Advice levelsWhat does this mean?
- The Myanmar military has assumed control of the country and declared a state of emergency. There has been a significant increase in the level of violence with many deaths, injuries detentions and arrests. Martial law is in place in areas of Myanmar. Townships under martial law should be avoided.
- Explosions and attacks are occurring daily in Yangon and other parts of the country. Explosions can occur anywhere and at any time. Police stations, township electricity offices, road transportation and ward administration offices as well as police and military vehicles, and security and administrative personnel have been targeted. Civilian targets have included schools, petrol stations, supermarkets, shopping malls, shops and a hospital.
- Protest activity is continuing with security services responding. Avoid all protests and areas of known or possible unrest, facilities and vehicles linked to security forces and the military administration.
- The Australian embassy continues to review security incidents in Yangon. Protocols are in place for embassy staff movements. They have been advised to minimise all movements. Embassy staff may move without official approval within central Yangon, bounded by Pyay Road (West) Parami Road (North), Kabar Aye Pagoda Road (East), and Bo Gyoke Road (South).
- There have been widespread detentions, including of foreigners. Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention. Do not take photos of protests or security forces.
- If it is safe to do so, leave Myanmar by commercial means on one of the international flights departing Yangon. Contact airlines directly.
- A curfew is in place from 10pm to 4am in the Yangon region. Curfew timings may differ in other regions and may change at short notice. Daily internet outages may occur unexpectedly in Yangon and other parts of the country.
- There are disruptions to basic services including ATMs, communications and public health. Have arrangements in place for your essential needs. Services such as transport, travel and fuel may be affected.
- If you're remaining in Myanmar, you should minimise movement during the day, stay at home during curfew hours, follow stay-at-home orders, and shelter-in-place. Maintain heightened security awareness, monitor the media, and keep in close contact with friends and family. Australians in need of emergency consular assistance should contact the Australian Government 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.
- Foreigners in the Dawei, Laung Lone, and Thayet Chaung townships in the Tanintharyi region have been instructed to leave for their own safety.
- There are active conflicts between armed groups and security forces across a large number of States and Regions. Some townships in Rakhine State, Chin State, Shan State, Kayin State, Kayah State, and the Sagaing region are particularly dangerous. There has been armed conflict throughout Kachin State and parts of Shan State, and a risk of conflict in southern Rakhine State. Armed groups operate along Myanmar's borders with China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh and India. This includes at official border crossings. There are also unmarked landmines. If you choose to travel to these areas despite the risks, carefully assess the security situation, including curfews and travel restrictions. Stick to main highways and urban areas.
Full travel advice: Safety
- COVID-19 infections continue to occur across Myanmar. Stay-at-home orders remain in place across Myanmar, including townships in Yangon, to curb transmission. Penalties may be imposed if you breach the restrictions.
- If authorities assess you have COVID-19, you may be required to isolate at home or be placed in quarantine at a local facility, possibly for an extended period.
- Limited medical facilities in Myanmar are severely stretched by COVID-19, particularly outside Yangon. Medical evacuations may be delayed or not possible. Talk to your travel or insurance provider. Be particularly cautious if you have an existing medical condition.
- Medication sold in Myanmar can be fake. Ensure you have enough legal medication for the duration of your stay.
- Common insect-borne diseases include malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Consider taking anti-malarial medicine. Get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel.
- Many animals in Myanmar carry rabies. It's fatal without immediate treatment. Don't feed, pat or tease dogs or monkeys. Get medical help straight away if an animal bites or scratches you.
- Polio is a risk. Hepatitis-A and typhoid also occur. If you're staying for more than four weeks, carry proof of your polio vaccination. Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis are common. Drink only boiled or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food. HIV/AIDS is common. Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
Full travel advice: Health
- Myanmar authorities often don't tell consular staff about Australians they've arrested, detained or deported. If you're arrested, jailed or quarantined, ask to contact the Australian Embassy straight away.
- Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Punishments include the death penalty. Drinking alcohol in public places, such as parks, religious buildings or compounds, is illegal.
