How safe is it to book travel on the internet?
Most tour and travel companies in Myanmar are NOT internationally accredited. Therefore you have no security when making reservations with or payments to these companies. The Myanmar Travel Groups’ (MTG) bookings are all conducted through IATA and AFTA accredited Travel Agents. Your bookings and payments are safe and secure with MTG.
Do we need visa to visit Myanmar?
Yes, any foreigners visiting Myanmar need to have a valid entry visa. Your passport must have at least 6 month’s validity before expiry. Most travellers will now be able to obtain their visa online using the eVisa system. The eVisa Online System is currently only available to Tourists for Tourism purposes. For more information and to apply for an eVisa please go to http://evisa.moip.gov.mm. If you are unable to use the eVisa system you will need to contact the Myanmar Embassy in your country of origin to arrange your visa. We can supply all necessary information and Embassy contact details on application.
Which International airlines fly to Myanmar?
MTG normally use Thai Airways (TG), Myanmar Air International (MAI), Malaysia Airlines (MH) and Singapore Airlines (Silk Air) (SQ/MI). We fly our clients into Yangon from Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
What is the best time to visit Myanmar?
October to April is the high season, after the end of the monsoon. Most travellers visit Myanmar at this time of year.
How far in advance should we book our travel in Myanmar?
The sooner the better ~ especially for the high season (from Oct to April). Some tours are booked nearly one year ahead. With advance notice you can be sure of travelling with the best guide and securing the best available hotel rooms. So, please book early!
How do I pay for my tour?
Whilst credit cards are not normally accepted in Myanmar, MTG uses internationally accredited travel agencies (IATA & AFTA), so we will accept all major credit cards. Payment must be made in full no later than 60 days before departure.
Do I have to buy local currency on arrival?
Yes. When you arrive in Yangon you will directed to the exchange counter by your guide so that you can exchange your US Dollars into local currency (Kyatt – pronounced CHUT) for use in purchasing meals, drinks and for your discretionary spending. It should be noted that the only foreign currency that may be exchanged or used in Myanmar is US Dollars and Euros. All currency should be clean, new notes, unfolded and not crinkled up.
Can we use credit cards in Myanmar?
Credit cards are not generally accepted in Myanmar though some major hotels will accept them in return for a hefty surcharge. That is why MTG pre-pay all your major travel costs before you travel. It would still be necessary for you to bring further cash (USD$) to pay for your meals and drinks and in case you require extra spending money.
What is included and excluded in our tour package?
Each tour itinerary clearly defines all the inclusions. There are no hidden costs!
What quality of tour guide can we expect in Myanmar?
Unlike most other Myanmar tour operators MTG include an accompanying guide for all tours. All our guides are experts in their own field and are fully qualified. Besides English language guides, we also have other language guides available such as French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian. You will be in excellent hands all the way.
Can I travel around Myanmar without the help of a travel agent?
Technically you probably could do this but you would miss out on so much. MTG is an experienced first class company that only uses professional guides. Travelling under the guidance of MTG will definitely ensure that all aspects of your tour run efficiently and without difficulty.
Is the internet available in Myanmar?
Yes it is, but access may be slow and not all international sites are accessible. Don’t bother bringing in your own laptop as you will not be able to access the internet personally. There are a number of Cyber Cafes in Yangon, however other major tourist destinations have fewer places for you to surf the net. You may also experience difficulty accessing some free-mail servers such as Yahoo or MSN. Some hotels have business centres where you can access the internet but generally speaking most of our guests are on vacation and welcome the opportunity to escape the internet for a brief period.
Can I bring my mobile phone and use it in Myanmar?
There is now a GSM network available for visitors to access. You will need to arrange mobile telephone access with your own provider before departing. Be careful to check the cost of such access with your provider as it can be expensive. It may pay to shop around for the best deal.
International Telephone Access
You can call anywhere in the world from most hotel rooms however be aware that as the primary method of international communication in Myanmar is satellite telephone and the costs are exorbitant. In some places you may be charged up to US$8.00 per minute commencing the time your dialled number starts ringing. Sending and receiving faxes are no problem.
What sort of meals are provided on tour and what sort of food can we expect in Myanmar?
Meals will be a variety of cuisines provided by local restaurants and hotels. Rice is the staple food in Myanamar usually accompanied by a couple of main/side dishes. Some westerners find traditional Myanmar food (curries) to be too oily for their taste however don’t be concerned because western food is widely available in all the tourist cities. Breakfast is included on all tours. Most International hotels provide buffet breakfasts and the small hotels serve continental breakfasts that include tea or coffee, toast, butter, jam, juice, fruit and eggs.
