Myanmar Travel Information

Myanmar authorities have imposed strict restrictions on entry into Myanmar. There are very few opportunities for departure. For more information about coronavirus and entry/exit, see Health and Entry.

Safety

There are several travel restrictions for foreigners in Myanmar. A complete list of destinations requiring government authorization can be found on the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Myanmar’s website Traveler tips.

Myanmar has been characterized by ethnic conflicts for decades, affecting the security situation in parts of the country today. The situation is particularly unstable in the northern parts of the Shan state, in Kachin, in the southwest of Chin and in large parts of the state of Rakhine where since January 2019 there have been fighting operations that have also covered the temple area in Mrauk-U.

In other areas of the country there are fragile ceasefire agreements between the authorities and various ethnic, armed groups. Caution should be exercised in all border areas, especially along Myanmar’s eastern borders in Shan, Karen, Mon and Kachin where riots and armed clashes can suddenly occur. Border crossings can be closed at short notice.

There still exists a high number of land mines in several areas. It is therefore important not to move outside tourist areas approved by the authorities. There has been an increase in accidents related to so-called improvised explosives, especially in northern Rakhine.

In August 2019, there were several armed attacks in areas around Pyin Oo Lwin located in the Mandalay region as well as in Naung Cho in northern Shan . The railway and some roads were closed. The security situation can be changed at short notice, and the necessity of traveling to areas where violence can occur should be carefully considered.

  • Countryaah: Naypyidaw is the capital of Burma. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Please note that the embassy initially does not have access to conflict areas and that consular assistance in such areas may be limited.

Minor terrorist and bomb explosions have occurred in the country, but have so far not been aimed at civilian targets. However, conflicts between different interest groups in the country as a result of conflict may increase. Demonstrations can occur – and Norwegians are encouraged to avoid large crowds.

Traffic is one of the most real security threats in Myanmar. Many drivers have neither driver’s license nor insurance. Although many new cars have arrived on the roads, the car park is still partially old and in relatively poor condition. This also applies to taxis and buses. Many of the taxis do not have seat belts. Pedestrians should be especially careful.

Myanmar is occasionally hit by cyclones, floods and earthquakes. During the rainy season (normally June to September), large amounts of rain can cause flooding and make it difficult to reach roads and trains. The capacity of the authorities to deal with a major disaster is limited.

Information on storms and cyclones can e.g. can be found at Severe Weather Information Center. Earthquake information can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System and the Geological Institute, such as the USGS.

For information on the current weather situation, see Myanmar’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

There is generally little crime in Myanmar targeting foreigners, but general caution should be exercised.

Penalties for drug offenses can range from minor fines to 15 years in prison and can also result in the death penalty. Tourists with tattoos of Buddha have been denied entry into Myanmar. You may be arrested if you photograph or film police, military personnel or military facilities.

The use of drones has resulted in prison sentences for foreigners. Homosexuality is prohibited by law in Myanmar.

Norwegian citizens staying in Myanmar for a shorter or longer period are encouraged to register at http://www.reiseregistrering.no/ so that the embassy can reach out with important information should this be necessary.

Norwegian citizens are strongly encouraged to have valid travel insurance. Good travel insurance will cover, among other things, expenses related to injuries, accidents, illness, home transport and death.

If you are in the vicinity of a disaster area – or believe that relatives will call you, you should seek to inform these and/or the Norwegian authorities about your situation as soon as possible. This is true even if you have not been particularly affected by the disaster.

The embassy is contacted by phone +95 (1) 513459, 513627, 513175, 513740. Opening hours 08: 30-16: 30 Monday to Thursday, 08: 30-14: 00 Friday or e-mail [email protected]

Outside the embassy’s opening hours, the public can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ operative center on tel: +47 23 95 00 00 or by e-mail: [email protected]

Norwegian citizens are advised to stay abreast of a possible crisis via Myanmar media and follow directions from local authorities, police and security forces.

Major Landmarks in Myanmar

Entry

Please note that the entry rules to Myanmar may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with all applicable entry regulations for each country.

