Three Myanmar travel questions...
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Sep 21, 2012 12:12 AM Last Post By: pinkypinky
Sep 19, 2012 2:46 AM
Three Myanmar travel questions...I am planning a trip to Myanmar in february and stumbled upon a few questions I hope you guys can help me with!
- I have seen that Airasia is now flying into Mandalay directly from bangkok, so I would like to fly into Mandalay and out of Yangoon. I looked at the Visa applications form and it doesn’t seem to contain any fields for entry/exit point so I assume this is no problem? Anybody able to confirm this is possible?
- Booking internal flights - best done via an agent in Myanmar if you want to book some flights in advance? I guess there are no online booking services like for bigger airlines.
- Money - I know, new and crisp US$ notes only. My question is twofold - first, how do you keep them new and crisp when travelling? second - safety. I'm used to travel with traveler cheques or cards - the idea of carrying around about $1500 in cash makes me very nervous, obviously if the money gets stolen you would be completely screwed! Do hotels/guesthouses have safety boxes? How is the safety situation in general? I guess the best bit is to divide the money up, have some in a bag, some in a money belt…which brings me back to the "how do you keep the notes crisp" question!
Appreciate anybody's input:) Thanks
Sep 19, 2012 3:50 AM
1Re Q2: I don't think any of the airlines has a true online booking service. Some of the airlines have a web booking form, though Air Bagan's seems to be very broken at the moment. Air Mandalay's web form does work, to the extent that it does send your request to the airline. When I used it last year, I received an email which looked like a booking/e-ticket (but wasn't), however the airline followed up promptly and arranged for me to pick up and pay for my tickets in Yangon.
Just recently I tried to use the website booking form again, but it wasn't showing available flights on the days I wanted (even though the timetable did). I emailed email@example.com my details and they sorted me out with the flights I wanted.
Re Q3: yes, you've given a neat summary of the dilemmas of carrying cash in Myanmar. I don't like it either! I survived by:
- paying for as much as I could online in advance - Agoda had hotels in most of the main places I visited, though this year a lot of them seem to be full and all of them are a lot more expensive
- paying for all my air tickets the day I arrived (that took care of about $300!)
- using safety boxes where provided, though availability and standards are not what they are in other countries...
I carried most of my cash in a large wallet thingy which folded in half, but didn't crease the notes or bend them too much. But reading recent posts, it seems the money changers are stricter now than a year ago, so I might have to up my game. I did have one otherwise perfect note note refused because of a barely visible nick along one edge...
Edited by: nextplease
Sep 19, 2012 4:31 AM
2Just curious where you see that Air Asia is now flying directly to Mandalay. Can't seem to find that info on their website.
Sep 19, 2012 4:42 AM
Sep 19, 2012 4:45 AM
4I believe the service starts in October, and there are about three flights a week...for me it makes lots of sense and I thought it's great to limit the national travel time in Myanmar!
thanks for the info nextplease!
Sep 19, 2012 6:03 AM
5I have used plastic zip lock bags for money to keep it dry, flat, and all in the same place. Myanmar is not a criminal country, but keep your money on your body, not in an outside pocket or pack.
Sep 19, 2012 5:04 PM
6I intend to carry some money on my body and some of at the bottom of the pack. I found a metal child's pencil case is a about the right size, and will prevent any folding - hell I might even keep some pens in it!
My money "belt" is in fact a shoulder holster which hangs under my arm - it's a lot more comfortable than a belt and means the notes can be flat. I was going to use some thin card to construct a wallet for them so they don't get bent accidentally, and use zip lock bags to make sure everything stays dry.
I personally never use safety deposit boxes anywhere - there is always someone with the master over-ride combination, and I would say the chance of corruption in a hotel is much higher than being mugged in the street. In fact I think the chance of being mugged in Myanmar is probably lower than anywhere you are currently living.
I've also seen boxes you could just unscrew and walk with out the door. People expect valuable in a safe, they don't expect valuables in the bottom of my grubby backpack under the laundry
Sep 19, 2012 5:06 PM
Sep 19, 2012 7:05 PM
Sep 19, 2012 7:15 PM
9I'm seeing availablility for random dates in Nov/Dec - note they don't fly everyday from Mandalay
Sep 20, 2012 2:44 AM
Sep 21, 2012 12:12 AM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$51.55 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$90.18 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$62.91 per night