Despite recent unrest, Myanmar’s stunning gold pagodas, ancient towns and forested landscapes are still worthy of your attention. We believe there has never been a more important time to be fostering real exchanges between travellers and locals, whether that’s visiting a family-run workshop in Bagan, learning from a community project in Pakkoku, or simply mingling with villagers in Kalaw. Come and see why, even when the country’s reputation might have chilled, Myanmar still has the ability to stir.
Our Myanmar (Burma) trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 905 reviews in the last year.
we did things and saw that we could not have done on our own. There are real benefits in group travel (new to us). Access to information, avoidance of admin and arrangements, and seeing and doing things that would not be available on own. The other trip members were fun. The guide was excellent.
Review submitted 21 Jun 2018
Visit the floating markets of Inle Lake
Pay a visit to the sacred Shwedagon Paya
Travel on the world’s longest teak bridge
We understand there has been a lot of discussion about boycotting travel to Myanmar in light of recent events, but we believe there’s a good deal to be said about continuing to operate our trips in Myanmar.
While the intention behind a boycott is to do the right thing, the reality is boycotts often impact the wrong people. Diminishing tourism impacts not just the government or military’s bottom line, but also tightens the belts of local families who rely on travellers to purchase their goods.
Travel boycotts also tend to isolate vulnerable people even more and reinforce binary world views. At Intrepid, we believe travel has the ability to be a force of good. To connect people and begin a dialogue between cultures that can propel change. This is especially so in places where censorship restricts the free flow of ideas in the media, resulting in an echo chamber that only an outsider can break.
We respect the decision to travel or not travel to a country is an individual choice, but we choose to believe in the positive impact that tourism can continue to have in countries like Myanmar.
You can read more about our decision to continue travelling in Myanmar here.
VISAS FOR TRIPS STARTING IN MYANMAR:
Most nationalities require a visa to visit Myanmar, and can obtain a tourist visa using a eVisa system. For information on obtaining an eVisa visit website: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/
Important to note when applying for an eVisa:
- Passport validity must have at least (6) months validity from date of return.
- You will need to present one colour photo (4cm X 6cm) taken within the last 3 months and a copy of your return ticket.
- Length of stay is 28 days from the date of arrival in Myanmar.
- The eVisa fee is US$50 per person, payable by credit card (note: visa fee is non-refundable should the eVisa be denied)
- The processing time is approximately 3 working days for granting an eVisa however we recommend allowing longer in the event of delays.
- The validity of eVisa approval letter is 90 days from the date of issue. If it has expired, entry will be denied.
- eVisas are applicable for single entry into Myanmar only and you will not be permitted to re-enter on an eVisa that you have previously entered on (multiple entries not possible).
- eVisas are only obtainable if you are arriving into Yangon International Airport, Nay Pyi Taw International Aiport and Mandalay International Airport, as well as land border crossings at Tachileik, Myawaddy and Kawthaung. If arriving into another Myanmar entry point you will need to apply for your visa in advance through a Myanmar Embassy.
Nationalities who are unable to obtain an eVisa should contact the Myanmar embassy in their country of residency. Note - you may be requested to provide a letter of invitation from a local Myanmar ground operator. In such cases please contact Intrepid to attain this letter and we will forward to you.
VISAS FOR SAILING TRIPS:
For this Myanmar sailing trip visas will be obtained by the group during the trip on arrival (at border crossing between Thailand/Myanmar).
Resuming trips in Myanmar isn't a decision Intrepid has made lightly. In 2003, we responded to the call for a boycott on travel to Burma by the then democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy (NLD) party was denied the right to govern the country by the military dictatorship.
After recent positive events within the country including the elections in November 2010, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and the subsequent call to end the travel boycott by the NLD, Intrepid has been prompted to consider returning to Myanmar (Burma).
By reintroducing our grassroots style of travel, we can contribute to improving the circumstances of the Burmese people by way of initiating a two-way exchange. Firstly, resuming trips will give them a chance to interact with visitors from other countries, thus giving a rare glimpse into life and governance in other parts of the world.
Secondly, taking passengers to Myanmar will help to build awareness of the complex issues this country continues to face, as well as positively contributing to the economy.
The availability of Internet is increasing in Myanmar, with wifi and access points in most hotels. However Internet speeds are often very slow and unreliable, particularly in rural areas.
While tipping isn’t customary in Myanmar, setting aside a small amount for restaurant staff, porters and other service workers is considered polite. With most Burmese people earning a low wage, a modest tip will be accepted graciously by most
International roaming with an increasing number of western mobile networks is now possible in Myanmar; the situation is rapidly changing, so it is best to check with your provider in advance. Tourist SIM cards can also be purchased at international airports and some post offices.
You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation whilst in Myanmar. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to, although western-style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and hand sanitiser as these are rarely provided.
Street food snack = 500-1000 MMK
Bottle of beer in a bar or restaurant = 2000-2500 MMK
Banquet in a small, locally-run restaurant = 3000-5000 MMK
Dinner in a high-end hotel restaurant = 15,000+ MMK
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Myanmar. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards can be used in some hotels, restaurants and shops however use will be very limited. Myanmar is still largely a cash economy, so it is best to still carry cash.
ATMs are available in all cities and most major towns. At times these can prove unreliable due to frequent power cuts or running out of funds, so you may need to try several ATMs when withdrawing funds.
It's advisable to still bring cash to exchange. Foreign currency is no longer accepted for purchases in Myanmar.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Myanmar go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/myanmar/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.
In Myanmar (Burma), The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:
ActionAid Myanmar engages young community members as change-makers to empower their own villages. They have established women-led “revolving loan funds” allowing villagers to take out low interest loans and develop or set up their small business.
Photo provided by ActionAid