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Home » Southeast Asia » Travel Safety

Is Myanmar Safe for Travel? (Insider Tips)

Myanmar is an undiscovered gem of Southeast Asia. A cultural wonderland, a huge mix of ethnic groups, rich history, and stunning nature definitely make it a favourite of ours.

But it’s not complete paradise. There has been a n ongoing,   70-year-long ethnic civil war , the persecution of  Rohingya Muslims,  landmines, bandits, and the  opium trade,  to name the biggest. All of these issues may have you asking yourself, “is Myanmar safe at all?”

It’s ok to be concerned about safety in Myanmar. This is exactly the reason why we have created this insider’s guide on  staying safe in Myanmar. 

There are a whole lot of things that we are going to be covering in our epic guide, from whether it’s safe to visit Myanmar right now(fair question), if you should go there as a solo female traveller, to whether or not the food is safe or not. Our guide will have you covered.

So you may be wondering about the safety of Myanmar in general, or you may be wondering about the state of the healthcare in Myanmar – whatever your concerns may be, we are here to help you travel smart and stay safe so you can get the most out of your Myanmar voyage.

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How Safe is Myanmar? (Our take)

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Long an isolated, off-limits country, Myanmar (aka Burma ) is now open for business.

And that’s good news for you: the ancient temples of  Bagan , crumbling colonial streets of  Yangon,  and the former royal capital of  Mandalay  are all available for you to visit.

And, despite a buffet of  no-go areas  present throughout the country, Myanmar IS safe. Myanmar may not appear safe at times, because of on-going ethnic “issues”, but, as a tourist, these hardly affect you.

Petty theft is almost non-existent. Hassle levels are low. Crimes against tourists are actually  super rare.  Often, the worse that you’ll have to deal with is the occasional overcharging, which is tourists should be used to by now.

People in Myanmar are very friendly and – in most places – refreshingly not jaded when it comes to tourists.

However, you do need to be responsible when you travel…

There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, and this article is no different. The question of “Is Myanmar Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on the parties involved. But this article is written for savvy travellers from the perspective of savvy travellers.

The information present in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing, however, the world is a changeable place, now more than ever. Between the pandemic, ever-worsening cultural division, and a click-hungry media, it can be hard to maintain what is truth and what is sensationalism.

Here, you will find safety knowledge and advice for travelling Myanmar. It won’t be down to the wire cutting edge info on the most current events, but it is layered in the expertise of veteran travellers. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practise common sense, you will have a safe trip to Myanmar.

If you see any outdated information in this guide, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. We strive to provide the most relevant travel information on the web and always appreciate input from our readers (nicely, please!). Otherwise, thanks for your ear and stay safe!

It’s a wild world out there. But it’s pretty damn special too. 🙂

Is Myanmar Safe to Visit? (The facts.)

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Many people arrive or visit Myanmar as a part of a tour, but independent travel is totally doable.  Myanmar is definitely becoming a popular spot for backpackers.

Myanmar is not a model country though, let’s be honest. Poverty and corruption are rife, the military still practically rule the country, and armed inter-ethnic conflicts continue. Myanmar is also the world’s second-largest producer of opium after Afghanistan.

As of February 2021, the situation in Myanmar is a bit precarious. The Military Staged a coup and has imprisoned the lawfully elected government. It is not certain how the situation will play out, for at the time of writing there is rioting, civil unrest and martial law – not the best time to visit.

The grand majority of Myanmar is safe to visit right now, BUT certain parts of the country  AREN’T. We’ve got a full section on that later.

Since independence from the UK in 1948, the internal conflicts in Myanmar have been ongoing as  the world’s longest civil war.

Border areas are tricky. Whilst the Indian border  seems to be ok,   anywhere between Myanmar and China, Thailand or Laos  can be volatile. For example, the  Karin  and  Mon States – on the Thai border – should be approached with caution.

Given the volatile nature of these areas, wandering off on your own or trekking by yourself is inadvisable. Not only are there snakes to deal with, but unexploded ordnance, mines and travelling into differently controlled areas can REALLY get you into serious trouble.

With all these things in mind, we can confidently say that visiting Myanmar is safe, especially once the political situation has improved. As of February 2021, we’d recommend waiting just a little bit longer to book your trip.

When choosing where you’ll be staying in Myanmar, a bit of research and caution is essential. You don’t want to end up in a sketchy area and ruin your trip. To help you out, we’ve listed the safest areas to visit in Myanmar below.

Many travellers backpacking Myanmar will start their route in Yangon, arriving on a cheap flight from Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. It’s an incredibly busy place and can definitely be a culture shock, but it’s totally worth the experience. 

One thing we have to note though: watch your belongings! Yangon is known for pickpocketing and petty theft. As long as you keep your eyes open and your valuables close by, visiting the city is pretty safe. But as we mentioned – it’s busy! 

Exploring the city is easy and it’s a fun place to walk around although you may want to catch a cab for longer distances – taxis don’t have a meter and you need to negotiate before getting in, it’s always possible to score a discount. From Yangon, you can head East to the famed Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo, West towards Mrauk U, or you can head north to Bagan or Inle.

Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar and an important economic and cultural hub. It’s often considered to be the center of Burmese culture, which is why it’s a popular destination for travelers who want to experience other cultures.

This is a city with a rich and intoxicating culture and history that can be incredibly rewarding for travelers. It’s also a famously busy city, so don’t let that dissuade you. Mandalay can seem intimidating at first, but once you arrive, you’ll find incredible religious and cultural sites, friendly people, and an interesting mix of foods.

Bagan is one of the most ancient and archaeologically exciting places in the whole world. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest archaeological zone in the world, Bagan lies in the historic Mandalay Region of Myanmar. It goes without saying that this place is overflowing with history, so it’s the best place to visit if you want to dive into the past.

But if you also want to see the modern side of this incredible region, look no further. There are loads of modernised areas with bustling streets and eclectic markets. The region has lots of vast open spaces as well, with the glorious countryside surrounding it. It’s the best place to visit in Myanmar for your fill of culture as well as nature.

With its more laid-back vibe, it’s also one of the safest regions to visit in Myanmar. That being said, it’s still smart to keep your wits about you. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Places to avoid in Myanmar

As we mentioned before, there are plenty of no-go areas in Myanmar. And to make sure you’ll have a safe trip, we’ve listed the worst ones below. That being said, you should always keep your eyes open and stay aware of your surrounding no matter where you are.

The northern parts of Shan State, the state of Kachin above that, Southern Chin , and Rakhine State (home to Rohingya Muslims ) are hectic to visit and sometimes totally off-limits.

Certain towns within these areas, like Hsi Paw in Shan are ok to travel to but, overall, the areas around them are generally not safe. The UK government advises “all but essential travel.”

You can still attempt to visit these areas – just be sure to contact a local agency or expert and check what the situation is like first.

Border areas can be a bit tricky as well, especially when there’s increased military. However, there’s not much to see in that region anyway, so you definitely won’t be missing out. 

It’s important to know that Myanmar isn’t the safest place, so a bit of caution and research before you start your travels will go a long way. If you want to increase your safety during your stay, read on for our insider travel tips. Stick to those and you won’t have a single issue in Myanmar.

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safety tips for traveling in myanmar

Myanmar is a  land of wonders  with a myriad of interesting sights. And just because there are zones which people say you should avoid, doesn’t mean you should write the entire country off. You can go to Myanmar and have a safe, fun, and definitely memorable trip.

But it’s important to travel smart . That means understanding the culture and social norms as much as the current situation.

  • Stay away from any kind of demonstration  – It’s not advised for foreigners to be a part of a political rally as anything can happen at anytime
  • Be careful when discussing politics with a local  – you might think that you know about the Rohingya situation, for example, but a local could see it a whole other way.
  • Watch out for snakes  – not just when trekking; lesser visited temples in  Bagan  are nice homes for slithery, dangerous snakes, like cobras.
  • Traffic can be MORE than a bit crazy  – especially in  Yangon.  Take care when crossing, or even just walking along the road.
  • Don’t take pictures of any government buildings  – or police, or military personnel, for that matter.
  • When trekking, hike with a local guide  – not just a Burmese person, but an actual local to the area. They’ll know where not to go and be clued up on the local situation, too.
  • If you have a tattoo with an image of Buddha…  – cover it up. People are actually deported for not showing respect.
  • Don’t walk around flashing your wealth  – crime stats are low, but it’s best to be careful.
  • Pack a money belt  – just in case. (You may not have to wear it.)
  • Mosquitoes will pester you   – so cover up and use repellent. They can carry the zika virus, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis…
  • Careful in monsoon season  – this runs from May to October. Floods and landslides can be pretty bad in this period. The weather could possibly turn into a full-blown cyclone as well.
  • And earthquakes too  – it’s not unheard of in Myanmar. Knowing what to do in the event of a bad one is a good idea.
  • Pollution can be a problem  – especially around quarries, such as those outside  Mandalay.
  • Avoid swimming and wading in freshwater rivers, lakes, ponds  – the parasitic schistosomiasis , also known as snail fever, can be picked up in freshwater sources.
  • Learn some Burmese  – also simply called ‘Myanmar.’ The language is not that hard either – it’s all about emphasis, no tonal stuff here.
  • If you do have to use dollars somewhere, they HAVE to be pristine  – getting an  Indian Visa  in  Yangon,  for example, requires US dollars. Pristine. Crisp. No stains, no wrinkles, no rips.
  • Don’t feed the monkeys  – they’re used to snacks and go mad for them. They can be pretty vicious too.
  • Dogs can also be scary  – groups of them can be aggressive. Some of them may have rabies, so keep away.
  • Swim in safe areas on the coast  – there can be strong tides, which are bad news even for a confident swimmer.
  • Book accommodation ahead of time  – foreigners can only stay in certain places, making it a bit hard to come by in high season.
  • Be careful walking around after dark  – streetlights aren’t ubiquitous and hazards can be numerous, especially in towns.
  • Don’t be alarmed at red stains on the floor…  – you’ll see this everywhere. Thankfully, it ain’t blood – people chew  betel here, which takes on reddish color when chewed. It’s basically a drug and when you’re done, you spit it out.

Is Myanmar safe to travel alone?

We’re all for solo travel because there’s a lot you can get out of it. It’s not just a  challenge for yourself , which is when you grow the most as a person, but it’s an amazing way to meet new people and see the world.

No matter where you travel though – be it Myanmar or Malta – it’s always a good idea to be equipped with a few tips when it comes to travelling by yourself.

  • When you’re by yourself,  things CAN get lonely. (It’s just bound to happen.) The best antidote to this is to  socialize.  Not only is it a good way to share travel tips, but you may also make a travel buddy or two.
  • The best place to meet people is  a hostel  of course. Find yourself one with good reviews.
  • That said,  there aren’t loads of hostels (Though there are quite a few good Mandalay hostels ) . Staying in a family-run guesthouse can be an amazing experience though. Feeling at home is much better than a much more impersonal hotel experience. Trust us.
  • Try and blend in. You’ll notice that not many people wear trousers or shorts. Instead, they wear longyi,  which is traditional Burmese attire. A wrap-around skirt sort of thing that both men and women wear. Feel free to wear it as well.
  • Getting yourself a  local guide  when you’re going off the beaten track is a great idea. This will help you understand more about the area you’re travelling through as well as Myanmar as a whole.
  • Picking up a  sim card  at the airport is a good idea. With this, you’ll be able to use the data for maps, phone your accommodation ahead of time, book restaurants, and all sorts of other stuff. Most importantly though, you’ll be able to  keep in touch with your folks and friends back home .
  • Don’t get crazy drunk. Busy places like Yangon are already difficult to navigate and getting blind drunk isn’t going to help the situation much.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard.  You don’t need to see every place  and doing so is really going to wear you out. Give yourself days to chill.
  • Oh and  Myanmar can get HOT.  Look after yourself in the heat and drink plenty of water . If you’re by yourself, getting heat stroke is not fun at all.

Is Myanmar safe for solo female travelers?

We’d say that Myanmar is absolutely safe for solo female travellers. It’s going to be a trip to remember, that’s for sure.

And honestly? There’s not a lot of hassle or high levels of sexual harassment to watch out for in Myanmar. But because society is still developing, women are still faced with certain limitations. So it’s definitely smart to know how to travel Myanmar like a pro…

  • Dressing appropriately is definitely something you should do. Either going for a  longyi  and some sort of blouse, or baggy trousers and a top that covers your shoulders. Tight leggings will stick out.  Look at what the other women are wearing and follow suit. Chances are you’ll get a lot more respect if you’re dressed more like a local.
  • Make a few travel buddies. Staying somewhere that has good reviews from other female travellers  is a smart move. Making friends with another woman travelling through Myanmar will allow you some company and be useful for bouncing stories and tips off of.
  • We wouldn’t advise going out drinking alone. Not because it’s unsafe but because you probably will get attention. Places like  19th Street (Yangon),  or  beer stations  around the country are quite male-dominated and you may feel uncomfortable alone.
  • If you’re travelling on a train, bus, or boat by yourself, we’d recommend  sitting with other women.  Women travelling alone can be seen as pretty odd by Burmese people – it’s just not done. So making friends with some local ladies, or just chatting to other female tourists, is a good way to make yourself more comfortable.
  • Find yourself a tour if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Even if it’s just a  walking tour  of a town or city. This is a  great way to meet people.  Plus you’ll also get to learn more about Myanmar. Win-win.
  • Don’t touch monks! Myanmar is a  deeply Buddhist country  and monks are off-limits to women. Even if you’re passing something to a monk, don’t do it directly – just place it within his reach. That’s just the way it is.
  • With this in mind, be aware that  you can’t go to certain stupas or religious sites.  Women, for whatever reason, just aren’t allowed in some holy places in Myanmar.
  • Stock up on sanitary products before you head out of  Yangon  or  Mandalay . The likelihood is you aren’t going to be finding them anywhere that’s even remotely off the beaten track.

Of course, travelling alone may make you seem ‘odd’ by the local people. But you’re a foreigner – you’ll be odd anyway. And the easy antidote to that is to make some friends, take a tour, or simply to chatting to some local ladies. You’ll have an amazing time.

We’ve covered the main safety concerns already, but there are a few more things to know. Read on for more detailed information on how to have a safe trip to Myanmar.

Is Myanmar safe to travel for families?

Travelling with children in Myanmar is not exactly  straightforward and probably not that easy.

The main concern? HYGIENE.

Sanitation levels aren’t always top-notch and definitely nowhere near Western standards. Because of this, we wouldn’t really recommend taking  small children  on a trip to Myanmar.

Is Myanmar safe to travel for families?

Cleanliness aside, here are some other things to consider when taking your family to Myanmar:

  • There are a growing number of family-friendly places to stay which boast amenities for children. But for the most part, accommodation here isn’t really about families.
  • Whilst there is a loads of temples to see, especially in Bagan ,  it might also be easy for your kids to get quite quickly  templed out.  This might even happen to you, but for children, lack of interactive museums or anything like that might be a little boring.
  • Poverty, especially related to children,  can be upsetting to see. There are kids begging, ladies with babies begging, children working. Just a word of warning.
  • Animals, as we spoke about earlier, can be pretty dangerous – some can be  REALLY dangerous.  Make sure your children know the dangers and  keep an eye out yourself.
  • Keeping your children out of the sun and  making sure they’re hydrated  is a must since Myanmar gets hot and the heat hits kids more acutely than it does adults.
  • When visiting Myanmar with children, we’d honestly recommend getting yourself on some sort of tour. At the very least, you should have some sort of transport organized for the entire trip. That way, there will be  less to think about. 