Myanmar authorities have stopped issuing all visas until 15th mail.

Myanmar’s aviation authorities have announced that all commercial international flights will be suspended from March 30 to May 15. The suspension does not apply to emergency aircraft, cargo planes, medical evacuation aircraft and special aircraft with special permission from the aviation authorities.

Requirements have been introduced for negative covid-19 health certificate for entry as well as 21 days quarantine in a location determined by the Myanmar authorities, then seven days home quarantine. See more information under Health.

Visas before departure can be applied for at Myanmar’s embassy in Oslo. Here you can also receive more detailed information about Myanmar.

Please note that passports must be presented when arriving in different states.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): On Monday, March 23, the first two cases of covid-19 were confirmed. The number of infected is increasing and we encourage you to check the updated information on the Coronavirus disease 2019 website of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health.

Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the situation related to the spread of the coronavirus. Follow advice, guidance and directions from local authorities on how to deal with the situation. Coronavirus information is also available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website Coronavirus disease outbreak.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD’s answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

We encourage all Norwegian citizens in Myanmar to register on reiseregistrering.no.

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It is very important to take out travel insurance before leaving Norway. Check that the insurance covers the necessary travel needs in Myanmar, including medical transportation.

There are limited medical services in Myanmar, and in most cases serious illness requires treatment abroad.

There are some acceptable private hospitals/clinics in Yangon, but can only handle less complicated cases of illness. The most widely used health clinics in Yangon are International SOS Clinic Yangon and Samitivej International Clinic.

Outside the main cities there is poor access to medicines. Any malaria prophylaxis and prescription drugs should be included. Prescription medicine should be stored in the original packaging and the prescription brought.

More information on which vaccines are needed when entering Myanmar is available from the Institute of Public Health.

Occurrences of the diseases dengue fever and malaria should take normal precautions against mosquitoes. The Zika virus is believed to be present in the country and may act as occasional single cases or minor outbreaks. There is a greater chance of being infected in rural areas than in cities.

Many Myanmar’s are not fully vaccinated against infectious diseases. Epidemics of e.g. Measles and tuberculosis occur periodically. There are significant incidences of HIV/AIDS in Myanmar. There are many loose dogs in Myanmar and rabies infection occurs.

Similar to other tropical countries, there are also exotic animals such as snakes, spiders and scorpions in Myanmar. In case of bites, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

There is very high air pollution in Yangon at times. This can be uncomfortable, especially for sensitive and vulnerable groups. In case of any need for medicine, this should be brought from home.

Practical information

According to allcitycodes, the area code for calls from Norway to Myanmar is +95. The telephone network may be unstable. The time difference between Myanmar and Norway is + 4.5 hours summertime, + 5.5 hours winter time.

Myanmar’s mains is 220 volts.

The mobile network has been considerably expanded in recent years, but there is still a lack of coverage in some rural areas. However, the mobile network works well in most places where tourists travel. You can buy a local sim card on arrival.

The internet is reliable at major hotels in Yangon and Naypyidaw and is also mainly available in central tourist destinations.

There is a good selection of ATMs in Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw as well as in most tourist areas, but cash payments are still often used – even in smaller hotels. Therefore, you should bring a certain amount of cash when traveling outside the major tourist areas. There are an increasing number of restaurants where you can pay by card, but payment is often requested in cash. “Tip” at restaurants is not expected. Most transactions are conducted in Myanmar Kyat (MMK), but settlement in US dollars (USD) is still widespread. It is important that the USD banknotes are new and without visible marks/folding edges. It is possible to transfer money from abroad via Western Union in Myanmar.

Burmese is the largest language in Myanmar, but many minority groups have their own languages. English skills vary, but you get around the country pretty much without major problems.

Myanmar’s greatest religion/outlook is Buddhism. When visiting religious places, wearing shorts and a shirt without sleeves can be offensive. Socks and shoes must be removed when visiting temples. Women who visit religious sites are expected to dress conservatively by covering their knees and shoulders.