Should I take Malaria prophylaxis for a trip to Myanmar?
Malaria was wiped out in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle lake several decades ago. Some western doctors (who have never been to Myanmar) will strongly recommend that you take anti-malarial tablets, however in fact this is not normally needed as most of the tourist attractions are located in non-Malaria zones. However people prefer to be “better to be safe than sorry” and if this is you then of course please go ahead and take the medication. If you are going to remote areas such as to the Northern Mountains the Southern Archipelago or jungle areas then it is highly recommended that you take anti-malarial medication.
I have special medication requirements, so is it possible to carry medicines into Myanmar for my personal use?
Generally speaking standard medications are fine, however there are clear restrictions on the use of certain defined narcotic drugs. If you are unsure or have any questions regarding this subject then please ask us for specific clarification prior to your departure.
Is it safe to visit Myanmar?
Yes, Myanmar is one of the safest countries in the Southeast Asia for travellers. No pick pockets, no kidnapping and we hardly ever hear of any disturbances to tourists in Myanmar. Politics aside, negative international media has unfairly affected the reputation of the good people of Myanmar.
To quote WIKITRAVEL – http://wikitravel.org/en/Myanmar
Is it safe?
So, you’re travelling around carrying 100s, if not 1000s, of dollars stuffed into your pockets in a country where most people subsist on a few dollars a day. Everyone around you knows that if they could get their hands on the money in your pockets, they’ll be set for life. What, you may ask, are the odds that someone will try to relieve you of your money? The answer: almost nil. There have been almost no instances of a tourist being mugged and only the rare pilferage. Myanmar is an extremely safe country for travellers. Some say it is because of the nature of the people. Others say it is because the punishment for robbing from a foreigner is draconian. Whatever the cause, your money will be safe!
That sums it up nicely..
After a reservation is made, what happens next?
We will immediately make your reservations for your accommodation and domestic flights in accordance with your selected itinerary. We will confirm these arrangements with you within 1 to 3 working days. After confirmation, we will send you an invoice along with a request for a 50% deposit to secure the booking. The remaining balance will be payable not later than 14 days before arrival date.
What is the minimum group size to operate my tour?
We arrange tours for one person through to as many as you like.
Is an emergency medical service available?
Yes it is. International SOS has had operations in Myanmar since 1987. They provide full out-patient and emergency services for members and visitors in Myanmar, backed by a professional team of expatriate and national medical specialists.
Myanmar International SOS Limited
The New World Inya Lake Hotel
37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Yangon, Union of Myanmar
(95) (1) 667 879
(95) (1) 667 866
(95) (1) 667 877
(95) (1) 667 866
Tipping or reward policy for service personal?
We leave it to our guest’s to decide what’s fair. We do not demand our client’s give tips, but it is a nice gesture considering our guide and driver will be doing their best, we’d suggest as a guide maybe US$ 3 per day for the driver and US$ 6 per day for the guide but it’s entirely up to you.
What are useful gifts and presents for local people?
Ideally things like writing books, pens and pencils for children and some simple t-shirts for all ages are highly appreciated by all people.
What kinds of clothes should I take to Myanmar?
It depends on the time of year and the location to be visited. Generally casual clothes are fine depending where you go the evenings might be cool. Of course please remember to wear respectful clothes to all religious sites. Slip on sandals are ideal for visiting these places as they can easily be taken off and put back on.
Is there any nightlife in Myanmar?
Most stalls and shops close at 9:00pm and restaurants close at 10:00pm in Yangon and Mandalay. The major hotels often have in-house entertainment and bars where you can relax.
Can I buy modern camera film and batteries in Myanmar?
Yes. The latest batteries, cameras and other electrical items are readily available in Yangon and Mandalay, however to be sure we strongly recommend that you carry a digital camera with spare memory cards and a battery recharger. Local camera film and battery quality might not be to your expectation.
Is there any prejudice against foreigners in Myanmar?
Absolutely not! Foreign tourists are welcomed in Myanmar by everyone. You’ll have a great time!
What religious services are available in Myanmar?
There are many Christian churches, Hindu temples and Islamic mosques in Myanmar. There is also a Jewish Synagogue and a Sikh temple in Yangon.
Is it safe to walk at night in Myanmar cities?
Yes. It is very safe to walk at night in all the cities and towns of Myanmar. However in Bagan you should be careful of snakes on sandy paths. It is very rare but it could happen.
Can I stay at a village monastery overnight?
This is not normally permitted but we do have some trekking and biking tours that overnight at monasteries with prior permission.