In general, whilst it’s not going to be the EASIEST place to travel with children, Myanmar is SAFE for children. What you’ll need are a relaxed mindset and some pretty chilled parenting. Travelling to Myanmar with your kids is going to be a real adventure, but we think you’re going to love it.

Is it safe to drive in Myanmar?

Driving in Myanmar is chaotic, not to mention difficult to organize, and we’d say that doing it on your own is dangerous and not worth the stress.

For one thing,  you need to get permission from the government to hire a car.  For another thing, we just wouldn’t say it was safe.

The roads are not in great condition and cities are often just jam packed with cars. Neither have a lot of rules in place.

Is it safe to drive in Myanmar?

Though scenic, the road from  Pyin Oo Lwin  to  Mandalay  is not something you’d want to drive. The road itself is precarious with huge dropoffs and cliffs that make you hold your breath.

Drivers recklessly overtake each other as well and blanket the entire route with dust, which doesn’t help the situation much. It’s a thrill, alright, and it’s just not something we’d EVER consider driving ourselves.

After night, we just wouldn’t recommend driving in Myanmar AT ALL. Not knowing the roads, armed bandits, animals in the road. Just not worth it.

If you feel like you need to travel quickly,  just hire a driver. Splitting the price of a private car between you and a few other travellers makes it pretty cost-effective, too.

Is Uber safe in Myanmar?

No Uber here.

There is  Grab,  however. It’s reliable and cheap and a good way to get around  Yangon. 

Just make sure you don’t get  charged twice.  Drivers may demand cash even if you’ve paid credit on the app. A simple complaint to Grab should have your money swiftly winging itself back to you, though.

But generally, Grab is safe in Myanmar.

Are taxis safe in Myanmar?

The taxis are  generally safe  in Myanmar.

By that, we mean that sometimes the taxis can be a little old and sometimes the drivers can be speedy.

At  Yangon International Airport  you’ll be able to get a taxi easily. Hop over to the taxi desk, say where you’re going (give an address) and you’ll get a receipt.

There are plenty of taxis in  large cities.  Hail one and they’ll stop. They won’t necessarily always let you get in – taxi drivers might refuse if your destination is too far out of town.

Are taxi safe in Myanmar

In addition, get ready to negotiate. Taxis aren’t metered and drivers will set a price according to their whim. If it’s too high, go lower. If haggling doesn’t seem to be working, accept the price or move on.

You can also get taxis  between major towns.  This is basically a  private car.  The guys driving these taxis can range from perfectly fine to maniacs. Private taxis can be arranged through your accommodation. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll get an amazing driver.

You can also shop around.  Nyaung Shwe,  a popular spot on  Inle Lake , has many taxi companies on its main street. It’s a great option if you’re travelling as a group since you don’t pay per person, you pay for the trip. 

Is public transportation in Myanmar safe?

Yes, public transport in Myanmar is safe.

For train geeks and people who just like train journeys alike, the trains in Myanmar are awesome. They aren’t exactly top of the range but for the experience alone, these really are a great way to get around the country.

The famous loop train line that runs from central to northern  Yangon  and back again is actually a fun day out. Buy your ticket, sit back, and watch locals hop on and off.

You can also get  buses around cities. Yangon has the best system and boasts a regular fleet plus the  Yangon BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), which is a good way to get around. The buses are  air-conditioned,  which is a lifesaver when it’s boiling. Both of these are safe.

myanmar safe public transportation

Long distance buses are another way of getting around the country and these range in quality. From luxury night coaches that serve free refreshments and have TVs in the headrests, to not so good buses that have one TV that plays the same Burmese music videos and soaps on loop (if you’re lucky). Riding a bus is always an experience, though.

The best thing to do?  Research.  Companies vary and asking your guesthouse which company they’re using will at least prepare you.

There are also  boats  that you can use. The famous  Ayeyarwady River,  amongst others, allows ample opportunity to get your skipper on. From standard government boats to ultra luxury colonial-feeling cruises, there are a number of ways to get around.

Look ’em up and see where you can go.  Mandalay  to  Bagan  (or the other way round) is a popular route, for example.

In conclusion, public transportation in Myanmar is safe. That’s that.

Is the food in Myanmar safe?

Burmese food has an unfairly  bad reputation.  In reality, there’s plenty on offer that’s going to have most foodies floored and we mean that in a good way. From the peanut zing and soft textures of  shan noodles  to the crunch and bite of  lahpet thoke  (tea leaf salad), all the way to BBQ’d meats – it’s all tasty!

Is the food in Myanmar safe? 

You should get sucked into everything, including the street food –  don’t be scared.  A lot of places look ropey as hell, but, the thing is, everyone eats in them, from locals to other tourists. So sit down with your  si beer  (draught beer) and a bowl of peanuts and wait…

  • Food tends to  sit around all day.  The same stuff that gets cooked up for lunch is often what’s on the menu for dinner. Just for the sake of your stomach, we’d say  steer clear of street food in the evenings.
  • With this in mind,  food is often oily.  But that’s a good thing: a nice layer of oil in dishes like  curries  usually keeps insects away.
  • Try and look for busy stalls to eat at, especially on notorious  19th Street  in  Yangon.  The busier the place, the better and more likely cleaner it is. You may be tempted to sit somewhere that’s completely not busy, but that’s a) no fun b) could be an indicator that the food makes people ill.
  • Don’t get too freaked out by the grilled meat. It starts out raw and ends up VERY WELL cooked. This will kill most germs that will give you a dodgy tummy.
  • If you’re  prone to a bad stomach  or you’re just not used to Southeast Asian food (and the way it’s cooked), the best way to proceed would be to do some research. Go to places that are tried and tested or are talked about a lot.
  • As a general rule of thumb, we would say  eat seafood by the sea, and regular food in the mountains.  Seafood can give you the worst tummy trouble (food poisoning can be dangerous ) and the best way to combat this is to simply ensure it’s fresh.
  • If you’re scared of curries, head to  Chinese restaurants.  The food here is cooked hot and fast and will be fine for you to eat.
  • Make sure to WASH YOUR HANDS. Take hand sanitiser with you. These seem like  no-brainers .
  • Don’t be worried about sitting down at streetside stalls. These are on many corners or on the street and seem to be  permanent fixtures.  You can literally watch your food being cooked just a few feet away.
  • Refresh yourself with  cane sugar juice  from the markets. It’s cane sugar, put through a steam-roller type device. They’re perfectly safe and a good energy boost.

Whilst it may not always LOOK safe, the food in Myanmar is safe to eat. You WILL be missing out if you don’t sit down at a  beer station  and try some of the food that’s on offer. Ease yourself in, don’t go too mad, and your stomach and tastebuds will thank you.

Can you drink the water in Myanmar?

No. Not really. Not at all, actually.

You CAN’T drink the water in Myanmar.

Stick to bottled water and make sure the seal hasn’t been broken. If you find a source of purified water, be sure to fill up your own water bottle to the brim – you never know when the next one will come.

Is Myanmar safe to live?

Myanmar is safe to live in and  a lot of foreigners from all over the world do.  On the whole, Myanmar is definitely an adventurous place to live.

You’ll often get the feeling  you’ve stepped back in time.  People are friendly, there are charming daily markets, and a load of nature to explore on your days off.

Yangon  will probably be the best place to base yourself. That’s down to the other foreigners working and living here, the embassies, and the amount of things you can actually do in the city.

Is myanmar safe to live

Let’s reiterate: it’s totaly safe to live in Myanmar on a day to day level. You can walk around the cities at night without fear.

What’s not so great is the government.  You’ll have to be ok with living in a country run by a government accused of very recent atrocities and where a pretty brutal military often has the final say. You’ll also have to come to grips living in a country where  civil war continues  in many of its states.

It is a very good idea to do your research on Burmese society and history before you go. Knowing more can’t be a bad thing.

Of course, get on Facebook groups, Google groups (like  Yangon Expat Connections ), and make friends with expats and locals alike.

At the end of the day,  Myanmar is a developing country.  Being fine with everything that comes with that is key.

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Is it safe to rent an Airbnb in Myanmar?

Unfortunately, Airbnbs can only be found in the major cities in Myanmar. The government restricts the places where tourists can live a lot, so don’t expect too many options. 

However, if you do score an Airbnb, you can expect super friendly hosts and great hospitality. Renting an Airbnb is perfectly safe, as long as you read the reviews. Staying at an Airbnb during your trip will also open up new possibilities and options to experience the country.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

The local hosts are known to take great care of their guests and give the absolute best recommendations of what to do and what to see. Local knowledge always goes a long way, so be sure to reach out to your hosts if you’re unsure about how to fill up your Myanmar itinerary!

Is Myanmar LGBTQ+ friendly? 

Myanmar is a bit of a tricky destination for LGBTQ+ travellers. While tourists are generally respected, gay locals are facing way more discrimination and oppression. If you’re staying in bigger cities like Yangon, you’ll find a couple of gay bars and a small gay community. In the more rural areas, this will be harder, if not impossible to find. 

Keep in mind that Myanmar is a very conservative and religious country with around 89% of the population practising Buddhism. Public affection is a rare sight, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in. Unless you’re okay with keeping yourself and your partner on the low while travelling through the country, you might not have a super pleasant trip. However, as long as you respect the local culture, you won’t have to face any issues.

Here are some quick answers to common questions about safety in Myanmar.

Is Myanmar safe for female solo travellers?

While Myanmar is not necessarily safe in itself, female solo travellers are overall very safe in Myanmar. There is not much sexual harassment, and if you explore attractions with a local guide, you’ll hardly have anything to worry about. Dress appropriately if possible, so you don’t draw unwanted attention to yourself.

What should you avoid in Myanmar?

These are the things you should avoid in Myanmar: – Don’t participate in demonstrations – stay away! – Don’t share political opinions with a local – Don’t cross the street blindly – Avoid trekking or walking exploring without a guide

What are the most dangerous areas in Myanmar?

These areas are the most dangerous in Myanmar: – The northern parts of Shan State – The state of Kachin Southern Chin and Rakhine State – Any border regions (apart from Indian border)

Is Myanmar safe for inexperienced travellers?

We wouldn’t say that Myanmar is safe for first-time travellers. Mainly because you need to have at least some experience with different cultures, how to react and behave in certain situations and keep your head down if it’s needed. A curious tourist could easily get into real trouble in Myanmar.

myanmar final thoughts temples safety

Myanmar is a strange case. It can be safe if you come prepared and at the right time. Its military, the  Tatmadaw,  are fighting against and oppressing ethnic groups all over the country. There’s practically a  genocide  happening against the  Rohingya  people, which has been widely condemned across the globe.

Violent crime against tourists and even petty theft are virtually unheard of. You can walk around safely at pretty much any time of the day.

Myanmar is an awesome place to explore, and a lot of the time you will feel like you’re actually discovering Myanmar rather than being on a backpacking conveyor belt. There are tons of place that have yet to become overrun and Burmese people are super, super nice.

The biggest issue is coming to grips with the politics and current events of Myanmar. It may feel weird to be in a country where so much conflict is going on, but you can overcome this dilemma by  giving back to local people. By staying in guesthouses, hiring guides, and working with communities, you can help out in a small way. And that makes it worth it.

Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels!

myanmar safe to travel 2023

Monique MacPhail

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myanmar safe to travel 2023


Hi Is there anyone in Myanmar travelling at the moment. I am planning an extensive Far East trip in Jan/Mar and have always wanted to go to Burma. I plan to fly in to Mandalay from Bangkok then fly to Yangon then fly out Any comments from anyone there at the moment ? Cheers Steve [email protected]

Hi, I’m planning to cross Myanmar as part of a trip from Thailand to India at the end of 2023. Do you think it’s doable? Thanks!

I actually did some serious research into this a few years, at the time it was possible, abet with a list of caveats. These included but were not limited too, obtaining the correct visa/permits, using government approved guides, using approved borders open to tourist, not all are. Things are always changing tho, so some current research into this will certainly be required particularly for the Myanmar side, due to the current situation there.

Hi, is it safe to travel to Yangon for business now? Thanks!

Things do seem calmer there at the moment, I would recommend posting on some Myanmar specific forums and looking up some local English language new sources to get a better picture of the current situation.

I am scheduled to travel to Myanmar in the middle of November this year; the “do not travel” notice from the state department scares me, but I understand that tourists, especially Caucasian, have little to fear. I plan to fly from Bangkok to Yangon in the early morning, then travel by car-with-driver to Bagan the next morning around 4 am, then fly from Bagan to Mandalay the following morning, then fly back to Bangkok the 4th day. Your thoughts… 1) safety in November 2022 , 2) WHERE can I find a car and driver for the trip to Bagan, and 3) should I change money to local currency, or just use US $ for everything ?

Hi Michael,

While tourists don’t generally encounter problems travelling in Myanmar, the travel you plan leaves almost no room for problems you might encounter, such as a cancelled flight, road closure or bad weather. If this is all the time you have, I would suggest you go for it, and be prepared with the mindset to basically throw money at any problems you may encounter along the way , to carry out your travel plan. I would suggest bringing enough pristine USD with you so you don’t have to waste time trying to get local currency if you have problems with ATM on the ground.

Can you do an update on this article regarding the current safety of the political situation in Myanmar for travel as of January 2022 once COVID restrictions are lifted?

In any hotel in Yangon, yes, have clean crisp notes but make sure the notes you receive in change are clean and crisp too. When hiring a car / driver make sure the vehicle you have negotiated over is the vehicle that comes and picks you up.

Hello I think you may want to update this article. It is NOT currently safe in Myanmar because of political uproar and this is not the time to be visiting

Yes we have been following the news and this article will be updated as soon as we are able. As I am sure you can appreciate, Safety situations do change quite a lot, quite fast and we can’t possibly keep up date to the minute!

Did you have problems with snakes?? Just curious I’d like to go but I am scared of them

Hi Eimeara, No problems with snakes that I encountered. But it’s one of those things. If you go wandering off piste into long grass and the like, who knows what you may find in there. Stay alert about where you are walking and you should be fine. It is an amazing country and I highly recommend you visit if you can.

Thank you for this excellent informative article. we travel to Myanmar in November and you have given me lots of information to work with

Its a fascinating place, have a great time!

Nice article though. However, the word genocide is quite unfairly exaggerated all around the world. Military operation against ethnic minorities could be, to some extent, true( although the federal military and the ethnic military are teaming up just to continue war for the funds). But the case for Rohingya is completely different. The Rakhine State is rich in culture and history mainly of Buddhism. You will find a lot of thousand years old Buddhist monuments and statues in the region where the conflict occurred. And yet, it’s been claimed the homeland for Rohingya people, who are Muslims.(I bare no ill will to Muslim people). A land with full of historical Buddhist monuments could be homeland for millions of Muslims ? Anyway, this article is an excellent one. Enjoyed that.

wow, wholly informative…except th one thing I needed to know, which pertains to th paperwork for getting INTO myanmar to visit. other than that, amazing article ! I’m psyched

How are you? – Shin ne-kaùn-yéh-là? “Shin ” is used by female. “ne-kaùn-yéh-là” is enough in general

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Is Myanmar Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report


Myanmar otherwise referred to as Burma and officially called the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is a country located in Southeast Asia.

