We wish and hope that your stay in Myanmar is a pleasant
and memorable one. In order to help you attain this, we would like to recommend
you to observe all necessary precautions to prevent encountering any unfavorable
experiences. Thus, listed below are some useful information.
Avoid or disregard all strangers offering either tours or
accommodation services, or exchanging foreign currency into local currency or
for selling gems of a doubtful nature. The offers may appear attractive but you
could get into trouble and spoil your visit.
Be alert to the location of your valuables or other
belongings while traveling by bus or train. Report all losses to the nearest
Police Station as well as to your Embassy.
Avoid or disregard those who offer to take you around or
shopping free of charge except those of your close friends or contact your hotel
or trawl agent.
Never display large amounts of cash when making simple
purchases. Bring only sufficient amount of money for intended daily use.
Be careful not to become involved in any habit-forming
drug since the penalty for such violation in Myanmar is very servere.
Note your taxi's licence-plate number before or after the
service, since this is most essential for the police to recover forgotten
valuable items or documents.
Always have your hotel's name and address with you when-
ever you go out of the hotel This would be of great help in finding your way
Custom Visitors are requested to dress decently within the
precincts of religious places. Footwear is strictly prohibited in pagodas and
Clothing Normally the tropical climate calls for washable-
cotton, light and loose dresses with comfortable shoes or sandals. During cold
season visitors are advised to bring a sweater or a jacket. An umbrella is
necessary during the rainy season.
Time Zone 6 hours, 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean
Taxi & Buses No taxis in Myanmar use meters; the fare must
be arranged before starting off. Public buses are plentiful in the city area at
wry reasonable prices.
Tipping is not expected by taxi drivers.
Hotels and restaurants generally add 10-15% service charge. If service charges
not included, tip for good service.
Electricity 220 volts AC in Yangon and most of Myanmar.
Water is advisable to drink bottled or boiled water.
Driving license International driving license is accepted.
Food Rice is the basis of Myanmar food and meals are
generally variations on the same basic theme. All Myanmar savory dishes are
normally served together. They are eaten with a spoon and fork.
Business Hours Government offices are open from 9.30 am.
to 4:30 pm. and banks from 10 am. to 2 pm. from Mondays to Fridays. Shops are
generally open longer but their hours vary.
Shopping Hints Buying is easy but if you want to get value
for your money, you should expect to invest a little effort. Bargaining is
expected at all shops. except the department stores and where prices are fixed.
So feel free to ask for a proper discount when shopping in places where prices
are not marked. To begin with, before you go out on a buying spree, spend some
time reading this section. Here are some tips on how to shop wisely.
Ignore all touts You are advised not to use the services
of a tout no matter how attractive his offer. A tout may approach you at the
airport or on the street; he may even call at your hotel. He will recommend a
specific store and provide transportation to take you there. Beware the cost of
the transportation plus the tout's commission will eventually be added to your
Compare prices Comparing prices is not so troublesome as
it sounds. Shops here are located fairly close to one another. It shouldn't be
difficult to obtain, say, three price quotations before you decide to buy. Some
people prefer to shop where there is no barging. where prices are fixed and
prominently displayed. If that's your preference, then head for the leading
Examine goods As a general rule, goods once purchased
cannot be exchanged or returned. Neither is your deposit refundable. So it makes
sense to examine or test the goods carefully before you buy.
Insist on an official receipt Your receipt is an important
paper and the more detailed it is the better. For a start, it should list the
following, brand name, product description, model reference, serial number, date
of purchase, price (in kyats or US dollars), name and address of the shop,
Be clear about customs regulations Be sure to obtain an
export permit from the government office or from the shop concerned before
purchasing items such as gems & jewellery, antique, silverware, or other items.
This permit is required to be shown to customs upon your departure.
Weight and Measurement The English system of weight and
measurement is generally used. But in the markets the use of Myanmar weight and
measurement is common. The metric system has also been introduced in many areas.
Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of
the Union of