Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Myanmar Festivals Year Round

Festivals are joyous occasions. They celebrate life and also are a bond to the cultural roots of the people. There are many kinds of festivals: some are religious in nature and some mark a historic occasions while many are to celebrate the harvest or the changing of seasons. In Myanmar the majority of the festivals are pagoda festivals and they are celebrated the whole year around at one pagoda or another. Many of these pagoda festivals are throwback to the olden days. At some pagoda festivals like the Thanbyinnyu Pagoda in Bagan or the Kekku Pagoda Festival in the Shan State people come to the festivals like they had done hundreds of years ago in bullock carts.

The Naga New Year Festival held annually in the Naga Hills is to mark the successful harvest and the Myanmar Thingyan Water Festival is celebrated all over Myanmar to mark the changing of the season. During this time young people go around the town in cars or erect pandals to throw water on each other while the elderly go to the monasteries for meditation.


Tipitaka Examinations
Where : Kaba Aye Hillock, Yangon
When : 2nd waxing day of Pyatho ( 9Jan 2008 )
Recitation of the 3 sets of Buddhist Scriptures are held for 24 days followed by written test for 5 days. Around 150 monks annually sit for the exam. The titles are bestowed on the monks who pass the exam.

Manaw Festival
Where : Myitkyina, Kachin State
When : January 8' 2008
Duration : 1 day
Traditional Kachin Manaw Festival to celebrate the New year. All the Kachin clans will congregate at Myitkyina to celebrate this event.

Naga New Year
Where : Layshi Township, Sagaing Division
When : January 14-15, 2008
Duration : 2 days
One of the most colourful ceremonies of the country. Different tribes of Naga gather by the hundreds in their colourful costumes to perform ritual dances.

Anada Pagoda Festival
Where : Ananda Pagoda, Bagan
When : One week preceding the full moon day of Pyatho ( 22 - 28 Jan 2008 )
Duration : 1 week
One of the most popular festivals in the country. Bowls of alms filled with crisps are offered to monks who all wait in a line. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country bullock carts can be seen.


The Great Footprints Season
Where : Minbu , Magway
When : 5th Waxing day of Tabodwe ( 11 - 15 Feb 2008 )
Duration : 5 days
The season is open for about 3 months. Pilgrimage is only possible in the dry season. 2 footprints are said to have been left by Lort Buddha when he visited there.

Kyaikkhauk Pagoda Festival
Where : Thanlyin ( formerly Syriam )
When : 8th Waxing day of Tabodwe ( 14 - 22 Feb, 2008 ).
A Typical Buddhist Religious festival like a country fair

Mahamuni Ceremonies
Where : Mahamuni precinct, Mandalay
When : 14th - 15th waxing days of Tabodwe ( 20 - 21 Feb 2008 )
Duration : 2 days
Glutinous rice delicacy contests are held late on 14th Waxing day ( 20Feb ). On the morning of 15th Waxing day ( 21 Feb ), increase is burnt in large flames in a symbolic gesture of offering heat to the great image.

Bonfire Ceremony
Where : Pyay
When : 21 Feb 2008 ( full moon day of Tabodwe )
Duration : 1 day
White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshipers then proceed to Pho-U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.


Maw-din Festival
Where : Pagoda Point, Pathein
When : 7 Mar 2008 ( 1st waxing day of Tabaung )
Duration : 15 days festival ending Mar 21
Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and Cabe Negrais is haven both for beach lovers and beachburms alike.

Kakku Pagoda Festival
Where : Kakku Pagoda precinct, Taunggyi Township
When : 9th waxing day of Tabaung ( 15 March, 2008 )
Duration : 8 days festival ending March 22
Pa Oh people from all the surrounding villages come in their best costumes to pay homage to the pagoda. Some comes in bullock carts and make camps under the huge banyan trees.

Pindaya Pagoda Festival
Where : Pindaya Township, Southern Shan State
When : 10th waxing day of Tabaung ( March 16, 2008 )
Duration : 6 days starting from 16-21 March
Traditionally a pagoda festival in honour of the Buddha statues inside the Pindaya Cave.