- Same-sex relations and adultery are illegal.
- Be careful when taking photos. It's illegal to photograph military personnel or sites. Myanmar has strict communications laws. Don't post negative comments about individuals or Myanmar on social media.
- Myanmar has strict religious laws. It's illegal to take religious materials in or out of the country without approval. Preaching or handing out religious material without approval is also illegal. There's also a law against 'insulting religion', including mistreating images of Buddha. Cover any Buddha tattoos. People in Myanmar are deeply respectful of their religious and cultural traditions. Don't wear shorts or sleeveless tops, especially at religious sites. Always remove your shoes and socks before entering a site.
- Customs rules are restrictive. Seek prior permission to import drones or radio equipment. Drones have been seized by customs officials and tourists have been arrested for operating drones. There are also strict rules about exporting gems, antiques and images of Buddha. Check items are legal before you buy them.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- There are international flights departing Yangon. Book directly with airlines or through your travel agent.
- Myanmar authorities have directed airlines that all bookings to depart Myanmar must have been made at least 10 days prior to the intended date of departure. Booking details are shared by airlines and travel agents with Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Australians returning from Myanmar are exempt from the Australian Government requirement to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 (PCR) test, though transit countries and airlines may have separate testing requirements in place. Passengers transiting Malaysia or Singapore must be able to show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test (see travel for details).
- Entry requirements to curb the spread of COVID-19 are in place (see Travel). Movement restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, curfews and quarantines, may be imposed at short notice (see Safety). Monitor the media closely. Stay-at-Home orders are in place across Myanmar and a number of Yangon Townships to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases. Some local and international schools remain closed as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.
- Travellers must stay in registered hotels and guesthouses. Register your address with immigration authorities if you're staying for more than 90 days. Let them know if you change hotels or will be away from your address.
- The government restricts travel in parts of the country, including to and from land border crossings. A number of areas are affected by armed conflict. If you plan to visit areas other than popular tourist areas, check the list of restricted areas with local authorities. Carry your passport or Foreigners Registration Card. Officials may ask to see it.
- It's illegal to drive cars or motorbikes on an Australian or international licence. Apply for a local licence through the Road Transport Administration Department (Burmese). Don't drive in the countryside at night, including on the Yangon–Naypyitaw–Mandalay highway. Don't leave the scene of an accident. Public transport, including buses, boats and trains, doesn't meet international safety standards. Fatal accidents have occurred, especially on overnight trips.
Full travel advice: Travel
Civil unrest and political tension
Military takeover of February 2021
The Myanmar military has assumed control of the country and declared a state of emergency. There has been a significant increase in the level of violence with many deaths, injuries and arrests. Martial law is in place in areas of Myanmar, including Yangon.
Protest activity is frequent with security services responding. Maintain heightened security awareness. Avoid all protests and areas of known or possible unrest, facilities and vehicles linked to security forces and the military administration.
There have been widespread detentions, including of foreigners. Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention. Do not take photos of protests or security forces.
If it's safe to do so, leave Myanmar by commercial means on one of the international flights departing Yangon.
A curfew is in place from 10pm to 4am in the Yangon region. Curfew timings may differ in other regions and may change at short notice. Daily internet outages and restrictions may occur unexpectedly in Yangon and other parts of the country.
Some townships remain under martial law and should be avoided.
The embassy continues to review security incidents in Yangon. Protocols are in place for embassy staff movements. Staff have been advised to minimise all movements. Embassy staff may move without official approval within central Yangon, bounded by Pyay Road (West) Parami Road (North), Kabar Aye Pagoda Road (East), and Bo Gyoke Road (South).
There are disruptions to basic services including ATMs, communications and public health; and more may follow. Have arrangements in place for your essential needs. Services such as transport, travel and fuel may be affected.
If you're remaining in Myanmar, you should minimise movement during the day, stay at home during curfew hours, follow stay-at-home orders, and shelter-in-place with essential supplies, documents and funds. Maintain heightened security awareness, monitor the media, and keep in close contact with friends and family.
