Myanmar travel guide
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.
676,578 sq km (261,227 sq miles).
54,363,426 (UN estimate 2016).
83.2 per sq km.
Nay Pyi Taw.
Acting President Myint Swe since 2021, transferred all authority to Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.
Acting President Myint Swe since 2021, transferred all authority to Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.
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.
Myanmar’s airports are shut to regular commercial air services until further notice. Several relief flights however continue to operate and can be booked commercially. Flights cannot be booked online but can be booked direct with the airlines or travel agent. Neighbouring countries have also closed their land borders to Myanmar. For further information, see Return to the UK.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Myanmar.
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. 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.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
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 to these is not clear. You are advised to stay home at night, and minimise movement during the day, avoiding crowds. If you do still attempt to travel domestically, please note that you may encounter checkpoints on your journey. You should contact individual airlines for details, and should comply with all the relevant guidance and regulations while travelling.
In some areas there may be local requirements for visitors from other parts of the country, including the requirement to take a COVID-19 test in advance of travel, and to quarantine on arrival. You should check with local authorities for information on possible local preventative measures.
Some areas in Myanmar are under a state of martial law, whilst others have curfews and ‘Stay at Home’ orders in place. You should ensure you are aware of local rules and restrictions before you travel. Since 13 May 2020, it has been compulsory for anyone going out in public in Myanmar to wear a facemask. Failure to wear one will result in a fine.
It is recommended that foreigners carry:
- 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.
There have been reports that some local authorities are carrying out checks to make sure all foreign visitors are staying in registered hotels and guest houses, not in private apartments. This is a requirement under Myanmar law and is a condition of your visa.
Some hotels have reopened but many tourist resorts remain closed.
Public places and services
COVID restrictions remain in place. Some restaurants have reopened but many are still closed or only offer take away or delivery. Some shopping centres require customers to register their details upon entry. You must wear a face mask in all public places.
As a result of the recent military coup in Myanmar, COVID-19 restrictions and policies may change without notice. Many restrictions and policies that existed before the coup have not been formally rescinded. Following the spike in covid cases from June 2021, a number of areas have been placed under ‘stay at home’ orders across Yangon as well as other parts of Myanmar. You are advised to follow local media for updates or check with your townships.
If you’re currently in Myanmar and are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you should consult your healthcare provider.
If you test positive for the virus, you’re highly likely to be transferred to a government quarantine hospital until you have recovered. Patients are obliged to use a government facility even if they have private insurance. 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 or make phone calls.
The coronavirus pandemic is expected to put significant pressure on Myanmar’s medical facilities. They may not be able to offer routine care.
It may be difficult for you to travel to a neighbouring country for medical attention. Most regional centres are refusing COVID patients from Myanmar. 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. Pre-COVID, specific foreign medicines unavailable in Myanmar, could be ordered from Bangkok but suppliers are currently unable to transport these medicines due to COVID restrictions. Medication is sourced locally with supplies from India and Europe. It is therefore recommended that anyone on regular medication brings sufficient supplies with them 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.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Myanmar
Information about the vaccine programme in Myanmar is currently quite limited, and the wider political and security situation may affect any planned rollout. As more information becomes clear, this page will be updated.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.
British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccines page.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
If you’re planning to return to the UK from Myanmar, for information on flights and what you’ll need to do to meet UK entry rules before you leave. There are still commercial means available to return to the UK, but these may decrease further. Flight connections to the UK can be affected at short notice by COVID-19 restrictions being imposed on countries through which you may need to transit.
There are still commercial means available to return to the UK. Flight connections to the UK can be affected at short notice by COVID-19 restrictions being imposed on countries through which you may need to transit.
The Singapore government announced on 14 July that all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Myanmar within the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore effective until further notice. This will also apply to travellers who transited through Myanmar within the 21-day period and who obtained prior approval to enter Singapore.
The Myanmar DCA (Department of Civil Aviation) announced on 30 May that in order to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, the ban on commercial flights will be extended until further notice. The airport however remains open and relief flights are available for those seeking to leave Myanmar. Most of these are commercially bookable. The availabilities of flights may decrease quickly if the situation deteriorates.
It is important that you book early. From 21 May 2021 the Ministry of Transport and Communication has instructed airlines to send the list of all passengers, leaving overseas by air, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 5 days in advance of the flight.
