Travel to Myanmar
Direct flights to Myanmar are relatively difficult to find. However, many travelers from all corners of the globe can still generally fly to Yangon or Mandalay with one stop. The country is home to three international airports situated at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, the last one operating mostly regional flights.
Fees for the border crossing sometimes apply and special permissions by the ministry of tourism and immigration are needed for most borders.
Four border entry/exit points along Myanmar-Thai border have been upgraded to International Gateways and one entry/exit point along the Myanmar-India border officially opened in August 2018 ; meaning that all travelers with valid visa/electronic visa are allowed to enter or leave the country via below border towns:
(a) Tachilek – Maisai (Thailand);
(b) Myawaddy – Mesok (Thailand);
(c) Htee Kee – Phunaron (Thailand);
(d) Kawthoung – Ranong (Thailand); and
( e) Tamu – Moreh (India)
For the border to China, we currently still need to apply permission for Entry/Departure at Muse (China). A Friendship Bridge has been opened in May 2015 along the Myanmar-Laos border. This border-point has not yet been designated as International Gateway and still requires a permit for any arrival or departure. There is currently no entry/exit checkpoint along Myanmar-Bangladesh border.
Please contact your sales consultant for further details and up to date information.
Travel in Myanmar
Travel within the country is pretty much unrestricted in the for tourists accessible areas. You may travel freely without being questioned. Some remote areas are however restricted to foreigners and need permission to be arranged a few weeks before arrival.
Some methods of local transport are still powered directly by people such as the trishaw or horses, although there are many places to rent a bicycle if you would prefer that. Taxis and other modes of travel are available for long journeys within Myanmar.
Easia Travel recommends traveling by air, some public buses, riverboat or private vehicle for long distances. Domestic flights are arranged only with Myanmar’s privately owned airlines that are very well regulated. All cars used on tours are air-conditioned (except for some remote rural areas). Other vehicles such as jeeps, vans, coaches and buses are available upon request. There will also be the opportunity for you to charter a ferry and/or a cruise ship.
Tourist buses in Myanmar are roomy and are air-conditioned making travel on them comfortable. Taking a local non-tourist bus can be a fun experience for a short period but be aware that they tend to be very full, unsafe and uncomfortable. Some VIP night coaches between Yangon-Mandalay, Yangon – Nyaung Shwe (Inle lake) and Bagan – Nyaung Shwe (Inle lake) are very comfortable with reclining seats, good service. Furthermore, the cost of traveling by local bus in Myanmar is very affordable in comparison to flights.
Myanmar’s railway network comprises 2900 miles of railway track and 550 train stations. Traveling by train in Myanmar can be very enjoyable and scenic, especially if you are a fan of trains. However the ride on trains in Myanmar can be on the other hand very bumpy due to bad but steadily improving rail conditions at times and be prepared for delays caused by any number of reasons.
– The Yangon – Mandalay line has the least problems of staying on schedule of any train.
– The Hsipaw-Mandalay (150 km) is very popular and offers some of the most stunning views ever. (Paul Theroux managed to do this back when foreigners weren’t supposed to, in his book The Great Railway Bazaar).
– Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung (Inle) offers beautiful views over the mountainous landscapes of the Shan State.
– Most of the other lines are slower and are less comfortable and are not desirable to travel on.
Trains that travel long distances have dining cars that are accessible to passengers traveling by first, upper and sleeper class. There is also the opportunity to buy food from vendors on the platforms when the train stops which happens quite frequently.
This is by far the most convenient and scenic way to travel in Myanmar except walking. The cost of renting a car however might be more expensive than one would think due to a shortage in gasoline and car parts in Myanmar. The cost of renting a car for drive between cities is between $100 and $190 US dollars. Bear in mind that you cannot drive a car in Myanmar and if you do so it could cause some problems with local authorities. Easia Travel can propose a vast array of automobiles available for you to choose from for your drive. These vehicles are in good condition and have air conditioning.
Among the most popular and reliable rental cars in the country are second-hand, reconditioned Toyota Corona hatchbacks imported from Japan from 1988. Cars that are slightly more up to date are Toyota Chasers (from 1990 to 1992).Myanmar also produces its own Mazda jeeps – MJs – 80% local parts. These jeeps are great for off-roading.
A cruise on the Ayeyarwaddy River is often on the ‘wish list’ of visitors. These range from multi-day luxury cruises to simple one-day trips. Some of the key routes include:
– Mandalay to Bagan – on IWT (Government ferries) or privately-owned boats such as Malikha or RV Shwe Keinnery. Charter boats are also available for rent such as MS Hintha or RV Yandabo.
– Myitkyina to Mandalay via Bhamo – Operated by a number of privately owned speed boasts and IWT ferries.
– Mawlamyine to Hpa-An – Small private boats
– Sittwe to Mrauk U – Small private boats
In addition to river cruising, the southern Mergui Archipelago is an increasingly popular place for cruising with the option of adding scuba diving around the islands.
For more affluent travel on newer vessels, some luxury boats operate in the upper and lower regions of the Ayeyarwaddy River. We offer cruises of between one and 14 nights along the river between the cities of Yangon and Mandalay. Please check with your sales consultant about the latest programs.