Australians in need of emergency consular assistance should contact the Australian Government 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.
Demonstrations and protests
Protests often happen in Myanmar, including in tourist areas. Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Protests and organised assemblies of people are not permitted. However, these rules are sometimes ignored.
Significant events often see an increase of police and security forces in Yangon and elsewhere. For example:
- the anniversary of the 1988 uprising (8 August)
- the anniversary of demonstrations led by monks (26 September)
To protect yourself during unrest:
- avoid all political gatherings and protests
- avoid areas cordoned off by security forces
- don't take photographs of rallies, the military or police
- follow instructions of local authorities, including stay-at-home orders, and curfews
- monitor the media and other news sources for possible unrest
- be extra careful around public holidays and other important dates and events such as elections
There are several active conflicts between armed groups and security forces following the military takeover. Fighting between armed groups occurs in a number of areas in Myanmar, including in areas previously unaffected by violence such as Sagaing, Magway and northern Chin States. Attacks have resulted in civilian and military casualties and are often unpredictable in their location and intensity. Authorities may set curfews, turn off telecommunications and close roads.
Armed conflict includes;
- active fighting between armed groups
- targeting of civilian infrastructure
- artillery, mortars and surface-to-surface missiles
- improvised explosive devices and unmarked landmines
- civil unrest, violence and abductions
- aerial bombings and air strikes from from helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
If you choose to travel to higher risk areas:
- plan your trip carefully including communications
- find out local information such as curfews and travel restrictions
- stay on main highways and in urban areas, noting even these may be dangerous.
Rakhine and southern Chin State
Armed conflict between armed groups and military forces remains an ongoing threat in Rakhine State (across northern and central Rakhine) and Paletwa Township in Chin State, notwithstanding an overall reduction since an informal ceasefire was agreed in November 2020. Movement restrictions and curfews are in place. Internet services are uncertain and may change at short notice.
The conflict has not affected the resort areas at Ngapali Beach although COVID-related restrictions including stay-at-home orders may inhibit travel.
Risks to civilians due to the conflict have included being kidnapped, detained and killed by armed groups, and killed or injured in clashes and artillery and air strikes, including in Sittwe. Explosive devices have been reported in Rakhine State, including on main roads. Travellers have been kidnapped from public buses and ferries. Familiarise yourself with local curfews and travel restrictions.
Fighting between rival ethnic groups in east, south and northern Shan State has increased since February 2021, resulting in civilian casualties and displacement.
Fighting and clashes between Myanmar security forces and armed groups in northern Shan State since August 2019 has intensified since the military takeover in February 2021. In the past, civilians including foreigners have been attacked along main roads, displaced, and killed or injured by landmines.
Since the military takeover in February 2021 the active conflict in Kachin State has been steadily increasing. There has been an influx in troop numbers and violent clashes have occurred in Momauk, Shwegu, Inndawgyi, Bhamo and Hpakant townships. Some routes from southern Kachin towards the state capital, Myitkyina, remain extremely dangerous due to the presence of large numbers of military forces. Civilian infrastructure including roads and bridges are often targeted.
Kayin and Kayah States
Localised conflict and violence has also increased in parts of Kayin and Kayah States with increased troop numbers, violent clashes, and in some cases the deployment of airstrikes and heavy artillery. Some attacks and have occurred in urban areas with damage to civilian infrastructure, including religious buildings.
Sagaing, Magway and Chin States
Localised conflict and violence has also increased in parts of Sagaing, Magway and northern Chin States affecting urban areas and resulting in civilian displacement. Instances of violence and attacks are unpredictable in location, scale and severity.
On 11 October 2021, all foreigners in Dawei, Laung Lone and Thayet Chaung townships were instructed by immigration authorities to leave immediate for their own safety.
Myanmar’s Border Areas
Security along Myanmar's large border varies. Armed groups operate in these areas including at land border crossings. Several border crossings have been closed.
Previous terrorist attacks in Myanmar have targeted government buildings, including schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping centres and public transport.
