FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Q – When is the best time to visit Myanmar?

A – The best time to visit Myanmar is between mid October and March, when there’s less chance of rain (if at all) and it’s not so hot. April to May brings intense heat while June to September is the rainy season in Myanmar. For example, during the wet season, it rains about 5 days a week in Yangon, 2 days in Mandalay and about 3 days in a week in Inle Lake.

Q – Which airlines fly to Myanmar?

A – No airlines fly direct from Australia to Burma (Myanmar). Airlines that have connecting flights to Myanmar including Singapore, Thai, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korean, China Southern and Jetstar Asia.

Q – What is the minimum group size for a tour?

A – We operate small tours of all sizes - from one person to a maximum group of 5-6 people.

Beyond Myanmar is a tailor made specialist dedicated to arranging a unique itinerary to your exact specifications. Let us know what you want, when you want to go and your style of travel and we’ll design a holiday that caters to your special interests. We design guided tours for individuals, couples, families and a small group of friends.

Q – Can I book accommodation and internal flights through you without booking an organised tour?

A – Yes, you can. You don’t need to be on one of our organised tours to book any accommodation or internal flights through us. We can organise accommodation, transportation (buses, trains, boats, transfer to and from all airports) and/ or flights for you anywhere in Myanmar at any time of the year and at a highly competitive price.

Q – How do I book ?

A – To book any tour/s currently shown on our website, or to request an individual tour to be designed for you, simply send an email saying how many people are travelling, the dates that you want to travel and the tour/s you have chosen.
A quote will be sent to your return email within 24 hours.
When you confirm, a 50% deposit is required to secure your booking.
For all bookings and enquiries please email info@beyondmyanmar.com.au or info@beyondhimalaya.com.au 

Q – Do I have to pay in full after my reservation?

A – A 50% deposit is required to secure booking and it is not refundable. The remaining balance will be due not later than 45 days before your arrival date.

Q – What can I buy in Burma?

  • A – Lacquerware: A popular purchase in Myanmar is lacquerware, which is made into bowls, cups, vases, tables and various items, and is available almost anywhere. The traditional centre of Lacquerware production though is Bagan in central Myanmar. Beware of fraudulent lacquerware, though, which is poorly made, but looks authentic. (As a general rule, the stiffer the lacquer, the poorer the quality and the more you can bend and twist it, the finer the quality.)
  • A – Precious stones: Myanmar is a significant miner of jade, rubies and sapphire and these can be obtained at a fraction of what it would cost in the West. Be warned, however, that there are a lot of fakes for sale amongst the genuine stuff and, unless you know your gems, buy from an official government store or risk being cheated. Bogoyoke Aung San Market in Yangon has many licenced shops and is generally a safe place for the purchase of these stones.
  • A – Tapestries: known as kalaga, or shwe chi doe. There is a long tradition of weaving tapestries in Burma. These are decorated with gold and silver thread and sequins and usually depict tales from the Buddhist scriptures or other non-secular objects from Burmese Buddhism (mythical animals, the hintha and the kalong are also popular subjects). The tapestry tradition is dying out but many are made for tourists and are available in Mandalay and Yangon.
  • A – Textiles: Textiles in Myanmar are stunning. Each region and each ethnic group has its own style. Chin fabrics are particularly stunning. They are hand-woven in intricate geometric patterns, often in deep reds and mossy greens and white. They can be quite pricy, perhaps US$20 for the cloth to make a longyi (sarong).

Q – What is Myanmar Electrical Outlet Type?

A – 220V. We recommend bringing a universal plug adaptor. (Myanmar uses Type C, Type D, Type F and Type G)

Q – How do I apply for an entry visa to Myanmar?

A – You need to have a valid passport (minimum 6 months remaining validity) and apply at the Myanmar Embassy and Consulate General offices in Canberra- Australia or the country that you are in or apply online:http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

Q – Are all meals included on the tour?

A – This depends on your chosen tour, but breakfasts are provided to all tours. Most international hotels provide a full buffet breakfast, while small hotels and guest houses serve a continental breakfast.
We also provide some lunches and dinners on certain tours. Please check your specific tour for more details.

Q – Where should I exchange my $US and Euros?

