Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma)

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following regions: Kachin and Rakhine
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following districts: Lauking, Muse, and Kunlong

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia between Thailand and Bangladesh and bordering on the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The population is about 55 million people. Although Myanmar is the country’s official name, the opposition, as well as some other countries, still use the name Burma since they question the authority of the ruling military and present government to change the name of the country.

From 1962 to 2011, Burma was ruled by a very suppressive military regime. In 2010 the first general election in 20 years took place. Although there were allegations of widespread fraud, the election was seen as a very important step towards democracy. In March 2011, a unitary presidential parliamentary government took power. A president is the chief of state and head of government. In 2012 parliamentary by-elections were held. The pro-democracy opposition party and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, won a landslide victory and parliamentary seats.

Myanmar’s economy suffers from years of stagnation, isolation, and government corruption. The country is rich in fertile soil, precious gems, teak, and offshore gas and oil. The general population, however, does not benefit from these resources. Myanmar is beginning to encourage tourism, mainly in Rangoon, Ngapali Beach, Inle Lake, Bagan, and Mandalay. Tourist facilities are limited or nonexistent in many parts of the country.

Currency MMK: Kyat
Language Burmese
Capital Naypyidaw (former capital was Rangoon)
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Myanmar (Burma). Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis B for this country.

Typhoid Fever

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages or rural areas where exposure can occur through contaminated food or water.

Japanese encephalitis

There is a risk of exposure to Japanese encephalitis in rural areas most commonly between May and October. Outbreaks have occurred in Shan State.

Malaria

Malaria is present throughout the year at altitudes less than 1000 meters (less than 3,281 feet). There is no malaria in cities and urban areas, including Mandalay and Rangoon (Yangoon). The central plains are generally free of malaria.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever occurs in this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, a this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Nationals and residents of Myanmar are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Cholera

Cholera occurs in this country.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Zika Fever

Zika virus is potentially endemic in Myanmar (Burma). The risk to travellers to Burma (Myanmar) is unknown.

Polio

Although no human cases of wild polio virus have been reported in Myanmar, this country has recently reported cases of polio acquired from a polio vaccine strain.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Myanmar (Burma).

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

This vaccine is recommended since Japanese encephalitis occurs year-round in this country with seasonal peaks from May to October.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccination is not recommended for this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers 1 year of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Nationals and residents of Myanmar are required to possess certificates of vaccination on their departure to an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Polio Vaccine

All travellers to Myanmar should make sure they have had a polio-containing vaccine in the past 10 years and that children have had a full course of the vaccine.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Myanmar (Burma).

Anti-malarial Drugs

Atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline is recommended for the provinces of Bago, Kachin, Kayah, Kayn, Shan and Tanintharyi since mefloquine resistance has been reported in some of the provinces. For all other areas, mefloquine, atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline are recommended. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine and mefloquine are present. There is emerging resistance to artemisinin in southeastern parts of the country along the border with Thailand.

Safety and Security in Myanmar (Burma)

Emergency Numbers

199
192
191
1880 Rangoon-Mandalay Highway 24/7 Emergency Telephone number for police, fire, ambulance, and towing support

Personal Safety

Petty theft, mugging and burglary do occur in Myanmar. There have been some reports of violent crime toward foreigners. Travellers should always be alert to personal safety and surroundings.

Have two photocopies of valuable papers, such as passport, tickets, etc., and keep one copy in a separate location. Avoid carrying excessive cash. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry to minimize the risk of becoming a target for theft.

Get permission from the Myanmar tourist authorities before travelling outside Rangoon, as there are officially designated tourist areas.

Travellers may be required to show a passport and visa to authorities when travelling by air or rail and staying at hotels.

Transportation can be dangerous in Myanmar due to aggressive driving, badly maintained roads, lack of street lighting, and people and animals on the roads. It is illegal to drive in Myanmar without a valid Myanmar driver's licence. Air, rail and public transportation often do not meet international safety standards and can be dangerous. Fatal accidents have occurred.

Areas To Avoid

Travellers are advised to avoid travel to the border areas with China, Thailand, India and Laos due to armed conflict, banditry and areas with landmines.

At this time, a state of emergency exists in the Mandalay region.

There is serious ongoing civil unrest in the Rakhine State.

In 2012, serious armed conflict was reported in the northern Shan State and Kachin State.

In Myanmar, travellers should familiarise themselves with local curfews and check updated reports for government travel restrictions.

Political Unrest

There is the potential for political violence.

Organized public gatherings and protests are now allowed but with prior permission. Some reports indicate that the military or police do not have experience with these situations and may be unpredictable or violent in their response.

Sitata warns travellers to minimize safety risk by avoiding any public gatherings or demonstrations in foreign countries.

Avoid taking pictures of protests, and avoid areas roped off by security.

In general, political activity and freedom of speech and movement are restricted. Foreigners can be jailed or deported for involvement in political demonstrations.

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