Looking for a travel guide to Myanmar? I have put together everything you need to know before you go. Do I need a visa for Myanmar, where to stay, where to eat, the point of interests in Myanmar and more questions? Here is the magical Myanmar travel guide based on the things I experienced on my recent trip.
I am glad to say Myanmar was my country no 38. During my travels, I like to add luxury, nature, adventure, and off the beaten track experience wherever I can. So, get ready for all of this on this travel guide to magical Myanmar.
Tourism is only just starting to blossom on this ancient country, so it is still a good time to go and experience everything Myanmar has to offer.
Check out my “Myanmar” stories on Instagram.
Do you know Myanmar used to be called Burma and Yangon formerly known as Rangoon? From world famous pagodas to a tiny unheard village, mountain hikes to a 5-star luxury, long neck tribe to city life and more. It is exciting to explore this beautiful country as it hasn’t been long they have opened their door to foreigners.
With that in mind, let’s dive deeper.
Magical Myanmar Travel Guide – Everything you need to know
- Magical Myanmar Travel Guide – Everything you need to know
- E-visa: 8 steps
- Entering Into Myanmar
- Handy tips
- Is WIFI any good? What about the local sim?
- Where to book the cheap flights to Myanmar?
- Where to stay in Yangon?
- What to do in Yangoon? Where to eat in Yangon?
- How to travel from Yangon to Bagan?
- Where to stay in Bagan?
- Which are the best temples and pagodas in Bagan?
- What to do in Bagan? Where to eat in Bagan?
- How to travel from Bagan to Kalaw?
- Where to stay in Kalaw?
- What to do in Kalaw? Where to eat in Kalaw?
- How to travel from Kalaw to Inle Lake
- Where to stay in Inle Lake?
- What to do in Inle Lake?
- Where to stay in Mandalay, Myanmar?
- What to do in Mandalay, Myanmar? How to travel to Mandalay from Bagan?
- What I used to take these photos:
- Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera
- Accessories For Canon GX7 Mark ||
- GoPro HERO4 Silver
- Accessories For Go Pro Hero 4
- SanDisk 64 GB Memory Cards
- All-in-One Memory Card Reader
E-visa: 8 steps
- Go to the Myanmar eVisa homepage to begin an application. This is the Myanmar eVisa (Official Government Website)
- Check if you have a valid passport not expiring for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Myanmar.
- You will need one colour photograph (4.8cm x 3.8cm) taken within the past 3 months.
- Have a credit card handy to pay the US $50 application fee for the standard tourist visa, $70 for the business visa and tourist Express Visa $56
- Fill in the secure online eVisa form
- Confirm and pay
- Get an approval letter within 3 days
- Get visa stamped upon arrival
Remember you must travel to Myanmar within 90 days of receiving your eVisa or start the application process again. After the date of entry, you are permitted to remain in Myanmar for 28 days. While on the tourist visa, working isn’t legal in Myanmar.
The visa application fee is nonrefundable, so make sure that your information is entered correctly the first time and that your photo meets the specifications!
Many nationalities can take advantage of the Myanmar eVisa system but check here to see if your country is eligible if you aren’t sure.
If for some reasons, online e-visa didn’t work out for you or you require more than 28 days in Myanmar. The best option is to apply an old fashion way at your local Burmese Consulate or Embassy.
The application process could be affected by holidays in Myanmar which aren’t always fixed; sometimes they’re based on a lunar-solar calendar and may change from year to year. See this list of public holidays on the embassy website to know when they’ll be closed.
Entering Into Myanmar
You can enter Myanmar via one of the three international airports (Yangon, Mandalay, or Nay Pyi Taw) or by one of the three Thailand-Myanmar land border crossings (Tachileik, Myawaddy, Kawthaung).
Be mindful that there are several “restricted zones” in the country that tourists aren’t allowed to enter. If you are planning a land border crossing, do some research to ensure that border checkpoints aren’t closed or restricted.
Myanmar Currency = Kyat
Hello = Mingalabar
Bye = Tata
Thank you = Jujubae
Is WIFI any good? What about the local sim?
Wifi in most of Myanmar is slow and patchy. Outside the big cities like Yangon, it’s rare that a connection will be available beyond your room and you’ll usually have to sit near/next to/on top of the router located at your hotel’s reception to get speeds fast enough for email and social media.
I suggest grabbing a local sim card when you land at an international airport. I also receive a free 5 GB with it! It will take 5 minutes to set up (the network staff will do this for you) and pay extra a few dollars for data access. I chose Ooredoo, which gave great coverage and speed. You can read more about your network choices here.
Where to book the cheap flights to Myanmar?
Skyscanner lets you search “everywhere” to see where is cheaper to fly to and from! It also lets you search full month if you are flexible with dates. Momodo lets you filter by airline alliance, which is also helpful when trying to earn frequent flyer miles in a particular loyalty program. It also displays an overview of information about your route and the factors that affect the price.
Remember to use an incognito window for searching or clear your browser’s cache after searching to avoid price increases! But if you are using Skyscanner mobile app there is no need for incognito mode.
If you are after a proper travel resource. Read my travel tips here.
After years of full-time travelling, I’ve spent hours trying to figure out how to travel cheaper and better. This is a collection of the best travel resources when it comes to flights, accommodation, gear, travel insurance, and more. I have personally used all of those items listed and recommend to you.