Home-coming Ceremony
Where : Taungbyone, Mandalay
When : 11th waxing day of Tabaung ( March 17, 2006 )
Duration : 1 day
Originally held to commemorate the day King Anawrahta returned from his Yunan expedition. Low-key spiritual ceremony.

Nan-pan Ceremony
Where : Inle Lake, Shan State
When : 12th waxing day of Tabaung ( March 18, 2008 )
Duration : 5 days ceremony ending 22 March
The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offerings is striking.

Tabaung Festival
Where : Throughout the country
When : Full moon day of Tabaung ( March 21, 2008 )
Duration : 1 days ceremony
Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival
Where : Yangon
When : Fullmoon day of Tabaung ( March 21, 2008 )
Duration : Approximately one week preceding the fullmoon day.
It is a traditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festival in the country.

Bo Bo Gyi Nat festival
Where : Ah-lone, Monywa
When : 9th waning day Tabaung ( 30 March 2008 )
Duration : 5 days ceremony ending 3 Apr 2008.
Bo Bo Gyi is believed to have high level alchemical and to have expired to become a Nat. On the eve of ceremony pilgrims throw tea leaf packets at one another from racing exacts. It is regarded as a pledge that one who is hit must take a visit next year without fail.


Shwemawdaw Festival
Where : Bago
When : 8th waxing day Tagu ( 13 April 2008 )
Duration : 13 days ceremony ending 26th April 2008
Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.

Thingyan Festival ( Water Festival )
Where : All over the country
When : April 12-16 2008
Duration : 5 days
Traditional Myanmar New Year Celebrations people pour water over each other in a symbolic gesture of cleansing oneself of sins from the old year. Youths go out for enjoyment while elders take retreat in monasteries and pagoda precincts to perform meritorious deeds. The most festive places are Mandalay & Yangon.

Myanmar New Year Day
Where : All over the country
When : April 17 2008
Duration : 1 day
Celebrated all over the country to commemorate the Myanmar New Year. This is a deeply religious occasion observed mostly at pagodas and monasteries. Buddhists young and old alike, spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as releasing animals, offering to monks and paying homage to elders.

Popa Ceremony
Where : Popa
When : 13th waxing day of Tagu ( 18 April 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.

Elders' Day Ceremony
Where : Kabar Aye Hillock and elsewhere
When : 13th waxing day of Tagu ( 18 April 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
An elderly man and an elderly woman from every township in Yangon city areas are invited to Kaba Aye Pagoda Hillock to be presented with various articles and are shampooed and nail-cut as a symbolic gesture of paying respect.


Shwe-kyet-yet Event
Where : Mandalay
When : 14th waxing day of Kason ( 18 May 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
Full-dress, large-scale procession followed by water-pouring on the sacred Bo-tree, significantly, on the 14th waxing day of Kason, a day before normal watering day.

Kason Fullmoon Day
Where : All over the country
When : May 19 2008
Duration : 1 day
Buddha is said to have attained Enlightement under the Bo Tree and Buddhist flock to pour water on this sacred tree to gain merit. Seen at most prominent pagoda and monastery precincts all over the country on the Fullmoon Day of Kason ( May )

Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival
Where : Pakokku, Magway Division
When : 8th Waxing Day of the month of Nayon to 10th Waning Day of the month of Nayon ( May 11 - June 28, 2008 ) The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.

Shite-thaung Festival
Where : Mrauk U, Rakhine State
When : Full moon day of Kason ( May 19 2008 )
Duration : 8 days ceremony ending 26 May 2008
Dummy boat races on land, real boat races and water splashing in Mrauk-U canal on full-moon day. Traditional wrestling at the foot of the Pagoda: finals held on full-moon day.


Wicker Ball Ceremony
Where : Mahamuni precinct, Mandalay
When : 1st waning day of Nayon ( June 19 2008 )
Duration : 1 month festival ending 18th July 2008
Traditional wicker ball players from all over the country participate in the month-long contest that has been going on for over 70 years. This is the best even to watch Myanmar chin-lone game.