It lies on the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea coast with Bangladesh and Republic of India to the west, China to the north, and Laos and Thailand to the east.

The attractions of this country are mostly of a spiritual nature.

It is filled with temples, pagodas and historical sites, while areas like Bagan offer so many attractions that it would impossible to experience them during one visit.

To those yearning for a break, Myanmar offers some gorgeous isolated beaches, while some are seasonal – which basically means that they are closed during the monsoon season.

Ngapali and Thandwe are regions where beach tourism is somewhat developed, and Chaung Tha, Ngwesaung and areas near Dawei are right behind them, with Dawei being the central spot if you’re into isolated beaches.

  • Warnings & Dangers in Myanmar


Generally speaking, Myanmar is a safe country for tourists since its laws are extremely strict to all those causing problems to tourists. However, you shouldn't relax as it definitely isn't without its dangers. Be cautious and apply all precaution measures that you would stick to in your own country.


Transport in Myanmar is mostly safe but bear in mind that it isn't too reliable. The roads in Myanmar are slow, rough and winding by western standards. When getting into a car or a taxi, count on a long ride, and if you're prone to car sickness, you might consider flying between places.


Pickpockets do operate here and there, but tourists are rarely targeted, even in the regions outside of the major cities. Still, there are regions where they're really active so you should be careful. Don't flash your belongings in public or leave your valuables in plain sight. Be especially careful in crowded places frequented by tourists.


The rainy season that lasts from May to October brings occasional flooding, along with typhoons and tsunamis that are also common.


There have been very few cases of tourists being mugged or kidnapped. Myanmar is a safe country when it comes to violent crime. Still, avoid dark and deserted areas after dark.


The chances of terrorists trying to carry out attacks in Myanmar are moderate. Political tension and unrest are present and could erupt at any moment. Be especially careful around the borders with Thailand, Laos or China.


There are many scams in Myanmar and most of them involve people tricking you when handing you your money or change. There are situations where guest house owners might try and pass you damaged bills or non-exchangeable bills in change. Always double check any change you get. Some moneychangers might also try the sleight of hand tricks to either swap your good bills for damaged ones or lower denomination notes. There have even been reports of moneychangers counting the kyats in front of you and then somehow taking some of them during the transaction. They are very skillful, so be very careful and check everything twice.


Myanmar is a safe country for women. However, if you are a woman and plan on going there alone, make sure you don't wear anything of value when walking the streets and be careful at night. Apply all precaution measures you would in your own country.

  • So... How Safe Is Myanmar Really?

Myanmar is actually among the safest countries to visit in the developing world, in part due to the strict Buddhist culture, but also due to government’s Draconian punishments that await all those who cause inconvenience and trouble to foreigners.

When the crime is concerned, you can expect pickpockets here and there but that’s about it.

There is little chance that you will become a target even in the outskirts of larger cities.

If you do end up in any kind of trouble, you can talk to the police: even though they are not always up to Western standards, you can count on them solving your problems.

There is the issue of begging, though, as it has become a major problem in the main tourist spots like Bago and Bagan.

Children and “mothers” carrying babies can be seen everywhere and they are usually begging tourists and Westerners since they are perceived as the ones that have money.

The beggars are actually just part of larger begging syndicates so don’t feel bad just walking past them.

However, if you have to give them something, be extremely cautious as your wallet can become an easy target when you get it out in plain sight.

Even though police can be counted on, you should know that most officials and other civil servants may discreetly ask you for a bribe, or expect one, or even come up with non-existent issues like missing forms, closed offices in order to extort money from you in the form of a bribe.

Pretending not to understand or asking to speak to a superior usually works in these situations.

But don’t worry too much as tourists are rarely targeted, even more so those of Caucasian descent.

  • How Does Myanmar Compare?
  • Useful Information

You can easily acquire a visa for Myanmar via the internet. An ordinary tourist visa costs 50 USD and lasts for 3 months. The e-Visa service is available to over 100 nationals. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.

Kyat is the official currency in Myanmar. ATMs that accept international cards exist and are available in most tourist areas and major cities.

Myanmar has a tropical climate, characterized by three distinct seasons in this country: the hot season that lasts from March to April. The temperatures cool off during the rainy season that lasts from May to October. The best time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season that lasts from November to February. During the hot seasons, temperatures can climb as high as 40°C while during the cool season, you can count on milder 32°C.

Yangon International Airport, colloquially referred to as Mingaladon Airport, is the main and busiest international airport of Myanmar. It is located in Mingaladon, about 15 km north of central Yangon.

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Myanmar, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Myanmar Weather Averages (Temperatures)

  • Average High/Low Temperature
  • Where to Next?


4 Reviews on Myanmar

Safe and secure.

As mentioned in the article, Myanmar is safe likely due to the punishments they have in place for those who want to violate and give problems to visitors and fellow citizens. You’d wish other countries would follow suit, no? I would suggest that you book ahead to get good deals. Also avoid the no-go zones, which are far from tourist places anyway so nothing to worry about. It just helps to be aware I guess.

Extremely safe, would leave my kids there for a month

Btw there’s only one review because they’re the only one to come back alive

I lived in Myanmar and I really loved my time there. I wish it be safe like before the military rule few year back. I visited most of cities around and especially was in love with the parks.

An extremely interesting country to visit.

Book your tour, we used “Explore” a British based group that runs excellent guided tours of a week to 10 days. Very knowledgeable local English speaking guides, excellent mid- range hotels, very good transport arrangements. Some free time for your own walking around. You will be in the tourist areas, well supervised, peaceful and shouldn’t have any problems, provided you pay attention to the basics of not flashing money, not wearing jewels and fancy watches, etc. Safer than you will feel in most big American cities. Enjoy the great Buddhist center of Theravada Buddhism.

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Article Contents

  • Overall Risk
  • Transport & Taxis Risk
  • Pickpockets Risk
  • Natural Disasters Risk
  • Mugging Risk
  • Terrorism Risk
  • Women Travelers Risk
  • Weather Averages (Temperatures)
  • User Reviews
  • Share Your Experience

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myanmar safe to travel 2023

Latest update

We continue to advise:

Do not travel to Myanmar due to the dangerous security situation and the threat of civil unrest and armed conflict.


Myanmar (PDF 430.75 KB)

Asia (PDF 2.21 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 192 (Yangon General Hospital).

Call 199 or contact the local police.

Advice levels

Do not travel to Myanmar.

Do not travel to Myanmar due to the dangerous security situation and the threat of civil unrest and armed conflict.

See Safety .

  • Explosions and other security incidents occur in Yangon and frequently in other parts of the country. Attacks are unpredictable in their location and intensity. Attacks may be planned against locations frequented by foreigners, including public spaces and civilian infrastructure, such as hotels and serviced apartments, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, schools, petrol stations and supermarkets. Minimise movement, especially on anniversaries and national days of significance. Monitor media for updates. We advise you to read the ' Full advice - Safety - Security situation and Armed conflict sections ' for more information.
  • Since the Myanmar military assumed control of the country, there's been a significant increase in the level of violence, with many deaths and injuries. There have been widespread detentions, including of foreigners. Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention.
  • There are active conflicts between armed groups and security forces across many States and Regions, especially in the northwest and southeast of the country. Armed groups operate along Myanmar's borders with China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh and India. This includes official border crossings. There are also unmarked landmines and the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). If you choose to travel to these areas despite the risks, carefully assess the security situation, including curfews and travel restrictions.
  • If, despite our advice, you remain in Myanmar, you should stay at home during curfew hours and follow stay-at-home orders. Avoid using any routes through known traffic checkpoints and any travel adjacent to regime-affiliated businesses and government buildings. Monitor the media and keep in close contact with friends and family. The economic and business environment remains unpredictable. The Australian Embassy's ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be limited.
  • Heightened security arrangements are in place for Australian officials. Australian officials follow protocols for staff movements and use enhanced security measures, including for travel outside Yangon.
  • There've been a number of cases where foreign nationals have been trafficked into Myanmar (either directly into Yangon or via a neighbouring country) and forced to work in online scamming or other fraudulent activity, with poor pay and living conditions, restrictions on movement, and severe mistreatment. Exercise caution concerning offers of employment that appear 'too good to be true'.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Medical facilities in Myanmar are severely stretched by the security situation, particularly outside Yangon. Hospitals have closed or ceased providing services at short notice. 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. Ensure all your vaccinations are up to date before travel.
  • Many animals in Myanmar carry rabies. It's fatal without immediate treatment. Don't feed, pat or tease dogs or monkeys. Get medical assistance immediately 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 or jailed ask to contact the Australian Embassy immediately.
  • A 2010 conscription law has come into effect following an announcement by the military administration. If local authorities consider you to be a citizen of Myanmar, you may be required to serve in the armed forces. The length of service can depend on criteria such as age, occupation, and whether there is a state of emergency. Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality. You may not be exempt from this law if you are an Australian-Myanmar dual national holding an Australian passport.
  • Myanmar has strict communications laws, including laws being considered to prohibit the use of VPNs. Financial or criminal penalties may apply. 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.
  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Punishments include the death penalty. Same-sex relations and adultery are illegal. Be careful when taking photos. It's illegal to photograph military personnel or sites.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • If you decide to travel to Myanmar despite our advice, there are international flights to and from Yangon and Mandalay. Book directly with airlines or through your travel agent.
  • You must stay in registered hotels and guesthouses. Register your address with immigration authorities if you're staying more than 90 days. Inform the authorities if you change hotels or will be away from your address.
  • The military administration restricts travel in parts of the country, including to and from land border crossings. The Australian Embassy's ability to provide consular service, including in an emergency, may be extremely limited. States and regions of Myanmar are affected by armed conflict. If you intend to travel, check the restricted area list with local authorities. Carry your passport or Foreigners Registration Card. Officials may ask to see it.
  • Driving cars or motorbikes on an Australian or international licence is illegal. 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 and National Highway 1 linking Yangon and Mandalay. There are reports of attacks on these expressways. Don't leave the scene of an accident. Public transport, including buses, boats and trains, fail to meet international safety standards. Fatal accidents have occurred, especially on overnight trips.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the  Australian Embassy in Yangon .
  • Our ability to provide consular services in Myanmar may be limited.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Security situation.

The Myanmar military assumed control of the country and declared a state of emergency on 1 February 2021. There has been a significant increase in violence, with many deaths, injuries and arrests. 

There have been widespread detentions, including of foreigners. Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention. Do not take photos of protests, and military personnel or sites.

Martial law is in place in areas of Myanmar, including some areas of Yangon. Avoid townships under martial law. Exercise caution if you need to be there.

A curfew is in place from 1am to 3am in the Yangon region. Curfew timings may differ in other regions and may change at short notice. Daily internet outages, restrictions and regular power outages may occur unexpectedly in Yangon and other parts of the country. 

Heightened security arrangements are in place for Australian officials. Australian officials follow protocols for staff movements and use enhanced security measures at all times, including for travel outside of Yangon. 

There are disruptions to basic services, including banking, communications, power and public health. Have arrangements in place for your essential needs. Services such as transport, travel and fuel may be affected.

If, despite our advice, you choose to remain in Myanmar, you should minimise movement and stay at home during curfew hours. Follow stay-at-home orders. The economic and business environment remains unpredictable. The Australian Embassy's ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be limited.  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 at +61 2 6261 3305 (or 1300 555 135 if calling from Australia). 

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Armed conflict

There are active conflicts involving armed groups and security forces across Myanmar. Explosions and other security incidents targeting security forces occur within Yangon and in other parts of the country. Attacks have resulted in civilian and military casualties and are unpredictable in their location and intensity.

Attacks may be planned against locations that are also frequented by foreigners such as hotels, apartments, restaurants and public spaces.

Armed conflict includes:

  • active fighting between armed groups
  • targeting of civilian infrastructure, including hotels and serviced apartments, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, schools, petrol stations and supermarkets
  • use of artillery, mortars and surface-to-surface missiles
  • improvised explosive devices and unmarked landmines
  • civil unrest, violence and abductions
  • attacks on days of national significance
  • aerial bombings and air strikes from helicopters and fixed wing aircraft

If despite our advice, you choose to travel to higher risk areas:

  • minimise movement and plan your trip carefully including communications
  • find out about local information such as curfews and travel restrictions
  • stay on main highways and in urban areas, noting even these may be dangerous

The use of Improvised Explosive devices (IEDs) and attacks has occurred across most parts of the country. Most IEDs and attacks have targeted military and government buildings, police stations and military-affiliated businesses. The public remains at risk, including in urban areas. 

Security forces are present in urban areas, including Yangon, which increase around days of significance and visits of regime and foreign officials. Checkpoints and barricades with armed security personnel are common and road/bridge access can change without notice. To the extent possible, avoid using any routes through known traffic checkpoints and any travel adjacent to regime-affiliated businesses and government buildings.

Rakhine and southern Chin State

Armed conflict between armed groups and military forces is occurring in northern and central Rakhine.

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. Telecommunications have been cut in northern and central Rakhine, and road links to other parts of Myanmar have been severed due to ongoing fighting. Armed groups have used explosive devices 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, and between armed groups and Myanmar security forces in Shan States has increased since October 2023. The fighting has resulted in civilian casualties and displacement. Civilians including foreigners have been attacked along main roads, displaced, and killed or injured by landmines.

Kachin State

Kachin is also affected by conflict. Since the coup, there has been an influx in troop numbers and violent clashes. Civilian infrastructure, including roads and bridges, are often cut off or targeted for attack.

Kayin and Kayah States

There is conflict and violence across Kayin and Kayah states with increased troop numbers and violent clashes. Myanmar military forces have regularly employed airstrikes and heavy artillery. Numerous attacks have occurred in urban areas, with significant damage to civilian infrastructure, including religious buildings, health centres, and civilians. There is a large, displaced population in both states. Access is unpredictable, with numerous roadblocks and checkpoints. Many roads are completely cut off due to ongoing fighting. Telecommunications, electricity and internet connectivity disruptions occur regularly across the southeast of Myanmar.  

Sagaing, Magway and Chin States

Conflict and violence is ongoing across Sagaing, Magway and Chin States affecting urban areas and resulting in large numbers of civilian displacement. Instances of violence and attacks are unpredictable in location, scale and severity. Internet and communication services are heavily restricted in some areas. Security forces are actively monitoring road and transportation routes and often restrict movement.

Mon State and Tanintharyi Region

Conflict in Kayah and Kayin has spilled over into Mon and Tanintharyi. Roadblocks and checkpoints are present, and there is an increased military presence and conflict in select townships. Internet connectivity disruptions occur regularly. 

Myanmar’s Border Areas

Security along Myanmar's large border varies. Armed groups operate in border areas including at land border crossings. Several border crossings remain closed.

Terrorist and anti-regime attacks in Myanmar, carried out by a range of actors, have targeted government buildings, including military-affiliated regime schools, hospitals, hotels, shopping centres and public transport.

Since the military takeover, the incidence of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and attacks has increased and resulted in a highly volatile environment where violence occurs across the entire country. While security forces or administrative elements appointed by the ruling council are the primary targets, civilian-used infrastructure and public spaces may be targeted. There is a high threat of clashes between armed groups and the military in major urban centres and the threat to the public remains high.

