Myanmar opened its doors for tourism in 2012.
Although tourism is relatively new, it is well manageable to travel by yourself.
Of course you might want to book with a tour company,
but I think you are more flexible if you have the freedom to stay longer or leave earlier.
Be prepared for some language barriers, as many locals do not speak English.
People are very friendly and smile a lot,
so body language makes up for a lack of understanding of Burmese language.
The essential words to know are:
You will need a visa to enter Myanmar.
The easiest way to apply is the E-Visa, through the internet.
It will cost about 50 dollars and takes about a week to come through.
When you are planning your trip and looking for the best places to visit in Myanmar,
also check the restricted areas as you will need a permit to travel there.
As Myanmar is mainly a conservative Buddhist country,
it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of their customs.
Remember that it is not allowed to touch someones head,
it is rude to point your toes at a Buddha statue and never eat with your left hand.
The kissing sound that you will hear in restaurants is not a sign of affection,
but the signal that someone wants to pay.
The local currency is kyat and 10.000 kyat is approximately 7.5 US Dollar.
Outside of Myanmar, you wont legally be able to trade kyat,
so youd better withdraw some from the ATM at the airport on arrival.
While US dollars might be accepted if they are in pristine conditions,
it is always a smart idea to carry kyat.
Credit cards are not everywhere accepted and there are plenty of ATMs in the tourist hubs.
The country is relatively safe, but we always wore a money belt.
Dont forget to change the kyats back to your own currency before you leave the country.
You will need to be flexible as most of the transport and departure times are approximate times.
The infrastructure of Myanmar can be improved, so you are likely to end up in long distance busses or trains.
For the people with some more money to spend, the airfares are relatively cheap
and AirKBZ is currently one of the most reliable airlines.
Anyway, schedule enough time to get around and you will have a more relaxed time here.
On the streets you will see many red stains.
It took us a few days to figure out that people were using betel nut.
The green palm tree (or banana) leaves are filled with betel nut, spices and sometimes tobacco
and it is highly addictive.
The saliva producing goods have to be spitted out and you will encounter many locals using it.
You can recognize them on the red stained teeth.
It is mainly men using the betel nut,
where the women are wearing a mix of sunscreen and make up on their cheeks.
This is also known as Thanake.
As a rule of the Burmese government, visitors are only allowed to stay in registered hotels.
The accommodation must be approved by the Ministry of Tourism and in my experience on most booking sites,
like Booking.com and Agoda, it is well noticed which are the registered hotels.
Prices are likely to increase when you come nearer to your travel dates,
so it is good to book ahead and secure a room for the best price.
When you enter a Buddhist temple or religious building, you will be required to take off your shoes.
As there are lots of temples that you will probably visit, it is easiest if you wear flip flops or sandals.
You will need to be properly dressed, so both men and women need to cover their shoulders and knees.
A traditional longyi can be bought nearly everywhere
and this sheet of cloth is usually decorated with special patterns.
As a tourist it is very well appreciated if you wear a longyi
and this can often be an opening for a conversation.
Hygiene is one of the things the Burmese kitchen lacks.
Many places have their food on display all day long so youd better choose your food wisely.
Dont be discouraged if you get food poisoning at some point, as it is most likely to happen to you too.
Therefore, I would definitely recommend taking hand sanitizer along
with Imodium and antibiotics in case diarrhea hits you.
Healthcare in Myanmar is low standard, so youd better get health insurance in case you need it.
You will likely have to go to Bangkok for serious problems.
Although we encountered many posts on the internet about power cuts and poor quality internet,
we have not encountered any problems.
We bought a tourist SIM card and had reception throughout the country.
You can choose Oredoo or Telenor and the SIM cards are sold in nearly every mobile phone shop.
Enjoy your travels in this amazing country.
Next week another travel video about Myanmar.
Dont miss it and subscribe to my channel!