Myanmar has three seasons similar to many other parts of Southeast Asia. The Southwest monsoon starts at the end of May or beginning of June and lasts until the end of September. This season brings frequent and heavy downpours of rain, mainly in the afternoon and evening especially in Yangon, the rest of the country is dryer. In the raining season the weather is more humid what can make travelling less comfortable. The rains give way to dry weather in October and the temperatures are generally lower and more pleasant at this time. In March the temperatures start to climb again leading up to the next rainy season at the end of May. Temperatures between March and May can be very hot reaching over 35oC in some places.
The currency in Myanmar is the Kyat (pronounced ‘chat’). As in many countries of the area the US Dollar is the most useful currency to carry and it can be exchanged into local currency. However there is no need to change big amounts into the local currency as most of the places catering to tourists also accept payment in US Dollar bills. Furthermore the biggest kyat bill is 1000 kyats equivalent roughly to 1 USD Dollar so you will carry a big stack of notes.
Banks are open Monday to Friday between 10:00H and 14:00H.
Traveller’s cheques can currently NOT be used or exchanged in Myanmar. The same applies to Credit cards!
It is absolutely necessary to bring enough cash in USD or EURO. Other foreign currencies are difficult to change.
There is not anymore required to change 200 US Dollars into 200 FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificates) upon arrival at the airport.
There is a parallel official currency the FEC (Foreign Exchange certificate), which can be used (as you use cash US Dollars) to pay hotels, flight- train tickets, souvenirs, meals etc. It is at par (1:1) with the US Dollar but make sure to spend it before leaving Myanmar as it is valid only in Myanmar.
Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated in a country where the average annual income is only around 300 USD. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped.
Things to look out for in Myanmar include lacquerware, especially in Bagan, woodcarvings, stone carvings, bronze work, rattan, silver jewellery, silk longgyis and hand-woven textiles.
January 4: Independence Day
February 12: Union Day
March 2: Farmer’s Day
March 27: Armed Forces Day
April 13-17: Water Festival and New Year (variable)
May 1: International Labor Day
July 19: Martyr’s Day
November 25: National Day
December 25: Christmas Day
There is not much in the way of western style entertainment in Myanmar but Yangon has some good western restaurants and there are a few bars and nightclubs, notably in the city’s international hotels. In the rest of the country entertainment is mainly confined to some good Chinese and Burmese restaurants and the ubiquitous teashops.
LANGUAGE : The national language of Myanmar is Burmese, of which there are over 80 different dialects spoken. The written language uses an amazing looking script based on ancient Indian characters. In the cities many of the older generation still speak very good English and it is also becoming popular again with the younger generation.
– HELLO : mingalar par
– THANK YOU : chei-zu tin-bar-te
The most popular available tourist destinations in Myanmar include big cities such as Yangon and Mandalay; religious sites in Mon State, Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An; nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, Pyin Oo Lwin; ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U; as well as beaches in Nabule. Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui.