For the longest time, Myanmar has not opened its doors wide for the rest of the world to see. It was ruled by an autocratic government and tourism was not really encouraged. With the change in administration, Myanmar has become more open. It has increased partnerships with several nations and more tourists have flocked to see its untouched beauty.
If you are planning to visit Myanmar as a solo traveller for the first time, there are important things you need to remember.
Flying to the country
Yangon Airport is the main entry point for trips to Myanmar. It also has the most number of international flights in Myanmar. The Mandalay Airport has also opened, but it currently serves only international flights to and from Bangkok.
Kyat is the local currency used in the country but US dollars are also widely accepted. It is best to have both along with a credit card as a backup option. If you intend to change your money for local currency, make sure that your money is in pristine condition as it is checked carefully. Discolouration and other flaws will decrease the value of the money. They might even be rejected. ATM machines are usually available in certain places but be careful as some of them are always out of service.
It looks like the cost of living in the country is low, but provide an allowance in your budget. The prices could be higher than expected. Even hotels are relatively more expensive than those in neighbouring countries like Thailand or Vietnam.
You have to spend approximately 1,000 Kyat per kilometre if you are taking a cab. You can also hire private drivers as the cost can be lower and they can also drive longer distances. Fascinating places like the Golden Rock which is over 2 hours away from the capital won’t cost you that much if you are hiring a private driver. Just make sure you learn how to say no if you are asked to go to certain places that you are not interested in visiting anyway.
You need to dress conservatively. Most locals cover their shoulders and legs even with high temperatures. You are highly encouraged to wear appropriate attire especially if you are entering temples and pagodas.
Don’t be afraid to try
From foods to tourist destinations, the country has a lot to offer. You just have to discover them and make the most of your experience. The locals are very friendly and hospitable. They will welcome you with warm greetings and make you feel at home.
You can get some more travelling tips by reading blogs by Varsha Rao. Given her expertise, you will certainly learn a lot.