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Terms & Conditions
Travel Tips
 
   
Travel Tips
 

AIRPORT TAX

Yangon Airport is located 15 km (approx. 30 minutes) to the North of the centre of Yangon. The international airport tax of US$ / FEC 10 is payable locally on departure. Domestic departure tax is included in airfare.

ARRIVAL

All visitors are required to have a Myanmar Visa and to complete an arrival/departure card, which is usually distributed during their flight into Yangon. The completed card should be submitted with passport to the immigration officials on arrival at Yangon airport. The departure portion will be torn off and returned to the visitor - it should be retained for presentation upon departure.

CLIMATE & WEATHER

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 *Wet Season - June through September with average temperatures 25-30 C. The ideal time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, even during the wet season, Yangon normally receives morning and afternoon showers while rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and in Shan State is quite pleasant all year round but cold at night from December to February.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit Cards are only accepted at a few hotels, airlines and some international shops and restaurants. We suggest you to bring a sufficient amount of cash (clean US$ notes) for personal expenses. The exchange of traveler cheques is also very difficult and time consuming. Banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.

CURRENCY

We recommend visitors to bring clean US Dollars in cash only – larger notes receiving a better rate in exchange. Exchange of other foreign currencies such as Euros, Yen and Pounds Sterling maybe time consuming and difficult. Authorized money changer throughout Myanmar will usually only accept US Dollars.

DOMESTIC AIRLINES & FLIGHTS

There are now many domestic airlines flying to various destinations around Myanmar. To name a few they are Air Bagan, Golden Myanmar, Air Kanbawza, Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways are all privately operated airlines flying throughout Myanmar. There is a 20 Kilo limit for baggage per person and excess baggage fees may be charged. We suggest you leave items not needed upcountry in Yangon and collect them upon your return.

DRINKING WATER

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

DUTY FREE ALLOWANCE

Two bottles of liquor, two cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars and half liter of perfume are allowed per person. Yangon Airport arrival hall has a selection of duty free shops with a full range of items at a good price.

FESTIVALS

Myanmar abounds with local festivals. Most festivals have religious backgrounds and dates are fixed according to the lunar calendar. Exact dates for some festivals are often determined only a few weeks before the event. NIKO Travels & Tours tries to include local festivals in client itineraries whenever possible.

GRATUITIES & TIPPING

Myanmar's are genuinely happy to help foreign visitors and don't expect anything in return, but if your guide or any other person during your trip was especially kind or helpful a gratuity would be a generous gesture and greatly appreciated.

HEALTH

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. If carrying a lot of medicines, it is advisable to have a doctor's letter stating that medicines are required for personal use.

IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS FORMALITIES

Your valuables (jewelry, cameras, electronic equipment, etc.) should be declared on your customs declaration form upon arrival. Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.

INSURANCE 

We recommend all clients to obtain the necessary personal baggage, medical and accident insurance before arrival. SOS Worldwide has a local representative office in Yangon with a 24 hour on call service for emergency evacuation and medical assistance.

MOBILE PHONE

Myanmar has its own cell phone network and cell phones from other countries do not have access. The Myanmar SIM cards are different from the 'normal' SIM cards which are used all over the world. Tourists can buy a Myanmar SIM cards (GSM/CDMA) but sometimes these can only be used with a specific hand-phone set.

MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE

Throughout most Asian countries including Myanmar MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) - known locally as 'AJINOMOTO' - is still used in food preparation in some restaurants. Some travelers who may experience swollen feet, hands or headaches will more than likely have had a good amount of MSG in the food. It is always best to inform your guide when ordering if you do not wish it to be added to your food.

POWER & ELECTRICITY

Our recommended hotels in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan offer 24 hour power (with a generator if needed). In other more isolated areas like Kyaingtong, the Shan Hills, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake - generated power may not always be available. Most hotel rooms have screens and mosquito nets.


RELIGION

The majority of the people of Myanmar are Buddhist although Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are also practiced.

