Before you go, check out the 5-day forecast in Yangon (Rangoon).
A passport valid up to 6 months beyond your travel date and a tourist visa are required for entry into Laos. A tourist visa is valid for one month starting from your entry date.
The local currency is the Kyat. Tourists not on an organized tour are required to exchange USD300 into FEC 300 (Foreign
Exchange Certificates) upon arrival at the airport. The FEC have about the same value
(approximately 5-10% less) as the US dollar and are used to pay officially approved hotel
rooms, shops and restaurants. Credit cards are not generally accepted. Travelers checks
and currencies other than US dollars are only accepted by major banks. We recommend you
carry new, clean, unmarked US dollar bills in small denominations. Use the currency
converter to help you quickly calculate your exchange amount.
Myanmar has three seasons. The winter is cool and dry and lasts from November to
February. From February to May is the hot summer and following that is the monsoon season,
which lasts until October. The best time to visit is during the winter from October to
Basic diet is rice and curry. There are numerous forms of fish paste with salad.
Soup is taken together with rice and other dishes. Almost every town boasts Chinese
restaurants (mainly Cantonese and Fukinese). Indian food is also popular. European food is
only available in major hotels. All fruits and vegetables should be cooked or peeled.
Drinking tap water or ice is strongly not recommended.
Most of the linguistic groups are monosyllabic and polytonal, like those of Tibet
and China. The great majority of the population, including many of the non-Burman ethnic
minorities speaks the official Myanmar language. English is spoken among the educated, and
a sizable number of people speak Chinese.
A majority of the population practice Theravada Buddhism while a minority is Muslim or Christian.
More than two-thirds of the people are Burmese, ethnically akin to the Tibetans
and the Mongols. The most important of the native minority groups, who have their own
languages and cultures, are the Karen and the Shan, each of which comprises less than
one-tenth of the population. There is also a Chinese and Indian minority population.
MAJOR HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
Festivals are a central part of Buddhists in Burma and most coincide with full
moons of the lunar calendar. The majority of festivals take place in central Burma during
March , July-September, December and during Buddhist lent. They usually either start or
finish on the full moon day. Some major festivals include Full Moon Day of Tabaung
(March), Water Festival and Myanmar New Year (April), Buddhist Lent (July-August) and
Light Festival (November). Official holidays include Independence Day (January 4), Union
Day (February 12), Armed Forces Day (March 27) and Martyrs Day (July 19).
GMT +7 hours or +12 hours for EST (subtract 1 hour for daylight savings).
230V, 50 Hz
INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE CODE
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
There are frequent flights from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur and
less frequent flights from the capitals of other neighboring countries. Airport departure
tax is USD6. Crossing overland is possible from Yunnan province in China and from Thailand
at Three Pagodas Pass, Mae Sot and Mae Sai.
We recommend titles at Longitude Books, www.longitudebooks.com.