Waso full moon festival
Where : All over the country in July
When : 17th July 2008
Buddha is said to have attained Enligntenment and preached his First Sermon, the Dhammasekya, to the five disciples on the Fullmoon day of Waso (July). It is also the first day of the Buddhist Lent during which the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside of their monasteries. Religious ceremonies are held at monasteries to offer holy robes to the monks.


Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe
Where : Mingun, Mandalay
When : 1st waxing day of Wagaung ( 2 Aug 2008 )
Duration : 3 days ceremony ending 4 Aug 2008
Myanmar's last barter market where natives trade by exchange of commodities. Marine vessels, big and small, gather to pay respect whilst plying around on the Ayeyarwaddy. Spirit dances included.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - cutting down htein tree

Taungbyone Nat Festival
Where : At Taungbyone village near Mandalay
When : 10th waxing day of Wagaung ( 11 Aug 2008 )
Duration : 6 days ceremony ending Aug 16 2008
The most famous of the Nat ( super natural beings that reward believers ) festivals in Myanmar. This event is visited by all those who worship Nat, especially the traders and merchants who want help for more profits! 6days ceremony ending Aug 16. Held for worshipping two Taungbyone spiritual figures. Major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. Spirit dances are rempant.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - ascending the throne
4th day - presenting roast rabbit
6th day - cutting down htein tree

Yadana Gu Nat festival
Where : Ratanagu Pagoda, Amarapura Township, Mandalay
When : 10th waning day of Wagaung ( Aug 26 2008 )
Duration : 5 day ceremony ending Aug 30 2008
This is a festival to honour the mother of the two Nat brothers of Taungbyone. Known as mother of Taungbyone festival. Most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Popa. Medaw, Mewanna who came back from Taunbyon Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit-camp.
1st day - attending a nat audience
2nd day - having a royal bath
3rd day - ascending the throne
4th day - daughter of Mahagiri reels on the ground in grief
5th day - closing by cutting down htein tree


There are no special events during September in Myanmar.


Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Where : Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Southern Shan State
When : 1st waxing day of te Thidingyut ( 12 - 29Oct 2007 )
1st waxing day of te Thidingyut ( 1 - 18 Oct 2008 )
Duration : 18 Days festival
Very coloruful festival when the 4 Buddhas Statues ( out of 5 ) from Phaung Daw oo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a gilded Karaweik royal barge. Leg-rowing boat races are held throughout the event.

Kyauk-taw-gyi Festival
Where : Mandalay
When : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 15 Oct 2007 )
14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 13 Oct 2008 )
Duration : 4 day festival
The image was cast out of a single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of King Mindon.

Elephant Dance Festival ( Dummy Elephant Festival )
Where : Kyaukse, Mandalay Division
When : 14th waxing day of Thadingyut ( Oct 15 2007 )
14th waxing day of Thadingyut ( Oct 13 2008 )
Duration : 2 day festival
Papier mache elephants carried around the town towards the pagoda on the Kyaukse Hill. A dance competition features these elephants. Numerous life-size dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.

The Thadingyut or Festival of Lights
Where : Througout Myanmar
When : 14th waxing day of Tindingyut ( Oct 15 2007 )
14th waxing day of Tindingyut ( Oct 13 2008 )
Duration : 3 day festival
To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.

Kyaikhtiyo Season
Where : Kyaikhto, Mon State
When : Full-moon day of Tindingyut ( Oct 26 2007 )
Full-moon day of Tindingyut ( Oct 14 2008 )
Duration : Approx: 9 months long season
The boulder standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. Famous as pilgrimage and holiday outing spot.


Shwezingon Festival
Where : Bagan
When : 8th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 17 2007 )
8th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 5 2008 )
Duration : 2-3 day festival
Candle lights and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda

Hot Air Balloons Festival
Where : Taunggyi ( Shan State )
When : 10th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 19 - 24 Nov 2007 )
10th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 7 - 12 Nov 2008 )
Duration : 6 day festival
Traditionally it is to pay homage to the Sulamuni Pagoda in the abode of the Celestial Beings by sending up lighted Hotair Balloons. Now this traditional is combined with a competition to send up the most elaborate and beautiful balloons of every shape and size. Hot-air balloons are released day and night, competing over their beauty and the altitude they again. Day-time flying is meant for competition of animal figures and night-time is for beautiful fireworks.

