1 Do I need a visa? All visitors to Myanmar will need a visa and should make an online appointment for a visa application at the Myanmar embassy. Writers, journalists, editors, film producers and photographers have traditionally had trouble obtaining visas, though this has apparently changed recently. For more information, visit

How long will it take me to get there? 3 hours from Singapore. Myanmar is 6.5 hours ahead


of GMT and 1.5 hours behind Singapore.

3 What’s the money situation? Myanmar’s national currency is the Burmese kyat. The use of credit cards and travellers’ cheques is very limited (high- end hotels only) so it’s advisable to have enough US dollars to fund your entire trip. You can exchange US dollars for local currency at banks and hotels; try to make sure that the bills you bring over are in excellent condition. after which temperatures are cooler between November and February before things heat up again between March and April. The climate in the higher altitudes of northern Myanmar is temperate throughout the year, but humid in lower Myanmar, along the coastlines and around the delta region, which includes the capital, Yangon. 4 When’s the best time to visit? The monsoon season lasts from May to October,


• Many Burmese people avoid

cutting their hair on a Monday, Friday or their birthday. • The Taukkyan War Cemetery contains almost 7,000 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 867 of them unidentified. • Winemaking is a budding industry in Myanmar. • Thanaka is a yellow paste used by Burmese people as sunscreen, makeup and insect repellent. It’s made by grinding the bark, wood or roots of a thanaka tree with a small amount of water. • Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world that has not adopted the metric system of measurement. • Chewing betel nut (with spices and sometimes tobacco) is a national past-time.

What’s the lingo? Burmese. Here are some phrases to get you started:


Hello Min ga lar par What is your name? Na mal bal loe kall lal? My name is __

Chun ma nan mae ma __ ba (f) Chun daw nan mae __ ba (m)

How much? Thank you

Be lau’le

Kyei zu tin ba de

Yes No

Hoke kae Mah hoke

6 Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? Greetings depend on the genders of those who are meeting. It’s usually a combination of a handshake, a wave, a nod and a smile. What’s a must-try dish? Aside from the national dish, mohinga , try to sample the salad called lahpet thoke ; made frompickled tea leaves and roasted peanuts, it’s a great bar snack to enjoy with hot tea or cold beer. 7

What should I buy as a souvenir? Burmese lacquerware.

8 | Krunja


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