Here you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about adventure travel to Myamar (Burma) with Wildland Adventures. If your question isn't answered here or you'd like more detailed information, you can contact our Asia Program Director.
The official language of Myanmar is Burmese (known by the government as Myanmar). There are also many other ethnic groups in Burma such as the Mon, Shan, Pa-O who continue to speak their own languages, but English is widely used as well. On a Wildland Adventure, all of your lead guides will be bilingual and fluent English speakers.
Quick Language Guide
To enter Myanmar, you need a valid passport with at least six months' remaining validity, and a valid visa. A tourist visa for Myanmar is valid for a stay of up to 28 days. Tourists arriving Myanmar through Yangon International Airport, are allowed to send their visa application online. This E-visa system is set for the tourists to directly apply the Myanmar Visa to Ministry of Immigration and Population (MOIP) through online at www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm.
The visa approval will be sent online from MOIP to the tourists within 7 days from their application. Tourists need to print this visa approval to show together with their passports at Yangon International Airport.
International flights into Myanmar are limited and there are no direct flights there from North America. Bangkok has the most flights into Burma. You may also fly from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Calcutta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Therefore, Burma can be part of a Southeast Asia adventure. The journey from North America is about 20 – 24 hours. Flying between tourist sites and other cities in Burma is common with several privately owned airlines serving the main domestic routes in Myanmar including Air Bagan, Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways.
The country has poor roads and virtually no railway infrastructure. Some more remote areas of the country, especially where there is on-going tensions with minority groups who are seeking independence and other rights, are either closed or requires special permits from the government. We can obtain permission for you in some cases.
Is Myanmar Safe for Travel? Myanmar is very safe for tourists even to walk on the streets alone at night. Travelers should used normal precautions in crowded places . We recommend leaving your valuables in the hotel safes while sightseeing and carrying your currency and passport in a money belt or neck pouch and exercise normal precautions as you should do anywhere in the world.
The best time to visit Burma is from November to February when the weather is temperate and cool. Please see our Seasons and Climate section for more details on what to expect during your travels.
Avoid drinking tap water. Restaurants are legally required to use ice made and sold by bottled water companies, so ordering ice is usually safe in major places, but avoid ice cubes in the streets stalls. Drink filtered, boiled or bottled water.
Burmese food is a blend of Chinese, Indian and Mon influences. Rice is at the core of most dishes and good vegetarian food is widely available. Seafood is more common along the coastline. Food is inexpensive at most restaurants. Famous dishes: Mohinga - rice vermicelli with fish gravy and is usually accompanied by corriander and chilli powder; Onnokauswe - thicker noodles in a thick soup of coconut milk added with chicken, often served with a variety of condiments accompanying it ranging from fried fruit fritters to solidified duck blood; Laphet thote - a salad of fermented tea leaves and a variety of nuts, mixed with sliced lettuce and eaten with rice; Nan Gyi Thoke - rice noodle salad with chicken source. Drinking tea and enjoying snacks at the local tea shops is another lovely way to experience Burmese culture: watching street-life as it passes by. Several savory and sweet snacks are left out (always in 3’s) on your table at the tea shops and you are charged only for those you try.
We advise dressing modestly to respect the locals. Shorts, short skirts and sleeveless shirts are not allowed in sacred sites. Also avoid t-shirts with images of Buddha or Buddhist imagery, which is considered disrespectful. You will have to remove shoes and socks before entering religious buildings and compounds, so we advise wearing shoes which you can slip on and off easily. When handing someone money or a gift use your right hand or both hands. Monks are not allowed to come into physical contact with the opposite sex, so be careful not to touch hands if offering a donation. In addition, you should only donate food to the monks, as they are not allowed to accept money under any circumstances and giving money to a monk is considered a sign of disrespect.
Contact your local travel clinic or doctor for current information. We highly recommend having your DPT updated and Hepatitis A and B, which need a series of shots, so you should start the process in advance. Cholera oral vaccine is worthwhile. Diseases such as dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and malaria are endemic. Ways to prevent malaria include: taking a prescription antimalarial drug, using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites and/or sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or using bed-nets.