Kahtein Robe Offering Ceremony
Where : Taunggyi
When : Full-moon day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 24 2007 )
Full-moon day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 12 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
Holy robes are offered to the monks at the monasteries. This offering of robe enable the monks to acquire new robes in place of the old ones that were soiled during the monsoon season. The best time to see is from 8 - 11 Am.

Lights Festival and Robe-weaving Contest
Where : Shwedagon, Botataung, Kyaikkasan and elsewhere
When : 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 23 2007 )
14th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 11 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
On the 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon, groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be vanished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the images around the pagodas.

Parade of Lights
Where : Taunggyi
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 24 2007 )
Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 12 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
The people of Taunggyi and its environs march through the town with decorated floats and lighted candles to the Sulamuni Pagoda at the edge of the town.

Tazaung-daing Festival of Lights
Where : Taunggyi & throughout the country
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 24 2007 )
Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 12 2008 )
Having fine weather and clear sky, and having the first crip harvested, Myanmar celebrate the night with various kinds of illuminations.

Candle Light Event
Where : Ko-dad-gyi Pagoda in Yangon
When : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 24 2007 )
Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( Nov 12 2008 )
Duration : 1 day
On full-moon day, 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit. At midnight, visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.

Kaung Hmu Daw pagoda Festival
Where : Sagaing
When : The Fullmoon day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 24 2007 )
The Fullmoon day of Tazaungmon ( Nov 12 2008 )
Duration : 6 day festival ending 17 Nov 2008
The best sopt to watch Myanmar puppet as at Sutaungbyi pagoda festival in Monywa.
Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.


The Spectacled Image Festival
Where : Shwedaung, Pyay
When : 8th waxing day of Nadaw ( 17 Dec 2007 )
8th waxing day of Nadaw ( 5 Dec 2008 )
Duration : 8 day festival
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a certain donor in colonial time.

Christmas Day
Where : Throughout the country
When : 25th December
Christianity is the largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism.

Tipitaka Examinations
Where : Kaba Aye Hillock, Yangon
When : 2nd waxing day of Pyatho ( 28 Dec 2008 )
Recitation of the 3 sets of Buddhist Scriptures are held for 24 days followed by written test for 5 days. Around 150 monks annually sit for the exam.
The titles are bestowed on the monks who pass the exam.

Monday, January 5, 2009



Surely by now, that we are in the 21st century, half of the world will have been renamed. Old countries with new names appear all over Africa and Asia. Since 1989, Burma has become Myanmar and its capital, Rangoon, has become Yangon, Pegu has become Bago, Maymyo has become Pyin-Oo-Lwin, and so on. Myanmar, also known as the Golden Land, not only for its golden pagodas but also for the wealth of its agriculture and its precious minerals is - with its total area of 676,577 sq.km - about the size of the United Kingdom and France combined. It lies in South East Asia, with parts of India and Bangla Desh to the west, China to the north and Laos and Thailand to the east. Its southern borders are formed by the sea; by the Bay of Bengal to the southwest and the Andaman Sea to the southeast. However, whatever you call it, Myanmar or Burma, as Somerset Maugham once wrote: "You try to guard yourself by saying it is not real... it is a beauty that batters you and stuns you and leaves you breathless..."

The population of Myanmar, spread over seven states and seven divisions, is estimated at 48 million people. Myanmar is inhabited by 135 ethnic nationalities. The Bamars, comprising about 69 % of the population, form the largest group.

Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion, with 80 percent of the population embracing it. There are also Christians, Muslims and Hindus.

Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmars. The people have preserved tradition of close family ties, respect for the elders and reverence for Buddhism. Myanmars are known for their hospitality and friendliness.

Myanmar’s Golden Age dates back to the 11th century when King Anawrahta united the whole country into the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan well before the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the entire Menam valley in Thailand and lasted about 250 years, before it collapsed with the invasion of the Mongols under the leadership of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. The Second Myanmar Empire was founded in the middle 16th century by King Bayinnaung. King Alaungpaya founded the Third Myanmar Empire in 1752. It was during the zenith of the Konbaung dynasty, that the British colonized Myanmar. Myanmar became a sovereign state on January 4, 1948, after gaining independence from Britain.

