "An unexpected journey to Twante"
    Michael Turtle 
    is a journalist turned traveller; and it is clear in his writing. One of the best travel bloggers we've ever read. [more]

    Pia Regan
    "Teaching English in Lasio"
    Pia really gives some inspiration to get off of the beaten path and to just get stuck in and help where you can. Thanks to Pia for allowing us to re-publish this blog. [more]


    Cycling in Inle

    "A return trip to Inle" 
    Daniel Fisher returns to Inle to take to the bike and investigate the local temples, vineyard and villages. [more]


    Back again!
    "Travellers report February 2013"

    Martin Clarke's second trip to Myanmar in 6 months and once again we're getting hard facts with a few opinions. Useful and solid information. [more]


    Honeymooning in Myanmar?
    "Travellers report February 2013"
    We weren't at the wedding but we're really pleased that we could help with their honeymoon planing. Thanks for the report. [more]










    Yangon City Calling!

    "Visiting Yangon but not the temples?"

    Wendy Merrett reflects on visiting Yangon again but without visiting the temples? [more]


    Maing Thuak Orphanage
    "Exploring the countryside of Nyaunghswe" 
    Steve Lyons takes a cycle ride of off the beaten track to visit an orphanage. [more]


    18 Days

    "A travellers report"
    Suzanna Clarke shares her 18 days of solo travel with us from December 2012.[more]









    Biking in Bago

    "A day trip from Yangon to cycle around Bago."

    Daniel Fishers's first proper blog took that many hits we managed to talk him into writing another one for us.

    City Maps
    The map for Bago follows the route described above for cycling. And now the "map man" is back from Myanmar all of our others will be updated soon.

    To go or not to go? 

    "Myanmar, or Burma as it's known in old money"

    Wendy Merrett writes about her thoughts about visiting Myanmar with the current political wranglings that
    pose a question for us all.


    Inle Lake, Myanmar 

    "Slouching kittens, Hidden (jumping) cats"

    Join Martin Clarke and friends as they take to the waters of Inle Lake for a day of fisherman, gardens, temples and some lazy cats... [more]

    Must see!

    Want to see the world through someone else's eyes, or at least their lens? Check out our Must see! pictures of Myanmar. [more]

    Trekking from Kalaw to Inle.

    "4 non-blondes on the way to Inle”

    Ruby Hood decides to walk to Inle rather than taking the bus? Two days and one night... [more]


    Posted 23 Jul 2013, 18:21 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Charities: The Leaping Lemur Group
    There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. That said, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted beneath, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've downloaded, then look into some of these worthy causes.
    Elli xx

    The Burma Children’s Fund supports orphanages and pre-schools in various parts of Burma in order to provide shelter, health care and education for orphans and children. We will only support orphanages, clinics and pre-schools for infants and younger children where we know that the staff are dedicated and that the money they receive is spent on the children and for the direct benefit of the children. Children in Burma cannot control their own destiny and this is why our goal is “To Support their Future". [more] 

    Burma Campaign UK
     works for human rights, democracy and development in Burma.Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma, and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. Founded in 1991, Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma,  and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. [more]

     works with marginalised urban children and youth, their families and communities to become productive, independent citizens of their country. We do this by listening to and being guided by those who matter the most to us - the children and youth we work with everyday. Friends-International has been assisting marginalized urban children and youth across the world since 1994. We now run and support projects for these children and their families in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Honduras, Mexico, Egypt and Myanmar. Friends-International and its partners reach out to over 50,000 marginalised young people -particularly street children and youth – each year. We offer a range of comprehensive services as part of our holistic approach to assisting children and their families to improve their lives. [more]
    Compassionate Hands is a home-grown charity, founded by Snow Aye after the cyclone Nargis struck the southern delta region of Myanmar on 2nd May 2008. Since the start of Compassionate Hands, many people have volunteered to help realise various projects, ranging from emergency relief efforts after the Cyclone, to digging wells and helping children with AIDS. Many volunteers are from Myanmar itself, but also foreigners from other Asian countries, the United States and Europe are involved.... [more]
    Posted 27 Jun 2013, 20:17 by Elli Murr
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  • A sample from our facebook page. Follow us for regular updates.

    Garden of Reflection,
    Chiang Mai, Thailand:
    There is no glory for a lazy person however good looking

    Krabi Thailand:

    Solitude and silent reflection seems to be moving with the times

    Almost Famous,
    Pai, Thailand:

    Toilet humour, bar humour and a great quiz.
    Posted 26 Jun 2013, 21:11 by Elli Murr
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