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 the 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.

Civil unrest and political tension

Protest activity is infrequent but can occur randomly. Protests and organised assemblies of people are not permitted. National dates of significance may see rallies and silent strikes and there's a higher likelihood of opposition attacks, including:

  • Independence Day (4 January)
  • the anniversary of the 2021 coup (1 February)
  • Armed Forces Day (27 March)
  • Martyrs’ Day (19 July)
  • the anniversary of the 1988 uprising (8 August)
  • the anniversary of demonstrations led by monks (26 September)

These events often see an increase in police and security forces presence in Yangon and elsewhere. Tensions may be heightened. Exercise caution and:

  • minimise movement and avoid all political gatherings and protests
  • avoid areas cordoned off by security forces, areas of known or possible unrest, facilities and vehicles linked to security forces and the military administration
  • 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

Be alert to rapid changes in restrictions, including on the use of communication devices and VPNs.

Crime rates in Myanmar, while once lower than other countries in the region, have dramatically increased since the coup. Economic pressure may increase the crime rate further.

You could encounter:

  • petty theft

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

Exercise caution in relation to offers of employment that appear 'too good to be true'. Foreign nationals have been trafficked into Myanmar (either directly into Yangon or via a neighbouring country) and forced to work in online scamming or other fraudulent activity, with poor pay and living conditions, restrictions on movement, and severe mistreatment. Some victims have had their passports confiscated and been held for ransom.

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth. 

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media. 

More information:  

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas  

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological, and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas whilst travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime, including in destinations that are typically at lower risk.   

Reporting indicates that kidnapping has increased in Myanmar since 2021, especially in rural areas where criminal groups engage in a range of illicit activities. Criminal kidnappers target a range of victims for financial gain. 

If, despite our advice, you travel to an area with a high risk of kidnapping, our ability to provide consular assistance in these destinations will be limited.  

To reduce the risk of kidnapping:  

  • always be alert to your personal security and surroundings  
  • get professional security advice for travel in locations with a heightened kidnap risk  
  • check your accommodation has appropriate security measures  
  • avoid isolated locations, particularly when travelling alone  
  • notify family or friends of planned travel, and share your location   
  • avoid talking about your money or business affairs  
  • use ATMs in public places and during daylight hours  
  • avoid giving personal details to strangers online or over the phone  

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers. Ransom payments to kidnappers have funded further terrorist attacks and criminal activity. Paying a ransom to terrorist groups will likely break Australian counter-terrorism financing laws.  

More information:  

  • Kidnapping  

Climate and natural disasters

Myanmar can experience  natural disasters  and  severe weather , including:

  • severe storms
  • earthquakes

The monsoon season is from May to October, bringing:

  • widespread flooding , including flash floods

Disruptions to services are likely during severe weather events, including:

  • electricity
  • communications

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 occur 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

Travel insurance

If you choose to remain in, or travel to, Myanmar despite our advice, make sure you have comprehensive  travel insurance  for the duration of your stay. 

Confirm what your policy covers, including 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 thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

Most Australian policies won't cover you for travel where the travel advice is 'do not travel'.

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

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.

Counselling services

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (HealthDirect Australia)

Health risks

Medical facilities in Myanmar are severely stretched, particularly outside Yangon. Hospitals have closed or ceased providing services at short notice. Medical evacuations may be delayed or not possible.

Some  COVID-19  restrictions continue to apply in Myanmar, including on entry into Myanmar. Stay-at-home orders have been used in the past to curb transmission.

You can find  information on COVID-19 in Myanmar  on the Ministry of Health and Sports website (Burmese). 

If authorities assess you have COVID-19, you may be required to isolate at home or be quarantined at a local facility.

Polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases

Check the  Australian Immunisation Handbook (Department of Health and Aged Care) if you chose to travel to Myanmar despite our advice.

Make sure you're up to date with recommended vaccinations, including  polio (Department of Health and Aged Care). You may need a booster.

Speak with your doctor. If you're not sure if you're vaccinated for polio, ask. Also check your need for vaccines for:

  • hepatitis A

Insect-borne diseases

In many areas, insect-borne diseases are widespread. These include:

  • dengue fever
  • chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis

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  is common in Myanmar. Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the virus.

Rabies  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.

  • Infectious diseases

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common and include:

  • tuberculosis

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 bring medication, check if it's legal in Myanmar. Take enough legal medicine for your trip. 

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating: 

  • what the medication is 
  • your required dosage 
  • 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.

More information: 

  • Medication  

Medical care

Medical facilities.

The standard of medical facilities in Myanmar is extremely limited, particularly outside Yangon. Hospitals have closed or ceased providing services at short notice.

Avoid any surgical procedures, including dental work. Unclean medical instruments can cause infections such as:

Emergency medical care, including ambulances, is often not available. An ambulance service (often without a paramedic) is 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 experience a major injury, 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 should you choose to travel to, or remain, in Myanmar despite our advice.

In February 2024, the military administration announced a 2010 conscription law would be enacted. If local authorities consider you are a citizen of Myanmar, you may be subject to serve in the armed forces. The length of service can depend on criteria such as age, occupation, and whether there is a state of emergency. Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality. You may not be exempt from this law if you are an Australian-Myanmar dual national holding an Australian passport.

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 arrested, detained or deported from Myanmar. If you're  arrested or jailed , ask to contact the Australian Embassy immediately.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty.

  • Carrying or using drugs

Traffic accidents

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 are likely to 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 may be able to assist.

Myanmar has the death penalty for serious offences, including murder, treason, and drug-related crimes.

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.

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law

Dual citizenship

Myanmar doesn't recognise dual nationality.

If you're a dual citizen, this limits the  consular services  we can provide if you're arrested or detained.

Always travel on your Australian passport.

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

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.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

You need a visa to enter and stay in Myanmar. Entering without a visa can result in a prison sentence.

Contact the nearest Immigration Office to extend your visa if you intend to lengthen your stay in Myanmar.

If you choose to travel, despite our advice, you can obtain further information and apply for a tourist or business visa at your nearest  Myanmar embassy  or the  Ministry of Immigration and Population  website.   

The Australian Embassy is not able to support individual visa applications.

You can't use e-Visas at seaports. 

Be aware of unauthorised websites that claim to offer e-Visas. Some websites will provide a genuine visa for an extra fee, but others are fake.

Be careful about using links in emails or other websites to access the official site. Use official Myanmar government services to arrange your visa to avoid being scammed.

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.

Border requirements

Ensure you have a valid visa prior to travel and meet Myanmar's entry requirements. The Australian Embassy cannot support your request to board an incoming flight.

The following entry requirements apply:

  • you'll be subject to a thermal screening conducted by the airport health authorities upon arrival to Myanmar. You'll need to meet the cost of testing, isolation and medical treatment costs, including COVID-19, during your stay in Myanmar. 
  • if you develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 during your stay in Myanmar, you must report to health authorities

Confirm entry requirements directly with your nearest  Myanmar Embassy or Consulate  and the Ministry of Health and Sports, as quarantine protocols are subject to change at short notice.

Departing Myanmar

There are international flights departing Yangon and Mandalay. Book directly with airlines or through your travel agent.

Border crossings

Travel to or from Myanmar by land border crossings can be unpredictable. Crossings can be opened or closed without prior notice.

Since November 2016, foreigners have not been allowed to travel to the Muse (Shan State)-Ruili (China) border crossing.

See  Safety

Other formalities

Staying in myanmar.

You 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 obtain a Foreigners Registration Card.

Let Immigration know if you change hotels or will be away from your registered address.

Customs regulations are restrictive. Officials limit what you can bring into the country.

Declare foreign currency over $US10,000 or equivalent when you arrive and depart Myanmar. 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:

  • Buddha images

If you plan to take something home, check it's legal before you buy it.

  • Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
  • Customs Department (Myanmar Customs Department)

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:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Office on 131 232
  • If you’re overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers. 

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers  

The local currency is the Myanmar Kyat (MMK).

Cash is widely used. Foreign currency is sometimes refused because of people using fake notes.

A limited number of shops and businesses accept US Dollars as payment. Notes with pen marks, folds or tears, and old notes are often refused.

Other foreign currencies and travellers' 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.

The banking sector has experienced widespread disruption, with many banks closed and some ATMs out of operation. Restrictions are in place regarding the use of foreign currencies, including using foreign currency bank accounts and limits on the amount of USD that can be held in cash. Ensure you comply with requirements.

There are daily and weekly limits on cash withdrawals from ATMs. Plan your travel accordingly. Some ATMs accept international cards. 

Ask your bank if your card will work in Myanmar.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at:

  • restaurants

You should confirm before travel if intending to pay for hotels or restaurants with a credit or debit card. Vendors often charge additional fees for credit or debit card transactions.

Some businesses will not accept international cards, e.g. Mastercard, Visa or American Express.

Frequent electricity will not accept international cards, e.g. Mastercard, Visa or American Express.

International money transfers to Myanmar may be restricted.

Local travel

The military administration controls travel within parts of Myanmar, including to and from land border crossings.

If despite our advice you plan to travel within Myanmar, check movement restrictions with local authorities. Visit the  Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population  website for a list of restricted areas.

A curfew is in place across Myanmar. Stay at home during curfew hours.

Movement restrictions, including stay-at-home orders, curfews and quarantines, may be imposed at short notice (see  Safety ). Monitor the media closely. 

Australian Embassy staff need to seek approval to undertake official travel within Myanmar. This may affect our ability to provide consular assistance.

Landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

Unmarked landmines and IEDs make parts of Myanmar dangerous. These devices are used in:

  • areas of conflict
  • near borders
  • city and urban areas

Landmine locations may not be marked. Stay on established roads.

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

In past years, crime has increased during the festival. Pay attention to your personal security.

Many services close down for Thingyan, including:

  • supermarkets
  • 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 suitable 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 restricted in many parts of the country.

Internet services are available but are unreliable outside cities and large towns. Restrictions on internet access apply, including to social media and messaging applications.

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, ensure you can receive text messages on your phone number.

The military administration has in the past, suspended telecommunications services in response to the security situation without prior notice . 

Driving permits

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 .

Road travel

You're more likely to be killed in a car 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 and National Highway 1, linking Yangon and Mandalay. There are reports of attacks on these expressways. 

Military and immigration checkpoints on roads are common, including in Yangon and other major cities.

If you plan to drive:

  • check your travel insurance covers you
  • get a local licence
  • become familiar with Myanmar traffic laws
  • Driving or riding


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. Availability of taxis are limited near curfew. Allow adequate time to return to your accommodation prior to curfew.

Many taxis are in poor condition.

Registered rideshare services operate in Yangon.

Public transport

Public transport  doesn't meet international safety standards. This includes:

Fatal accidents have occurred, especially at night.

Search and rescue resources are very limited.

Domestic airlines may sometimes implement travel restrictions due to the security environment. Changes to travel protocols and flight availability 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

Call 192 (Yangon General Hospital) or an international clinic.

Medical assistance, including during emergencies, may be limited during curfew hours.

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

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. Our ability to provide consular services in Myanmar is extremely limited.

Australian Embassy, Yangon

Vantage Tower 623 Pyay Road Yangon, Myanmar Phone: (+95) 1 230 7410 Fax: (+95) 1 230 7425 Email:  [email protected] Website:  myanmar.embassy.gov.au Facebook:  Australian Embassy in Myanmar

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


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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Myanmar travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: May 23, 2024 08:00 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, myanmar - avoid all travel.

Safety and security situation

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Political situation

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military detained officials from the elected government and declared a state of emergency, effectively seizing control of the country's governance. Martial law has been imposed in several townships. Curfews are in effect at specific locations and gatherings are banned.

Demonstrations take place regularly across the country, particularly in Yangon and Mandalay. Security forces have been using excessive and lethal force against protesters in several locations. This has resulted in multiple casualties.

Civil unrest and acts of politically motivated violence may occur anywhere and at any time, particularly leading up to and during days or events of national significance. Improvised explosive devices have been used throughout the country, including in major cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw. Further attacks targeting public venues frequented by foreigners, such as shopping malls, markets, hotels, bars and restaurants are possible.

The political situation remains unpredictable and could deteriorate further.

If you're in Myanmar:

  • maintain a high level of vigilance at all times
  • avoid unnecessary movement, especially on occasions of national significance
  • regularly review your security practices
  • follow political and social developments carefully
  • monitor media to stay informed on the evolving situation
  • plan to have adequate water and food supplies for at least 4 days
  • charge your mobile phone in case of internet, communication and power outages
  • avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
  • expect roadblocks, searches and a heavy military presence

Arbitrary enforcement of local laws

Myanmar's military regime arbitrarily enforces local laws, and may carry out random and arbitrary detentions without due process. If you are in Myanmar, you are at risk of arbitrary detention.

If you travel to or remain in Myanmar despite these risks:

  • stay indoors
  • maintain a low profile when going outside
  • avoid concentrations of police and security forces
  • comply with the regulations and guidelines from local authorities

Border areas with Thailand, China, Laos, Bangladesh and India

The security situation along the border varies and can change quickly.

Clashes between the military and armed groups are ongoing in several border regions. This has caused the displacements of hundreds of thousands of civilians to neighbouring countries.

Landmines are also a danger, particularly in border areas. Unmarked landmines can be found in many border regions and pose a significant risk to your safety.

If you travel to border areas despite this advisory:

  • exercise extreme caution
  • avoid concentrations of police and security forces as well as large gatherings
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Armed clashes

Since October 27, 2023, there has been an escalation of conflict in several parts of Myanmar. Multiple armed resistance groups have attacked regime security forces in Mandalay and Sagaing regions, and the following states:

  • Kayah (formerly Karenni)

There has also been an increase in the number of attacks and regime airstrikes resulting in civilian casualties. The armed conflict is expected to continue and could expand to other states and regions and escalate. The security situation is highly volatile and additional violent attacks could occur at any time across the country.

Violent clashes between regime security forces and armed groups have resulted in:

  • significant internal displacement
  • disrupted access to supplies, cash and goods
  • border crossing closures

If you are in Myanmar:

  • exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings
  • expect heightened presence of security forces
  • expect increased travel disruptions and roadblocks
  • use your judgement to decide the best time and the safest means of exit if you need to move to a safer location
  • monitor international media to stay informed about the latest developments and decrees

Disruptions to supply chains and the closing of border crossings in Myanmar may result in shortages of necessities.

  • Keep a supply of water, food, medicine and cash on hand.

Chin (Paletwa Township), Kachin, Rakhine, and northern Shan States

Fighting between Myanmar regime military forces and non-state armed resistance groups is occurring in these areas and has resulted in a significant number of deaths, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians as well as disruptions to road and rail connections.

In August 2017, there were coordinated attacks on police and security forces in northern Rakhine state. Since December 2018, serious armed clashes between ethnic armed groups and the military have been occurring in parts of northern and central Rakhine State, including in the tourist destination of Mrauk U. Detonations of improvised explosive devices have taken place in Sittwe Township and on the road between Sittwe and Mrauk U.

Violence in the area is ongoing and the situation is volatile. The security situation can deteriorate suddenly and unexpectedly. Be vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Travel restrictions

Travel to parts of the country, including to and from land border crossings, are strictly controlled by the Government of Myanmar. As such, there are some parts of the country where Canadian Embassy officials are not allowed to travel freely without permission from the Myanmar government. The Canadian Embassy's ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be limited or delayed in these areas.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism maintains lists of permitted and restricted areas. Consult these lists prior to travelling to Myanmar, especially if you plan on travelling outside of popular tourist destinations.

Inter-communal violence

Inter-communal violence occurs. More than 200 people have been killed in religious violence since June 2012, and more than 140,000 have been displaced (mostly in Rakhine State). Attacks against religious buildings, shops, and homes have taken place in several areas, including the regions of Bago and Mandalay, resulting in injuries, deaths and displaced persons. Tensions remain high, and further violence is possible. Curfews and restrictions may be imposed or changed on short notice.

Incidents of violence, which resulted in injuries and damage to property, occurred in Mandalay in early July 2014. In late March 2014, violent protests targeting the staff and offices of international organizations took place in Sittwe, Rakhine State.

Security forces

The presence of police and security forces is likely to increase in Yangon and elsewhere in Myanmar on significant dates, including the anniversary of demonstrations led by monks to protest for political reform (September 26) and the anniversary of the 1988 uprising (August 8).

Violent crime

There have also been incidents of violent crime against foreigners including muggings.

Exercise a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occur. Scams involving gems and jewellery occur. Merchants sell lower-quality items at inflated prices with promises that the items can be resold later at a profit. The guarantees that merchants offer are not always honoured. The Government of Canada cannot assist in obtaining refunds for purchases made.

  • Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times
  • Carefully consider all purchases if you are not knowledgeable about gems and jewellery


Demonstrations can occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
  • Follow the advice of local authorities
  • Monitor local media

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Exercise caution at beach resorts in Ngwesaung, Chaungtha and Ngapali as there are strong underwater currents and riptides. There are no lifeguards and drownings have occurred.

Scuba diving

Exercise caution when considering diving excursions in Myanmar. Rented diving equipment may not meet internationally acceptable safety standards and may not be maintained adequately.

Water safety abroad

Tourists trekking in remote parts of the country have experienced difficulties with military authorities, even after obtaining prior permission.

Tourist facilities

Tourist facilities are adequate in Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Ngapali Beach, Yangon and Taunggyi, but limited elsewhere. Good hotel facilities exist in Nay Pyi Taw, but transportation is limited. Foreign tourists rarely visit Nay Pyi Taw and may be viewed with suspicion. Foreigners can expect to pay several times more than locals for accommodations, domestic flights and entry to tourist sites throughout the country.


Telephone services are unreliable in Yangon and are difficult to find in other areas. Long-distance calls can be extremely expensive. There are Internet cafés in Yangon; identification is required, access to certain websites is restricted and records of which websites users have visited are kept. While some websites were unblocked in 2011, many remain inaccessible. Electronic communications, including email, may be monitored by local authorities.

Public transportation

Public transportation within Myanmar, including air, rail and sea travel, often does not meet international safety standards. Railway equipment tends to be outdated, and fatal accidents have occurred. Boat and ferry accidents causing deaths are common. Vessels may be in poor condition and overloading is a common problem.

Road safety

Travel is restricted outside major cities to designated tourist areas only. Permission from local authorities is required to visit certain areas. Military checkpoints on roads are common.

The general condition of automobiles does not meet minimal international standards. There is a combination of both left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles in use throughout the country. Driving can be hazardous, especially after dark. Some roads can become impassable, particularly during the rainy season. Drivers have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe-driving practices. It is common for pedestrians and livestock to walk on roads. A driver involved in any accident with a pedestrian is always at fault and is liable to be detained.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Myanmar authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Myanmar.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: required  Business visa: required

A visa is required for tourism and business purposes and is valid for 28 days . It should be obtained prior to travel at a Myanmar diplomatic mission. An eVisa  option and multiple-entry business visas are available.

The Myanmar government has created a visa-on-arrival program to allow select business travellers, including Canadians, to obtain a business visa upon arrival at the Yangon International Airport. Travellers are encouraged not to rely on this option, however, as the program’s requirements and eligibility criteria remain unclear. It is strongly recommended that all travellers, including business travellers, carefully verify visa requirements and options with the nearest Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar before travelling.

Foreign journalists have had difficulty obtaining visas, and some have been denied entry upon arrival despite having received a visa. In the past, journalists, and tourists mistaken for journalists, have been denied entry when travelling on tourist visas, have been harassed and have had film and notes confiscated upon leaving the country.

Travel to parts of Myanmar is strictly controlled by government authorities. Foreigners have been deported and detained for visa offences.

eVisa  - Myanmar's Ministry of Immigration and population

Port of entry

You should use the same port of entry (e.g. Yangon International Airport) to enter and exit Myanmar to avoid problems with immigration services.

Border crossings

There are few land border crossing points, and permission to cross these borders may be required in advance, through a process separate from the required visa application. Some government-authorized tour companies may be able to secure the appropriate permission from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Border crossings may close with little or no notice, and entry may be restricted to the nationals of the bordering states and/or to the immediate area or border town. Although travel to or from Myanmar via a land route is possible, Global Affairs Canada advises against travel to the border areas with China, Laos and Thailand. 

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Lymphatic filariasis , also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Limited medical facilities are available in Yangon but may not meet Canadian standards and are very limited elsewhere in the country. Foreign prescription drugs are often counterfeit and are unsafe to use. There are no emergency neonatal services in Myanmar.

Medical evacuation is necessary for cases of serious illness or accident. Ensure that your travel health insurance covers medical evacuations. Doctors and hospitals may demand immediate cash payment for health services and medical evacuation. Make sure you have adequate/accessible cash to cover the cost of emergency needs.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

The Canadian embassy does not normally receive timely notification of the detention, arrest or deportation of Canadian citizens in Myanmar. If you are arrested or jailed you should request immediate contact with the Embassy of Canada to Myanmar. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

A foreigner who has broken the law is subject to deportation upon payment of fine or completion of prison sentence.

Under Myanmar law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offence. This includes any disrespectful treatment, depiction or image (including tattoos) of Buddha or other religious representation, or wearing any tattoo of Buddha anywhere below the waist. Foreign nationals have been sentenced to prison, fined and/or deported for breaking this law.

Missionary activities and the importation of religious materials are illegal without the written permission of the Myanmar authorities.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect imprisonment or a death sentence.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Under Myanmar's immigration act, tourists are required to stay in registered hotels, motels, inns, guest houses or resorts. You must show your passport and valid visa at domestic airports, train stations, hotels and security checkpoints. It is illegal to enter restricted areas without authorization.

Political activism

Political activism (including the dissemination of printed materials), protests, demonstrations and unauthorized assemblies are not tolerated in Myanmar. Freedom of speech and political activities are restricted, and the Myanmar government is very sensitive to any expression of opposition to its rule. Foreigners criticizing the regime in public may be arrested or detained.

Artifacts and gems

A permit is required to purchase or possess cultural or archaeological artifacts. It is illegal to export gems. Foreigners have been arrested, searched and imprisoned for attempting to take Myanmar gems out of the country.


Photography of scenes or people that could be considered politically sensitive, such as military installations, security personnel or demonstrations, is prohibited. Offenders could be arrested, deported and have their equipment confiscated. It is also illegal to fly a drone over certain religious installations.

International driving permits are not recognized in Myanmar. It is illegal to drive without a Myanmar driver's licence.

Imports and export

Customs officials strictly limit what is brought into and out of the country. Baggage is examined and may be searched upon arrival. It is illegal to enter or exit Myanmar with religious materials. Foreign currency in excess of US$10,000 must be declared upon arrival; failure to do so could result in imprisonment. Importation of communications equipment such as mobile phones and laptop computers has been restricted. Laptop computers have been taken from tourists and held at the airport until their departure. Customs regulations on prohibited imports and exports are often unclear and further advice on this subject should be sought from the nearest Myanmar embassy or consulate.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws of Myanmar prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Myanmar.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Myanmar.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Myanmar, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

The Myanmar authorities activated a 2010 conscription law that came into effect on February 10, 2024. If local authorities consider you a citizen of Myanmar, you may be subject to military obligations requiring all men aged 18-35 and all women aged 18-27 to serve at least two years in the army, with possible extensions up to five years during a state of emergency. The current state of emergency began in February 2021 and has been extended to July 31, 2024. Future extensions are likely. There is no guarantee that travelling with a Canadian passport will provide protection from this law.

You may face up to three years in prison plus a fine, if you evade or ignore a summons to serve. The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadian travellers avoid all travel to Myanmar and take this advice seriously.

The Embassy of Canada in Myanmar is extremely limited in its ability to assist Canadian citizens who might be detained in Myanmar.

You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize the risk of your Canadian citizenship being denied. You may also need to carry and present a Myanmar passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country.

Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. If you are a Canadian citizen, you will require a valid Canadian passport to re-enter Canada.

Travelling as a dual citizen

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Myanmar.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Myanmar by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Myanmar to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Dress and behaviour

Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour, particularly when visiting religious sites. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities or breaking the law.

Local customs  - Myanmar government

The currency of Myanmar is the kyat (MMK). U.S. currency is widely accepted; however, only new, unmarked and undamaged bank notes are accepted. Other foreign currencies are not accepted. There are a few official currency exchange offices in Yangon, including one at the Yangon International Airport. It is illegal to exchange currency at unauthorized locations.

Carry enough cash to cover all of your expenses while in Myanmar. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Even where credit card facilities do exist, Internet connections may be too slow to enable credit cards to be a reliable payment method. Traveller's cheques are never accepted and debit cards are not used for direct purchases. It is possible to find some internationally linked ABMs in Myanmar, but the daily withdrawal limits are low and the machines are often out of service. Neither cash advances via credit or debit card nor cheque-cashing services are available.

Seismic activity

Myanmar is located in an active seismic zone and minor earthquakes are common.

Monsoons and typhoons

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from May to November. Severe rainstorms can cause flash flooding and landslides.

Cyclones usually occur between April and October. Severe rainstorms can result in significant loss of life, extensively damage infrastructure and hamper the provision of essential services.

Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons .

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 199
  • medical assistance: 192
  • firefighters: 191

Consular assistance

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Myanmar and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Security Alert May 17, 2024

Worldwide caution, update may 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Burma (Myanmar)

Travel Advisory January 22, 2024

Burma (myanmar) - level 4: do not travel.

Updated to include information on Civil Unrest, Armed Conflict, Wrongful Detention, Arbitrary Enforcement of Local Laws, Land Mines and Unexploded Ordnance, and the “If You Decide to Travel to Burma” section.

Do not travel to Burma due to  civil unrest, armed conflict, and arbitrary enforcement of local laws . Reconsider travel to Burma due to  limited and/or inadequate healthcare and emergency medical resources, and areas with land mines and unexploded ordnances . Exercise increased caution due to  wrongful detentions .

COUNTRY SUMMARY : The Burma military regime detained and deposed elected government officials in a February 2021 coup d'état. Protests and demonstrations against military rule continue, often on significant dates. The military has responded to these protests by arbitrarily arresting individuals and with the indiscriminate use of deadly force against protesters and bystanders.

The Department of State has determined that the risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals by the military regime exists.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services in Burma as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of Rangoon. Dependents under the age of 21 cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in Burma.

Civil unrest and armed conflict  occur throughout Burma. The level of civil unrest and armed conflict varies significantly between and within states and regions and may change at any time.

Civil unrest and armed violence due to fighting between the military regime and various ethnic groups and militia occur in parts of Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Rakhine, and Shan States, as well as in Sagaing, and Magway regions.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are used in the ongoing armed conflicts, including in the Yangon urban area. From January to July 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon confirmed an average of fourteen IEDs per month detonated against regime targets in the Yangon urban area, while an average of nine unexploded IEDs were discovered and safely disposed of per month. IEDs used in Yangon urban area tend to be designed for smaller impacts against specific targets. Outside of Yangon, IED attacks against checkpoints and other critical infrastructure have been designed for larger impact.

While land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) exist throughout Burma, the greatest concerns are in the areas of Shan, Chin, and Kachin. The locations of landmines and UXO are often not marked or otherwise unidentifiable.

The military regime arbitrarily enforces local laws , including carrying out  random and wrongful detentions of U.S. citizens without due process . U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Burma may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.

U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals are not exempt from prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law. Local law enforcement officials may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for speaking out or protesting against the military regime, including on their personal social media accounts, and for sending private electronic messages critical of the military regime. Facebook and Twitter are banned in Myanmar; police have sought bribes from individuals using a VPN to access social media sites even though VPNs are not officially illegal.

Burma has  limited and/or inadequate healthcare and emergency medical resources due to critical staffing shortages in the public sector health workforce. Importation of medical supplies, including medicine, into Burma is not consistent and medical prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine may not be available.

Read the Safety and Security section on the  country information page .

If you decide to travel to Burma:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Follow the Embassy on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Follow the Embassy’s Consular Section on Facebook .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Burma.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Purchase travel medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • Do not touch unknown metal objects and avoid traveling off well-used roads, tracks, and paths due to risk of unexploded ordnance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Make contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Review local laws and conditions before traveling.
  • Visit our website for  High-Risk Area Travelers .
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States.  Find a suggested list of such documents here .
  • Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
  • Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices prior to travel.

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

One page required for entry stamp

Travelers are required to show documentation for COVID-19 medical insurance, and a completed Health Declaration Form.

Amounts in excess of USD 10,000 must be declared upon entry

Amounts in excess of USD 10,000 must be declared upon exit

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Rangoon 110 University Ave Kamayut Township, Rangoon, Burma Telephone: (95) 1-753-6-509 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  (95) 1-753-6-509 Fax: (951)-751-2124 Email:  [email protected] Facebook Twitter

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to Burma.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Since the February 2021 coup, Burma’s military regime controls travel to, from, and within Burma. To enter Burma, you must have a valid passport with at least six months’ validity remaining and a valid visa. You should apply for your visa at a Burmese Embassy or Consulate abroad before you arrive in Burma. Inside the country, you will be required to show your passport with a valid visa at all airports, train stations, and hotels. Security checkpoints are common outside of tourist areas. COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate and Negative Test Results are no longer required for the entry. Travelers are still required to show documentation for COVID-19 medical insurance AND a completed Health Declaration Form. The Myanmar Insurance website has additional information.

Visa Information: Burma's eVisa program allows tourists and business travelers to apply for a visa online rather than physically applying at an embassy or consulate:

  • You are generally notified within a few days whether you have been pre-approved for a visa.
  • You must present the approval letter at Immigration when you enter Burma.
  • Once you are approved for the visa, the visa needs to be used within three months.
  • Apply at:  Myanmar eVisa (Official Government Website) .  Be aware that non-official websites may be fraudulent; beware of scams.

Military Travelers: Active-duty U.S. military personnel are not authorized to travel to Burma.

Burma has a  visas-on-arrival program  for certain business travelers. The program is available only to those with a formal letter of invitation from a business registered with the Burmese Ministry of Commerce, NOT to tourists.

There is also a meditation visa for visitors planning long-term studies at monasteries and meditation centers.

You can get information about entry requirements as well as other information from the  Embassy of Burma’s  website. The Embassy is located at 2300 S Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20008. Telephone: 202-332-4350. The Permanent Mission of Burma  to the UN is located at 10 East 77th St., New York, NY 10021.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Burma.

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our websites.

Safety and Security

Messages regarding security-related events are posted on the  Embassy’s website .

Fighting between the Burma’s military forces and ethnic armed groups and militia forces continues in border regions, including parts of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan, Rakhine, and Chin States, and as well as in Sagaing and Magway in the center of the country. Travelers should avoid travel to these areas.

The destinations frequented by most U.S. citizen visitors, including Rangoon, Bagan, Ngapali Beach, Naypyitaw, and Mandalay, are not currently affected by this fighting, but the security situation can change quickly. See our Travel Advisory for more information.

Land mines and unexploded ordnance:  Conflict-affected areas are of greatest concern, particularly areas of Shan, Chin, and Kachin States. The location of landmines is often not marked or otherwise identifiable.

The regime’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism publishes information on restricted areas.

Due to travel restrictions placed on U.S. diplomats by the de-facto authorities, our ability to assist U.S. citizens affected by incidents in remote and/or conflict-affected areas of Burma may be limited.

Crime:  Crime rates in Burma, especially involving foreigners, are lower than those of many other countries in the region. Nevertheless, the crime rate has been increasing, particularly home burglaries and petty crime. Violent crime against foreigners is rare, but there have been incidents involving attacks by taxi drivers and muggings. Citizens are advised to take particular care when taking taxis late at night.

See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for more information.

Victims of Crime:  Report crimes to the local police at 199 or in person at the police station in the district where the crime took place; and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(95) (1) 7536-509, ext. 4240, Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(95) 1 7536-509.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • help you find appropriate medical care.
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms.
  • provide a list of local attorneys.
  • provide information on  victim’s compensation programs in the United States .
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution.
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Disaster Preparedness

  • Cyclones and Tropical Storms:  Cyclones may occur in two, three-month seasons peaking in May and November, respectively, during which travel conditions may deteriorate significantly. In addition, intense rainfall and squalls may occur during the rainy season (approximately June to October annually). Travelers are encouraged to prepare for cyclone emergencies and monitor local news stations when cyclones are forecast. The Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology has a color-coded system for storm systems: red for storms approaching landfall in Burma, orange for storms moving towards Burma, yellow for developing storms, and brown for current storms. Additional information on storm preparedness may be found on our Crisis and Disaster Abroad webpage.
  • Earthquakes do occur throughout Burma. Check here for information about  earthquake preparedness .

The Department of Homeland Security’s page has numerous resources on emergency kits, preparing for disasters and developing emergency plans:  https://www.ready.gov/.

Tourism:  The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field.  In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities.  U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance .  

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our webpage on  crimes against minors abroad  and the U.S.  Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.  See our  webpage  for further information.

Should you be detained, especially outside of Rangoon, we may not be able to assist quickly.

Law enforcement officials do not routinely notify us of the arrest of U.S. citizens, and prison officials have been known to obstruct regular access by consular officers to U.S. citizen detainees.

Dual Nationality: Burmese law forbids Burmese citizens from possessing dual nationality. On occasion, Burmese authorities have detained and pursued criminal proceedings against Burmese-Americans who have returned to Burma on U.S. passports and who have had in their possession evidence of Burmese citizenship, such as a National Registration Card.

Tourists Must Reside in a Registered Hotel or Guesthouse:  Burmese law requires that foreign tourists reside in registered hotels or guesthouses. Criminal penalties, including multiple years of imprisonment and deportation, apply for non-compliance.

Illegal drugs  carry severe penalties. Expect long jail sentences under harsh conditions, heavy fines, or even execution for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Insulting Religion:  Under Burmese law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offense. ‘Insult’ is a very broad term that could include tattoos or other religious representations in a non-religious context.  Images of the Buddha can be particularly sensitive. In 2016, a tourist was deported for allegedly having a tattoo of the Buddha on his leg. In 2020, a Facebook user from Meikhtila who criticized monks on social media was sentenced to over a year imprisonment; two other individuals were arrested for drawing graffiti of a skull wearing a monk’s robe. As in any country, visitors are encouraged to be respectful of local customs when visiting religious sites.

Drones:  Importing unmanned aerial systems (drones) without prior permission from authorities and flying them in sensitive areas can result in criminal penalties, including jail time and the permanent confiscation of the drone. Sensitive areas include government buildings, famous tourist sites, and religious buildings. Because it is rarely clear what constitutes a sensitive area, all recreational use of drones is inadvisable.  Multiple foreigners have recently been detained for flying drones in sensitive locations.

Social Media:  You may be prosecuted for posting negative or derogatory comments on social media, including Facebook, under the 2013 Telecommunications Law, which criminalizes “extortion of any person, coercion, unlawful restriction, defamation, interfering, undue influence, or intimidation using a telecommunications network.” If convicted, you may face a fine and/or imprisonment. 

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal under section 377 of the Burmese penal code, which has provisions against “sexually abnormal” behavior and entails punishments up to life imprisonment. Laws against “unnatural offenses” apply equally to men and women. These laws are rarely enforced; however, LGBTQI+ persons have reported police using the threat of prosecution to extort bribes. LGBTQI+ activists have also reported allegations of rape by security forces in some cases, arbitrary arrest (for example for loitering), detention, and broad societal and familial discrimination.

See our  LGBTQI+ Travel Information  page and section 6 of our  Human Rights Report  for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities:  Individuals with disabilities should be prepared to face difficulties throughout Burma. Roads and sidewalks are often difficult to cross. Ramps or handicapped-accessible facilities are rare. 

Students:  See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

For emergency services in Burma, dial 119.

COVID-19 Testing:

Testing is available at the following locations: 

  • Yangon Airport Molecular Lab: located on Pyay Road near the Htan Pin Gone bus stop and DHL Myanmar warehouse at the airport. Telephone numbers: 094 4409 9941 / 094 4409 9942 
  • N Health: located in Rangoon at the Tourist Burma Building on the corner of Maha Bandula St. and Sule Paya St. (near Sule Pagoda). Telephone numbers: 01 230 3202 / 09 519 9122 
  • Pun Hlaing Hospital: located in Rangoon on Pun Hlaing Estate Avenue, Hlaing Tharyar Township, as well as at Pun Hlaing Clinic Downtown Rangoon, No. 14/A, Taw Win Street (Corner of Ambassador St and Taw Win St), Dagon Township.  Telephone number: 099400 60222 
  • Samitivej International Clinic: located in Rangoon at 9E/2 Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Mayangone Township. Telephone numbers: 01 656 732 / 01 660 545 / 09 42427 4301 
  • International SOS Clinic: located in Rangon at Inya Lake Hotel, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road.  Email:  [email protected]

COVID-19 Vaccines: The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in Burma. Some private clinics in Burma offer COVID-19 vaccination programs, including booster shots.  American citizens in Burma seeking vaccination should contact private clinics directly for more information.  The Embassy shares this information as a courtesy but does not endorse or recommend any specific vaccination program in Burma. 

  • Grand Hantha International Hospital: located in Rangoon at No.3, Corner of Lower Kyee Myin Daing Kanner Road and Narnattaw.  Email:  [email protected] .
  • Visit the FDA’s website to  learn more about FDA-approved vaccines  in the United States.  

Ambulance services are:

  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment. 

Given the above information, injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

Most medical facilities in Burma are inadequate for routine medical care. If you are seeking medical care in Burma, you will be asked to pay cash for all health care services and medicines before receiving care; credit cards are not accepted in most health care facilities and insurance will not be billed. Adequate Emergency Medical Services including ambulance care is not reliably available. Patients who are admitted to public hospitals typically need a family member or friend to assist them with care in the hospital, and food and medical supplies must be purchased for use in the hospital. Few medical personnel in Burma are trained to U.S. standards.

U.S. citizens needing urgent medical care have been denied treatment at public hospitals due to a lack of funds.  In an emergency, you would likely need to be medically evacuated to a hospital outside Burma . Medical evacuation from Burma is expensive and is most often transacted in cash, therefore medical evacuation insurance is advised.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation (see above).

Medication:  Many pharmaceuticals on sale in Burma are counterfeit or adulterated, or may not be available. Travelers should consider Burmese pharmaceuticals generally unsafe to use and should bring their own medications for the duration of their stay in Burma.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with these authorities to ensure that the medication is legal in Burma.  Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Rangoon's roads are generally in poor condition, and traffic is congested throughout the day. Slow-moving vehicles, bicycles, animals, and heavy pedestrian traffic create numerous hazards for drivers on Rangoon's streets. If you drive in Burma, remain alert to avoid hitting pedestrians. If you are a pedestrian, remain alert even when you believe you have the right of way.

Most roads outside of Rangoon have one to two lanes and are potholed, often unpaved, and unlit at night.  Many of the truck drivers traveling between China and Rangoon reportedly travel under the influence of methamphetamines and other stimulants. Drunken and/or drugged drivers are common during the four-day Buddhist water festival in mid-April.

Driving at night is particularly dangerous. Most Burmese drivers do not turn on their headlights until the sky is completely dark. Many do not use headlights at all. Many bicyclists use no lights or reflectors.

Roadside assistance and ambulances are generally unavailable.

Public Transportation:  Please refer to our  Road Safety  page for more information.

Traffic Laws:  Vehicles drive on the right side as in the United States, however, a majority of vehicles still have the steering wheel positioned on the right. The “right of way” concept is generally respected, but military convoys and motorcades always have precedence. Vehicles generally lack seat belts. Child car seats are unavailable.

Most accidents are settled between the parties on site, with the party at fault paying the damages. In the event of an accident with a pedestrian, the driver is always considered to be at fault and subject to fines or arrest, regardless of the circumstances.

Aviation Safety Oversight : As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Burma, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Burma’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the  FAA safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Burma should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at  MARAD . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

For additional IPCA-related information, please see  the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA)  report.

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Myanmar Travel Guide

Myanmar is our homeland. We’ll show you Myanmar, better than anyone else!

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Traveling to Myanmar in 2023: What You Need to Know?

Myanmar, recognized by its rich cultural heritage, stunning gold pagodas, ancient towns and mythical landscapes, is an unexplored wonder that offers one of the best authentic experiences for the traveller to Asia .

As you plan your journey to this captivating Southeast Asian country in 2023, we are delighted to share you essential updates and top tips to make the most of your trip to Myanmar .

myanmar safe to travel 2023

1. How to travel to Myanmar?

Entering Myanmar by air travel is the easiest option after border gates reopening.

There are three international airports in Myanmar: Yangon International Airport, Mandalay International Airport and Naypyidaw International Airport in which Yangon and Mandalay are principal for foreign tourists.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

Since there are no direct flights from Europe and the US, if visitors from these regions want to visit Myanmar, the easiest way is to fly to a regional hub first, such as Bangkok , Singapore , Kuala Lumpur , or Hong Kong, and then take a connecting flight to Yangon or Mandalay.

2. Obtaining Visa to enter Myanmar

Before embarking on your Myanmar adventure, it's crucial to understand the country's visa requirements. In 2023, most tourist Visas can be obtained through the official Government Website and Online Visa Application is the best option to obtain tourist visa (https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/)

myanmar safe to travel 2023

Just ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned departure date, and allow ample time for visa processing.

3. Safe cultural sites and attractions to travel

In Myanmar, major tourist destinations tend to be relatively safer due to increased security measures and the presence of law enforcement. Cities like Yangon , Mandalay , Bagan , Inle Lake and their surroundings have historically been popular among tourists and are likely to have better infrastructure and security. While Myanmar is generally safe for tourists, it's important to exercise caution and stay away from remote and border areas with ongoing conflicts or protests.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

4. Using Reputable Travel Agencies & Local Advice:

The Trip permission approval letter is required from the Ministry Of Hotel and Tourism and the local authorized tour operators are responsible for the trip permission application process together with the necessary documents of updated company license, clients valid passport, confirmed trip program, approved E-visa minimum 20 days prior to the traveling date.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

5. Cultural Sensitivity and Etiquette

Myanmar is known for its deeply rooted cultural and religious values. When traveling here, it's essential to show respect for local customs and practices. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, such as pagodas and monasteries, by covering your shoulders and knees. Always remove your shoes before entering these sacred places, and never point your feet at Buddha images or monks.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

6. Currency and Payment

The official currency of Myanmar is the Burmese Kyat (MMK). While some high-end establishments in major cities might accept credit cards, it's wise to carry enough cash, preferably in small denominations, for your daily expenses. ATMs are available, but they might be limited in remote areas, so plan accordingly.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

7. Health and Safety Precautions

Prioritize your health and safety by taking necessary precautions. Consult your doctor for recommended vaccinations before traveling to Myanmar . It's advisable to drink bottled or boiled water and consume only cooked food from reputable establishments. Apply insect repellent, especially if you're exploring rural areas where mosquito-borne diseases might be a concern.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

8. Local Transportation

Getting around Myanmar can be an adventure in itself. While domestic flights are available and convenient for covering long distances, trains and buses offer a more immersive experience. Be prepared for varying levels of comfort and punctuality. In cities like Yangon, ride-sharing apps can be a convenient way to navigate through traffic.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

9. Language and Communication

The official language of Myanmar is Burmese. While English is spoken in tourist areas and major cities, learning a few basic Burmese phrases can go a long way in building rapport with locals and enhancing your travel experience.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

10. Connectivity

While mobile networks are available in urban areas, connectivity might be limited in more remote regions. Consider purchasing a local SIM card if you need consistent access to the internet. Additionally, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you access blocked websites and maintain online security.

myanmar safe to travel 2023

All in all, traveling to Myanmar in 2023 offers a chance to immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty. By respecting local customs, planning ahead, and prioritizing safety, you can make the most of your journey and create lasting memories in this enchanting destination. Remember, a well-prepared traveler is more likely to have a truly transformative experience in the "Golden Land" of Myanmar.

Explore more Myanmar Travel Guide

myanmar safe to travel 2023

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myanmar safe to travel 2023

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myanmar safe to travel 2023

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myanmar safe to travel 2023

Where to go in your First-time trip to Myanmar?

myanmar safe to travel 2023

Ideas for Family holidays in Myanmar

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THE Ministry of Health has relaxed the COVID-19 restrictions for international travellers entering Myanmar by air and by sea, Dr Htay Lwin, head of Yangon Region’s Public Health and Medical Services Departments.

Health Declaration Form is mandatory to fill in for all international travellers who arrive in Myanmar by air and by sea. The form needs to be submitted to health officials, according to the ministry’s notification for public health guidelines released in early July. Legal action will be taken against those who fail to do so under the existing laws.

“Earlier, foreign travellers need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination certificate. If they cannot provide them, RT-PCR testing within 48 hours was mandatory for all travellers.

If not, they must be quarantined for a week. Now, the neighbouring countries eased all the COVID-19 rules including vaccination certificates and health declaration forms.

For Myanmar, a health declaration form is mandatory for entry into Myanmar. If a passenger is found to have a symptom of the disease, they will be examined. If the person tests positive, they will be transferred to Yangon General Hospital and Webagi Specialty Hospital for quarantine,” Dr Htay Lwin elaborated.

Additionally, they need to show Coronavirus travel medical insurance at the checkpoints. If foreign travellers can provide international health insurance and relevant health insurance from the respective government, they do not need to buy health insurance from Myanma Insurance. If they do not have one, they need to buy coronavirus health insurance from Myanma Insurance.

