Myanmar Guide

Myanmar Guide

• Population: 65.5 million
• Capital: Naypyidaw
• Religion: Theravada Buddhism

Myanmar (previously known as Burma) is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a unique getaway to a beautiful and exotic locale. This tropical country offers travelers an amazing landscape and a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Southeast Asia’s traditions. However, as a country that has only just recently opened its doors to tourism, Burma still retains an air of mystery, making it all the more intriguing.

With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline and a handful of mountain ranges, Myanmar has more than its share in natural beauty. Trek through the rolling green hills, discover Sagar to the south of Inle Lake, cycle to markets and ruins, boat around floating villages, sample well-spiced Burmese cuisine, and visit mysterious temples. You will get to not only discover, but also really live in this unique cultural atmosphere.


Popular Sites

• Bagan is the best place to visit in Myanmar. Seeing Bagan by balloon is becoming increasingly popular, and offers a truly unique view over this 26-square-mile land of temples.

• The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. The 99-metre-tall (325 ft) pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline.

• Inle Lake – for an excellent view of the verdant, bucolic side of Myanmar.

• U Bein Bridge – the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world

• Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock), a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.

• Shwenandaw Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located near Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.

• National Kandawgyi Gardens – home to over 500 different flower species

• Bagaya Kyaung – a 200-year-old Buddhist monastery


Popular Foods

Mohinga: It’s the most favored breakfast for the locals. Broad, thin rice noodles in a fish broth of garlic, ginger, onions, and lemongrass with boiled eggs, fritter and banana blossom sprinkled on top. This specialty can be found in street stands, which can change the condiments for you upon request. 

Myanmar Curry: One should not skip trying a culinary experience in Myanmar, where visiting traditional restaurants is more than just a meal. Myanmar curry usually comes with a serial of side dishes including rice, fried veggies, a tart salad, soup, fresh veggies, and herbs, which are eaten with various dips. The curries are mildly flavored, but they mix well with the rice.

Chapatis: Everyone in Mandalay knows this roadside snack, an unleavened flatbread slathered with butter, then torn off and used to pick up the met or greens dish that make the meal. Dip the bread with smooth curry and you’ll enjoy the fantastic taste!

Falooda: Falooda in Myanmar is a popular sweet beverage that is similar to that in India, often served after dinner. The drink is made by mixing rose syrup with milk, basil seeds, shredded jelly, and lime juice. Variants are common in different regions across the country. 

Samosa: The Myanmar people are obsessed with deep-fried food, thus inventing samosa, a fried pastry with savory fillings like onions, ground chicken or beef, spiced potatoes, etc.. A soup or sweet dip made from tamarind is served along. Anywhere on the street or lane corner, train station or tea shop the snack sells like hot cakes. 

Grilled Fish: Grilled fish is a must-try in Yangon, where people make the fish a lip-licking dish that visitors are more than happy to eat it again and again. Crisp skin and tender meat spattered with sesame and chili, a wonderful combination that you should do in Myanmar.

Laphet Thouk: This is the kind of salad made from fermented tea leaves with sauces and dressed with peanut oil and lime. The dish is eaten as a dessert, an appetizer coupled with a bowl of rice or a meal. Please note that it can prevent sleep according to the account of the locals. 



In Myanmar, the inhabitants speak Burmese but one can manage with English or French also in tourist cities.


Weather & Climate

Climate, which can be described as tropical monsoon climate, is characterized by strong monsoon influences. There are two distinct seasons in Myanmar: the dry period in the winter and the humid rain period in the summer. The annual average temperature ranges from 22°C to 27°C year-around.

The peak tourism season of Myanmar is the winter season that takes place from November to February. However, it can get crowded, especially in the Christmas day and New Year day so the rainy season is also highly recommended for the best time to visit Myanmar. The worst time to visit the central regions of Myanmar is during March, April and May as these months have the hottest days with which the temperatures can reach up to over 40°C.



The official currency of Myanmar is the Burmese kyat (MMK). USD is usually used in some places like luxury restaurants and hotels. Exchange rate is around 1 USD = 1,350 Kyat.

Payment via Credit/Debit card are gradually accepted in several places (five-star hotels, up-market shops and luxury restaurants) in the big cities with a 2-3% fee added to the bill.

ATMs have been available in major cities and each of them has a maximum withdrawal limit of 300,000 Kyats (about 225 USD) per transaction. The higher the denomination is, the better the exchange rate gets.

It is a good option to bring plenty of cash on you when traveling in remote areas and using for emergency cases due to its convenience. There’s little worry about carrying a lot of cash owing to the low crime rate.

Exchange rate:

1 USD = 1,300 Kyat (MMK)

1 EURO = 1,550 Kyat (MMK)


Getting Around

1. Air: Due to the poor road condition, flying is the most comfortable way to transfer in Myanmar for tourists.

2. Train: Most trains in Myanmar are starting from Yangon to the rest of the country, like Mandalay, Bagon and Inle Lake.

3. Bus: The bus routes and service are mostly owned by the government. But air-conditioned buses can also give you a more comfortable travel.

4. Taxi: Taxi is the easiest way to get round within a city. But the taxi in Myanmar are not counted on meters, you need to bargain and settle on the fare before getting in.

5. Boat: If you want to travel between riverside towns, boat is the best way to take. The popular routes are Bhamo – Mandalay and Mandalay – Bagan routes.