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Market, Myanmar

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Myanmar Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

676,578 sq km (261,227 sq miles).

Population

54,363,426 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

83.2 per sq km.

Capital

Nay Pyi Taw.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

Acting President Myint Swe since 2021, transferred all authority to Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

Head of government

Acting President Myint Swe since 2021, transferred all authority to Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs with two round pins (European-style), three round pins (South African-style) or three square pins (British-style) are used; some hotel sockets can accept multiple types.

Once a pariah state, Myanmar – previously known as Burma – is fast becoming the must-see destination in Southeast Asia, helped by an incredible array of tourist sights: golden stupas as tall as skyscrapers, ancient ruins, fascinating hill tribes, unexplored jungles, peaceful beach resorts, legions of monks, and mesmerising cities made legendary by writers like Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell.

Ruled by a secretive military junta, Burma was closed for decades to the outside world. When it finally opened, travellers were initially restricted to a handful of locations: the magnificent temples of Bagan, the floating villages of Inle Lake, the monasteries of Mandalay, and Yangon, the former capital, with its colonial relics and towering pagodas.

That was then. With the end of the travel boycott called by Aung San Suu Kyi, travellers are queuing up to visit Myanmar, captivated by the idea of seeing what Asia was like before the tourists arrived. Nevertheless, the government still controls where visitors can go and what they can see, and many people have qualms that their tourist dollars help fund the military, which stands accused of widespread abuses.

Those who do visit discover a fascinating, and famously friendly culture on the threshold between tradition and modernity. Monasteries are the foundation of Burmese society and even in rapidly expanding Yangon life is focused on Buddhist rituals. The sense of devotion is tangible at the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Paya, which towers over Yangon like an enormous golden pillar.

As Myanmar has opened up to the outside world, travellers have pushed beyond the Bagan-Inle-Mandalay triangle, visiting peaceful outposts like Kalaw, Hsipaw and Kengtung and trekking to remote tribal villages. Smaller numbers make it to the jungles of northern Myanmar or the rain-drenched ports of the far south and west. Myanmar even has its own patch of the Himalaya, accessed from remote Putao in the far north.

Through it all, the mighty Irrawaddy River snakes like a twisting Burmese python, offering some of the most atmospheric river journeys in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, Myanmar remains a controversial destination, promising significant challenges as well as rewarding experiences.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Myanmar on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Myanmar.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Myanmar

A limited schedule of domestic flights is operating, though the rules for access is subject to regular change. You should contact individual airlines for details. You should comply with overnight curfews, and minimise movement during the day, avoiding crowds. If you attempt to travel domestically, you are likely to encounter police or military checkpoints on your journey.

Due to extra COVID-19 checks, it is advisable that foreigners carry:

  • passport
  • Form C (immigration document)
  • Foreigner’s Registration Certificate
  • Myanmar Driver’s Licence (if you own a car)
  • a copy of your passport information page
  • a copy of your Myanmar visa
  • a copy of your immigration stamp showing when you last entered Myanmar
  • COVID-19 documentation e.g. proof of vaccination

Accommodation

There have been reports that some local authorities are carrying out checks to make sure all foreign visitors are staying in registered hotels and guesthouses, and not in private apartments. Due to COVID-19, this is a requirement under Myanmar law and is a condition of your visa.

Some hotels have reopened but many tourist resorts remain closed. You should make sure you have you accommodation booked before travelling.

Public places and services

COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. You must wear a face mask in public places. Failure to wear a mask may result in a fine.

COVID-19 restrictions and policies may change without notice. You are advised to follow local media for updates or check locally within the township where you are.

Healthcare

If you’re currently in Myanmar and are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, you should consult your healthcare provider. There are a small number of private hospitals in Yangon that are equipped to manage patients with severe symptoms.

If you test positive for the virus, you may be transferred to a government quarantine hospital until you have recovered. These vary in quality. Patients in government hospitals are expected to make their own arrangements for bringing in food and other essential supplies. Lone travellers will not be allowed out of isolation to buy food.

It may be difficult for you to travel to a neighbouring country for medical attention if you have COVID-19. You should check your personal arrangements with your healthcare provider.