Travellers need to inform the related health department if they find any symptoms of COVID-19 during their stay in Myanmar. They can also take Covid tests at the laboratories recognized by the Ministry of Health if it is required for their next destination.

Travellers must receive treatment at the relevant treatment centres or hospitals or hotels for quarantine if they test positive. They must incur healthcare costs.


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myanmar safe to travel 2023

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
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Myanmar (Burma)

Safety and security.

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.  

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in Myanmar

Terrorist attacks in Myanmar cannot be ruled out.

Attacks could be indiscriminate including in places visited by foreigners. Stay aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of trusted local sources.

Political situation

In 2021, the Myanmar military took control of the country by force and declared a state of emergency. There has been widespread political violence involving the deaths of hundreds of ordinary people and active clashes between armed actors.

After the executions of high-profile political prisoners in July 2022, tensions across the country have increased. There have been a number of explosions in public places. Visitors to Myanmar should be extra vigilant.

There is a higher likelihood of opposition attacks after sunset and an increased presence of security forces on occasions of national significance, including:   

  • Myanmar National Day (4 January)
  • the anniversary of the 2021 coup (1 February)
  • Union Day (12 February)
  • Peasants Day (2 March)
  • Armed Forces Day (27 March)
  • Martyrs’ Day (19 July)
  • the anniversary of the execution of political prisoners (23 to 25 July)
  • the lapsing of the state of emergency (1 August)
  • the 8888 uprising (8 August)

Some areas in Myanmar are under martial law; others have curfews or ‘stay at home’ orders. In Yangon, a number of townships have a curfew from 1am to 3am. Ensure you are aware of local rules and restrictions before you arrive in an area.

Opposition activists regularly detonate small-scale improvised explosive devices across the country. While small-scale, these devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the attacks more deadly. The main targets are:

  • military and government buildings
  • police stations
  • businesses, hotels and restaurants linked to the military, or seen as such

There have also been attacks on schools and hospitals.

Be cautious and avoid all demonstrations, large crowds and political gatherings. Do not attempt to photograph any gatherings. If you ignore military instructions or curfews, you could be detained and, if you’re convicted, you could face a lengthy prison sentence. Curfews are in place nationwide. Local wards may unexpectedly change rules and curfew times, so keep up to date with local rules.

The most common crimes in Myanmar are non-violent crimes of opportunity, including:

  • bag snatching
  • gem or confidence scams
  • pickpocketing
  • theft of unattended possessions in public places or hotel rooms

Myanmar is largely a cash society. Make sure you have access to your cash, but avoid displaying it or other valuables in public.

Protecting your belongings

Thieves often distract their victims by asking questions, begging for money, offering items for sale, or simply bumping or jostling. Take extra care of your belongings and be wary of strangers who approach you.

Be wary of merchants offering to sell gems, gold or semi-precious stones. You could lose your money or get drawn into an illegal activity. Do not buy gems or minerals from an unlicensed source.

Be cautious of job offers that appear too good to be true in Myanmar and neighbouring countries. There are cyber scam centres operating in eastern Myanmar, particularly in the Myawaddy district in eastern Kayin and Tachileik township in eastern Shan. Victims are trafficked into Myanmar to carry out online scams. They are held in poor living conditions and subjected to severe mistreatment. Some victims have had their passports confiscated, and held to ransom.

FCDO is aware of fraudulent emails being sent by individuals claiming to work for British firms seeking loans to advance their business interests in Myanmar. These have falsely stated they are acting on the advice of the British Embassy. See our pages on fraud and financial scams for further guidance.

The risk of landmines in rural areas is serious, particularly in northern and central Rakhine, northern Shan and Kachin states. There is evidence of landmine use having spread to other areas since the coup in 2021. Some areas with known mines are marked by signs, but this practice is not widespread. Be extremely cautious if you must leave the main roads in these areas.

Mobile phones and internet

The Myanmar authorities periodically cut off access to the internet and have blocked some websites.

Many visitors travel with a spare mobile phone and buy a SIM card for a nominal fee when they arrive. They can top up as needed.

Laws and cultural differences

Detention and arrest.

There is a risk of arbitrary detention and arrest, particularly for journalists and human rights activists. The criminal justice process followed in such cases falls below international standards. Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality. If you are a dual national with Myanmar nationality you will be treated as a Myanmar national by local authorities.

In February, Myanmar authorities announced that Myanmar men and women could be required, by law, to serve in the armed forces. Length of service can depend on criteria such as age, occupation, and whether there is a state of emergency. Myanmar does not recognise dual nationality. If you are a British-Myanmar dual national, holding a British passport may not exempt you from this law. The plans for implementation of this law remain unclear.

Myanmar’s defamation laws give broad scope for individuals to bring arbitrary charges, which could result in criminal penalties, including a prison sentence. Foreigners have been subject to criminal investigations for acts such as posting a critical review of a hotel online.

If you’re arrested and convicted of a crime in Myanmar, you can expect a long prison sentence. Conditions in detention are extremely poor. Pre-trial detention can also last many months.

The legal process in Myanmar is unpredictable, lacks transparency and is open to interference from powerful political and business interests. The investigation and trial process falls far below the standard expected in the UK. There are limits to the assistance the British Embassy can offer to those with concerns about the fairness of their trial, as we are unable to interfere in the legal processes of a host country.

Religious customs

Respect religious customs when visiting Buddhist religious sites. Shorts and sleeveless tops will cause offence. You should remove shoes and socks before entering a pagoda or monastery.

Under Myanmar law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offence. Insulting religion is a broad term and can include any disrespectful depiction or image of Buddha or other religious representation. This includes tattoos of Buddha.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for drug trafficking include a prison sentence of a minimum 15 years or even the death penalty.

For possession of illegal drugs in Myanmar, you could get a fine and a prison sentence of a minimum 5 years to a maximum of 10 years, regardless of the quantity of drugs.

Photography and drones

Do not take photographs or videos of the police, demonstrations, military installations or military personnel.

Using a drone around government buildings, religious buildings or even tourist sites can result in criminal penalties, including prison sentences. If you wish to bring and use a drone in Myanmar, get permission from the Myanmar authorities.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Myanmar for men and women, although in practice these laws are not consistently enforced. If convicted, the punishment can be up to life imprisonment. There have been reports of police using threats of prosecution to extort bribes. This is alleged to include arbitrary arrest and detention.

Public attitudes towards LGBT+ people can be mixed. Up until recently, there have been increasingly large Pride festivals and growing visibility of the LGBT+ community, including gay bars and clubs. Public displays of affection, whether heterosexual or LGBT+, are frowned upon in Myanmar culture.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers .

Wildlife, animal products and souvenirs

Myanmar is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Over 800 species of animals and plants are banned from international trade and a further 30,000 are strictly controlled by legislation. The restrictions cover some exotic souvenirs, such as those made from turtle shell.

Transport risks

Road travel.

If you are planning to drive in Myanmar, see information on driving abroad .

You’ll need to have both the 1968 international driving permit ( IDP ) and your UK driving licence with you in the car. You cannot buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

Overland travel can be hazardous, particularly in the rainy season from May to October. Roads can become impassable and bridges are sometimes damaged. Travel outside the key destinations of Yangon, Mandalay, Bago and Irrawaddy regions is often restricted.

Road safety standards are significantly lower than in the UK. Serious road accidents are common. Under Myanmar law, the driver of a car involved in an accident with a pedestrian is always at fault.

Many vehicles, including taxis and buses, are in a poor condition. Although driving is on the right in Myanmar, the majority of cars are right-hand drive.

Rail travel

Railway safety standards are significantly below those in the UK.

Sea and river travel

River transport may not meet internationally recognised safety standards and search and rescue facilities may be limited.

During the monsoon season from May to October, heavy rains can cause flooding. Make sure life jackets are available if you travel by boat or ferry, and check local weather conditions before undertaking a river journey.

Get local advice about where it is safe to swim or dive. Bathing in fresh water carries a risk of catching schistosomiasis .

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Myanmar normally experiences cyclones between mid-April and mid-May, and during October and November. You can monitor the progress of tropical cyclones on the website of the World Meteorological Organization . Floods and landslides may occur. Check local weather reports before travelling, particularly in coastal areas.


There is a risk of earthquakes and tremors. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake or tsunami .  

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Travel Advisory for Myanmar

26 June 2023

In view of the continuing uncertain security situation in Myanmar, Singaporeans are strongly advised to defer all travel to Myanmar at this time. Singaporeans currently in Myanmar should also consider leaving as soon as they can by commercial means. Singaporeans who choose to remain in Myanmar are strongly advised to avoid unnecessary travel within the country; there are also direct and indirect restrictions on travel by foreigners to many locations. Singaporeans are reminded to remain vigilant and monitor local news closely. They should take necessary precautions for their personal safety, and eRegister immediately at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg . This will enable the Ministry and our Embassy in Yangon to continue to be in touch with them and render the necessary consular assistance in case of emergencies. Those who are in need of consular assistance while in Myanmar should contact the Singapore Embassy in Yangon or the 24-hour MFA Duty Office at: Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Yangon 238 Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Township, Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar Tel: +95-1-9-559-001 Emergency Tel (after hours): +95-9-250-863-840 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours) Tel: 6379 8800, 6379 8855 Fax: 6476 7302        

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Entry and Exit

Safety and security.

Please note that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore has a prevailing travel advisory for Singaporeans to defer  all  travel to Myanmar. A state of emergency remains in place across Myanmar. The security situation is unpredictable and can change quickly without notice.

If you  must  travel, given the volatile security situation in Myanmar , Singaporeans are strongly advised to refrain from travelling outside Yangon due to the heightened security risks. There are also direct and indirect restrictions on travel by foreigners to many locations.   MFA may not be able to render consular assistance outside Yangon given the security situation and lack of safe access to various conflict zones across Myanmar.  Singaporeans are reminded to be vigilant and to take precautions for their personal safety, including avoiding crowds and monitoring the local news.

Please note that most travel insurance in Singapore does not cover countries subject to an MFA travel advisory, including Myanmar.

Travellers  should stay in touch with their family and friends so that they know you are safe.  Singaporeans are strongly advised to e-Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at  https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ .

The Singapore Embassy issues Travel, Security and Health Advisories on our website. Please visit the Embassy’s website at  www.mfa.gov.sg/yangon  for the latest advisories on Myanmar.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the website of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism at  www.tourism.gov.mm  for more information, especially on restricted areas.

Singaporeans currently in Myanmar should consider leaving as soon as they can by commercial means. If you must stay in Myanmar, Singaporeans are advised to:

  • Do not travel to any conflict areas.
  • Avoid travel to townships under martial law. Martial law has been declared in 55 townships across Myanmar as of 29 November 2023. Travel by foreigners to many other locations in Myanmar has also been prohibited.
  • Avoid public socialising and crowded areas so as not to be mistaken for a participant in a demonstration. 
  • Check the curfew hours currently in place in your region and comply with them.  The curfew hours currently in force in Yangon are from 0000 hours to 0400 hours .
  • If you must leave your residence, avoid crowded places and do not take any photos or videos of protests. Bring a copy of your identity document (e.g. passport) with you and keep a family member or friend updated on your location.
  • If you are stopped at a security checkpoint, comply with instructions from the security personnel and present all requested documentation.
  • Report overnight guests to the ward or village administration office as required by the ‘Ward or Village Administration Act’. Failure to comply is punishable with either a fine of 10,000 kyats or 7 days in prison.
  • Be ready for any escalation of violence . Ensure that your mobile phone is charged and keep a power bank with you . Keep at least 2 weeks’ worth of food and essential supplies within reach (where possible). Singaporeans are strongly reminded to ensure that they have adequate supplies of basic medicines. Those with chronic illnesses should also ensure that they have adequate supplies of their required medication .
  • Ensure that you have sufficient funds to leave the country in an emergency, as credit card facilities may not be available at that time. For those who have overstayed in Myanmar and have not settled matters with the Immigration Department, you may be required to pay an overstay fine at the airport. The rate is USD 3 per day for overstay of 1 to 90 days and USD 5 per day for overstay of over 90 days (i.e. Day 91 onwards). The authorities will only accept payment in cash and in USD.
  • Monitor the local news closely and comply with the instructions of the local authorities. Singaporeans are strongly advised to check with your relevant township authorities on the restrictions in your township and comply with them accordingly. The situation remains volatile and new regulations may be announced with little to no notice.

Singapore dollars can be legally exchanged at the market rate at licensed money-changers in Yangon. Singaporeans are advised to purchase kyat  only in Myanmar , at licensed money changers. They should always request a receipt when changing money and should retain it for future reference. It is not legal under Myanmar law to purchase kyat outside Myanmar. 

Tourists visiting Myanmar are only allowed to stay in hotels and not in residential properties (i.e. not allowed to stay with friends/business partners, etc.), temples or monasteries. A social visit visa is required if you wish to stay at any other property apart from a hotel. The Social Visit Visa can be applied for at the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore.

It is important to be respectful of religion in Myanmar. Failing to do so could lead to an arrest.

Do not bring drones into Myanmar without the necessary permits. There are strict laws on the importation and use of drones in Myanmar. Please check with the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore for more information.

Additional information

Myanmar is an earthquake-prone country. It is advisable to read up on what to do in the event of an earthquake. During the monsoon season from May to November each year, cyclones may make landfall in Myanmar, especially near coastal areas. Affected areas may experience floods and strong winds. Travellers should take the necessary precautions during cyclone alerts and heed the instructions of the local authorities.

Advisory: Email Scams There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local police for help to no avail. MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even   one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest  Mission  or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at  +65 6379 8800 / +65 6379 8855 .

General Travel Advice

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 5 February 2024]

Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 regulations.

Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

  • Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
  • Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
  • eRegister with us on our website ( www.mfa.gov.sg ) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

While travelling

  • Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
  • Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
  • Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrest or terror attacks.
  • Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
  • In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

Advisory: Email Scams

There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport numbers, address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Singapore Overseas  Mission  or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a ministry of the Government of Singapore responsible for conducting and managing diplomatic relations between Singapore and other countries and regions.

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Climate, Peace and Security Fact Sheet: Myanmar (2024)


This Climate, Peace and Security Fact Sheet is focused on Myanmar and the series of conflict- and climate-related issues that face the country. The fact sheet offers a range of recommended actions for the international community to address these issues effectively. Myanmar is home to one of the highest concentrations of people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with 40 per cent of the population residing in low-lying and coastal regions. Following a military takeover in 2021, the establishment of the State Administration Council (SAC) was met with broad popular resistance, retriggering confrontations with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) and local anti-junta militias. Conflict has exacerbated the country’s vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation.


Kyungmee Kim

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Home / Press Releases / Myanmar’s iron curtain: internet shutdowns and repression in 2023

KeepItOn 2023 Report Internet Shutdowns

Myanmar’s iron curtain: internet shutdowns and repression in 2023

မြန်မာလို ဖတ်ရန်။/ Read in Burmese

Content note: The following post contains references to violence and war crimes.

By almost every measure, 2023 was the worst year of internet shutdowns on record . Authorities deliberately interrupted the internet at least 283 times in 39 countries concealing, enabling, and exacerbating violence, war crimes, attacks on democracy, and other atrocities, crushing the human rights of millions of people. 

Launching today, May 15 , Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition ’s new report, Shrinking democracy, growing violence: Internet shutdowns in 2023 , exposes the unparalleled impact and destruction of these brutal attacks on human rights throughout a dangerous year of extremes. Read the full report , global snapshot , and Asia Pacific deepdive .

