The changes in Myanmar over the past five years have been remarkable. In late 2007, its military junta was widely condemned for a violent crackdown on protests led by students and Buddhist monks. Then came Cyclone Nargis. Since then, the country has seen an election marked by a surprising degree of transparency, the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, and a visit from former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The country still faces steep challenges, but perceptions are changing. Myanmar is a truly spectacular country, and now is the best time to travel there in more than half a century.
CLIMATE: November-February is the coolest and most pleasant period of the year. The summer monsoon generally begins in late May and brings high humidity.
CURRENCY: Kyat (MMK). Fluctuating rate valued at MMK1,010 = US$1.00 as of October 2014. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY: Rangoon, Tel. 1-536-509.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels in Burma, dial 011 (international access) + 95 (Burma code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Passport and visa. Individual travel is not permitted; all visitors must be registered with an authorized tour operator in Burma. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit myanmartourism.org before your trip.
Belmond Governor’s Residence
Spacious and comfortable 1920s teak mansion-hotel with 49 accommodations, in the diplomatic quarter of Yangon close to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Strand, Yangon
Restored colonial grande dame overlooking the Rangoon River, in an ideal location for exploring downtown.
As the government of Burma (Myanmar) slowly unclenches its grip, travel in this remarkable country becomes even more of a joy. But the secret of Burma’s beauty is out. The time to visit is now, when the mystery of Bagan and the magic of Mandalay remain unspoiled.