General Information 2019-2020

We have the pleasure of receiving your customers in Myanmar. We enclose this general information sheet which allows you to better your future trip in Myanmar.

Information of Country

President Mr.Win Myint
Official Language Myanmar
Ethnic 135 Ethnic groups
New Capital Napyidaw
Commercial Capital Yangon (Ex-Capital)
Important city Yangon (former capital)
Political system Parliamentary Democracy
Land area 676,578 square kilometre
Total population 54 million people
Currency Myanmar Kyats
Telephone code + 95
Time Zone GMT + 6:30

Currency

You can change your euro for Kyats at a counter of the airport or at banks around the country. Travellers’ check does not accept in Myanmar. Some credit cards accepted in some places. With the Master card and Visa card, you can draw 300,000 Kyats (around 175 €) at ATM Machine. We recommend that the clients to take enough cash in hand (US Dollars is the preferred currency, and Euro also can be changed more easily). Other foreign currencies are exchangeable take only in the big cities. If possible, take new 100 dollar notes rather than small notes, and they must be undamaged. On one hand, it will allow you to have a better rate. For your information, banks in Myanmar accept only notes in excellent condition.

EQUIPMENT TO BE PREPARED

In the evening, a high altitude area can be cold, therefore bring a sweater or other warm clothes if you visit these areas. These apply mainly during the morning trips by boat or canoe in Inle Lake.

Clothes

Prepare light clothes (cotton) and light or woollen jackets and raincoat (monsoon’s period). Some regions, in high mountains, are cold so need to bring a coat or warm clothes if you wish to visit high mountain areas. This recommendation is especially applicable during morning visits by boat. Proper dress is recommended when visiting places of worship that are considered holy ground, so you are expected to cover your knees and shoulders, especially for women.

Footwear

A pair of sneakers and a pair of walking shoes. Do not use shoes with rope soles (during the monsoon season). As you must walk barefoot most of the time when visiting pagodas and monasteries, we recommend wearing light shoes or sandals. But it is a great experience to adapt to the culture of the country visited.

Equipment

Sun cream and insects’ repellents A cap or a hat, and a neckerchief A bath towel and your personal belongings A pair of sunglasses Hygienic & wet towels (handy) Flashlight Recycle Bag & bowls

PERSONAL MEDICATION (our guide has first-aid kits)

An eyewash Anti-diarrheal medication An external antiseptic (90 °alcohol) An anti-inflammatory cream; Dressings bandages A role of bandages Paracetamol or anti-fever tablets A anti mosquito cream; Sewing needles

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

BURMESE FOOD

All types of rice with salads and Mohinga (fish soup) are the most popular dishes of the day. We recommend eating food when it is custom-made only. Chinese, Burmese and Thai foods are the most consumed foods in Myanmar. Kindly take note that Myanmar's food is the cheapest.

Budget

Tips are not an obligation but always well appreciate for people working in the tourism sector. It is a sign of gratitude. If you are satisfied with one’s service, it is usual to leave a tip to the bell boys, guide, Tour leader and driver. Prepare around 3 to 5 € a day per person according to his/her service.

Time difference

+ 4 h30 minutes in summer + 5h30 minutes in winter with EU countries + 10h 30 minutes with Canada

Voltage

220 V with one mix socket type, two flat pins, two round pins or three pins. Need to bring a universal adapter. Electricity blackouts are widespread, but most hotels have their generators.

Airport Tax

Usually, airport tax includes in the international tickets.

Photographs

It is possible to recharge your batteries in hotels and restaurants.

Climate

The pleasant climate all year, the hottest months are April and May. In the period of monsoon, humidity is essential. During November till February, temperatures in mountain region can go down below 10-degree C during the night and early in the morning. All hotels are not well prepared for cold (lack of heater), it is recommended to bring warm clothes!

Language

The official language is Myanmar, dialects of various ethnic minorities. In tourist site area, the English language is an advantageous communication.

RELIGION

85% of the country's population are Theravada Buddhists, followed by Muslims, Christians and Animists, among others.

