Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a land of faith, traditional practices and centuries-old stupas. The republic in South-East Asia is bounded by India, China, Bangladesh, Laos and Cambodia and covers an area of 676,578 square kilometers. Myanmar has a recorded population of 51 million (as of 2014).
Despite lying at the crossroads of 2 of the world’s greatest civilizations, India and China, Myanmar’s culture isn’t directly influenced much by either of them and is a pleasant orchestration of both, weaved into Myanmar’s native characteristics.
Known for their hospitality and benevolence, the folks and the life in Myanmar are largely influenced by Buddhism, and have been content and enthusiastic even in the face of many adversities.
How to prepare for a trip to Myanmar?
1. Visa: Anyone with a passport from Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam can enter the country for at most 14 days. If that’s not the case, you need to apply for a Myanmar tourist visa.
2. Currency: Known as Kyat, it’s fairly easy to exchange foreign currency at airports, hotels, Forex and banks. Also, foreign currencies above 2000 USD must be declared to the customs at the airport in place of which the government issues Foreign Exchange Certificates, which are accepted by restaurants, travel agents, taxis, hotels, airlines, etc.
3. Vaccinations: Myanmar’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone arriving at the country to get vaccinated for chickenpox, measles-mumps-rubella, tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, flu and typhoid.
4. Choose a season: The period between February and May is warm with little to no rainfall. The country transforms to a lush land between the months of May and October with rains pouring through afternoons and evenings. October to February is the festive season and also the best time to visit the country.
With whimsical mountains to exotic, white-sand beaches, and with lush landscapes dotted with pagodas and a thriving nightlife, Myanmar has everything a traveller needs.