Travelling to Myanmar

 
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MONEY

The unit of currency in Myanmar is Kyat ("chat"), divided into 100 Pyas.

Please be aware that Myanmar is a cash based economy. Traveller's cheques are not accepted in Myanmar. Visa and MasterCard's are accepted in few hotels/restaurants only. There are few ATMS in the main cities of the country.

The import and export notes of Myanmar Kyats is strictly prohibited.

You can change currencies in few hotels, but the best rate will be in currency exchange offices in the main cities of the country.

TIPPING

Tips are not as widely expected in Myanmar as elsewhere in Asia –largely due to the relative youth of its hospitality industry. However, small sums as tokens of appreciation are generally received with gratitude, especially in parts of the country more accustomed to foreign visitors. Tipping on board the Sanctuary Ananda is discretionary; however we are pleased to give you the following guide to tipping in Myanmar. All figures are in kyats.

Tipping on board

Guides
• 10,000 kyats per person, per day Drivers
• 2,000 kyats per person, per day Crew
• 100,000 kyats per cabin, per cruise

Drivers
• 5,000 kyats for two travellers in a vehicle
• 4,000 for four or more (For half-day tours, reduce the amount by 50% per person)

Room service/restaurant waiting staff
• 2,000 kyats per person per meal

Hotel porters/hotel housekeeping staff
• 1,000 kyats per bag


LANGUAGE

The official language is called Burmese or Myanmar. It is written in a script consisting of circular and semi-circular letters, which were adapted from the Mon script, which in turn was developed from a southern Indian script in the 8th century.

Pali is the sacred language of Buddhism and it is used for worshiping. Most people do not understand the meaning of the prayers and the monks translate it to be understandable.

As Myanmar is ethnically diversified, there are several ethnic minority languages and dialects, approximately one hundred languages are spoken all over the country.

English is the secondary language taught in the schools since kindergarten. However, students are just good at reading and writing skills and not fluent in listening and speaking.

TIME ZONES

While most of the world is familiar with time zones that differ in increments of an hour, there are many places in the world that use offset time zones. These time zones are offset by a half-hour or even fifteen minutes off of the standard twenty four time zones of the world.

Myanmar is one of the countries that use the offset time zone. Myanmar Standard Time is GMT+6:30. For example, it is 12:30 in the afternoon in Myanmar when it is 6:00 am in the UK in the winter and 7:00 am in the summer due to daylight saving time or British Summer Time.


RELIGION

Myanmar is a multi-religious country as different religions can be practiced without any obstruction. Although there is no official state religion, the government shows preference for Theravada Buddhism, the majority religion. Among 60 million people, there are over 53 million Buddhists, over 3 million Christians, over 2 million Muslims, over 0.3 million Hindus and 1 million of those who believe in other religions.

Please remember the sacred and taboo parts of your body are head and feet. For the Asian, the head is the most sacred part of the body, while the feet are the lowest and the filthiest. Touching a person's head is totally out of line, especially with elders. At the same time, you must never show the soles of your feet to anyone, or use your feet to point at something as it would be the direct insult to someone.

VISA APPLICATION

Every national visiting Myanmar needs a visa - an online visa service is now available. Cost approx. US$70

For more information on Myanmar travel please visit http://myanmar.travel/

 
 
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