Prescriptions from the UK are not accepted in Myanmar. Most hospitals, both government and private, have their own pharmacies. A government hospital will provide a prescription for collection at their pharmacy once a patient has been assessed. To attend a private hospital or clinic you must first register, following an assessment any prescription can be collected at the pharmacy on their premises. If you are on regular medication, bring sufficient supplies with you, or is able to have their medication couriered from the UK.

For contact details for English-speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Myanmar.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Political situation

Myanmar held national elections on 8 November 2020 in which the National League of Democracy Party won a majority. The military subsequently alleged fraud in the elections and demanded a review. On 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency and assumed control. There has been widespread political violence involving the deaths of hundreds of ordinary people, as well as a major rise in active clashes between armed actors.

On occasions of national significance – such as the anniversary of the 2021 coup (1 February), Armed Forces Day (27 March), Martyrs Day (19 July), the uprising (8 August), the 2007 anti-government protests (throughout September) – there is a higher likelihood of opposition attacks and an increased presence of security forces.

Some areas in Myanmar are under a state of martial law, others may have curfews or ‘stay at home’ orders, for example, in Yangon, a number of townships have a curfew from midnight until 4am. You should ensure you are aware of local rules and restrictions before you arrive in an area.

Opposition activists regularly detonate small-scale improvised explosive devices across the country. Military and government buildings, police stations and military-affiliated businesses are the main targets, but there have also been attacks on schools and hospitals. While small-scale, these devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the attacks more deadly.

Following the execution of high-profile political prisoners on 25 July 2022, there has been an increase in tensions across the country and the number of explosions in public places. Visitors to Myanmar should be extra vigilant.

You should remain cautious and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds and political gatherings. You should not attempt to photograph any gatherings. See Photography and drones for more information. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.

Ignoring military instructions or ignoring curfews could lead to detention and/or lengthy prison sentences. Curfews are in place nationwide. Local wards may unexpectedly change rules and curfew times and it is important to remain updated on local rules.

Yangon region

Whilst we no longer advise against all but essential travel to Yangon region, there is still a heightened risk. The security situation remains volatile and can change at short notice. If you are in the Yangon region, you should remain vigilant, exercise caution and seek local advice, especially if travelling to townships which are under martial law. The townships currently under martial law are Hlaing Thayar, Shwe Pyithar, North Okkalapa, North Dagon, South Dagon and Dagon Seakkan, but this is subject to change.

Businesses with links to the military and military installations, such as checkpoints, are often the targets of attacks. If you encounter a threatening or intimidating situation, don’t try to make your way through it. Turn round and move to safety.

Crime

There are no accurate official statistics on violent crime or robbery against foreigners. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cases are low, although the economic pressure may cause an increase. The most common crimes are non-violent crimes of opportunity (pickpocketing, theft of unattended possessions in public places or hotel rooms, bag snatching, gem/confidence scams). Thieves often attempt to distract a victim by asking questions, begging for money, selling items, or bumping/jostling. You should take extra care of your belongings and take sensible security precautions at all times. You should be vigilant at all times, even if staying with friends, employers or hosts.

Myanmar is largely a cash-only society, make sure you have access to cash, but avoid displaying cash or other valuables in public.

Beware of merchants offering to sell gems, gold or semi-precious stones. This could result in a substantial loss of money and/or a violation of local laws. Do not buy gems or minerals from an unlicensed source.

Scams

We are aware of fraudulent emails being sent by individuals claiming to work for British firms seeking loans to advance their business interests in Myanmar. These have falsely stated they are acting on advice of the British Embassy. See our pages on fraud and financial scams for further guidance.

Border areas

Myanmar has suffered from prolonged internal conflicts, involving a number of Ethnic Armed Organisations in Myanmar’s border areas. The possibility of violent clashes remains in some areas of all Border States.

Violence is severe and the situation is unpredictable in most ethnic states and border areas. The Myanmar authorities restrict travel to most border areas. In the North West and South East, there are active military operations involving the use of air strikes, artillery bombardments and ground troops.