Where to stay in Yangon?
The Strand is a beautiful 5-star hotel located in the heart of the city. A colonial beauty, this property was recently redone and it is spectacular.
Check and book your stay through Agoda, or Booking.
What to do in Yangoon? Where to eat in Yangon?
I have written a blog post dedicated to these questions. Read it here.
How to travel from Yangon to Bagan?
You can get there by train, private car or day/night bus. I opt for a night bus from Yangon to Bagan.
There are 3 types of buses available.
1. JJ (VIP)
2. Famous, (which is a premium) and
JJ seemed like the most trusted bus company with extendable seats, snacks, water and TV screen on each seat. Something worth mentioning is, in Myanmar, they say the economy is 2+2 and famous and JJ is 2+1. I was confused about what it meant and then I realised 2+2 meant 2 seats on both sides of the bus and 2+1 meant 2 seats on one side and 1 on another side of the bus. So, 3 seats in 1 row.
I booked the JJ bus with VIP option but the sound on my TV screen didn’t work and constant stopping for food and toilet didn’t make me feel like a VIP. Annoyed is what I felt! On hindsight, perhaps famous the premium bus may have been a better option. It comes with a toilet on the bus and snack and water as JJ. A blanket is provided on all 3 types of bus. Ask the reception to book it for you or walk to the nearest bus station.
Have Myanmar Kyat handy because as you arrive in Bagan, you have to pay money to enter Bagan Archaeological Zone.
Where to stay in Bagan?
Which are the best temples and pagodas in Bagan?
If you are after that perfect sunrise and sunsets spots. I got them in writing for you. Read it here.
What to do in Bagan? Where to eat in Bagan?
I have written 3 separate articles for the ease of planning. See them below.
How to travel from Bagan to Kalaw?
You can get there as above via buses Or you can hire a private car with an English speaking tour guide. Ask for quotes from various tour operators in town and go with the one that matches your interest.
Where to stay in Kalaw?
What to do in Kalaw? Where to eat in Kalaw?
Guide to off the beaten track Kalaw, Myanmar is here. Personally, I wouldn’t miss this place when travelling in Myanmar.
How to travel from Kalaw to Inle Lake
One option is to trek for 2-3 days.
But I had enough trekking done by this point, so, I opted for a 2 hours minivan ride. Turns out the minivan DOES NOT drop you off at the Inle Lake. It stops at Nyaungshwe, which is the town 20mins far from Inle Lake.
Something worth mentioning is, most Inle Lake tours leave from Nyuangshwe and, after a day exploring the lake, return to Nyuangshwe. It might sound nice to some but there is nothing to see here except the bars, restaurants, and stray dogs.
If you have met and chatted with fellow travellers in the minivan then you might be sharing the cost of the cab to Inle lake or if you are on your own, haggle a bit before agreeing on the final price. Cab price varies between 20000-60000 Kyat depending on the location of your hotel in Inle Lake.
Where to stay in Inle Lake?
What to do in Inle Lake?
Just a couple of days ago, I have put together Inle Lake Guide, things to do in Inle Lake, Myanmar. You can read here.
Where to stay in Mandalay, Myanmar?
There are lots of hotels in Mandalay from the budget ones, mid-tier to the boutique luxury ones. Choices are unlimited. So, after some research, I chose to stay at the hotel by the Red Canal. You can read the review of my stay here.
What to do in Mandalay, Myanmar? How to travel to Mandalay from Bagan?
If you are looking for things to do and see in Mandalay Myanmar, continue reading this blog post as I cover Mandalay travel tips based on my experience. This travel guide would also be a perfect fit for 1 day itinerary for Mandalay, Myanmar.
I hope this whopper of a blog post answered your questions and encouraged you to start planning your travel to Myanmar.
What I used to take these photos:
This has been my favourite Camera so far. I love how my pictures come out crisp and colourful. It also has a screen which is useful when vblogging. You can check out what I meant on my Instagram which is here.
Accessories For Canon GX7 Mark ||
Check it out here
This is the good old Go pro that I take with me everywhere. I recommend it because it is small, lightweight and waterproof. I have had made many memories with this trusted item and looking forward to more.
Accessories For Go Pro Hero 4
Check it out here
I have been using SanDisk since my first camera which was back in 2009. They build quality memory cards. I recommend getting at least two, just in case something happens to one of them.
Do you think it’s a hassle of plugging your camera into your computer? This memory card reader will fit cards of all sizes and make an easy transfer to your computer. The reader supports all popular SD memory card formats, including SD™/SDHC™/SDXC™ memory cards, UHS-I SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and microSDHC™/microSDXC™ memory cards. It is also compatible with the latest UDMA 7-enabled CompactFlash cards.
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Let me know in comments if you –
- have any other questions
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- You can find Bagan guide itinerary Day 1 here, Day 2 here and Day 3 here.
- If you need to book your accommodations, I have got a $55 discount with Airbnb for all my subscribers, get it here.
Alternatively, you can check prices and book it through trusted Agoda, or Booking
- If you don’t have your flights yet, check out ways to book the cheapest fares here, or here, but if planning and booking your trip is a hassle, let me help! Contact me now