When to goThe best time to visit Burma is between October and February. Temperatures are warm and there is lots of sunshine during these months. Do not go, however, between May and September, which is the monsoon season. Although there will be fewer tourists during this period, the climate makes it an unsuitable time to visit.
Entry requirementsEuropeans must have a passport valid for at least six months after the date of return from Burma. A tourist visa allowing a stay of up to 28 consecutive days is required for all trips to Burma. You can apply for one of these through the Burmese embassy in your country. Depending on where you arrive from, you may be able to apply for a visa at the airport in Burma, though this is not advised.
Before visiting Burma, consider taking out insurance to cover medical expenses and repatriation costs. Various illnesses can be transmitted by insect bites, e.g. dengue fever, malaria and Japanese encephalitis, so consider using repellents and wearing long clothing to protect yourself. Check that your vaccinations against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus are up to date. Vaccinations against hepatitis A and B and yellow fever are also recommended.
It is advised not to drink water from faucets and you should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked food. You should also avoid walking around in bare feet, bathing in standing water and petting animals. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre in the UK.
Airline ticketsThe average cost of a return flight from from London to Rangoon around £700. The price largely depends on how far in advance the booking is made, so consider buying your ticket at least six months ahead of time.
Time differenceBurma is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of British Summer Time. When it is 12:00 pm in London it will therefore be 5:30 pm or 6:30 pm in Burma (depending on the season).
LanguageThe official language is Burmese. However, there are more than 200 dialects spoken in the country. English is also very widely spoken in the large cities.
British embassy in Burma
80 Strand Road (Box No 638)
(95) (1) 370865
Burmese embassy in the United Kingdom
19A Charles St
London W1J 5DX
Phone and internet connection
The international dialing code for Burma is +95.
Most of the hotels now have Wi-Fi, though you'll need to be patient as the network is often very slow! Communication services can be difficult if not impossible to access everywhere outside Rangoon.