Meet Asia’s final frontier. With temple-studded plains, golden pagodas, lush tropical forests and zero crowds, it won’t be long before everyone is putting Myanmar on their bucket list.
Despite a dramatic past, the Myanmaris haven’t stopped smiling, especially when they’re welcoming visitors. This incredible country is home to blinged out dome-shaped pagodas, emerald green landscapes and memorable experiences everywhere you turn. Help monks practice their English while watching the sunset at Mandalay Hill; light candles with chanting pilgrims at an enormous golden boulder perched at the edge of a cliff; or wave to the locals as you take a ferry up the Ayeyarwaddy River. And when you’re done with that, head to Inle Lake and marvel at its floating villages.
It’s time to get to know the country behind the mystery. Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Myanmar.
What people say
Myanmar is a mystery in South East Asia. The land of gold where you can discover so many things. Food is delicious and people are so friendly and helpful. This country is growing quickly, so now is the time to visit.
Myanmar travel highlights
Visit the literal and symbolic jewel of the Myanmar crown. The sacred Shwedagon Pagoda – covered in gold, diamonds, jade, rubies, sapphires – is dripping in bling.
Whether you head to the top of Mandalay Hill to watch the spectacular sunset or help local monks practice their English, the climb is worth the effort.
Floating tomato plantations. Floating markets. Floating gardens. Inle Lake is like a fairy tale. A floating fairy tale, obviously.
Famous for its 2,200 ancient temples and it’s sunrise hot-air balloon rides. Put the two together for a truly magical experience.
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Our Myanmar trips
Articles on Myanmar
Myanmar holiday information
Local culture in Myanmar
Food and Drink in Myanmar
Festivals and Events in Myanmar
Geography and Environment
Shopping guide to Myanmar
Myanmar travel FAQs
New Zealand: Yes
South Africa: Yes
United Kingdom: Yes
Most visitors to Myanmar require a 28-day tourist visa, which you can apply for online at http://evisa.moip.gov.mm. Applications cost USD 50 and take about a week to process. Check with your local embassy or consulate for changes to application prices. Once your application is processed, you should receive a confirmation email. Make sure to print this out, as you will need to present it upon arrival.
Keep in mind that your visa is valid for up to three months from date of issue and can only be used at designated airports (Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports) and border entrances (Tachileik, Myawadi and Kawthoung at the Thai-Myanmar border).
It’s generally a good idea to make sure your passport is valid for a minimum period of six months after your arrival date in Myanmar. You will also need a couple of blank pages for stamps in your passport. For the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements, please contact your local Myanmar embassy or consulate.
Locals typically earn low wages, so while tipping isn’t mandatory, leaving porters, drivers, restaurant staff and other service workers a small 5-10% tip is a gracious way to show your appreciation.
The Internet can be accessed at most hotels, but be aware, the speed may be slower than what you are used to, particularly in rural areas.
International roaming in Myanmar is now possible with a growing number of mobile network providers. Check with your service provider before leaving home.
Squat toilets are most common in Myanmar, although Western-style flushable toilets can be found in larger hotels and some tourist areas. Always carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are usually not provided.
Street snack = USD 0.36 – USD 0.75
Bottle of local beer = USD 1.50
Simple meal at a local restaurant = USD 2 – USD 5
Dinner in a high-end hotel restaurant = USD 10
Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Myanmar. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.
Some hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards but Myanmar is largely a cash economy. It’s best to carry cash for purchases.
ATMs are widely available in larger cities, though they can be unreliable. It is not uncommon for ATMs to run out of funds or not work due to power cuts. You may need to try several ATMs before having success withdrawing funds.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Geckos are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 4: Independence Day
Feb 12: Union Day
Mar 2: Peasants’ Day
Mar 27: Armed Forces Day
May 1: Workers’ Day
July 19: Martyrs’ Day
Nov 27: National Day
Dec 25: Christmas
For a current list of public holidays in Myanmar go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/Myanmar/public-holidays/
Discretion is advised for LGBTQI-travellers visiting Myanmar. Though most local are tolerant, homosexuality is a cultural taboo and gay and transgendered people are rarely out. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, regardless of sexual orientation. Travellers should be aware that, although it is almost never enforced, same-sex intercourse is legally punishable with up to 10 years in prison in Myanmar.
No vaccines are required in order to enter Myanmar but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
1. Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
2. Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
3. Cholera (transmitted through contaminated water): Cholera is not a risk in the areas that most travellers will visit, but can be found in some parts of the country. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic about your travel plans to see if this vaccine is right for you.
4. Japanese encephalitis (transmitted through mosquito bite): You may need this vaccine depending on the time of year you go to Myanmar and whether you are planning to visit rural areas or if you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic to see if this vaccine is right for you.
Malaria is a mosquito-transmitted disease found mostly in low-altitude areas of Myanmar. You can protect yourself by wearing light coloured clothing when travelling in these parts, by using a good bug repellent and by taking malaria prevention tablets. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic for advice.