Since the military takeover, the incidence of Improvised Explosive devices (IEDs) and attacks has progressively increased across most parts of the country. Although most IEDs and attacks have targeted security forces or administrative elements appointed by the ruling council, the threat to the public remains high. There is a high threat of clashes between armed groups and the military in major urban centres.
To stay safe:
- take official warnings seriously and follow local instructions
- be alert to possible threats, especially in public places
- report any suspicious activity or items to police
- monitor the news for any new or emerging threats
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case there's a secondary attack.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Crime rates in Myanmar are lower than many countries in the region. However, you could encounter:
To help protect yourself against theft:
- pay close attention to your belongings, particularly in crowded areas
- hold bags and backpacks in front of you or in ways that make them harder to snatch
When using credit cards or ATMs:
- avoid exposed locations – choose ATMs in banks and shopping centres
- check for skimming devices before use
- protect your PIN
- monitor your bank records
Report any theft straight away to local police. See Local contacts
Climate and natural disasters
The monsoon season is from May to October, bringing:
Disruptions to services are likely during severe weather events, including:
- electricity, and
Cyclones can happen between April and October. Confirm the location of your local shelter as soon as possible.
Check the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology for news on conditions.
Earthquakes can happen in Myanmar.
Past earthquakes have damaged major cities in Myanmar, including Yangon and Bagan.
Myanmar's exposure to earthquakes makes destructive tsunamis more likely.
If there's a natural disaster:
- take official warnings seriously
- don't enter areas affected by flooding, landslides or other natural disasters without advice from local authorities
- know your hotel's evacuation plans
- keep your passport in a safe, waterproof place
- keep in contact with friends and family
- monitor the media, other local news and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow the advice of local authorities.
Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance for the whole time you’ll be away.
Confirm what your policy covers, including in terms of activities, care, and health and travel disruptions. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
If you travel to high-risk parts of Myanmar despite our advice, you'll probably need a special insurance policy that covers this travel. Most Australian policies won't cover you for travel to places noted in this travel advice as 'do not travel'.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
- arrange appropriate medical supplies
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
COVID-19 infections continue to occur across Myanmar. Stay-at-home orders remain in place across Myanmar, including townships in Yangon, to curb transmission. Penalties may be imposed if you breach the restrictions.
There's a public website in Burmese and a hotline (067-3420268) that provides some advice in English.
Due to civil unrest, there is very limited testing and reporting of COVID-19 cases.
If authorities assess you have COVID-19, you may be required to isolate at home or be quarantined at a local facility, possibly for an extended period.
Limited medical facilities in Myanmar are severely stretched by COVID-19, particularly outside Yangon. Medical evacuations may be delayed or not possible.
You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
- Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar
- Coronavirus (COVId-19) (Department of Health)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases
Check the Australian Immunisation Handbook (Department of Health) before you travel to Myanmar.
Make sure you're up to date with recommended vaccinations, including polio (Department of Health). You may need a booster.
Speak with your doctor about your travel plans. If you're not sure if you're vaccinated for polio, ask. Also check your need for vaccines for:
If you're staying longer than 4 weeks, you'll need to show proof on exit that you've had the polio vaccine or a booster within the past 12 months. If you don't, you may need to be vaccinated before leaving Myanmar.
In many areas, insect-borne diseases are widespread. These include:
- malaria (WHO)
- dengue fever (Department of Health)
- chikungunya fever (WHO)
- Japanese encephalitis (WHO)
To protect yourself from disease:
- ensure your accommodation is insect-proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
- consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
- get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you leave Australia
HIV/AIDS (WHO) is common in Myanmar. Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the virus.
Rabies (WHO) can be fatal. It's found in various animals in Myanmar.
Never feed, pat or tease dogs or monkeys.
If a dog, monkey or other animal bites or scratches you, get treatment as soon as possible.