The airport can be very hot so have plenty of water with you. Wi-Fi is often not available. You should complete all paperwork including your Locator form before you go to the airport. Land borders are currently closed to foreign nationals.
All travellers should check with the embassies of respective transit countries for the latest transit, entry and COVID-19 testing requirements before making ticket purchases.
You should ensure that you meet the baggage allowance restrictions for all your flights, as some travellers have found the allowance on the second leg to be lower than that of the first. If you exceed the allowance on any leg of your journey excess baggage charges will be applied and will only be payable in US dollars.
Your journey home: before you leave Myanmar
You will need to provide a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test certificate to enter the UK if you are arriving in the UK from Myanmar after 4am on 5 July 2021. The test must be taken no earlier than 3 days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs. It is important to note that airlines and transit locations may have their own requirements for COVID tests and you should check this in advance of travel.
What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. It is important that you check the full rules and country listings before you travel on the on the UK government website
You should complete a passenger locator form before going to the airport due to unpredictable WiFi connectivity at the airport. If you are completing your journey to the UK on the same airline that you used to leave Yangon, you will not be able to complete your locator form in transit because a reference number from Yangon is required.
If you do not have a valid British Passport, the British Embassy can issue emergency travel documents or emergency passports should you need to leave the country in the near future. More details can be found on the emergency travel document page.
If you intend to bring a pet back to the UK from Myanmar, you should check the regulations. Your pet will be required to spend four months in quarantine on arrival in the UK due to rabies controls. The only exception to this requirement would be if the pet has been vaccinated against rabies at least three months before travelling and has proof of a positive titre test.
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) provides advice on how to stay safe as you travel by air.
Myanmar visa extensions / renewals and UK passport / UK visa applications
British nationals with expired visas will need to pay an overstay fine of US$3 per day for the first 90 days and US$5 per day thereafter when you leave Myanmar. This is payable in US dollars cash at the Immigration desk at Yangon Airport. Make sure you have the full amount in cash on arrival at the airport. There are no facilities for changing currency at the airport.
The Visa Application Centre is open for both British passport and visa Applications. For those nationals looking to travel to the UK and who require a visa to enter the UK visit VFS Global. Please also see VFS Contact Us for further queries. Tourist visa applications for the UK are currently suspended.
For all passport enquiries, visit https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.
Help and support
You will need to pay for your return travel to the UK. If departure options are available but you cannot afford the travel costs and have exhausted all other options for getting funds, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency loan from the government. For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, see our financial assistance guidance.
Myanmar held national elections on 8 November 2020 in which the National League of Democracy Party won a majority. Since then, the political situation has deteriorated. As of 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency and assumed control. There is an increased security presence across the country and violence is rising. You should remain cautious and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds and political gatherings. There has been increased numbers of explosive devices and sound pyrotechnics in Yangon and low-intensity violence by groups of trained activists. There is an IED/pyrotechnic campaign which is currently focused on security force locations, administration offices in wards and townships, and, increasingly, education establishments.
Ignoring military instructions or ignoring the curfew could lead to lengthy prison sentences. A nationwide curfew is in place. Local wards may unexpectedly change rules and curfew times and it is important to remain updated on local rules.
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.
The political situation remains unsettled. Restrictions on freedom of assembly, movement and the right to form trade unions remain in place following extremely narrow legislative reforms. Restrictions on freedom of speech, movement, religion, and political activity remain, and under current laws criticism of the government can result in imprisonment, detainment and deportation.
On significant anniversaries, like Armed Forces Day (27 March), the 8 August 1988 uprising against the government and the September 2007 protests, and other public holidays like Martyrs Day (19 July), you can expect to see an increase in security forces in Yangon and elsewhere in Myanmar. This is particularly true since the military’s seizure of power.
You should avoid all demonstrations and large political gatherings or crowds. 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.
There are no officially issued accurate crime statistics. Anecdotal evidence suggests occasional instances of violent crime against foreigners. 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). Since the coup criminal activity continues and may increase in an unstable environment. 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.
Myanmar is still largely a cash-only society. Travellers, who often need to carry large sums of local currency, should avoid displaying cash or other valuables in public. Beware of merchants offering to sell gems, gold, semi-precious stones. This could result in substantial loss of money and/or a violation of local laws. Do not buy gems or minerals from an unlicensed source.
