Official Travel Advice for Burma
Summary - removal of information on the Thingyan Water Festival; Local laws and customs section - addition of information on Burma’s defamation laws
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Advice current as at 4:00 am 22 May 2019.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to:
- Rakhine State, except the southern townships (administrative areas similar to a borough or county) of Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Munaung, Toungup, Thandwe (including the tourist resort of Ngapali) and Gwa.
- Paletwa township, in southern Chin State, due to active armed conflict. If you’re visiting Mount Victoria in Mindat township, you should seek advice from tour operators or guides before travel.
- Shan State (North), except Kyaukme town, Hsipaw town, and the train line from Mandalay to Kyaukme and Hsipaw. Please note that the town of Lashio and its airport are included in the area where the FCO advise against all but essential travel.
- Kachin State (except the towns of Myitkyina, Bhamo and Putao) due to continued risk of armed conflict. On 15 May 2018 there were 2 explosions with no casualties on the train track between Mandalay and Myitkyina. See Local travel
You’re advised to be vigilant in Taunggyi (Shan State) following the discovery on 16 November 2018 of an explosive device.
Political tension and unrest could happen at short notice. You should avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. Don’t take photographs or videos of the police, demonstrations, military installations or military personnel. See Political situation
Take particular care in the border areas with China, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Laos. The situation in ethnic states where armed groups operate is volatile. There is ongoing conflict in the north of Shan State, and in Kachin State, Karen/Kayin State and Rakhine State. There remains the possibility of violent clashes in other ethnic states. You’re advised to be vigilant in Taunggyi (Shan State) following the discovery on 16 November 2018 of an explosive device. Conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and Burmese military continues in Northern Rakhine in four townships: Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Rathaedaung and Ponnagyun and has spread to some townships in Mrauk U. See Local travel
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Burma. You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. See Terrorism
You should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to any country, particularly to cover medical evacuation to another country if necessary.
Individuals with disabilities or access requirements should be prepared to face difficulties throughout Burma. Roads and pavements are often difficult to cross. Ramps and accessible facilities are rare.
UK health authorities have classified Burma 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.
Urban areas, particularly Yangon and Mandalay, can experience poor air quality. This may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected.
Credit and debit cards are increasingly accepted in major tourist areas but some cards don’t work. Check in advance that your card will work. See Money
Most visits are trouble-free. If you need to contact local emergency services, call In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 199
- medical assistance: 192
- firefighters: 191
You should be aware that phone operators may not speak English.
The most common types of consular assistance are related to lost passports, petty theft and road accidents.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you’re arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the British Embassy immediately. Consular support is limited in parts of Burma where embassy officials require travel permission from the Burmese government. Permission is not guaranteed. The British Embassy’s ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be restricted or delayed in these areas.
If you’re resident in Burma or planning to stay for a longer period, you can find advice on our Living in Burma page.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Quick Facts Tourist Information for:Burma (Myanmar)
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Visitors/Tourists: 391,000 in 2011
Largest City: Yangon