Other health risks
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common and include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
- drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
- avoid ice cubes
- avoid uncooked and undercooked food, such as salads
Get urgent medical help if you think you have food poisoning, or if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to take medication, check if it's legal in Myanmar. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medication is
- how much you'll take
- that it's for personal use
Get advice from a Myanmar embassy or consulate on quantity restrictions that may apply.
Be aware that medications for sale in Myanmar are often fake.
The standard of medical facilities in Myanmar is extremely limited, particularly outside Yangon.
Avoid any surgical procedures, including dental work. Unclean medical instruments can cause infections such as:
Emergency medical care, including ambulances, is not often available. There's an ambulance service (often without a paramedic) attached to most private hospitals. Each has its own phone number.
Private hospitals may not be able to accept foreign patients. You may need to pay cash up-front before receiving medical treatment.
If you become seriously ill or injured, including with COVID-19, a medical evacuation may be delayed or not possible.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Myanmar authorities don't always notify consular staff about Australians who've been arrested, detained or deported from Myanmar. If you're quarantined, arrested or jailed, ask to contact the Australian Embassy straight away.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.
It's illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Drivers involved in an accident with another vehicle are usually detained if there are injuries. A driver involved in an accident with a pedestrian is always at fault, regardless of what happened. Authorities will probably detain the driver.
Legal cases to resolve traffic disputes can be long. They can affect your visa status. Drivers often expect a cash payment to settle the matter at the time of the accident.
You could be charged costs for injuries or damaged vehicles. The embassy can't help you negotiate. However, they can give you a list of lawyers who can help.
Myanmar has the death penalty for serious offences, including:
- human trafficking
- treason, and
These activities are illegal in Myanmar:
- engaging in same-sex sexual acts or adultery
- taking photos of military personnel or sites
- entering or leaving Myanmar with religious materials without Customs approval
- preaching or handing out religious materials without written approval
- 'insulting religion', including mistreating images of Buddha — if you have a tattoo of Buddha, keep it covered
- defaming or threatening someone using a telecommunications network, operating drones around sensitive areas such as, government or religious buildings.
It's also illegal to:
- rent a private home if you're on a tourist visa — tourists must stay in registered accommodation
- drive a car or motorcycle without a valid local driving licence
- leave the scene of a road accident
- drink alcohol in public places such as parks, religious buildings or compounds
Don't post negative comments about individuals or Myanmar on social media.
Customs laws on banned imports and exports can be unclear and change without notice. Ask a Myanmar embassy or consulate about the latest rules.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
People in Myanmar are deeply respectful of their religious and cultural traditions.
Standards of dress and behaviour are modest.
It's considered offensive to touch or pat anyone on the top of the head.
Respect local customs and take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Avoid wearing sleeveless tops and shorts in Myanmar, especially when visiting religious sites. It may cause offence.
Always take off your shoes and socks before entering religious sites.
If you are in Myanmar, contact the nearest Immigration Offices to extend your visa.
You need a visa to enter and stay in Myanmar. Entering without a visa can result in a prison sentence.
Due to COVID-19, Myanmar is not issuing visas for visitors. Contact your nearest Myanmar embassy if you want to submit an application. The Australian Embassy is not able to support individual visa applications.
Apply for a visa at your closest Myanmar embassy before you travel.
Online applications for an e-Visa is currently suspended due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Monitor the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population website for updates.
You can't use e-Visas at seaports. Cruise passengers must arrange visas in advance.
Be aware of unauthorised websites that claim to offer e-Visas. Some websites will provide a genuine visa for an extra fee, but some others are fake.
Australians who were born in Myanmar are not eligible for visa on arrival.
Be careful about using links in emails or other websites to access the official site. To avoid a scam, use official Myanmar Government services to arrange your visa.
The local government strictly controls travel to parts of Myanmar, including through visa conditions. Authorities have deported or detained Australians for visa offences.
You should maintain a valid visa at all times.
If you overstay your visa, authorities won't let you leave until you pay a fine. You might also be:
- blacklisted so you can never return.
If you break other visa conditions, authorities could arrest or deport you.
Meet your visa conditions at all times.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Departure from Myanmar
There are international flights departing Yangon. Book directly with airlines or through your travel agent.
