Myanmar: The Basics
Population: Statistics vary but around 50 million
Religion: Approximately 89% of the population is Buddhist. Hinduism is practiced mainly by Burmese Indians.
Emergency numbers: 192 (ambulance), 199 (police), 192 (fire)
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.
- 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
Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Kyaitko, Moulmein
- “The Big Four”: Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Inle Lake
- South: Yangon – Kyaikto – Moulmein
Time and Dates
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.
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.