General Information

We wish and hope that your stay in Myanmar is a pleasant and memorable one. In order to help you attain this, we would like to recommend you to observe all necessary precautions to prevent encountering any unfavorable experiences. Thus, listed below are some useful information. 

Avoid or disregard all strangers offering either tours or accommodation services, or exchanging foreign currency into local currency or for selling gems of a doubtful nature. The offers may appear attractive but you could get into trouble and spoil your visit. 

Be alert to the location of your valuables or other belongings while traveling by bus or train. Report all losses to the nearest Police Station as well as to your Embassy.  

Avoid or disregard those who offer to take you around or shopping free of charge except those of your close friends or contact your hotel or trawl agent. 

Never display large amounts of cash when making simple purchases. Bring only sufficient amount of money for intended daily use. 

Be careful not to become involved in any habit-forming drug since the penalty for such violation in Myanmar is very servere.  

Note your taxi's licence-plate number before or after the service, since this is most essential for the police to recover forgotten valuable items or documents.  

Always have your hotel's name and address with you when- ever you go out of the hotel This would be of great help in finding your way back.  

Custom Visitors are requested to dress decently within the precincts of religious places. Footwear is strictly prohibited in pagodas and monasteries

Clothing Normally the tropical climate calls for washable- cotton, light and loose dresses with comfortable shoes or sandals. During cold season visitors are advised to bring a sweater or a jacket. An umbrella is necessary during the rainy season.  

Time Zone  6 hours, 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 

Taxi & Buses No taxis in Myanmar use meters; the fare must be arranged before starting off.  Public buses are plentiful in the city area at wry reasonable prices.  

Tipping is not expected by taxi drivers. Hotels and restaurants generally add 10-15% service charge. If service charges not included, tip for good service.  

Electricity 220 volts AC in Yangon and most of Myanmar.  

Water is advisable to drink bottled or boiled water. 

Driving license International driving license is accepted.  

Food Rice is the basis of Myanmar food and meals are generally variations on the same basic theme. All Myanmar savory dishes are normally served together. They are eaten with a spoon and fork.  

Business Hours Government offices are open from 9.30 am. to 4:30 pm. and banks from 10 am. to 2 pm. from Mondays to Fridays. Shops are generally open longer but their hours vary.  

Shopping Hints Buying is easy but if you want to get value for your money, you should expect to invest a little effort. Bargaining is expected at all shops. except the department stores and where prices are fixed. So feel free to ask for a proper discount when shopping in places where prices are not marked. To begin with, before you go out on a buying spree, spend some time reading this section. Here are some tips on how to shop wisely.  

Ignore all touts You are advised not to use the services of a tout no matter how attractive his offer. A tout may approach you at the airport or on the street; he may even call at your hotel. He will recommend a specific store and provide transportation to take you there. Beware the cost of the transportation plus the tout's commission will eventually be added to your bill. 

Compare prices Comparing prices is not so troublesome as it sounds. Shops here are located fairly close to one another. It shouldn't be difficult to obtain, say, three price quotations before you decide to buy. Some people prefer to shop where there is no barging. where prices are fixed and prominently displayed. If that's your preference, then head for the leading stores. 

Examine goods As a general rule, goods once purchased cannot be exchanged or returned. Neither is your deposit refundable. So it makes sense to examine or test the goods carefully before you buy.  

Insist on an official receipt Your receipt is an important paper and the more detailed it is the better. For a start, it should list the following, brand name, product description, model reference, serial number, date of purchase, price (in kyats or US dollars), name and address of the shop, telephone number. 

Be clear about customs regulations Be sure to obtain an export permit from the government office or from the shop concerned before purchasing items such as gems & jewellery, antique, silverware, or other items. This permit is required to be shown to customs upon your departure. 

Weight and Measurement The English system of weight and measurement is generally used. But in the markets the use of Myanmar weight and measurement is common. The metric system has also been introduced in many areas.


Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels