This blog used to be titled “From Studying in the Philippines.”, but those in the know know know that I changed the title to prepare for the coming Asian era.
Myanmar, the last remaining majestic country in Asia, has finally waived its tourist visa requirements for Japanese nationals.
So today I’d like to share with you what you should pay attention to and what to do in advance to prepare for a visit to Myanmar.
- Tourist visa to Myanmar
- What to wear when sightseeing in Myanmar
- Myanmar's Security Surprised by the Entry of the Unexpected
- Myanmar Tourism Preparation Summary
Tourist visa to Myanmar
As already mentioned, it used to be necessary to obtain a tourist visa in advance to go to Myanmar.
However, you can now enter the country without a tourist visa for one year from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.
Therefore, Japanese can enter Myanmar with only their passport. However, there are some points to note, and according to the website of the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar
To all travelers to Myanmar
From October 1, 2018, Japanese nationals with ordinary passports who visit Myanmar for tourism will be exempted from entry visa requirements.
The period of stay is 30 days, and only for tourism purposes. Those who enter the country for other purposes such as business will need to obtain a visa in advance as before.
For more information, please visit the website of the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo (http://www.myanmar-embassy-tokyo.net/).
So I jumped to the link and went to the visa information page.
Astonishing garbled text. I changed the character encoding in Safari, but there was no change at all. This makes me wonder if they really want to increase the number of tourists. Is there some other way? Or, as usual, is there a fungible policy that says it has to be Microsoft’s IE?
I had no choice but to go to JTB’s website, which seemed to have a high level of credibility, and check.
The following airports and seaports are available for entry: Yangon International Airport, Mandalay Airport, Nay Pyi Taw Airport, Yangon International Port, and the border gates of Myayawaddy, Tachileik, and Korton, which border Thailand.
The maximum period of stay in Myanmar is 30 days. No extension is allowed.
Both package tour participants and individual travelers (FIT) are eligible for visa exemption.
An airline ticket with a return date within one month (or to a third country) is required.
Departures can be made from any international airport or port in Myanmar.
If I read this straightforwardly, it looks like I’ll need an exit ticket even if I’m going overland. Also, it looks like you can’t leave the country by land.
First of all, I think it would be better to go by air with a round-trip ticket to Myanmar.
If you want to get a round-trip ticket, it is useful to use a website that allows you to look up each airline across the board.
Also, there is mixed information on the conditions for visa waiver, such as not being able to bring $1,000 in accommodation fees upon entry or having to present a credit card, so you should do the best you can.
▽Did I get into Myanmar without a visa? Click here to see how it happened▽
What to wear when sightseeing in Myanmar
Myanmar’s climate is tropical and subtropical
Most of Myanmar is in the tropics or subtropics, but the temperature and precipitation vary greatly from region to region. The dry season is November to March, the rainy season is June to October, and the hot season is April to May.
However, even if you don’t care that much, you can dress in the same way you would when going sightseeing in Southeast Asian countries.
The average temperature in Myanmar is 30 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures in Myanmar are hottest in April and then stay around 30 degrees until December. The temperature at night drops below 20 degrees Celsius in some seasons, so it’s better to bring one thing to cover yourself with.
Shoes are not allowed in the temple.
One thing that is different from other countries is the entrance to the pagoda. Basically, you are not allowed to enter the temple wearing footwear.
In addition to footwear, socks and stockings are also not allowed. If you wear shoes, your bare feet will get dirty, and unless you wash off the dirt in the tap somewhere, you will have to wear socks and shoes on top of your dirty feet.
Therefore, I personally think that sports sandals are the best choice for sightseeing in Myanmar, because you can wear them barefoot, but they hold your toes firmly in place.
Subtle line bottom
There is no clear dress code, except that footwear is not allowed inside the temple, and the level of exposure is low, so it is better to bring long pants just in case.
However, I will also bring longer shorts for sightseeing outside the temples during the day.
In summary, it’s fine to be casual when going to a casino in the Philippines.
Click here for an article explaining the specific dress code for visiting casinos in Manila.
Myanmar’s Security Surprised by the Entry of the Unexpected
Basically, it is the same as any other country in Southeast Asia. Unlike the Philippines, it is not a gun-owning society, so you don’t need to be too careful, but there are still pickpockets and snatchers.
Also, women can walk alone during the day, but at night it can be dangerous, so women should not walk alone at night.
Another surprising thing is the presence of stray dogs. As the country is still in its infancy, stray dogs can be found hanging out in every alleyway.
During the day, they don’t do anything because of the sweltering heat, but at night, they start to intimidate us, and in the worst case, bite us.
It is always a good idea to have travel insurance, stay away from dogs at night (or worse, during the day), and if possible, carry an umbrella or something that can scare them away. Umbrellas are not allowed on board, so you will probably have to buy one locally.
Click here for an article on how to get travel insurance.
Myanmar Tourism Preparation Summary
Basically, the travel preparations are the same as those for sightseeing in Southeast Asia such as the Philippines and Thailand, but you may want to be careful about the prohibition of footwear inside temples and wild dogs.