what's opening in Myanmar?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Sep 9, 2012 3:50 AM Last Post By: martin010
Sep 6, 2012 7:54 PM
what's opening in Myanmar?Like many, I am looking at Myanmar as a possible destination this year (I'm a cycle tourist). I've been reading lots about the opening and more tourists. I am having a hard time, though, finding answers to several questions, and would really appreciate advice or a pointer to some existing info I have not found:
- are there new areas of the country, off the beaten path, that are opening up to independent travellers (I'm most interested in the north)?
- are there still restrictions on where one is able to stay, or on free camping, if one is between destinations?
Sep 6, 2012 9:33 PM
1If anything it's more restrictive than indicated in the LP - Marauk U is closed and see the recent thread on restrictions up north around Myitkyna. Read the Burma news - I suspect it's more likely to get worse than better in the next few years
You can't stay anywhere but foreigner approved guest houses or hotels, you can't stay with locals or camp.
Sep 7, 2012 12:22 AM
2clcik here for FAQ 73 Burma basics
Click here for FAQ87 update
Q) are there new areas of the country, off the beaten path, that are opening up to independent travellers ans NO!
Q) are there still restrictions on where one is able to stay, or on free camping, if one is between destinations?
ans YES! stay only Govt registered GH /Hotels if stuck then go to Police station and ask to register overnight with non registerd Hotel because if you go to non registered Hotel they have to fill out a lot of paperwork so easier to say NO OK
b part) NO Camping ! be very careful where you stay it is also not allowed to stay with Burmese families even though some of us have, so if you do please be careful
read the FAQ's I prepared earlier and then search Myanmar threads for more research, there are a few on cycling in Burma but because of distances you might find it tough ie say Bagan to Taungyyi should be OK plenty places on the way within a days ride but you mioght have to put bike on bus at times.However with so much to see and so little time I'd leave the bike at home maybe
Sep 7, 2012 2:43 AM
3It won't be easy, but there are definitely possibilities if you are flexible and intrepid.
Opening up ? Yes and no. Generally things are more restricted than they were, not less,as per #1's comments, but there are also areas opening up that weren't before. Upper Chindwin is an example of a place you can go now that you couldn't without permit 3 years ago (But by boat not bike!) Also delta, previously closed after Nargis is now opening up again.
But there are also lots of areas that have always been opn but travellers don't usually explore- the west bank of the Irrawaddy between Minbu and Bagan for example
Having a decent bike would open up many possibilities - eg the wonderful route between Monywa and Pakokku, where any side turn could lead to an interesting village. Ditto the ride from Yangon to Pathein and on between Ngwe Saung and Chaunghtha
Camping: 90% no, but if you google for cycle blogs in Burma you will find that the odd person has done it for the odd night. Most success has been when wild camping unobtrusively.But there is always a risk an immigration officer will come along and move you to the next foreigner licensed accomm
The biggest no-no is to try and stay with a family, the problem being that you could get them into trouble. You may occasionally be allowed to stay in monasteries, but don't count on it. The kyaukme area is an exception where it seems to be fine to stay in certain villages, but this is mountain biking not touring country Ditto Hsipaw and Namhsam areas
Go for it, but as Monty says, be prepared to occasionally have to put your bike on bus or train or truck to get to the next place to stay.
In my experience, if you turn up somewhere unexpected, the police are often more mystified and anxious than actually unfriendly and uncooperative. Smile , offer them a cup of tea, reassure them you only want to stay one night- this may well end up with you being given permission to stay in non licensed accommodation.
If you do this trip and get to some out of the way places, it would be great if you would share info on this forum on your return.
Sep 8, 2012 1:55 AM
Sep 8, 2012 1:57 AM
Sep 8, 2012 2:01 AM
Sep 9, 2012 3:50 AM
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