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
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
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.
min ga lar bar
How are you?
nay kaung lar
I am fine
kaung par dal
I am not fine
ma kaung bu
kyay zu bae'
Every national visiting Myanmar needs a visa. Sanctuary Retreats
Myanmar can assist in applying for a visa by sending an invitation
letter to the clients but the visa still needs to be processed at
the Myanmar Embassy of your country. The visa fees and processing
period will vary from 3 days to 2 weeks according to the country of
visa on arrival
Sanctuary Retreats Myanmar may be able to process a visa on
arrival for a limited number of nationalities (this is updated
every few months, no fixed list) through the Ministry of Hotel and
Tourism. We need to send all necessary documents to the Ministry at
least 14 working days before arrival. Once we receive the approvals
from the Ministry, we will send the soft copies of the visa on
arrival to the clients. This document is to be shown upon arrival
at Visa on Arrival Counter at the airport. Visas on arrival are
available in Yangon International Airport and Mandalay
The tourist visa is valid for 3 months from date of issue. Once
the clients enter into Myanmar, they are eligible to stay 28 days
*** The above mentioned information is the standard process for
the clients from all different countries of origin.
The following guidelines are general local standards and are
based upon the number of travellers in your party. (Note: for
half-day touring, reduce the below amounts by 50% per person).
Local Guide US$5 per person per
Airport Transfer Drivers: An amount equivalent to approximately
US$2 per person per transfer
Room Service/Restaurant servers will be happy to receive US$2
per person per meal.
Taxi drivers will appreciate it if you round up the fare by a
few units of local currency.
Hotel porters will expect a tip equalling US$1 per bag.
Hotel maids will appreciate the equivalent of $2 per person per
These tipping guidelines are suggestions only and are at your
own discretion. Tips are usually awarded on the last day spent with
the staff member.
The unit of currency in Myanmar is Kyat ("chat"), divided into
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.
As US Dollars are widely accepted, we advise travellers to pay
for their purchases in US currency (small denominations are best
because change will be given in Kyat).
Be sure to carry new, crisp bills in small denominations. Worn
or soiled notes may not be accepted.
The import and export notes of Myanmar Kyats is strictly
You can change currencies in few hotels, but the best rate will
be in currency exchange offices in the main cities of the
food and drink
Myanmar Food has a variety of tastes combined from Indian, Thai
and Chinese due to its geographic location. Although it draws on
its' neighbours, it is neither as hot as Thai, as spicy as Indian
nor does it resemble Chinese cooking. The diversity of Myanmar's
cuisine has also been contributed because of various ethnic
Seafood is a common ingredient in coastal regions such as
Sittwe, Kyaukpyu, Mawlamyaing, Myeik and Dawei, while meat and
poultry are more commonly used in landlocked cities like
Mohinga is the most popular food that Myanmar people have all
day long, especially for breakfast, and it is the unofficial
national dish of rice vermicelli in fish broth with onions, garlic,
ginger, lemon grass and sliced tender core of banana-stem, served
with boiled eggs, fried fish and deep fried gourd.
A typical Myanmar meal includes steamed rice and meat or fish
curries with plenty of oil as the main dishes, fried vegetables,
and veggie salad as side dishes, a bowl of light soup and fresh or
boiled vegetables to go with a salty fish sauce. Burmese cuisine
also includes a variety of salads (a thoke), centered on one major
ingredient such as noodle, vermicelli, potato, baked eggplant,
ginger, tomato or pickled tea leaves, mixed with garlic oil,
peanuts, coriander, and dried prawn. These salads are always
popular as fast food.
Drinks are not often served with the meal and, instead, the
usual liquid accompaniment is in the form of a light broth served
from a communal bowl. Outside of the meal, Myanmar beverage of
choice is light green tea or still water.
Myanmar has a wide range of fruits, and most are of tropical
origin. Durian, pineapple, mango, banana, avocado, papaya, pomelo,
water melon, mangosteen and rambutan are commonly served as
desserts. These fruits are also made into fresh fruit juice which
is also very popular and tasty due to its freshness.
Clothing - Light clothing such as pure cotton is recommended to
bring as Myanmar is a hot country almost all year round. However,
visiting Shan State including Inle Lake and the northern regions
are much cooler than other regions in summer. Travelling in the
winter - November to February - might need some warm clothing for
the morning and the evening.
Summer Accessories - Sunglasses, umbrella or hat, light summer
Sunscreen Lotion - Due to very hot and sunny weather, sunscreen
is essential to protect your skin from the UV rays.
Mosquito Repellent - As Myanmar is a tropical region, there are
mosquitoes and flies. Therefore, we do suggest you to apply
mosquito repellent on the uncovered part of body, especially in the
evening, to prevent irritation and tropical diseases carried by
Slippers or Sandals - You will make a good use of them as it is
needed to take off shoes and socks when visiting to the pagodas and
Have appropriate dress for entering a temple or monastery -
please avoid sleeveless tops, too-short shorts or skirts (the pants
or skirts below the knee are fine).
Medicine - It is recommended to bring the medicines you usually
have such as vitamins, aspirins, hydration tablets, tablets against
diarrhoea. However, local medical doctors can assist if you are not
religion and etiquette
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.
As most of Myanmar people believe in Buddhism, you will see many
pagodas, temples and monasteries all over the country. Therefore,
most of your sightseeing will be definitely such kind of
attractions and it is a must to take off your shoes and socks as
well when you enter to those sacred sites. Wearing slippers might
be easier for the clients.
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.
Giving and receiving things with two hands is a way of showing
respect to the contact person and a polite manner.