THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING TO MYANMAR (BURMA)
Burma, or Myanmar as it is more commonly now known, just opened up their country after fifty long years. But although it’s been seven years since they officially open to the world, it is still far from it’s mainstream South East Asia country like Thailand, Laos or Malaysia. Fortunately, they’re still unspoilt (to an extent) to any western culture and that what makes your trip more wonderful and life-changing. So if were I you, consider visiting Myanmar now before the tourists flock in.
Aside from the tips and guides I got from my friend and from google, there are still things that amazes me when I set foot on the mysterious country.
So here are some of the basic facts you need to know about Burma (I like the sound of Burma more than Myanmar):
1. Burmese Kyat is the currency of Myanmar (Burma). You can also bring USD bills with you as most of the souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels accepts USD. But make sure that your USD bills are pristine and fold-free.
Where should you exchange your money in Myanmar?
To be safe and secure, you can exchange your money in the airport. As far as I can remember, they accept USD, Euro, Singapore Dollar and Thai Bhat.
Are there any ATMs in Myanmar?
Yes. But I suggest you consider this as your last option. I don’t know with you but for me, I’m quite uncomfortable withdrawing my money in a foreign land in a foreign ATM (not just in Myanmar). To be sure and safe, bring all the money you plan to use in a foreign country in cash.
Do souvenir shops accepts credit card?
I don’t know if all souvenir shops accepts credit card but at the jewelry shops we visited during our trip, yes they are.
2. Burmese is the official language of Myanmar. But locals, even the old ones, know how to speak English so you don’t have to worry about communicating with them.
3. Interact and converse with the locals! They are wonderful, friendly and warm! Our guides were very enthusiastic about introducing their country and culture to us and they want more people to visit their country! But of course, just like any other country (even here in the Philippines), please don’t forget to use your common sense and be aware of the scammers.
4. Yangon, formerly Rangoon, is the largest city in Myanmar. It was Myamar’s capital city until 2006 when they replaced it Naypyidaw.
5. Myanmar has two airports. Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport. Mandalay airport is the biggest and is closer to Myanmar’s famous tourist spots.
6. As mentioned earlier, Burmese people are still naively unspoilt to western culture. Don’t expect a Korean or even Filipino fashion style in Myanmar. Men wear skirts called Longyi. You can see them wearing “Longyi” everywhere, even in their high-end malls.
7. Women there has their own brand of make up called “Thanaka.” They said it also protects their skin from the sun.
8. Majority of the Burmese people practices Theravada Buddhism.
9. Wear proper outfit when visiting temples and monasteries. If you really want to wear shorts or sleeveless because of the hot weather, at least bring some shawl to cover up your bare parts.
10. You also need to take off your shoes or slippers when entering temples and monasteries.
There you have it! These are the basic info that I think you need to learn before your much awaited Myanmar trip.
To know more about my Myanmar trip, click HERE!