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Myanmar: All you need to know about travelling to this Asian country

Myanmar: The Basics


Population: Statistics vary but around 50 million

Capital: Naypyidaw

Currency: Kyat

Language: Burmese

Religion: Approximately 89% of the population is Buddhist. Hinduism is practiced mainly by Burmese Indians.

Emergency numbers: 192 (ambulance), 199 (police), 192 (fire)


Visa, Please

Who needs one?

All visitors to Myanmar must obtain visas. In September 2010, the Burmese government suspended its visa on arrival program after only four months. A tourist visa is $35 and allows a stay of up to 28 days. Writers, journalists, editors, film producers and photographers may have trouble obtaining a visa. Stating these occupations on your application may result in your visa being declined. Download forms at www.mesingapore.org.sg.


Getting it sorted in Singapore

The Myanmar Embassy is located at 15 St Martin’s Drive. Call 6735 0209. Visa applications are accepted Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 12.30pm; collection times are from 3pm to 5pm. Processing time usually takes four working days.


Health Hints

  • Myanmar has quite a few nasty snakes, including cobras, kraits and the Russell’s Viper, one of Asia’a deadliest snakes. Wear the right footwear and keep an eye out for critters at all times.
  • Dengue and malaria are a problem in Myanmar, so be sure to take adequate precautions against both of them.


Learn the Lingo



Good Morning: Mingalar ba

Thank you: Kyei zu tin ba de

How much is this? Bel lau lel

I am hungry: Hsa bi

I’ll be back soon: Makya gin pyan la me


Hot Spots

Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Kyaitko, Moulmein


Itinerary Ideas

  • “The Big Four”: Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake
  •  South: Yangon – Kyaikto – Moulmein


Time and Dates


Flying time

3 hours


Time difference from Singapore

1.5 hours behind


When to go

The monsoon season lasts from May to October; thereafter temperatures cool a bit from November to February before heating back up between March to April. The climate in the higher altitudes of northern Myanmar is temperate throughout the year, but is humid in lower Myanmar along the coastlines and around the delta region, which includes Yangon.


Key dates

13-16 April – Thingyan. Celebrating the Myanmar New Year, this festival lasts for several days and features lots of good-natured water throwing.

21 October –Full Moon of Thadingyut, The end of Buddhist Lent features three days of festivities, with houses and streets illuminated and decorated.