Travel Tips - Myanmar:

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.

Climate: 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 region.

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 before departure.

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 or FEC.

Credit 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 encephalitis.

Time Zone: Myanmar time is 6 1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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.