Landmines

As a result of decades of conflict, the threat of landmines in rural areas is high, particularly in northern and central Rakhine, northern Shan and Kachin States. There is no reliable landmine mapping source, and there is evidence of landmine use spreading to other areas since the coup. Some areas with known mines are marked by signage, however this practice is not widespread. Visitors should exercise extreme caution if travelling off main roads in these areas.

Air travel

The FCDO cannot offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe. A list of recent incidents and accidents is available on the website of the Aviation Safety Network.

Airlines routinely share flight codes, meaning that airlines sometimes use aircraft from outside their own fleet. Passengers aren’t always advised in advance where this is the case.

Local flight schedules are subject to change without warning. Leave sufficient time in your travel itinerary to accommodate this.

Rail travel

Railway safety standards are significantly below those in the UK.

Road travel

Overland travel can be hazardous, particularly in the rainy season (May to October). Roads can become impassable and bridges damaged. Travel by road between many areas outside the key destinations of Yangon, Mandalay, Bago and Irrawaddy regions is restricted.

Road safety standards are significantly lower than in the UK. Under Myanmar law, the driver of a car involved in an accident with a pedestrian is always at fault. Many vehicles, including taxis and buses, are in a poor mechanical state, and serious road traffic accidents are common. Although driving is on the right in Myanmar, the majority of cars are right hand drive.

Sea and river travel

Seek local advice about where it is safe to swim or dive in the sea. River transport may not meet internationally recognised safety standards and search and rescue facilities may be limited.

Passenger ferries in Rakhine State have been subject to attacks.

During the monsoon season (May to October), heavy rains can cause flooding. Make sure life jackets are available and check local weather conditions before undertaking any river journey. All travellers should avoid wading, swimming or bathing in freshwater to prevent catching schistosomiasis. See Health

Mobile phones and Internet

The Myanmar authorities periodically cut off access to the Internet and have blocked several websites.

Myanmar’s technological infrastructure has improved. International GSM roaming is now available in Myanmar and all local networks offer 3G and 4G. If roaming is enabled, some UK SIM cards will work and coverage is fairly reliable in the main cities. UK mobile service providers may charge especially high prices for roaming in Myanmar.

Many visitors travel with a spare mobile phone and buy a SIM card for a nominal fee when they arrive. This can then be topped up as needed.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Myanmar. There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners: official buildings, commercial premises, transport hubs, festivals, hotels and cinemas. You should take sensible precautions and follow local advice

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

Criminal justice

There is a risk of arbitrary detention and arrest. The criminal justice process followed in such cases falls below international standards. Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality.

If you’re arrested and convicted of a crime in Myanmar you can expect a long prison sentence. Conditions in detention are extremely poor. Pre-trial detention can also last many months.

The legal process in Myanmar is unpredictable, lacks transparency and is open to interference from powerful political and business interests. The investigation and trial process falls far below the standard expected in the UK. British nationals in Myanmar should be aware that there are limits to the assistance the British Embassy can offer to those with concerns about the fairness of their trial as we are unable to interfere in the legal processes of a host country.

Sexual abuse against children is a serious crime. The UK and Myanmar authorities are committed to combating travelling child sex offenders. Those who commit sex offences against children abroad can also be prosecuted in the UK.

Penalties for drug trafficking range from a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and can include the death penalty.

Myanmar’s defamation laws give broad scope for individuals to bring potentially arbitrary charges which could result in criminal penalties, including a prison sentence. Foreigners have been subject to criminal investigations for acts such as posting a critical review of a hotel online.

Religious customs

Respect religious customs when visiting Buddhist religious sites. Shorts and sleeveless tops will cause offence. You should remove shoes and socks before entering a pagoda or monastery.

Under Myanmar law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offence. Insulting religion is a broad term, and can include any disrespectful depiction or image (including tattoos) of Buddha or other religious representation.

Photography and drones

Do not take photographs or videos of the police, any demonstrations, military installations or military personnel.