TELECOMMUNICATONS IDD

Telephones & fax facilities are available in most hotels in Yangon and Mandalay but charges are quite expensive. Wifi Network is now available at many hotels and local businesses in Yangon and Mandalay.

PASSPORT AND VISAS

Travelers are required to obtain a visa in their home country prior to entering Myanmar. Specific advice on up-to-date requirements should be obtained from the consulate offices in your country. For general guidance, please note the following:

• Passport must have at least 6 months remaining validity at time of travel. Foreigners must always carry their passport whilst travelling.
• Visa processing time is between 5 and 10 working days at most Myanmar Consulates or Embassies.
• Tourist visas are valid for 28 days.
• Some Embassies require a 'confirmation letter' which NIKO Travels & Tours can provide.

PRE-ARRANGED VISA

In order to issue a visa, some Myanmar Embassies require a "confirmation letter" to confirm that visa applicants have pre-booked and pre-paid their travel arrangements in Myanmar. Please let us know where you intend to obtain the visa and provide us with your exact names (as per passports), nationalities and passport numbers. We will then fax or email our "confirmation letter" to you, enabling you to obtain your visa.

PRE-ARRANGEMENT FOR VISA ON ARRIVAL

If you do not have Myanmar Embassy at your home country or you are not able to apply Myanmar visa in advance, you can obtain a pre-arranged visa on arrival at the Yangon and Mandalay International airports on your arrival. We need below information and at least one month prior to arrival:
•Full Name as mentioned in the passport
• Gender
• Tourist visas are valid for 28 days.
• Father's name
• Nationality
• Religion
• Passport Number
• Issue Date
• Date Of Birth
• Place Of Birth
• Occupation
• Home Address
• Purpose of visiting Myanmar
• Date Of Arrival
• Flight Number
• A Digital Photo (a scan of your passport picture is fine)
We apply for the 'Visa upon Arrival' from the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism department and once approved, send you the approval letter to get 'Visa on Arrival' issued. You will have to show this to the airline at the check-in, otherwise they will refuse you on board. You have to bring two passport photos and pay USD 30.-- per person for the visa fees on arrival.

WHAT TO BRING

Bring sun hat, sun glasses, sun protection for your face and body, prescription medicines, insect repellent and an umbrella April to October (rain or shine). An antibiotic cream for minor cuts and scratches, extra pair of prescription glasses, a small flashlight, extra passport photos, decaffeinated coffee (if you require).

WHAT TO WEAR

Shorts, short skirts or revealing clothing are not appropriate especially when visiting temples or any religious site. Myanmar is a conservative Buddhist culture and improper dress can be offensive. Please dress with respect for the local culture. Lightweight, easy to care clothes of cotton and cool fabrics are ideal all year round. A winter sweater or jacket and socks may be needed in the cool season when visiting up country especially around Inle Lake and Kalaw when the weather can drop to near freezing during the night. Wear sensible walking shoes which can be easily removed when required. Sandals, thongs or flip-flops (available locally) are very convenient footwear.

DO’S & DON’TS

DO’S

• Take off the shoes before you enter the enclosure of the pagoda.
• Remove the shoes before you enter the house.
• If you wish to donate the money to the monk, you can give the (Kappiya) who serve the monk and can receive the money on behalf of the monk.
• Respect the people who paid homage the Buddha at the pagoda.

DON’TS

• Kiss in a public place and also near the environment of a pagoda.
• Topless at swimming pools at hotels and at the beaches.
• Wearing of shorts for women and men during the trip especially when you visit the pagoda.
• Walk on the shade of the monks.
• Touch the monks.
• Touch the head of an adult.
• Sitting higher than the statue of Buddha and monks.
• Shouting at the pagoda and environment of the pagoda and monastery.
• Wearing socks and shoes in the pagoda.
• Give an offer the food to a monk after twelve noon (12:00).
• Point out with your leg for showing something.
 

 

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