Key Myanmar findings include:

  • The opaque record: increasingly, shutdown orders came from central and local authorities, hampering civil society’s efforts to track and document them — while 37 shutdowns were recorded, the true number is likely much higher;
  • The weaponization: the junta regularly used jamming devices to further disrupt communications ahead of military operations, and local officials specifically targeted shutdowns in real time to align with military operations and troop movements to effectively keep communities in the dark;
  • The broadening scope: 13 out of Myanmar’s 14 states were subjected to disruptions, with 80 townships facing ongoing blockings toward the end of year;
  • The violence: at least 11 shutdowns were tied to documented grave human rights abuses or war crimes, many of which include bombardments and airstrikes targeting civilians in residential areas; 
  • The hardest hit: shutdowns in dozens of townships across Myanmar crossed the 850 day mark, and in Rakhine, people facing a humanitarian crisis were left with little or no access to information as the armed conflict intensified.  

In 2023, authorities in the Asia Pacific Region shut down the internet in: Bangladesh, China, India , Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Read the full report , global snapshot , and Asia Pacific deepdive .

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myanmar safe to travel 2023

myanmar safe to travel 2023

12 Of The Most Dangerous Cities In The Caribbean

  • The Caribbean may be known for its beauty, but it also has a dark side with violence, corruption, and poverty leading to crime.
  • Tourists should be informed about safe places to go and ones to avoid before planning their trip.
  • Cities like Nassau, San Juan, and Kingston have higher rates of crime and should be approached with caution, while other areas can provide a safer vacation experience.

Whenever we think of the Caribbean, it is easy for our minds to automatically connect with a vision of the sun, beach, and clear-blue water , like in Aruba. After all, some of the most exotic and beautiful sights on this earth are hidden in the islands of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the Caribbean remains more than what meets the tourist's eye. Once we look past the beauty, we can sadly find violence, civil unrest, political corruption, poverty, and other societal disadvantages that lead to crime. As such, not all areas or countries can be considered visitor-friendly .

As a tourist looking to explore the unknown, it remains empirical to remain informed on the safe places to go and those to avoid. Although it's important to highlight the fear of crime in the Caribbean is often overblown and isolated to specific areas, you may still want to consult this list of the Caribbean's most dangerous cities before planning your next trip.


Palm Trees And Peril: These Are Some Of The Most Dangerous Places In The Caribbean

While the Caribbean is regarded as an overall safe region to visit with overwhelming appeal, there is sometimes a dark side to paradise. This list of the most dangerous cities in the Caribbean has been expanded and updated for accuracy. Please note, however, that even in the Caribbean countries with the highest crime rates, the threat is often contained to a small area and shouldn't tarnish the whole nation's reputation.

Related: 10 Of The Safest Caribbean Islands For Solo Female Travelers

Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas can be considered among the safest Caribbean countries on this list, yet one must still proceed cautiously. While violent crime does not occur often, there has been an increase in specific places like Nassau.

Despite the city being highly touristic with tons of activities on offer , the danger may still lurk in the less developed residential parts and outskirts of the town, especially as the wealth divide between tourists and locals continues to grow. It is, therefore, always best to be cautious of one's belongings, use better judgment, and avoid high-risk behaviors. Most pick-pocketing and petty theft reports have been reported, especially in nightclubs and restaurants.

  • No-go zone : The area known as 'Over the Hill' is regarded as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Nassau and should be avoided by tourists.

Related: 14 Reasons Bimini Should Be On Your Bahamas Radar

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Despite being an unincorporated territory of the United States, many consider Puerto Rico a Caribbean island as well. Perhaps surprisingly, this island is on this list due to an enduring struggle with crime and political corruption.

A cycle of violence has been identified through an increase in organized crime, illegal drug trade, and alleged governmental involvement in such violations. Indeed, the island is not as safe as it used to be--especially in the city of San Juan. A wave of daytime violence linked to the drug trade has kept some tourists reluctant to visit the island altogether.

  • Safest neighborhoods in San Juan : Old San Juan, Miramar, Isla Verde, Santa Teresita, Ocean Park
  • Exercise caution (especially at night) : La Perla, Piñones, Puerta de Tierra, Parque de las Palomas, Santurce

Laventille, Trinidad & Tobago

Murder rates have risen significantly over the years in the tiny islands of Trinidad & Tobago, with most of the infractions occurring outside the capital city of Port of Spain in Laventille.

The majority of crimes are linked to illegal drug trades and gang-related issues. Sexual assault and homicide also appear to be on the rise in the Laventille area, with the latter being closely linked to gang violence. Though Tobago tends to be regarded as safer than Trinidad, there is an increased risk of theft, highway robbery, and armed assaults on both islands during peak travel periods such as Christmas and Carnival.

  • Beach safety : despite the appeal of their deserted beauty, it is best to avoid isolated beaches on the islands and stick to those more frequented by tourists.

Another issue to be aware of in Trinidad & Tobago are ATM scams and 'swiping' where a thin magnetic strip is placed in the card slot. Reduce the risk by using only official bank ATMs rather than stand-alone machines.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has been in the news a lot recently, with reports of tourists mysteriously wounding up dead during their resort stay on the island. As these strange occurrences continue to accumulate, several travel warnings have been issued with regard to the increasing crime rates.

The profile underlying the vibrant city of Santo Domingo reflects low safety and high chances of assault, vandalism, theft, and more. Reports of police corruption and bribery have also made it harder to control criminal activity. Though the latter does not usually affect the resorts, it is best to be cautious when traveling to the city. Flashy jewelry and high-risk behaviors are not recommended.

  • Safest cities in the Dominican Republic : Puerto Plata, Juana Dolio, Las Terrenas, Punta Cana

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

In recent years, Honduras has experienced incredibly high levels of both violence and criminality. The city of San Pedro Sula is considered to be rampant with drug trafficking, gang affiliation, and violence. Indeed, the city is considered to be ground zero for violent homicides in Honduras and is soon looking to become one of the murder capitals of the world.

Reports indicate an outstanding record of 20 homicides occurring daily. Young people happen to be the target of murder and assault due to the prominence of urban gangs like Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. Traveling to Honduras is thus to be strongly reconsidered.

  • Best vacation destination in Honduras : visit the beautiful island of Roatan instead

Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis

While crime in Saint Kitts & Nevis long made headlines, especially the high murder rates in the capital city of Basseterre, it has decreased across the nation by more than 60% in recent years. Nowadays, visitors are generally safe on their vacation to the dual islands, as Saint Kitts & Nevis have doubled down on efforts to leave their violent legacy behind.

Looking at strict statistics, the numbers are still elevated, but the majority of crimes in Basseterre are linked to both gang activity and illegal drug trade, so they are rarely targeted at tourists. Though measures have been taken to reduce the level of crime for a while now, one must still proceed with caution as assault, rape, and petty crime does still occur.

  • Best places to visit in Saint Kitts & Nevis : Kittian Village, Cockleshell Bay, Charlestown, Sandy Point

Kingston, Jamaica

Although Jamaica remains one of the most popular international destinations for American travelers, several visitor warnings have been issued in regard to certain areas. The frequently-visited island has one of the highest murder rates in the world and serves as a site for a prolific drug trade system. Both Kingston and Montego Bay have found their way on this list, and so for considerable reasons.

While violence tends to remain in impoverished areas, in these aforementioned cities, it is not always confined. Sexual and physical assaults, robberies, murders, and more have been frequently reported all across the island, with occasional incidents even occurring at all-inclusive resorts. As a result, Jamaica is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous islands in the Caribbean.

  • Safer alternatives : try booking a resort in Negril or Ocho Rios instead, and check out these 4 places in Jamaica that are super safe .

Related: 8 Things To Do In Negril: Complete Guide To Jamaica's Ultimate Paradise

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Governmental warnings have been reissued time and time for Haiti and so especially in the capital city of Port-Au-Prince. As the country has experienced political instability for many years, the city is often central to a series of protests that tend to erupt into violent encounters between government officials and civilians.

Moreover, economic disparities and desperation have led to increased rates of armed robberies, break-ins, carjackings, murders, and physical assaults against visitors. The criticality of the situation is reflected in tourists getting robbed upon arriving at the airport. Lastly, drug-related crimes are also common, along with gang violence and kidnappings, and unfortunately, the situation only seems to have gotten worse in 2023.

  • Paradise in crisis : Haiti is the poorest country in the Caribbean, with over 60% of the population living in poverty, according to National Geographic.

Caracas, Venezuela

Currently, the State Department advises tourists not to travel to Venezuela, and rightfully so. The island, which borders the Caribbean Sea, has experienced rapid and unfavorable changes in the past years, with crime increasing at alarming rates. Violent crimes, which previously only touched rural areas, have now erupted everywhere. Moreover, civil unrest and political dysfunction continuously place the city in chaos.

The rise of gangs, economic disparity, and drug trafficking have only resulted in greater violence, homicides, theft, and social fragmentation. The Venezuelan capital of Caracas currently ranks among the world's most violent cities.

  • Danger all around : unfortunately, the safety risks extend far beyond the capital city, with most foreign governments issuing a 'Level 4: Do Not Travel' advisory to the entire country due to the extreme economic and political instability.

Georgetown, Guyana

This unique coastal nation borders Brazil and Venezuela, but interestingly, it is the only English-speaking country in South America. Rich in biodiversity, over 70% of its natural environment remains essentially untouched, from its dense rainforests to beautiful Caribbean beaches. Unfortunately, the country also ranks towards the bottom of the list on the Global Peace Index.

Crime rates are high overall, which has kept tourism numbers low. The highest risk for violent crime tends to be concentrated around Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. Here, incidents like armed robbery are commonplace, especially in shopping areas and business districts. Wealthy tourists are frequently the targets of muggings, even in broad daylight. Alarmingly, cars are known to follow travelers from the airport and attack upon arrival at their destinations. There are also security issues stemming from drug trafficking and political unrest that are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

  • Recommendations for travel : Guyana has a lot to offer , but the safest way to explore is with an organized tour group.

LGBT travelers should exercise extreme caution in Guyana. Homosexuality is illegal, and any displays of affection (even holding hands) can lead to immediate arrest.

Belize City, Belize

Belize is a magical Central American destination that is well worth visiting. It offers a mix of vibrant culture, miles of stunning Caribbean coastline, and a lush jungle with massive Mayan ruins . With that said, there are some security issues to note and places to avoid to help ensure a safe experience.

Border areas are risky due to increased drug and human trafficking. This is especially true with the northern border into Mexico, and anywhere north of Belize City is generally recommended to be avoided due to gang activity. Within Belize City, violent crime is rife, and the homicide rate is high - it is considered the most dangerous place in Belize. There are frequent assaults, robberies, and murders, and the entire city is really a no-go zone at night for tourists.

  • Safest places to visit in Belize : Caye Caulker, Corozal, Ambergris Caye

Colon, Panama

Overall, Panama is actually one of the safest countries in Central America, and a special tourist police force is present in the most-visited areas. Panama's colorful island chain of Bocas del Toro is an amazing (& safe) destination to enjoy all that the Caribbean has to offer and the dreamy archipelago of San Blas .

One area that is not safe to visit, however, is Colon. One of the country's ten provinces, situated on the Caribbean coast of Panama right at the entrance of the Panama Canal. As with many port cities, this naturally creates an environment riddled with gangs and drug trafficking. Colon is also known to have high rates of mugging, pick-pocketing, and robbery, many of them approaching tourists under the guise of tour guides.

  • The Darien Gap : Travelers should also exercise extreme caution when visiting the stretch of the Caribbean coast that borders Colombia. It is advised to only visit with professional guides.

12 Of The Most Dangerous Cities In The Caribbean

World News in Brief: Myanmar violence intensifies, praise for Brazil refugee response, Baháí detainees in Yemen

Floodwaters in the historic centre of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

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The UN is continuing to closely follow the deteriorating situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state where intercommunal tensions are being stoked by the military.

“Our team on the ground is deeply alarmed by the latest reports of further escalating violence and destruction taking place in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships,” said UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, briefing reporters at UN Headquarters on Monday.


Renewed violence and the destruction of property in Buthidaung has resulted in the displacement of potentially tens of thousands of civilians, mostly Rohingya. The Myanmar military has stoked tensions between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine, said UN rights chief Volker Türk in a statement on Sunday .

“This is a critical period when the risk of yet further atrocity crimes is particularly acute,” he said, calling for rebels from the Arakan Army and Government forces to pause the fighting.

Food running out

In Rakhine’s capital, Sittwe, there are reports of food and cash shortages, soaring market prices, water scarcity and the spread of waterborne diseases. Humanitarian assistance and essential services have been heavily interrupted, said Mr. Dujarric.

“We call on all military and political leaders as well as community influencers to do their part to de-escalate and defuse attempts to reignite intercommunal tensions, particularly between ethnic Rakhine and Rohingya, and to avoid the repetition of past human rights atrocities that we have seen in Rakhine State,” said Mr. Dujarric.

Mr. Türk called on Bangladesh “to once again extend protection to vulnerable people seeking safety and for the international community to provide all necessary support.”

That call was echoed by head of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR , Filippo Grandi who said conflict and violence stemming from the brutal military crackdown by the ruling junta was “dramatically worsening”.

“I appeal to all parties to ensure the safety of civilians and humanitarians,” he said on X.

Brazil’s refugee response wins praise from senior UNHCR official

Brazil’s unified and inclusive refugee response, which focuses on protection and finding solutions for refugees, won praise from Assistant High Commissioner for Operations at UNHCR Raouf Mazou in a statement on Monday.

During a week-long visit to the country, he said “Brazil's commitment to inclusive refugee policies shows that documentation, asylum and other forms of protection, combined with access to jobs, livelihoods, education and health, are the best way to arrive at solutions.”

The Assistant Commissioner’s trip included visits to “innovative projects” in São Paulo and Manaus that focus on  employing refugees and assisting them in integrating into local communities. 

In Brasilia, the capital city, he met national authorities to open the second Cartagena+40 Process consultation – a process to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees – emphasising inclusion and integration.

Deluge in Rio Grande do Sul

Mr. Mazou’s visit occurred while the south of Brazil experienced heavy rains and floods leaving more than two million people affected, based on official data, including more than 100 fatalities.

The flooding has devastated areas in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving some 43,000 refugees in need of international protection. 

UNHCR is working with authorities to deliver “relief items, technical assistance on shelter management and provision of reliable information to refugees and migrants”.


Yemen: Rights experts call for release of Baháí detainees

Top rights experts called on Monday for the urgent release of five people belonging to the Baháí faith one year after their abduction by de facto authorities in Yemen. 

The five detainees “continue to be at serious risk of torture”, said the independent rights experts, who include Nazila Ghanea, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion.

In a statement alleging the “targeted persecution of religious minorities in Yemen”, the rights experts said the Ansar Allah movement – also known as the Houthis – were responsible.

History of hate speech

Other Baháí believers who have been released have faced severe pressure to recant their religious beliefs, the rights experts maintained, before warning that hate speech against minorities, including by the Houthi Grand Mufti of Sana’a, had made matters worse.

Special Rapporteurs are part of the  Special Procedures  of the Human Rights Council . They do not receive a salary for their work and serve in their individual capacity.

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