Myanmar's currency is the Kyat (MMK). That is worth substantially more on the black market than on the official exchange rate. There are hardly any ATMs in Myanmar and card payments are still exceptional. Take enough euros or dollars with you for the time you plan to spend in the country and exchange them for kyats, preferably at hotel receptions, for the value closest to the indicated exchange rate. Robberies and robberies are practically unknown in Myanmar, but always count the bills you received at the counter and in front of the person who gave them to you.
Rates can range from €5 at the humblest guest houses for backpackers to €100 or more at luxury chain hotels and resorts, also present in Myanmar.
Traditional meals in family restaurants range from €3 to €7 per person depending on the dishes and side dishes ordered. At the best resorts they can cost from €15 to €60.
Access can be considered expensive due to the speed and restrictions of access to various websites that Internet users are victims of. In February 2013, many hotels were able to guarantee free and unrestricted Wi-Fi. Most internet cafes are cheaper in Yangon (from €0,10 per hour) than in other areas further north (€0,50). They continue to struggle with blocking certain sites, which they sometimes manage to bypass using proxies.
VISA AND OTHER PROCEDURES
You must have a valid passport for at least another six months. The visa application must be made to the Myanmar embassy in London. At the time of this text, it was necessary to send, by post, the valid passport, 15 pounds in cash and an envelope already filled in which the passport already with the visa was returned.
Myanmar Embassy in London
Address: 19A, CHARLES St. LONDON W1J 5DX, United kingdom
Email: [email protected]
Myanmar authorities require yellow fever vaccination certificate for all visitors over one year of age who come from a transmission risk destination in the country or who have transited for more than 12 hours at airports in those countries.
There is a risk of contracting malaria throughout Myanmar except Mandalay and Yangon.
For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. Em FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).
TRIP TO MYANMAR
A Star Alliance fly from Lisbon to Yangon with the TAP (tel.: 707 205 700) and the Thai Airways, via Madrid or Frankfurt and Bangkok, from €1.200.
Internal flights operated by companies Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Myanmar Airways e Yangon Airways they are inexpensive and allow you to reach the most interesting places in the country with relative ease. Private taxis – especially if shared with other passengers – and buses are the most affordable alternatives to overcome the impossibility of renting a vehicle for self-driving. They are relatively cheap, in the order of €50 to €100 on the main air routes in the country.
It is not allowed to rent vehicles for own driving. A rental car with driver costs between €15 to €20 per day. You can easily get it from one of the agencies or even hotels in Yangon and Mandalay.
Buses travel almost all over the country, most of them only after gathering a certain number of passengers. They cost an average of €1,50 to €3 for every 3 hours of travel. Only a few companies guarantee more modern and air-conditioned buses for long journeys.
The train has prices in line with those of the buses that – in case you need to arrive faster – do not compensate for the excessive slowness of the trains. Anyway, it's worth traveling by train in Myanmar if only for the genuineness and eccentricity of the experience. State-owned Myanmar Railways has no website. Read more at Myanmar Railways
Hiring a bicycle (with basket and lock) is very common in Bagan. It costs from €1 to €3.
The best time to visit Myanmar is from November to February, during the dry season, when it hardly rains in the region and the sky is almost always clear. From mid-March onwards, the heat in Myanmar can be quite intense, with maximums exceeding 40°C. From June to mid-October is the monsoon season. A considerable part of the country is semi-flooded.