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MYANMAR TRAVEL TIPS

 

Passport & Visa & Custom

Tourist Visa requirements : two application forms, original passport and three passport-size photos. Validity one month. Cost US$20. Processing time two working days. Regulations are now relaxed for tourists arriving by air in Yangon. Completed immigration and customs declaration forms issued during the flight must be submitted on arrival. All foreign currency in excess of US$ 2,000.-, plus jewellery, cameras etc. must be recorded on the customs form and may be checked on departure. No Myanmar currency may be imported or exported. Duty free allowance is 200 cigarettes and one litre of wine or spirit. Note that export of antiques, Buddha images and gems without official dealer's receipt, is strictly prohibited. Baggage may be X-rayed or inspected before departure. Mobile phones of any type will be impounded and released on departure

 

Exchange

On arrival at Yangon International airport, individual tourists are required to exchange a minimum of US$200 into 200 FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates). Any unused certificates from this amount cannot be refunded. Visitors booked on an inclusive group tour package are not subject to this requirement, but if they wish, they can also purchase FECs with US Dollars or Sterling. FECs are Myanmar's second legal tender and are issued by the Bank of Myanmar specifically for visiting tourists. They come in denominations equivalent to US$20, 10, 5 and 1. Payment for FECs is only accepted in US Dollars or Sterling, in cash or travellers cheques. (credit cards sometimes accepted) One US Dollar equals one FEC (the Pound Sterling equivalent fluctuates according to the Pound-Dollar variance). FECs can be spent anywhere in the country, or exchanged into kyats at officially authorised banks, bureaux de change, hotels and Myanmar Travel and Tour offices. Cash payments can also be made in US Dollars, but only at establishments (eg, hotels, railway stations, and airlines) that have an official license allowing them to accept dollars. The FEC system (and the possibility to pay in US Dollars at numerous establishments) largely eliminates the necessity to exchange national currencies into Kyat. It is advisable to carry small denominations, as large notes may be difficult to change.

 

Local transport

Yangon has a circular rail service and taxis with set fares. Myanmar's version of the trishaw (sai-kaa) is good for short trips. It is wise to pre-arrange fares.
Air Mandalay, Myanmar Airways and Yangon Airways operate internal flights to most towns. Scenic boat rides between Bhamo-Mandalay and Mandalay-Bagan can be arranged through tour agencies. Myanmar Railways provide services on several routes, the principal line being Yangon to Mandalay (travel time - 12-14 hours). Overnight trains have sleeping berths. First class is recommended. Traffic drives on the right. New privately operated buses are air-conditioned, operate several routes, and accept payment in Kyat, US Dollars or FECs.
 

Airport : Journey time to city approx. 20-30 minutes (20km) Shared local taxi approx. US$1 per person. Airport limousine approx. US$6 per person.

 

Airport tax : US$10 for international flights. No charge for domestic flights

 

Car hire : Self-drive generally not recommended. Requires international licence, which must be endorsed by the police. Chauffeur driven cars should be booked with reputable tour company.

 

Social

Names are preceded by a number of different titles. Ko is the general title for an adult male. U (pronounced oo) precedes an older or well-respected man's name, while Aung is used for younger men. A woman's name is preceded by Daw. A handshake is considered an acceptable form of greeting. Shoes are usually removed before entering a traditional home, though this may no longer be expected in modern city residences. Displaying the soles of the feet is considered offensive, as is pointing feet at people or objects or touching people on the head. Public displays of affection between men and women are frowned upon. Small presents are acceptable and appreciated, although never expected.

 

Tap water safety

Purified, bottled water is available everywhere.

 

Medical

No vaccinations required for a visit to Myanmar. Malaria prophylaxis no longer considered necessary. Inoculation against typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis desirable

 

Postal service

Post offices are open Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Letters to Europe/USA take 10/14 days.

 

Telephone

Local phones use tokens of 5 Kyat, which can be purchased at tobacco kiosks. Overseas calls are possible through operators at a Central Telegraph Office or at major hotels. Some hotels also have IDD.

 

Newspapers

"The New Light of Myanmar" and "The Myanmar Times" in English

 

Email/Internet

Email/computer services centres are available in Myanmar

 

SAO MAI TOURIST COMPANY LTD.

SAIGON OFFICE

HANOI OFFICE

R# 307 – 309 Cotec building , 7  Nam Quoc Cang

Disttrict 1 , Ho Chi Minh City

R# 304 North Star building , 4  Da Tuong St.

Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi

Tel. (84-8) 9253385 / 9253378

Fax. (84-8) 9253378 / 8395619

Tel. (84-4) 9423315 / 9423316

Fax. (84-4) 9423316 / 8647360

E-mail.  saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn

E-mail. saomaihanoi@fpt.vn

 

Website: http://www.saomaitours.com/  http://www.saomaitours.com.vn/   Contact: info@saomaitours.com or saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn