Moving To Myanmar Expat Guide – the topic of today’s article.
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Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country with a range of cultures and languages that entice foreigners from the moment of their arrival. Since 2012, this country has begun a structural transformation away from agriculture towards a more urban, modern economy and lifestyle.
In today’s digital world, everyone dreams of moving to South East Asia and being close to the beach. Moving to Myanmar is most of the time, a personal choice. You can be an English teacher, and stay longer in the country as long as you want. Meanwhile, it may be challenging to relocate as Myanmar is a developing nation.
However, it has one of the highest literacy rates in Asia, and it isn’t very easy talking about this country without mentioning political life. In fact, Myanmar has changed its name and flag several times. Are you planning to move to Myanmar? If yes, you’re on the right platform as we got you covered.
Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is the biggest and most popular city in the country. Even though it is not the capital of Myanmar anymore, it has continued to be the country’s hub. With just over 7 million people, Yangon is divided into 33 districts while most commonly known as townships.
In this article, we will walk you through the pros and cons of moving to Myanmar. Aside from this fact, we have unleashed the cost of living and the ultimate guide to relocating to Myanmar. With 32 percent of the population living below the poverty line, it is considered one of the most underdeveloped countries.
Interesting Facts about Living Conditions
Are you looking to find a few interesting facts about this country before you visit? If that sounds like a YES, congratulations, as we’ve got you covered. Learning some of the many funny Myanmar things gives you an edge over what life is in the country. Without further ado, below are the key facts about Myanmar.
Myanmar Water Festival (2021)
One of the fun facts about living in this country is the abundance of rainfall. This water festival, also known as Thingyan, has emerged as one of the biggest festivals in the country. Thousands of locals take to the streets for a huge water fight to celebrate the culture of Burmese New Year in April.
During this festival, everyone has a great time, and it’s one of the most important facts about Myanmar culture. If you’re coming for the first time, you should be aware of this cultural heritage as it contributes to one of the best travel experiences you can ever have in Asia.
Hawking Is Prevalent
When you think that Nigeria is one of the countries that hawk the most, maybe you’ve not traveled to Myanmar to explore their tradition. More so, it’s one of the unusual facts about this country that you’ll notice quite often when you travel. People, especially women, tend to carry things on their heads.
Foreigners are shocked at first, and automatically, they think back to the travel shows in Africa. On the flip side, carrying things on the head is quite popular and is considered a more convenient method of transport in the country. So, you can expect to see vendors carrying food on a large metal plate.
Exploring the Kingdom of Pagan
In the 12th and 13th centuries, a large and powerful Kingdom flourished in the plains of central Myanmar, where the Kings built a succession of ancient temples. Therefore, visiting these temples in today’s digital world is one of the top things people do when they visit the country. Also, you can see more than 1,500 religious monuments in a very tiny area and experience the best sunset of your life.
Capital See Appeared Overnight
Surprisingly, the new capital city of Myanmar appeared overnight. This is because; the government built the new city in secret and then announced that it was the new administrative center. The funny part is that the government staff suddenly found that they had to relocate almost 400 kilometers up to Naypyidaw.
Extremely Valuable Shwedagon Pagoda
The large pagoda in Yangon is extremely valuable and iconic. Not only that, but it also attracts pilgrims from around the country. Foreigners marvel at this giant, gold-plated complex in the center of the former capital, and if you look up at the top of the main stupa, you’ll see giant diamonds sat inside it.
Explore the Magic of Thanaka
Anyone who visits Myanmar will notice people in the streets with what seems like mud smeared over the citizen’s faces. To some people, it might be a little disconcerting at first, but in the long run, it’s nothing to worry about.
Initially, it’s a special mixture of powdered bark that comes from a particular in Myanmar. When it’s produced, locals wipe it on their face to protect from the sun. According to cultural heritage, some also say it’s good for the skin because it has several anti-aging properties.
Joys of Crossing the Roads
It is only in this Asia country that you’ll see people having fun while crossing the roads and driving. Since the country was ruled by the British for more than a century, they’ve adopted some of their customs and traditions. One of these rules is the joy of driving, just like their former colonial master that drove early vehicles on the left.
Traveler’s Tips for Moving to Myanmar
Having spent an incredible two months traveling independently around Myanmar at the end of 2020, we wanted to share our travel tips with those expats wanting Myanmar on their 2021 bucket list. However, tourism in this country has changed dramatically. Let’s quickly walk you through the travel tips in 2021.
1. Getting Myanmar Visa
Unlike other European countries, getting a visa in any Myanmar consulate or embassy is relatively easy. Gone are those days of having to travel to another country’s embassy before you could get a visa to enter Myanmar. In today’s world, passport holders from about 100 countries are entitled to apply for an e-visa.
2. Money and Cost
Before you travel to this country, keep in mind that you’ll need enough money for reservations and expenses. This is because, despite the country’s location in South East Asia, it is not a cheap place to visit. Unlike its neighbors like Thailand and Laos, hotels in Myanmar are relatively expensive.
3. Myanmar Currency
The local currency in Myanmar is Kyat, but US dollars are widely accepted in the country. They use a mix of US dollars, euros, and other credit card options to fund their travels. But the money customs are complex, so it’s important to have a mix of USD and other local currency as backup options in Myanmar.
4. Budget Appropriately
At some point, Myanmar was a lot more expensive than we anticipated. With this in mind, be sure to budget appropriately. Accommodation and travel are considered more expensive, especially to foreigners wanting to relocate to this country. The luxury hotels were priced at over USD 200 per night.
5. Getting Around in Myanmar
Getting around in this country is relatively easy. Distance might be a bigger factor than time in dictating the cost of hiring a driver. However, a 12 hour trip around Yangon costs 70 USD, while traveling further ahead to Golden Rock may cost you nothing less than USD 200. Moreover, gas is expensive in Myanmar and is a huge contributing factor to the cost.
6. Consider Lots of Travel Time
If you’re relocating to this country, ensure you budget a lot of travel time. While many tourism centers have exploded, the infrastructure hasn’t developed quite so quickly. This way, getting around takes much longer than you’d expect in Myanmar. Also, the roads are bumpy, slow and the traffic can be crazy in the major towns and cities.
7. Dress Conservatively in Myanmar
Suppose you’ve chosen to relocate to Myanmar; one of the things you should consider is what to wear. We advise you to dress conservatively because you’ll often see the locals dress well and cover their shoulders and legs despite the high temperatures. So, if you’re coming from a western nation, make sure you get used to the system.
Pros and Cons of Moving to Myanmar
I want you to know that Myanmar was a country in isolationism until 2011 due to the military government’s rule. If you’re looking to expand into Myanmar in the future, it is the content that you want to know, and we’ve got you covered. Let’s quickly walk you through the pros and cons.
Good Location in Asia
Myanmar is located between China and India, having the world’s largest and second-largest population in the world. In addition to this fact, Myanmar borders Bangladesh, Laos, and Thailand, which have the eighth-largest population. In this way, the road environment is gradually being developed, and the attractiveness of manufacturing bases and logistics is expected to increase even further in the future.
Abundant Resources in Myanmar
In this country, natural gas and oil are produced as marine resources. Aside from this fact, they are mainly exported to China and Thailand. Also, foreign investment in this field is active, thereby giving room for expats in the engineering field. That’s why the country has become one of the world’s leading production countries in the field of jewelry resources such as rubies and jades.
Low Communication Obstacles
Myanmar has been a British territory for more than 60 years. With that being said, many people can speak English fluently. Some of the university’s education is also done in the English language. Also, there’s a Japanese boom in Myanmar, and the number of people speaking this language has continued to increase in recent times.
Locals Are Honest and Helpful
It’s only in this country that you’ll see the locals that are honest and helpful. Besides, crime rates in the country are very low, and expats cannot experience being taken advantage of. In fact, the locals take pride in respecting newcomers’ innocence and give them knowledge about their own country.
Expats Experience a Rich Culture
I cannot express how rich the culture of Myanmar is until you explore the country yourself. When you learn about the country, you also learn about its role in Southeast Asia and the surrounding countries. Not only that, but you’ll get the opportunity to take part in the lives of past and present leaders.
Economic Advantage for Expats
From its inception, Myanmar was not this open to tourists, but now it has been open to tourism and improvement in the economy. Because of this fact, expats moving from different countries have many opportunities in the country when it comes to business. Besides, most of the establishments there are locally owned. So, you can find the right products and services to sell while you make a profit.
Good Sense of Adventure
From Yangon to Bagan and Inle Lake, the whole of Myanmar has been a sense of adventure. Moreover, it is so completely beautiful and differs drastically from place to place. Aside from that, the countries also have incredible beaches, but it would have taken us along to get there because of the roads and all.
Extreme Shortage of Power
Although the government has been trying its best to fix this issue, but a serious shortage of electricity still remains one of the problems of this country. The annual power generation in Myanmar is about one-fifth of Vietnam, while the household electricity rate is about 60 percent. Under this circumstance, generators are almost installed in the factories and residences.
Inadequate Regulations and Laws
The laws and regulations in the country are still in the development stage compared to other developed countries where laws are being developed. In addition to this, many parts are not stipulated by laws. As a result, expat should be wary of the places they go during their first visitation.
Exchange Rate Fluctuations
The U.S dollar rate of Myanmar chat has been decreasing over time. In fact, the width of the reduction is also very large, which makes the rates not stable. This is likely to be one of the factors behind the outflow of the U.S dollar out of the country. In the future, it may be possible to solve this problem but have in mind that there’s a fluctuation in the dollar rate before traveling to the country today.
Trash and Food
Don’t be surprised to see countless piles of trash in the city of Myanmar and even along the train. If they continue down this path, they might be destroying most of the valuable assets in the country. And it’s not just in small, but the foods are largely populated with foreign cuisines like Indian, Thai, and French.
High Tenant Rates in Myanmar
High tenant rates in the country also contribute to one of the disadvantages of living here as an expat. The rent is very high, especially in the center of Yangon, where foreign companies gather. In other news, we will walk you through the cost of living in this country. Meanwhile, know that the average rent of around one square meter in these locations (city) would cost you nothing less than 40 USD/month.
Types of Visas Available For Expats
Just like many other countries, there are different types of visas available for expats wanting to relocate to this country. However, o enter Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, you’ll certainly need a visa. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through the various types of visas available for emigrants.
● Myanmar Tourist Visas – As the name implies, the Myanmar tourist visa is meant for people traveling to this country to explore different outdoor activities in Myanmar. This type of visa allows a single entry stay of up to 28 days, and it’s valid for three months from the date of issue.
● Myanmar Business Visas – The Myanmar business visa is issued to foreigners who will enter the country to conduct business, attending business meetings and conferences. These types of visas are issued to emigrants for a stay, not more than 70 days validity.
● Myanmar Social Visas – The Myanmar social visa is available for ex-Myanmar citizens or foreigners with a family relationship to a Myanmar citizen. Also, it is a single entry visa that allows the participant to stay not more than 70 days in the country.
● Myanmar Employment Visas – This kind of employment visa is granted to foreigners who will come to the country to work. They are issued for a stay up to 70 days and are valid for entry into the country within three months from the date of issuance. Some of the requirements for this kind of visa application include; original passport, application form/certificate of employment.
● Myanmar Transit Visas – The Myanmar transit visas are issued to foreigners who have to transit in Myanmar while they are on their way to a third-party country. It’s no doubt that this kind of visa is only valid for 24 hours.
National Public Holidays in Myanmar
In today’s digital world, knowing the kind of time suitable for your vacation is quite essential. This way, we have compiled the national public holidays in Myanmar. This will give you an edge to understand the right or best time to travel to the country. Without further ado, let’s quickly walk you through it.
|National Public Holidays||Date Observed in Myanmar|
|New Year’s Celebration in Myanmar||January 1st|
|Myanmar Independence Day||January 4th|
|February 12th in Myanmar||Union Day Celebration|
|Full moon Day of Tabaung in Myanmar||March 27th|
|Labor Day Celebration||May 1st|
|National Public Day celebration||November 28th|
|Christmas Day Celebration||December 24th|
There are other public holidays in the country. In the long run, we will walk you through the public holidays. So, we advise you to check this platform for relevant updates regarding the national public holidays in the country.
Knowing Some Foods in Myanmar
Have you ever wanted to taste ethnic cuisine? Look no further because Myanmar has a lot to offer. Although you’ll likely see a lot of foreign cuisine in the country but still, there are lots of local foods to enjoy in the country. Not to talk much, take a look at what we’ve unleashed for you.
Mohinga Food in Myanmar
The Mohinga is among the five must-eat traditional dishes in Myanmar. It is a classic dish that’s often served for breakfast in the country. Moreover, they are as prevalent as the 7-Elevens in Bangkok. However, it’s a fish soup with rice noodles, flavored with garlic, onion, banana, ginger, and lemongrass.
Noodle Salad in Myanmar
One of the best things about Burmese cuisine is that it welcomes tons of experimentation. Again, the noodle salad was born from mixing rice noodles with someone’s desired ingredients. However, it is often enjoyed in the country as a light in-between meal.
Nangyi Thoke in Myanmar
The Nangyi thoke is a local dish from Mandalay contrasting the noodle salad. Also, it is modified by their accompanying ingredient that offers three options of noodles from the thickest to the thinnest one. With this in mind, you’ll enjoy living in Myanmar while exploring this food and other outdoor activities.
Rice and Curry in Myanmar
Normally, you’ll often hear rice and stew or soup in major developed countries. Also, like most countries in this region, rice is the staple carbohydrate most meals are based around. In Myanmar, rice’s best friend is curry, and there is plenty of it in the cities. It’s a common meal, and some of the popular curries you can try in Myanmar include Tiger Prawn curry, Chicken and Gourd, and Spicy Eel clay pot.
Dessert Shwe Yin Aye
After a filling Burmese lunch for dinner, it only fits to have a dessert, and one famous one in the country is the shwe yin aye. This dish comprises coconut milk, assorted jellies, and sometimes bread and ice cream.
Relocating to Myanmar is a team effort! Whether you’re traveling to this country alone, or you’re moving with your family, having a professional company onside makes your move a success. Nonetheless, read through this article to understand all it takes to relocate to this wonderful land.