Tourist and business visas are valid for 28 days. Tourist visas are not extend able; business visa may be extended for another 28 days. Transit visas are valid for 24 hours. Apply to any of Myanmar Embassies or Consulates with three photos and your passport.

None are required unless travelers arrive from infected areas.

The currency in Myanmar is the Kyat (pronounced 'chaat'). US$ (only new notes) are the accepted currency in Myanmar. It is quite inconvenient to change other foreign currencies as well as to use credit cards and traveller checks. It is possible, but costs commission fees and it takes sometimes up to 2 hours to obtain the cash.

Myanmar’s time is six hours and thirty minutes ahead of Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT).

Airport Tax:
When leaving Myanmar by air, an airport tax of US$ 10.- p.p. must be paid before check-in.

Cotton clothing and a light wrap on evenings during the winter season (between Oct and Feb) are recommended. When visiting temples, pagodas or other places of religious worship, it is necessary to dress modestly, as any kind of revealing clothing is frowned upon in Myanmar. Removal of all footwears and socks is necessary before entering all places of religious worship.

Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct seasons. The wet season lasts from mid-May to mid-October, the dry cool season from mid-October to mid-February, and the warm season from mid-February to mid-May.

Reasons to visit Myanmar

To witness the 2500 year-old Shwe Dagon Pagoda, the largest and oldest golden monument on earth:

Many Kinds and Queens of Myanmar have donated pure gold of their body weight, depositing tons and tons of gold in this great golden pagoda in Yangon. Thousands of donors donate tons of gold almost every year.

To see the most significant throne in the world, covered with gold:

Gold is plenty in our Golden Land, though not cheap in price. Compare this golden throne of the last Myanmar King, with those thrones of the Chinese, Japanese emperors, Maha Rajas, or that of Charlemagne, Louis 16, Napoleon, Cleopatra, or William the Conqueror. You'll find this is the most significant and most sophisticated. Besides each section of carvings on the throne will tell you so many tales...

To see the largest book that man could ever created:

The whole Buddhist bible was engraved on 729 white marble stones, set up in a square, each being protected by a small white temples. The 730th pagoda is a conventional temple occupying the centre of the square. Each marble tablets are about 3 feet wide and 4 feet high. Known as Kuthodaw Pagoda, it lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Mandalay.

To ring the largest ringing bell in the universe:

The world's largest ringing bell, Mingun Bell, is still hung in Sagaing and still make sound when rang. It is 26 feet high and weighs 90.55 metric tons. You can ring it. You can get underneath it and take photo. Ah! Isn't that exciting? Imagine that you can say "I've rung the world's greatest ringing bell!"

To experience a visit to this 2400 year-old miracle Golden Rock, called Kyaiktiyo Pagoda:

Windy cyclones had blown. Earthquakes had disturbed. But this balancing pagoda on top of this golden rock at the very edge of the cliff, survived for thousands of years. Legends tell that this Golden Rock used to be flying in the air centuries ago at the same spot.

To walk around on the amazing floating-islands and to row a boat in the highest and largest lake in SE Asia:

Could it be possible that an island can float above water? It really can... People even grow vegetables on them. Cut them. Sell them and drag them along with a boat.

To see the living mummies:

Are you into para-normality? X-File fan? There are approximately 20 prestigious Buddhist monks around the country, who had died decades or some centuries ago and their bodies never decayed. Some of their bodies could not be burnt, when cremated. Buddhists believe it is because of their super-natural powers. Some are covered with gold today (photo). Their nails turned blue, and flesh dried. But a few are still growing their nails and hairs till today! How can science describe about that? Would you call them living mummies?

To go scuba diving among the corals of the southern Myanmar sea:

Scuba-diving fans has witnessed that the southern Myanmar sea near Victoria Point is the most beautiful and virgin spot for scuba-diving in Southeast Asia. Some even exaggerate as the Red Sea of the East.