Myanmar authorities have directed airlines that all bookings to depart Myanmar must have been made at least 10 days prior to the intended date of departure and are shared by airlines and travel agents with Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Passengers transiting through Singapore must be able to show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 48 hours of departure from Myanmar. Passengers transiting through Malaysia must be able to show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Australians returning from Myanmar are exempt from the Australian Government requirement to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 (PCR) test, though transit countries and airlines may have separate testing requirements in place.
Staying in Myanmar
Movement restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, curfews and quarantines, may be imposed at short notice (see Safety). Monitor the media closely. Stay-at-Home orders are in place across Myanmar and a number of Yangon Townships to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Some local and international schools remain closed as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.
If you're remaining in Myanmar:
- Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor media reports.
- Take care to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19.
- Ensure you have arrangements in place for an extended stay.
- Keep in contact with family and friends so they know you're safe and well.
Entry to Myanmar
The Myanmar Government must approve passengers on any incoming flight, even if passengers already have a valid visa. Seek support from relevant ministries in Myanmar and permission through a Myanmar embassy. The Australian Embassy is not able to support your request to board an incoming flight.
Incoming travellers need to present evidence on arrival of a COVID-19 (PCR) test completed within 72 hours prior to the date of departure. Fully vaccinated travellers (with a Myanmar-approved vaccine) need to complete 7 days hotel quarantine on arrival. All non-vaccinated travellers need to complete 10 days hotel quarantine on arrival. All travellers must undergo COVID-19 testing at the direction of the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 3 months prior to entry into Myanmar and can present appropriate evidence of a COVID-19 positive result to the Ministry of Health and Sports will be subject to reduced quarantine requirements. Travellers should confirm details directly with the Ministry of Health and Sports as quarantine protocols are subject to change at short notice.
Incoming travellers identified as COVID-19 positive will be immediately isolated and a transferred to government medical facility. Travellers may need to meet all of the costs of isolation and treatment at the facility.
You can't travel to or from Myanmar by land border crossing due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Since November 2016, foreigners have not been allowed to travel to the Muse (Shan State)-Ruili (China) border crossing. This is due to civil unrest in the area.
Staying in Myanmar
Travellers must stay in registered hotels and guesthouses.
If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you must register your address with immigration authorities. You must also get a Foreigners Registration Card.
Let Immigration know if you change hotels or will be away from your registered address for a while.
Customs regulations are restrictive. Officials limit what you can bring into the country.
Declare foreign currency over $US 10,000 or equivalent when you arrive and leave. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash. If you don't, you could be jailed.
Customs authorities are sensitive about some communications equipment such as:
- radio equipment
If you don't declare restricted or banned items, customs may confiscate them. You may be able to collect undeclared items when you leave the country.
Strict rules control the export of:
- local gems
- Buddha images
If you plan to take something home, check it's legal before you buy it.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Myanmar Kyat (MMK).
Cash is widely used. Foreign currency is sometimes refused because of people using fake notes.
Shops and other businesses often accept US currency. Notes with pen marks, folds or tears are often refused.
Other foreign currencies and traveller's cheques are rarely accepted.
It's illegal to exchange foreign currency except through authorised money changers. Find official money changers at Myanmar's international airports and in banks.
Some ATMs accept international cards.
The banking sector is presently experiencing severe disruption. Availability of cash at ATMs is limited or non-existent. You may find some ATMs are not working. Long waiting lines, for functioning ATMs, are frequent.
Some bank branches may be closed and some banks have imposed limits on daily withdrawals. Electronic payments and transfers are working.
Ask your bank if your card will work in Myanmar.
Credit cards are accepted in a growing number of:
If intending to pay for hotels or restaurants with a credit or debit card, you should confirm prior that it will be possible. Vendors often charge additional fees for transactions by credit or debit card.
Power cuts and unreliable internet can affect credit card services.
International money transfers are available through many banks in Yangon.
The government controls travel within parts of Myanmar, including to and from land border crossings.
