Information for Travelers
Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens travel to Burma for tourism, to visit family, and for other reasons. The Consular Office wants your travel to Burma to be safe and practical. The information in this section will help ensure you have a successful trip to or through Burma.
- Country Specific Information Sheet
For comprehensive information about traveling to Burma, please read the State Department’s country specific information Sheet at:http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/burma.html.
We urge you to register your trip to Burma with the Consular Office. For an explanation of registration, see our page titled Travel Registration.
- Important Note To All United States Citizens Traveling To Burma
Conflicts between the government and various ethnic minority groups continue in several border regions in Burma. In some border areas, anti-personnel landmines pose an additional danger. Occasional fighting continues to occur in Kachin State and northern Shan State, including along the Burma-China border. In the past, fighting between government forces and rebel groups has occurred along Burma’s borders with India and Thailand as well.
In February 2015, intense fighting broke out in the Kokang self-administered region of northern Shan state between the Burmese military and armed groups. The government subsequently declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law in the Kokang self-administered region. Numerous civilians have fled the area and sought refuge in Lashio, the largest town in northern Shan State, and across the border in China. Attacks on Myanmar National Red Cross convoys in the Kokang area have injured humanitarian workers.
Additionally, recent clashes in Kachin State between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese military continue to endanger civilians.
Ongoing violence in Rakhine State has displaced thousands, and has resulted in civilian casualties. Violence in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, in March 2014 resulted in widespread property destruction and prompted many international non-governmental organizations’ employees to temporarily leave Rakhine State.
Burma has experienced sporadic bombings, primarily targeting government buildings and vehicles. In October 2013, a hardline faction of an armed ethnic group planted five bombs in public areas in Rangoon and Mandalay. The explosions killed two and injured four, including one U.S. citizen. In 2014, IEDs exploded or were otherwise discovered throughout Burma, including in Mandalay Division and Kayin and Mon States.
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Burma to the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2015. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation in the period leading up to the elections.
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness. U.S. citizens should avoid crowded public places, such as large public gatherings, demonstrations, and any areas cordoned off by security forces. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can quickly become violent and unpredictable. While in country, U.S. citizens should closely follow media reports and public information about the security situation, which changes daily, in Burma.
There are some restrictions to the areas where tourists are permitted to travel. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a list of areas where travel is permitted.
Although many sanctions have recently been lifted, no Burmese bank accepts traveler's checks and Burmese businesses rarely have capabilities to accept credit cards. While several banks in Burma now accept limited Visa or Master Card ATM card withdrawals, we encourage foreign travelers to enter the country with enough cash to cover all expenses, including unexpected ones. Please plan accordingly to ensure a smooth trip.
- eVisa Program For Tourists
The Government of Burma now has an e-Visa program that allows visitors to apply online for a tourist visa. After submitting the applications, applicants will receive an email informing them of their pre-approval for a tourist visa. Please click here for more information.
- Rangoon-Mandalay Highway 24/7 Emergency Telephone number
Call “1880” for police, fire, ambulance, and towing support
- First time in Burma?
The Burmese Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has helpful and entertaining advice.
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Medical Care Information!
Please note that it is currently Dengue Fever season. Dengue is transmitted by mosquito bites, and no vaccine is available to prevent it. More information about dengue and how to prevent it is available at the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/dengue/
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Medical Care Information!
Before your trip, the CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons. Please be advised that medical facilities in Burma are inadequate for even routine medical care. There are few adequately trained medical personnel. In an emergency, you will likely need to be medically evacuated to a hospital outside Burma. Medical evacuation from Burma is expensive; we urge all travelers to secure medical evacuation insurance before coming to Burma.
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