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Having just begun in 2010 to admit western travelers within its borders, Myanmar is the last frontier of Indochina to bear minimal western influence. Today it represents the real, rare, original Indochina, of special interest to travelers. Men here still wear the traditional longyi (a loincloth) and towns and villages are decorated by thousands of ancient stupas (domed monuments).
Plan now to explore this mysterious country, before it is inundated by hordes of tourists (hopefully not in the near future)!
New to Myanmar? Use our guide maps to plan your trip! The following maps point out the transportation means and time for entry to Myanmar.
Visit Bagan first before it is too late. Bagan is the main attraction for most travelers to Myanmar. We at Asia Highlights have been to explore Angkor Wat at least 5 times and Bagan once, early in 2017.
Bagan has plenty of pagodas and trees. As a city built on a plain, the best view of the whole area can only be seen from a height. On the ground, most of the pagodas can no longer be climbed. We were informed that only 3 years ago, every pagoda could be accessed, right to the top.
Angkor Wat is like a fancy restaurant with delicate food and good, standard service. Everyone can be satisfied as long as they order and pay enough. Bagan, however, is more like a street food stall selling local snacks. The snacks are not fancy, but special enough to tempt you to give them a try!
Go before it is too late! Sadly, Bagan will eventually become another Angkor Wat. After all, you can go to a fancy restaurant at any time, but you lose the chance to taste local snacks once they disappear forever.
Flying to Myanmar is definitely the best way. Almost everyone arrives at either Yangon or Mandalay international airports,as overland border crossings are difficult for independent travelers and inconvenient for private groups.
Myanmar’s international airline Myanmar Airways International serves Asian destinations only. Not many people enter Myanmar via Nay Pyi Taw airport, in the new (2006) capital of the country.
The best way to reach Myanmar from regions outside Asia is first to fly to a regional hub in Asia, such as Bangkok, Singapore, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur. Most of these have flight connections to Yangon.
Bangkok is the most popular hub with 20 flights per day flying to Yangon and 2 flights per day to Mandalay. It is only a 1-hour flight from Bangkok to Yangon.
We recommend early February as the best time to visit. February is the last month of the high season, when the number of tourists is decreasing and the weather is still very nice.
High season runs from November to February, with relatively cool weather. Accommodation is often in short supply. Always book as early as possible for that time period.
Dry season runs from October to May while the hottest months are March and June. It is not unusual for temperatures to hit 40°C in these months. The wet season is between June and October. Most visitors avoid visiting Ngapali Beach in the wet season.
Citizens of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and most western countries need a Myanmar visa. Passport holders from Singapore do not need a visa for visits up to 30 days, but they should enter and exit only at international airports.
For more details, check out Myanmar Visas and How to Apply for.