SECURITY OF MYANMAR

Myanmar is generally a safe country to visit, exceptions made border towns that are often over populated, resulting in small incidents.

MOBILE PHONES

Currently, roaming is not available. Local SIM cards are available in small stalls and it is not an expensive way to make local and international calls. The MPT operator has the largest network coverage among the operators. You can also enjoy the Wi-Fi offered by your hotel and restaurants.

TRAVELLED AND SHARED

Life in group:

You are going to live several days in the community, and certain concessions are necessary to the cohesion of the group. It is necessary to be punctual in the date given by your tour leader or guide. Delays can call into question the organization of envisaged visits.

Your environment:

The routes which you are going to go through were chosen for their beauty, their authenticity or their originality. Some principles will allow other passengers to appreciate these same landscapes. Water is a precious item in numerous countries (arid or not), do not muck it up (always consider soaps and shampoos biodegradable). Be careful when you meet street animals, especially “dogs”. “Street dogs” easily bite the stranger. Do not bother them and try to pass unobserved.

Accompany

The guide who accompanies will share his/her knowledge with you to make your trip memorable.

Porterage

Porters will be engaged to help you with your luggage. Our guide brings the luggage tag and share you to be able to find your belongings easily.

ADVICE

You can tip the personal working in the tourism sectors if you are happy with their services.

BURMESE LOCAL CUISINE

Burmese cuisine has been influenced by China, India and Thailand. The myriad of local ethnic minorities has also contributed to the diversity of Burmese cuisine. It is characterized by an intensive use of sauces made from fermented fish and seafood. Our fast food products are based on salads, starches such as rice, wheat and rice noodles, glass noodles and vermicelli, with potatoes, ginger and tomatoes. with lime, marinated tea leaves and fish paste.

Transport

Throughout your trip, you will use other means of transport such as the boat, canoe and the ferryboat. However, the route trips are rather long in Myanmar, and the condition of the poor roads make it difficult for your trip. Our programs perform with air-conditioned buses, minibuses or cars, trains (adjustable seats), boats, ferryboats, long-tail boats, bikes and airplanes.

Security

Your guide equipped with first aids kits but the telephone network will restrict during treks on the mountain. In an emergency, our guide knows the closest communication service.

Economy

The country had transitioned to a free market economy, and the country’s economy had improved compared to former times. However, it is also true that some economic sectors had developed while some are still struggling. The country is in financial difficulty, otherwise it was a predominantly agricultural country and one of the world's leading rice producers. The country has become a market economy and the country's economy has improved compared to its time. However, it is also true that some economic sectors have developed while others are still in difficulty.

Your meetings

On your road, you will often have opportunity to meet the local people. Wherever you are, know how to show discretion and humility. The multiplicity of cultures and traditions shows that individual attitudes are perceptible in another way, according to countries. Take time to understand the persons that you meet, take time to create links. If you like to take a photo, always ask him/her for “permission”. The best means which accepts is to have established a prior contact. Also, do not distribute presents it encourage the children to beg, to avoid this type of behaviour, it is better to refer to competent local structures (give in the school, in the hospital, to the leader of the village etc.).

  • Do not touch the head of a person
  • Avoid shaking the hand with the monks and always sit down lower than them
  • Women cannot reach the monks
  • When you visit pagodas and temples, it is reasonable to take off not only your slippers but also your socks
  • Go around the pagoda platform clockwise
  • Please do not sit down with your back to Buddha image and avoid stretching your feet in its direction
  • According to Myanmar Tradition, “feet’s” are considered a lower part of the body and touching an object with your foot is not polite.
  • As a sign of politeness, bow a bit when you enter a residence in the presence of the guest
  • Do not be surprise at the passion of Myanmar people to barter goods
  • Avoid tips, except for true genuine services.

Recommendations

Like any trip, avoid taking valuable things. Take extra care of your video equipment, cameras and portable devices. If you are taking along travellers’ checks, note down the serial numbers of your checks (for information only).

