At a difficult period in the nation’s history, Myanmar reveals just why grassroots travel is so important.

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.  

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Articles on Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma) travel highlights


View over temples in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit Myanmar

Geography and environment

History and government

Top 5 Temples of Myanmar

Health and Safety

Further reading

Myanmar (Burma) travel FAQs

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

Most nationalities require a tourist visa in advance to visit Myanmar. eVisas are available for most nationalities via the Government website:

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.

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 access 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 people earning a low wage, a modest tip is likely to be accepted graciously.


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

Responsible Travel

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.

Top responsible travel tips for Myanmar

Top responsible travel tips for Myanmar (Burma)

  1. Be considerate of Myanmar’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, this is a requirement when entering places of worship.
  3. Myanmar’s political situation is rapidly changing, but may still be sensitive at times. Respect the wishes of locals at all times and avoid starting conversations involving politics or the government. It is possible to discuss politics if welcomed to do so.
  4. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
  5. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  6. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
  7. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  8. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  10. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
  11. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

The Intrepid Foundation

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

ActionAid Myanmar

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

To learn more or donate, go to: