Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, covers an area
of 677,000 square kilometers - approximately the size of France
and Great Britain combined. It shares borders with Thailand, Bangladesh,
China, India and Laos.
Myanmar has a population of some 50 million and
is among the most ethnically mixed countries in Southeast Asia.
Officially the Burmese government distinguishes 135 different ethnic
groups. Each group has its own distinct customs, culture and dialect.
The major ones are Burman, Shan, Karen, Mon, Kachin, Chin, Kayin,
Kayar and Rakhine. Over 85 percent of the Burmese citizens are Buddhist.
The official language is Burmese, and Yangon is the largest city
and the capital of the country.
Myanmar is blessed with great geophysical diversity
varying from snow-capped mountains in the north to wide rivers and
extensive plains in the center. The south is encircled by the Andaman
and the Indian Sea. The 2000-kilometer Ayeyarwaddy River flows south
from its source in East-Tibet making its vast delta one of the most
fertile, agricultural regions of the world.
Decades of social and economic isolation have preserved
many parts of Burmese unique culture and tradition, which have been
lost in other Asian countries. Myanmar is a captivating country
endowed with rich natural and cultural treasures combined with friendly
and hospitable people. It remains one of the most exciting and fascinating
places to be discovered in the world.
Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons:
Hot Season: March - May
Rainy Season: June - October
Cool Season: November - February
The mountainous northern region can be cool to sometimes near freezing.
Be sure to bring along appropriate clothing when traveling to this
Passport & Visas: All travelers to Myanmar
are required to have a visa. Tourist visas are issued with regularity
at most Burmese embassies and consulates abroad. To obtain a 28-day
tourist visa travelers must have a valid passport, two application
forms and three passport-size photos. The visa fee is approximately
US$25. We will provide our guests with a letter stating that the
tour has been pre-arranged. It will be considered as an "EVT
Package Tour" and stamped accordingly into the passport. This
will exempt our guests from the obligation of exchanging US$200
into Foreign Exchange Certificates (FEC) upon arrival at Yangon
International Airport. The Myanmar government might change visa
regulations at short notice. Please check with the embassy or consulate
in your home country before your departure.
Custom Regulations: No Myanmar currency may be
imported nor exported. All visitors need to complete a customs declaration
form declaring all foreign currencies (in excess of US$2,000), travelers
cheques, jewelry, cameras, or other electronic equipment. A re-check
may be carried out at your departure. Buddha images, antiques (or
fragments thereof) and gems are not allowed to be taken out of Myanmar
without the official dealer's receipt. It is also not permitted
to bring in mobile phones. They may be confiscated upon arrival
and returned upon departure. Luggage may be x-rayed or inspected
Currency & Money Exchange: The Myanmar monetary
unit is Kyat. The official exchange rate is around 6 kyat and the
unofficial one is as high as 600 kyat to one U.S. Dollar. There
are now several authorized moneychangers in Yangon who will change
U.S.Dollar (no other currencies) into FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates)
and kyat at market rate. Travelers cheques are not widely accepted.
It is best to carry U.S. Dollar bills in small denominations, as
many hotels and restaurants require payment in either U.S. Dollar
Cards: Credit cards are NOT normally accepted in Myanmar.
Electricity: The electric current for the whole of Myanmar
is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles.
Health Requirements: No vaccinations are presently
required for a visit to Myanmar. It is recommended that you be immunized
against polio, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and B and Japanese
Zone: Myanmar time is 6 1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean
Airport Tax: Airport departure tax for international flights
is US$10, payable in US currency or FEC. Currently there is no departure
tax applying on domestic flights.