|Itinerary at a glance||Tour Highlights||Your tour includes|
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Your departure flights from the USA to Burma and back are on Korean Air. Flights are scheduled to depart as follows:
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)
You are expected to arrive at your departure airport at least 3 1/2 hours before your scheduled departure. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. Please keep in mind that flight schedules are always subject to change.
Korean Airlines does not assign seats in advance. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignment. It is between you and the airline! However, we are suggesting that you check-in early to request for your seat(s) at the airport.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel with at least one blank visa page (amendment and endorsement pages cannot be used to fulfill this requirement). Additionally, a visa is required for American passport holders to enter Myanmar (Burma) prior to departure. To obtain a visa, you may contact the Myanmar Embassy directly Tel: (202) 332-3344, 332-4350 or 332-4352 or www.mewashingtondc.com. For residents of New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Jamaica island, you must apply for the visa at the Myanmar Permanent Mission in New York. You may contact the New York mission at (212) 744-1271, 744-1275 or 744-1279 or www.mmnewyork.org/index.php/consular/visa-matter. Alternatively, we arranged for a visa assistance service, “CIBT” to facilitate this for you for a handling fee. Please use the following link to download instructions and forms at http://www.cibt.com/home.aspx?Login=50002. If you do not have access to a computer please contact CIBT to have a form mailed to you. If you have any questions regarding obtaining your visa, you may call CIBT at 1-800-406-1523. Also, please note that visa procedures may change at any time. You should check with CIBT online at www.cibt.com, for the most up to date instructions and rates before submitting your paperwork. We suggest that you apply for your visa no more than 60 days before departure. While you may find online that a visa “on arrival” may be possible, we strongly discourage this due to problems with this procedure and recommend to obtain the visa prior to departure. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
PLEASE NOTE: A letter addressed to the Myanmar Embassy and an itinerary will be mailed to you approximately 60 days prior to your departure date. This letter will have the addresses and telephone numbers of the hotels and the land operator in Burma. You will need to present these with your visa application.
Your airline tickets along with final instruction and some additional travel tips will be sent 10 – 7 days before your scheduled departure. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.
Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, we suggest that you consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions including anti-Malaria medication.
Myanmar’s weather is tropical. From October through February daytime temperatures are in the 80’s and low 90’s. In March and April daytime temperatures average in the 90’s. Nighttime and early morning temperatures are cooler.
Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in your hotel is about $25 – $30 per meal per person excluding drinks. Lunch at local restaurants averages $15 per person.
CREDIT CARDS, PHONE & INTERNET
Cash (US dollars) is the best way to pay for non-included expenses. We suggest to bring US dollars in smaller denominations (as well as larger denominations for tipping). When you pay in US dollars, you’ll receive change in local currency that cannot be converted back to dollars when you leave. Credit cards are accepted on a very limited basis in major hotels only. ATMs are not available, except for at airports. Cell phone service is not available and making international calls from your hotels is quite expensive. Internet service is also very limited!
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (1 suitcase maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece (no more than 18”x10”x8”). Please do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.
Submit your review
We have only kudos for this trip. The size of the group (12), the guide, the hotels, the itinerary and the weather all made for a magnificent exoerience. Only issue we had was having to leave from the US (there are direct flights from Toronto t Seoul on the same airline) added exchange rate and additional flight and hotel expenses. Other than that...perfect! Highly recommended Teri B.
Great trip, great guide
Interesting places, right amount of time,nice hotels, great food
Great tour and great group of 14. Fun fun fun adventure, extremely well organized and good guide. Would recommend this trip.
Only negative was the long layover in Seoul on the return
Great destination with a good guide and an experience you won't find elsewhere. I would highly recommend a visit to Myanmar. It is a fascinating place. Smartours provides a very good package, great accommodations, sightseeing and travel arrangements. My only criticism would be that smartours information is out of date and there are things that I wish I knew. The information packet states that Visa is the only card accepted and not very widely. In fact Visa and Mastercard were widely accepted at all hotels and most merchants. Cash was only required at restaurants, street vendors and such. This should be local currency and might have accounted for about $250 for the two of us for the whole trip. ATMs available at airports, some banks and hotels worked fine and were visa/cirrus/plus. We carried WAY more cash than was required. The tip about US cash being accepted without creases, rips or nicks is very accurate (even at currency exchange booths).
One last thing concerning the final day of the trip. Scott market is a waste after the shopping opportunities that have been available throughout the trip. Smartours recognizes that you will be up all day on the final day before you check in for a midnight flight back to the US which will be something like 20 hours. They rent a couple of rooms for everyone to shower in (not that appealing). They should communicate the details of the last day in the information packet so that the traveler is aware of this. They should also offer the option to skip Scott Market, and pay and additional fee for a private room to use from 2pm to 8:30pm when you leave from the airport so that you can get a nap and shower before your long journey back.
A great trip and we would recommend.
Hi Robert - thank you very much for the detailed and thoughtful feedback, and we are so glad that you had a "great trip" and "would recommend" to others. Your comments will help us improve the trip. Regarding the cash/credit card/ATM machine comment, despite the progress that you described, our local team has discouraged us from changing the documents due to issues they've seen, but we will revisit this with them. And as for Scott Market, we have not heard this critical feedback before, but we will certainly keep it in mind.
Check out photos taken by smarTours travelers on this trip of a lifetime!