Importing unmanned aerial systems (drones) without prior government permission and flying them in sensitive areas such as government buildings, famous tourist sites, and religious buildings can result in criminal penalties, including jail time and the permanent confiscation of the drone. As it is rarely clear what constitutes a sensitive area, all recreational use of drones is inadvisable. If you wish to bring a drone to Myanmar, you’re strongly advised to seek official permission from the Myanmar authorities.

Endangered species

Myanmar is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Over 800 species of animals and plants are banned from international trade and a further 30,000 are strictly controlled by CITES and EU legislation. You should consider the restrictions on the export of endangered species under CITES when deciding whether to buy exotic souvenirs, including those made from turtles.

LGBT travellers

Homosexuality is illegal in Myanmar, although in practice these laws are not consistently enforced. These laws can carry punishments of up to life imprisonment and apply equally to men and women. There have been reports of police using threats of prosecution to extort bribes and allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Public attitudes towards LGBT people can be mixed. Up until recently, there have been increasingly large Pride festivals and growing visibility of the LGBT community, including gay bars and clubs. Public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or LGBT are frowned upon in Myanmar’s culture.

See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page has information on travelling to Myanmar.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Myanmar set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Myanmar’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

COVID-19 rules and requirements can change at short notice. Confirmation should be sought from the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your departure.

Insurance

All visitors to Myanmar need to purchase COVID-19 medical insurance from Myanma Insurance. This is required regardless of any other insurance cover you may have.

Diplomats, UN officials and their family members do not need to purchase Myanma Insurance and can instead show proof of health insurance from their countries of origin.

Data collection

All arrivals will need to complete a Health Declaration Form when they arrive, which should be provided by the airline or the airport authorities.

Testing on arrival

You will be expected to take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test at the airport, regardless of your vaccination status. You should bring 15,000 MMK with you or be prepared to convert cash at one of the exchange counters.

If the test result is negative, you will be free to leave. Travellers who display symptoms or test positive will be isolated and taken to a hospital or hotel designated by the Ministry of Health at their own expense.

This is in addition to the test you need to take 48 hours before your arrival. Which test you can take depends on if you are fully vaccinated or not.

If you are fully vaccinated

You will be required to present proof that you were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before your arrival in Myanmar with an accepted vaccine.

The following vaccines are accepted by the Myanmar authorities:

  • CoronaVac (Sinovac Biotech Ltd)
  • AstraZeneca or Covishield (AstraZeneca & University of Oxford/ SK BioScience (Korea) / Siam BioScience / Serum Institute of India (SII))
  • Pfizer – BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or Comirnaty (Pfizer Inc & BioNTech)
  • Janssen or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson and Johnson
  • Modema (ModemaTX, Inc.)
  • Sinopharm or COVILO or BIBP-CorV (Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd)
  • Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) (Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology)
  • Sputnik Light (Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology)
  • Covaxin by Bharat Biotech
  • Myancopharm by Ministry of Industry, Myanmar
  • Nuvaxovid (NVX-CoV2373) (Novavax Co. Ltd)
  • Covovax (Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd)
  • CorBEvax (Biological E Limited)

You should arrange to take a private test in order to facilitate your travel to another country.

If you are not fully vaccinated

You should present proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test, taken no more than 48 hours before your arrival in Myanmar.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Testing positive

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility. Foreign nationals are expected to pay the medical costs and other costs related to isolation and treatment in the designated health facilities.

If hospitalised with coronavirus, patients are obliged to use a government facility even if they have private insurance. Patients in government hospitals are generally expected to make their own arrangements for bringing in food and other essential supplies. Lone travellers will not be allowed out of isolation to buy food or make phone calls.

If you have not been fully vaccinated more than 14 days prior to departure, and if you are arriving by a relief flight, you will be subject to a 5 day hotel quarantine on arrival in Myanmar. You will be tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR twice.

Children and young people

Children under 12 years old are exempted from the requirement to present proof they have recovered from COVID-19, if they travel with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

If they travel with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, children under 6 years old are exempted from the requirement to present laboratory evidence of absence of COVID-19 infection (RT- PCR) issued no more than 72 hours prior to arrival to Myanmar.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Before travel, we advise that all visitors check with their nearest Myanmar Embassy or Consulate to confirm your current visa will allow you entry, or the criteria for obtaining or renewing a visa.

