Myanmar uses 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3-pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor. Power outages are quite common but most hotels have their own generator.
Given the lack of development in Myanmar, the availability of internet access is surprisingly widespread: you can find an internet café or hotel with wifi even in remote locations. However, internet speeds can be very slow, especially in rural areas. Prices at internet cafes are usually around K500 per hour, although they may be higher outside cities. You can find free wifi at many restaurants and bars.
Over 85% of the Burmese population is Buddhist, so most of the holidays are religious based. The biggest celebration is Thingyan, or the Buddhist New Year, which occurs in mid-April and lasts for several days. Almost all restaurants and businesses are closed during this period, but it does not have a big effect on travel plans.
The national language is Burmese, of which there are over 80 different dialects. In the cities the majority of people speak good English with a growing number learning in more rural areas.
English / Burmese
– Hello / Mingalar bar
– Thank you / Je zuh beh
- Myanmar is emerging from decades of isolation, and as such it is more conservative than nearby countries. Many people still wear traditional dress – the longyi for men, the htamein for women, both sarong-like garments. You rarely see anyone expose their knees or shoulders, and you will make everyone more comfortable if you follow suit.
- Though people are more open than in the past when discussing politics, some guardedness remains; do not instigate political conversations.
- Money is handed over and received with the right hand, while the left hand loosely supports the right arm.
- Never use your feet to point at a person or thing.
- A smile always goes a long way, as does knowing a few words in Burmese.