There have been incidents where people have received emails from individuals claiming to work for British firms seeking loans to advance their business interests in Myanmar. These have stated they are acting on advice of the British Embassy. See our pages on fraud and financial scams for further guidance.
Conflict is escalating and the situation is unpredictable in most ethnic states and border areas. The Myanmar government restricts travel to most border areas. Unmarked landmines also pose a threat in many border regions. As of mid-October, there are signs of heightened tensions in Chin, Sagaing and Tanintharyi, with large troop deployments reported. The Myanmar authorities have advised foreign nationals to depart some townships in Tanintharyi, and to avoid traveling through the region.
As a result of years 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 land mine mapping source. 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. On 26 November 2019 a foreign tourist was killed by a landmine while travelling off the main road in Northern Shan State in the area around Hsipaw town. A woman accompanying him was also injured in the incident.
The FCDO can not 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.
Railway safety standards are significantly below those in the UK.
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.
Due to COVID-19 the border between India and Myanmar is currently closed. All other land borders are closed to foreigners.
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 have been subject to attacks in Rakhine State.
During the monsoon season (normally 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 have periodically cut mobile internet services and have blocked several websites. It is possible that the internet or mobile phones could be cut with no notice.
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 when they arrive (approximately 1500 Kyat – about £1). This can then be topped up as needed.
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Myanmar.
Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners: government buildings, commercial premises, public transport, festivals, hotels and cinemas. You should take sensible precautions and follow the advice of the local security forces.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
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.
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. The Myanmar government and Myanmar Tourist Federation have published tips for visitors on local customs.
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, or wearing any tattoo of Buddha anywhere below the waist.
There are currently measures in place for visiting religious sights to prevent the spread of coronavirus. You should check the local rules and regulations before entering.
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.
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.
Homosexuality is illegal in Myanmar, although these laws are rarely enforced in practice. 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, although these have primarily been reported by Myanmar nationals
LGBT people are rarely open about their sexuality or gender identity publicly, and LGBT communities are more likely tolerated than accepted within Myanmar society. There have nonetheless been increasingly large pride festivals that have taken place in recent years. Public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or LGBT are frowned upon in Myanmar’s conservative culture.
International organisations have reported high rates of HIV prevalence within the LGBT community in Myanmar. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Myanmar set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
Entry to Myanmar
New tourist visa applications are currently suspended.
If you are travelling to Myanmar for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
At present Myanmar authorities can offer business visas to foreign nationals with a compelling case. You or your employer must make your case to your nearest Myanmar Embassy and obtain permission.
These arrangements are subject to change at short notice.
Testing/Screening on arrival
There are temperature checks for all arrivals. Arrivals must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result. 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 requirements ahead of entry to Myanmar are subject to change. Confirmation should be sought from the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your departure.
Arrivals in Myanmar must enter government-arranged quarantine for a period of 10 days. You will be allotted your quarantine facility on arrival. You may have no choice. You are likely to be placed in the same government quarantine facility or hotel as all the other people on your flight. You will be provided with food, for which you will be charged.
You should confirm your quarantine requirements with the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate before you travel.
All travellers will be tested for COVID-19 by RT-PCR on day 3 and day 7 during the quarantine period and will be required to pay for the testing fees. Travellers who test positive for COVID-19 will be immediately isolated and taken to a medical facility. Foreign nationals will be expected to pay the medical costs and other costs related to isolation and treatment in designated health facilities.
You may be required to do more than one COVID-19 test before you leave quarantine, even if you test negative.
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.
These arrangements are subject to change and at short notice. Confirmation should be sought from the relevant Myanmar Embassy or Consulate well in advance of your departure.
On arrival, passengers may be asked to fill in a paper form giving your name, contact details and address.
Regular entry requirements
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.
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.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Myanmar.
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.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Myanmar on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Myanmar.
From the beginning of July 2021, Myanmar has seen rising COVID-19 cases with high infection rates among those tested. The Myanmar health system is not equipped to manage the spread of COVID-19 with challenges to staffing and supply of medical equipment.
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).
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
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 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.
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.
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 currently severe 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. Exchange rates might not be as high as expected, and local currency not always available. 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.
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.
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. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.