If you plan to visit areas other than popular tourist areas with local authorities, check the list of restricted areas. Visit the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population website.
A curfew is in place across Myanmar, stay at home during curfew hours and shelter-in-place. See Safety
Australian Embassy officials need to seek approval to travel a number of areas in Myanmar, and approvals can take a long time. Emergency consular help in remote areas may be delayed.
Unmarked landmines make parts of Myanmar dangerous. This is especially the case:
- near borders
- in areas where there's conflict
Landmine locations may not be marked. Stick to established roads.
In November 2019, a foreign tourist was killed by a landmine while travelling outside of Hsipaw town in northern Shan State.
Myanmar New Year and Water Festival
Myanmar's Water Festival (Thingyan) and New Year is celebrated in April each year. There's an increased risk of road accidents due to:
- drunk drivers
- overcrowded vehicles
- large unruly crowds celebrating in public places
In past years, crime has increased during the festival. Pay attention to your personal security.
Many services close down for Thingyan, including:
- government offices
Roads are sometimes closed in Yangon and other regional centres. Plan ahead.
Travellers are often asked to show their passport and visa to authorities. This often occurs:
- for domestic air travel
- for train travel
- when staying at hotels
Foreigners who stay in Myanmar for more than 90 days have to show their Foreigners Registration Card.
Local safety standards
The safety standards you might expect of service providers are not always met. This applies to:
- transport and tour operators, including for adventure activities
Operators may not provide enough safety equipment. Maintenance and safety standards may be poor or non-existent.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
- check if your insurance policy covers it
- ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
- use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Internet and telephone services
Communication services in Myanmar are improving.
Internet services are available but are unreliable outside cities and large towns. Restrictions on internet access apply.
The phone network is also unreliable and limited outside of cities and large towns.
You can send and receive text messages only from some Australian mobiles to mobile phones inside Myanmar. Many travellers buy a local pre-paid SIM card. If you're subscribing for urgent travel advice updates by SMS, remember to provide your best number.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has in the past, suspended telecommunications services in response to the security situation without prior notice.
It's illegal to drive cars or motorbikes using an Australian or international driving licence.
You must have a valid Myanmar driver's licence.
You can apply for this through the Road Transport Administration Department Myanmar.
You're 4 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Myanmar than in Australia.
Roads in Myanmar are dangerous because of:
- traffic congestion
- aggressive driving practices
- poorly maintained vehicles and roads
- people and livestock on the road
- lack of street lighting
Roads in mountainous border areas can be particularly poor. Many drivers in regional areas don't use their headlights at night.
Vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. However, both left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles are used throughout the country. This adds to the dangerous driving conditions.
Australian Embassy staff are advised to avoid travelling by car in the countryside at night. This includes travelling on the Yangon-Naypyitaw-Mandalay highway.
Outside of major cities, military and immigration checkpoints on roads are common.
If you plan to drive:
- check your travel insurance covers you
- get a local licence
- become familiar with Myanmar traffic laws
Check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorbike.
Companies that hire motorbikes often don't supply helmets. Most helmets bought locally don't meet Australian safety standards.
Always wear a helmet.
Registered taxis have red licence plates and are easy to find.
Agree on the fare with the driver before your trip.
Take extra care if using taxis at night.
Registered rideshare services operate in Yangon.
Public transport doesn't meet international safety standards. This includes:
Fatal accidents have occurred, especially on overnight trips.
Search and rescue resources are very limited.
Domestic airlines have imposed travel restrictions due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Changes may occur at short notice.
The safety record of domestic airlines is not available. There is no data about how well local planes are maintained. This lack of transparency raises concerns about airline safety.
Airlines operating in Myanmar sometimes use aircraft from outside their own fleet. When this happens, passengers are not told in advance.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Myanmar's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
- employer or
Fire and rescue services
Call 192 (Yangon General Hospital).
Call 199 or contact the local police.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Check the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Yangon.
Australian Embassy, Yangon
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
- +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
- 1300 555 135 in Australia