  • It is necessary to photocopy your passport and your plane ticket before leaving and keeping this copy in your baggage
  • Follow advice of your local guide and tour leader.
  • There are customs regulations on alcohol (1 bottle of wine and 1 bottle of alcohol or 2 bottles of wine by an adult) and tobacco (200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco by adult).
  • Accept tea, gesture of hospitality.
  • Never let your objects of "stocks" (personal ornaments, passport, e-ticket), "drugs" in your room, your bus, restaurants each time it is possible, leave in the safe of the hotel. Notice the basic rules of caution.
  • You can easily buy a SIM card and internet data package small shops on the road in Myanmar.

Festivals

During the water festival and new Myanmar year (from 12 till 17 April), it happens that numerous stores, restaurants, museums and sites closed and some visits cancel. In Myanmar, each month has at least one festival. You can check the festival dates on our website.

History And Policy

According to the history, after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century, the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence in 4th Jan 1948, as a democratic nation. Following “a coup d’état” in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the one and only party, Socialist. For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in “one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars.” In 1988, a series of nationwide protests. Key events occurred on 8 August 1988 and therefore it is known as the 8888 People Power Uprising. The uprising ended on 18 September after a military coup. During the crisis, Mme Aung San Su Kyi emerged as a national icon. When the military junta arranged an election in 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy, won 81% of the seats in the government. However, the military junta refused to recognize the results and put Mrs Aung San Su Kyi under house arrest. She remains under house arrest for almost 20 years, becoming “one of the world's most prominent political prisoners.” The goal of the Burmese constitutional referendum of 2008, held on 10 May 2008 by the Military, is the creation of a "discipline-flourishing democracy". As part of the referendum process, general elections were held in 2010 under this current constitution. Since the 2010 election, the government has embarked on a series of reforms to direct the country towards liberal democracy, a mixed economy, and reconciliation. The series of reforms includes the release of pro-democracy leader Mme Aung San Suu Kyi. In 1 April 2012 by-elections, the NLD won 98% of available seats; previously an illegal organization. A nominally civilian government was installed. Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics. "Transition" does not refer to a transition to a liberal democracy, but transition to a quasi-military rule. General elections were held on 8 November 2015. These were the first openly contested elections held in Myanmar since 1990. The results gave “the National League for Democracy” 95% of the seats in both chambers of the national parliament, enough to ensure that its candidate would become president, while NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency. The new parliament convened on 1 February 2016 and, on 15 March 2016, “Mr Htin Kyaw”, was elected as the first non-military president since the military coup of 1962. After the 2015 general election, a position called State Counsellor, similar to Prime Minister, was established for Mrs. Aung San Su Kyi on 6 April 2016.

GEGOGRAPHY

Myanmar , also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest. Myanmar is the largest of the Mainland Southeast Asian states by area.

RIVERS IN MYANMAR

There are four main rivers in Myanmar.

  • Irrawaddy river – 2210 Kilometres
  • Chindwin river - 1207 kilometres
  • Salween river – 2,825 kilometres
  • Sittaung river – 420 kilometres

Bibliography

Books to read

  • Myanmar Guide Book - Lonely Planet
  • Free from fear – Aung San Suu Kyi
  • History of Burma - George Orwell
  • The valley of the rubies - Joseph Kessel - Editions Gallimard
  • Guide du route tard

Mini-Lexicon

  • Good morning : mingalaba
  • Bye : thaw ba oun me
  • Thank you : kay zu tim ba deh
  • Market : zei
  • My name is : tjan daw nam meh
  • Museum : pya daie
  • Hotel : hotel.
  • I do not understand : na ma le bu
  • Can I have a bill? :behlauktjathaleh
  • My name is:tjanawnammeh
  • Museum:pyadai
  • Hotel:hotel.
  • I do not understand:namalebabu

How much does it cost?

Da be hlaul leh

Where are toilets?

Ein tha be hma leh?

I do not understand Burmese language:

bama lo na maleh bu

Do you speak French?

Khin mya Pyinthit lo pyaw dat tha lah?

Can I have a bill?

Be hlauk tja tha leh