9 MUST KNOW MYANMAR TRAVEL TIPS 2018 - Part 2
BUY A LOCAL MYANMAR SIM CARD
Several restaurants and hotels say they have wifi but you’ll learn very quickly the wifi is bad. Pick up a local Myanmar SIM card and purchase a data package. Data packages in Myanmar are super cheap and it’s great to have Google maps and other apps while you’re out exploring. Often we had 4G coverage and only when we were in the mountains did we not have service.
We purchased our Myanmar SIM card at the airport but there are cell phone shops selling them in Bagan and Inle Lake.
Best data plans in Myanmar:
- Ooredoo 1,500k fee for a SIM card, 1.5 GB valid for 7 days 2,500k, 2GB valid for 30 days 5,500k, 4GB valid for 30 days 10,000k, 10GB valid for 30 days 19,000, or if you have a lot of work to do 40GB valid for 30days 50,000k.
- Telenor prices similar to Ooreddo.
We purchased our Myanmar SIM card at the airport but as we were sightseeing in Mandalay we saw many shops selling them.
AVOID NIGHT BUSES
The roads in Myanmar rough and windy and aren’t fun at night with a maniac bus driver. We’ve heard a lot of bad things from other travelers about the night buses. We personally avoid them, but if you’re on a budget it’s an option, just not the most comfortable. Most backpackers traveling from Bagan to Inle Lake opt for them just to save the night, but it wasn’t worth it to us.
Most night buses arrive between 3am-5am and most hotels don’t allow check-in until 2 pm, so you’re stuck staying awake the entire time with your bags. In the end, you’ll end up losing a day of travel if you aren’t able to sleep on the bus and then be up all day because you can’t check into the hotel.
WAKE UP EARLY
You’ll want to wake up early most days but especially for Bagan sunrises. Nothing will ever beat a watching the balloons over Bagan during sunrise. There isn’t much nightlife in Bagan so plan on being in bed early so you’re ready for another early morning.
INSPECT RESTAURANTS BEFORE DINING
No one wants to get sick on vacation. Normally we are advocates for trying all the local restaurants and eating street food but in Myanmar, you need to use a bit more caution. The food safety and cleanliness is lacking when compared to neighboring countries. Most travelers get a little bout of food sickness in Myanmar so spend time choosing a restaurant and you may need to spend a little extra money.
A few things to look for:
- Is the food made to order or is all pre-cooked in pots?
- How is the food being handled?
- Does the staff wash their hands?
- If something looks off or smells wrong with your food don’t eat it, it’s not worth getting sick over.
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