A – The exchange rates at the airport are very similar to the rates at most banks. Please bring US dollars or Euros with you, as it’s very hard to exchange Australian dollars anywhere else. Most other places will not exchange Australian dollars. When exchanging USD or Euro please note that big denominations (i.e. US$50 or $100) will earn you a better rate.

We highly recommend you to exchange at the airport or local banks not on the streets or markets.

Q – How do credit cards work in Myanmar?

A – MASTERCARD (including traveller's cheques) are accepted for settling monetary transactions in major cities in Myanmar. However, USD cash and Euros are accepted widely in all parts of country. We suggest that you bring a sufficient amount of USD or EURO notes in both small and big denominations.

ATM's- Myanmar is now equipped with a sporadic scattering of ATM machines. Dishing out Kyat, there are machines at the airports and many in Yangon (including at the most famous spot in town – the Shwedagon Paya) and Mandalay city centers, as well as in Nyaung U in Bagan. You might find ATM’s in the smaller towns, but don’t leave it this late to stock up on cash, just in case.

Q – Can I use my mobile or GSM phone in Myanmar?

A – Myanmar’s mobile phone network is for local users only. There is no network for international phone users. Many guesthouses and hotels have WiFi, should you wish to use the Internet. Wifi is very reliable in Myanmar.

Q – How can I use Internet in Myanmar?

A – Internet access is available in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and the Inle Lake area. Many guesthouses and hotels have WiFi and others have Internet services available at reception.

Q – Is emergency medical service available?

A – Yes it is. International SOS have operated in Myanmar since 1987 and opened their first Clinic and Alarm Centre in Yangon in August 1995. They provide full outpatient and emergency services for members and visitors in Myanmar, backed by a professional team of expatriates and national medical specialists.

Myanmar International SOS Limited
The New World Inya Lake Hotel
37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Yangon, Union of Myanmar
Clinic Tel (95) (1) 667 879
Clinic Fax (95) (1) 667 866
Alarm Tel (95) (1) 667 877
Alarm Fax (95) (1) 667 866

Email - intl.sos@mptmail.net.mm

Q – How much should I tip?

A – Tipping is not compulsory. As a rule of thumb, we suggest US$5 per day for your driver and US$8 per day for your guide, but it's entirely up to you.

Q – What’s the malaria status in Myanmar?

A – Malaria was wiped out in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and the Inle Lake areas several decades ago. The Far East regions near the China and Thailand border and the north and western mountain ranges are considered malaria areas.

Q – What’s the best way to get to Myanmar?

A – There are several ways to enter Myanmar. You can fly into Yangon city from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Dhaka, Calcutta, Taipei or Ho Chi Minh City. There are three flights in a week from Chaing Mai (Thailand) to Mandalay (the second capital of Myanmar). Or you can come overland from Thailand and China.

Q – What useful gifts and presents could I bring for the local people?

A – This is up to you, but in remote regions, people always appreciate items like toys for the children, writing pads, pens, pencils and simple T-shirts for all ages.

Q – Do I need to bring drinking water from home?

A – Bringing your own water is not necessary. Standard bottled water is available everywhere. It is important to avoid drinking the local tap water.

Q – What kinds of clothes and gear should I take to Myanmar?

A – Depending on time of year and the locations you will be visiting, different clothes will be required.

Q – What’s the nightlife like in Myanmar?

A – Most stalls and shops (night markets) close at 9pm and restaurants close at 10pm in Yangon and Mandalay. Chinatown in Yangon is well worth a visit at night, and quietens down around 10-11pm.

Q – How tolerant is Myanmar of other religions and can I attend religious services?

A – There are many Christian churches, Hindu temples and Islamic mosques in Myanmar. There is one Jewish synagogue and one Sikh temple in Yangon.

Q – Can I stay overnight at a village monastery or private house?

A – Not formally, but we can arrange with prior permission from Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and in accordance with our itinerary, route and the areas to be visited.

Q – What is the population of Burma?

A – The Union of Myanmar is made up of 135 national races, of which the main ones are the Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The population of the country is currently estimated at 56 million.

Q – What is the main religion of Burma (Myanmar)

A – The main religions of the country include Buddhism (89.2%), Christianity (5.0%), Islam (3.8%), Hinduism (0.5%), Spiritualism (1.2%) and others (0.2%). Religious intolerance or discrimination on grounds of religion has been non-existent in the Union of Myanmar throughout its long history.