To meet a fortune-teller and see your future:

Myanmar fortune-tellers, with knowledge of the ancient arts of India, China, and Thailand, in addition to its own expertise, is often highly honored. Note that David Copperfield was an Indian descendant. Fortune-tellers refer to telepathic psychics, traditional astronomers, palmists, or the combination of the three. Trust me, you will need to book for months ahead to get an appointment with a good reliable fortune teller.

To see the largest man-made stone cave. Narga Cave (Dragon Cave) at World Peace Pagoda:

The Narga man-made stone cave was built for the 5th International Buddhist Council in the 1950s. Located next to Kabar Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda), and is about 200 meters long and 100 meters high.

Tuvenirs to hang on the wall of your living room:

You want to buy puppets, lacquer ware, or some artifacts? Don't buy them in Thailand. They mostly come from Myanmar. This is where you can buy at the wholesale price!

To make merits by visiting pagodas, and do meditation, if you are a Buddhist:

Buddhists have strong faith in visiting pagodas for gaining merits, aside from travel experiences. Would you like to visit this Land of the Pagodas?

To buy genuine jewelries at a very low low price, direct from manufacturers:

Many Asians highly consider jade as lucky gem stone. You'll be amazed to find that precious stones in the West are not so precious in Myanmar, due to high production and large number of gem stone dealers.

Largest Reclining Buddha in the World:

The Shwethalyaung, a colossal reclining statue of Buddha (181 feet [55 m] long), is to the west of the modern town and is reputedly one of the most lifelike of all the reclining Buddha figures; allegedly built in AD-994, it was lost when Bago (Pegu) was destroyed in 1757 but was rediscovered under a cover of jungle growth in 1881.

To try out some spicy Myanmar food:

Or to visit an ah-hlue, if you wish, where anyone can come in and dine all you can eat for FREE!

If you like Thai food, you'll love Myanmar food, but it is a generally lighter than Thai food.

Traveler Tips

If this is your first time to visit Myanmar, here are some of the important tips for a traveler.

Best time to Visit:
You can visit Myanmar all the year round but the best time to come is between October and February as the weather during this period is neither too hot nor wet.

Entry Formalities:
A valid Passport with Entry Visa is required of all visitors. A Tourist Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extend able for an additional 14 days. A Business Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extend able up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis. Visa on Arrival is granted on prior arrangement.

Customs Formalities:
Foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of US$ 2,000, jewelry, cameras, video cameras, recording equipment and laptop computers must be declared at the airport. Failure to do so could end up in confiscation upon departure. Export of antiques and items of archaeological value are prohibited.

Foreign Exchange:
FECs, which is equivalent to the US$, are accepted by hotels, airlines, travel agencies, taxis, restaurants, and as payment of admission fees at museums and pagodas. FECs can be exchanged for Kyats (Myanmar currency) at market rates at authorized money changers. Credit cards such as American Express, Diner and Visa are accepted at most airlines, hotels, banks, jewelry shops, supermarkets and travel agents.

Not required unless you are coming from an infected area.

What to Wear:
Light, casual wear preferably made of cotton is suitable for all climates. Some warm clothes are necessary if you plan to visit northern Myanmar or other hilly regions in the cold season. Sandals or slippers are convenient as the dress code for Buddhist religious buildings prescribe decent apparel and no footwear including socks.

Manners and Etiquette:
It is recommended that you refrain from kissing and hugging in public, pointing at things with your feet, sitting with your back to a Buddha image, improper use of or behavior toward a sacred thing as a Buddha image, and touching a monk.

Credit Cards & Traveler Checks:
Not widely use in our country except the International Hotels & a few souvenir shops in Yangon & Mandalay cities. Traveler Checks can only be changed at the central bank of Myanmar in Yangon during office hour. It will be more convenient for the clients to bring in the US$ cash.

Light clothes are suitable. Cotton wear. For entering the pagodas or Monasteries, have to bring long sleeves pants (or) skirts.

Enough to bring only mosquito repellent.

We prefer either TT or cash on arrival as credit card payment take a long time to declare back the money into our account due poor banking system. 50% of the tour cost or minimum of USD 200 per person is needed to deposit into our account by TT once the tour package is confirmed. The rest of the payment should be made at least 14 days before the group or clients' arrival.