Visiting Myanmar – 5 things not to forget and 3 questions I want to ask
Since the US lifted the embargo on Myanmar last September, it’s become the it destination
We’re going there in March and the trip’s been one of the conversation topics at every Chinese New Year visit. As with all newly emerging countries, everyone who’s just gone has tips.
Here are the 5 things I’ve been told not to forget –
1: My visa. Yes, even citizens of ASEAN (like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam) need visas into this formerly closed country.
2: Cash. The country’s banking system isn’t very sophisticated. Even the 5-star hotel I’ve booked (part of a Singapore chain) has told me it can only take credit cards on weekdays!
3: An extra mobile phone for the Myanmarese SIM card I’ll need to buy. Apparently, there is no global roaming in Myanmar.
4: Hat, sunscreen, something to carry your bottled water in. It’s hot in March.
5: A bag of little toys to distribute to children. It makes them happy!
And 3 questions I want to ask –
1: Cash. What kind of cash? Do I get kyats at the airport or do I just bring USD or do Singapore dollars work as well?
2: Phone. Why can’t I use my regular phone and just change the SIM cards?
3: Toys. Aren’t toys a bit useless? I don’t want to encourage begging too? Is there something more useful I could do?
I’m psyched. I’ve been wanting to go to Burma for ages, and more so since I saw “The Lady”, the movie about Aung San Suu Kyi. I can’t wait to share what I’ll be seeing. Meanwhile though, enjoy the trailer –