Visas

British nationals must apply for a visa to enter Myanmar. If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements you should check with your nearest Myanmar embassy.

Tourist visas

You will need a visa to enter or travel through Myanmar as a visitor. Tourist visas can be applied for online.

Business visas

Applications for business e-visas have now re-started. Applicants need to be sponsored by a registered Myanmar company or a registered Chamber of Commerce Association.

Proof of invitation must be submitted with the visa application in the form of a letter personally addressed to the applicant, along with a copy of the company registration certificate. The letter must state the purpose and timeframe of the visit. The registration status of a company can be found online at Myanmar Companies Online (MyCo). NGOs and INGOs are not eligible to sponsor visas.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Myanmar.

Yellow fever

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Myanmar. They are accepted for exit from Myanmar but a valid visa has to be added to the ETD once the document is issued. You will need a passport photo for Immigration. Please ensure you check with the relevant Embassy if you propose to transit through another country and also with your airline. A visa can take several days to issue and some countries may not allow them on an ETD.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate
of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Medical treatment

The strikes in the medical sector in response to the coup have placed a severe strain on the Myanmar public health sector. Private medical facilities continue to operate.

Many pharmaceutical products for sale in Myanmar are believed to be counterfeit.

Competent medical advice and treatment may not be available outside Yangon and Mandalay, and any services provided will not be to the standard of those in the UK. You may need expensive medical evacuation costing up to tens of thousands of pounds. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Avoid intrusive examinations, including emergency dental work, due to irregular hygiene standards and the danger of infection, particularly by hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS. Psychological and psychiatric services are also limited.

Cash payment is often needed prior to receiving medical treatment in Myanmar. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and/or repatriation. The UK government can not pay for medical expenses overseas.

The worldwide coronavirus outbreak is expected to put significant pressure on Myanmar’s medical facilities. They may not be able to offer routine care. See Coronavirus

Health risks

Dengue fever is present in Myanmar, including in the regions of Yangon and Mandalay. You should take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.

UK health authorities have classified Myanmar as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, have been reported in Myanmar. There is no vaccine or medication to prevent schistosomiasis. You should avoid wading, swimming or bathing in freshwater. As the infection may cause no symptoms, all travellers who may have been exposed to schistosomiasis should have a medical assessment.

Chikungunya, a viral infection usually transmitted by the bite of mosquitos, is present in Myanmar.

Myanmar has faced challenges with outbreaks of Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses (VDPV), particularly in remote areas. All travellers should check the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) pages for specific advice on polio vaccinations

Air pollution

Air pollution can affect major urban areas. This may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check real time air quality data for Yangon on the World Air Quality Index website.

Earthquakes

Myanmar is subject to frequent earthquakes and tremors of varying magnitude. 

To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Cyclones

The cyclone season in Myanmar normally runs from April to October. You can monitor the progress of tropical cyclones on the website of the World Meteorological Organisation. Floods and landslides may occur. Check local weather reports before travelling, particularly in coastal areas.

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

There is significant disruption to banking services. You may find that some ATMs are not working. Some bank branches may be closed and some banks have imposed limits on daily withdrawals. Electronic payments and transfers are working but many commercial outlets will only accept cash.

You should expect to rely on cash for most of your stay (preferably US dollars). Visitors bringing in excess of $10,000 (or equivalent) in foreign currency should declare this to Customs on arrival or risk facing imprisonment.

Dollars will be required when you leave the country for visa fines or to pay for excess baggage.

Once in country it can be difficult finding a money changer to exchange US dollars into kyats. Due to concerns over counterfeit money, dollars with the letters AB and CB at the start of the serial number (top left-hand corner of the note) aren’t always accepted. Notes with pen marks, folds or tears are also not accepted.

An increasing number of hotels, restaurants and shops now accept credit and debit cards, and mobile banking services are increasingly common. If you intend to pay for hotels or restaurants with a credit or debit card, you should phone ahead and confirm that this will be possible. Many vendors will charge a high service fee for paying by card.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on +44 (0)20 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We are no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.