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Frequently Ask Questions

1. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL?

The best time to visit Myanmar is from November to March when temperatures are relatively low (average 15 - 30 degrees centigrade) and when there is practically no rain. Be aware that in December and January the temperature can drop to near freezing at night in the highlands of the Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi and Inle Lake area in southern Shan State. In April and May which is the hottest season, temperature often rises up to 40 degrees centigrade in Yangon (the capital of Myanmar), in Mandalay as well as in Bagan (the most famous archaeological site in Myanmar) where one can get even hotter. The monsoon starts between mid-May and mid-June bringing frequent rains particularly in the southern as well as western regions of Myanmar which last until September.

2. IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL?  ARE THERE PLACES TO AVOID?

Myanmar is a vast country and it is generally a very safe place to travel. There is only a few areas in borders that are off limit to foreign visitors and they will not affect a traveller's journey through Myanmar in any way.

3. DO's AND DON'T 's

Never drink tap water - purified, bottled water is available everywhere. Eat at established restaurants and avoid peeled or cut fruit as well as ice cubes. It is wise to guard against sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion. Light clothing made from natural fibers is useful most of the year around and a sweater or jacket is needed when touring hill areas and the Inle Lake region from November to February. When visiting pagodas and other religious buildings great care must be taken to appear modest and correctly dressed. Women should not wear shorts, bra-less T-shirts or have bare shoulders when visiting such places. Shoes and socks must always be removed at pagodas and monasteries. Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military institutions is forbidden.

4. WHAT MONEY SHOULD I TAKE?

Suggest you to take along US Dollars in cash in small denominations. Credit cards are only accepted by major hotels in Yangon and Mandalay. Euro card / MasterCard is not accepted anywhere in Myanmar. It is recommended to change a small amount of US Dollars into the local currency (Kyat) to use at small restaurants and shops.

5. WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS AND CUSTOMS FORMALITIES?

A valid Passport with Entry Visa is required for all visitors. At the present time tourist visas are available from Myanmar embassies for duration of 28 days, extendible for an additional 14 days. A Business Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extendible up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis. Visa on Arrival is granted on prior arrangement with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Visa is valid for THREE MONTHS from the date of issue, which cannot be renewed or refunded.

All items of jewelry, cameras and foreign currency in excess of US$ 2,000 must be declared upon arrival on the currency declaration forms. Export of Buddha images and gemstones without an official receipt as well as antiques and archaeologically valuable items are strictly prohibited. It is not permitted to bring mobile phones into the country, even if they are not connectable to international networks such as GSM. Therefore, if you bring your phone into Myanmar, formally you will have to leave it at custom desk on arrival until your departure.

6. HOW MANY ENTRIES INTO MYANMAR?

There are several entries into Myanmar. Flight entry to Yangon city from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kuming, Dhaka, Calcutta, Taipei and land route entries from Thailand and China can be made.

7. IS ON-LINE VISA APPLICATION AVAILABLE?

Yes, you are welcomed to apply on-line visa at
http://www.myanmarvisa.com

8.CAN I MAKE OVER SEA CONNECTION AVAILABLE DURING MY TRIP?

You can easily make an international connection by phone, fax and e-mail from Myanmar. Normally, we provide contact phone numbers of your hotels and our Yangon office to make easy contact in case of need.

9. HOW CAN I USE INTERNET IN MYANMAR?

There are a lot of internet cafes in downtown Yangon and internet access is available in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake areas.

10.DO I NEED TO BUY LOCAL CURRENCY FOR US$ 200 ON ARRIVAL?

From 1st of October 2003, you do not need to buy FECs or any local currency on arrival.

11. WHAT LANGUAGE WILL THEY UNDERSTAND?

The official language is 'Myanmar' with numerous regional languages and dialects. English is spoken at all major hotels. In the Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake area travellers will always find someone who will at least understand a few words of English. Karaweik M & J Tour provides guides in English, German French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.

12. HOW ABOUT MY HEALTH?

No vaccinations are officially required for a visit to Myanmar unless coming from an infected area. Travelers should check with their doctor or a travel immunization clinic regarding the advisability of inoculation against typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus and Japanese encephalitis as well as Malaria Prophylaxis. It is better to take along any prescription medication with sufficient supplies during your trip. Also we have foreign trained medical doctors and 24 hour Clinic service.

13. WHAT FOOD WILL I FIND?

Myanmar cuisine mainly consists of a staple diet of rice with meat or fish curry, vegetable salads and soups. Chili is popular in Myanmar and is often used in spicy dishes such as curries, however the meal is not as hot as the Thai version. Myanmar can boast of a diverse range of cuisine with Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants sprinkled around the major cities. Western food can be found in a few French or Italian restaurants in Yangon as well as at major international hotels in Yangon and Mandalay.

14. HOW IS THE SHOPPING AND WHAT DO I TIP?

Shopping is plentiful in most areas of Myanmar with colourful markets and stalls on most streets. Most popular buys include antiques, embroidery, gems, lacquer ware, pearl, hand-woven silk longyis, traditional woodcarvings, customary puppets and tribal crafts. Jewelry should be purchased through an authorized dealer who will issue a receipt so that the items can be exported. Bargaining is required at small shops and markets.
Major hotels and restaurants usually add 10 % service charge to bills. Where it is not included a tip of up to 10 % of the bill would be appropriate if the service is satisfactory. Porters usually expect to be tipped.

15. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ITINERARY?

See http://www.karaweiktours.com

16. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY IN GENERAL?

See http://www.tourismmyanmar.com

Contact Address

408A, Yuzana Condo Tower, 69, Shwegondine Rd, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 11201

Tel: (+95-1) 549265, 552647
Fax: (+95-1) 552712

Email: khin.kmj@gmail.com, kyawthugar@gmail.com, karaweik@myanmar.com.mm

Internet: www.karaweiktours.com, www.karaweiktours.asia

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