Is Myanmar Safe to Visit? Myanmar Safety Travel Tips

 

If you’re passionate about travelling and you want to experience everything our amazing world can offer you, you might have already jot down visiting Asia once in your lifetime. If globetrotting sounds appealing to you, you will for sure desire to visit every piece of Asia and Myanmar is probably already on your list. Also called Burma, Myanmar is a must-see destination for travelers who like beaches and Buddha. With lots of Buddhist temples, pristine white beaches and amazing views, Myanmar can indeed offer you wonderful experiences.

In case in which you desire to visit this incredible continent, make sure you get well-informed before embarking on your journey. Safety should definitely be among your top priorities and this is why this Myanmar safety travel guide will provide you everything you need to know about this country. From the most common risks you will find there to ways of avoiding such dangers, you will have a clear overview about Myanmar. Check out our Myanmar safety tips and make sure you plan a safe and enjoyable trip.

Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Myanmar

Myanmar might be one of the most wonderful experiences you’ll come across in your tour around the world, but that does not mean that you should not be aware of the dangers you expose yourself and your travel companions to when going there. Because you must know every important detail before embarking on your journey, we provide you the following comprehensive Myanmar safety travel guide. By reading it, you’re already all set to enjoy everything this country has to offer:

Overall Risks in Myanmar: LOW

Luckily for you, this country that features on your must-see destinations is, for the vast majority of visitors, safe and sound. No serious threats have been recently registered and no serious problems are likely to interfere with your trip. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a normal degree of precautions should not be kept during your journey.

In this Myanmar safety guide, you’ll find out about the risks you’re exposing to when going to this country. From landmines to off-the-beaten-track places and health precautions to political situations and religious aspects, you’ll get informed about everything that should be taken into account in order to enjoy every minute of your stay there.

Even if this Asian country does not pose high risks, you should still be aware of some threats that might interfere with your enjoyable trip. In order to do that, exercise a normal degree of precaution and do not forget about common sense. Apart from these, you must make sure you are very well-informed before actually starting to plan your trip.

Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Myanmar: LOW

The rate of criminality is something that every foreign visitor should check out before embarking on a journey to another country. Luckily for you, the good news about Myanmar is that crimes such as mugging are rare here. Because the penalties for stealing and violence are severe, such acts happen very rarely. They are not very often directed towards foreigners and the chances of encountering such unfortunate events during your trip are very low.

  • How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Myanmar?

Even if such events happen once in a blue moon, you should make sure you do not tempt any criminal to steal your bag or other valuable objects. You can avoid such situations when travelling in Myanmar by simply taking extra care of your belongings and take sensible security precautions at all time. You can stay safe in Myanmar if you have enough common sense and exercise a normal degree of caution.

Scam Risk in Myanmar: LOW

Even though there’s a lack of accurate, so to speak, crime statistics concerning Myanmar, occasional criminal incidents have existed. However, when it comes to scams, there are little to no reports to be found.

In short, if you stick with common sense and the basic safety measures concerning such incidents, you will most likely face no problems that involve scams or scammers.

Naturally, you should know what to do to avoid being scammed. Here’s how.

  • How to avoid getting scammed in Myanmar?

First of all, you have to take care where and how you use your credit card – even though an ATM seems the easiest and fastest way to withdraw money, we recommend you to do the latter from within a bank.

You can’t know what the person behind you in line is thinking – one swift move and the money you’ve just withdrew will be long gone.

Moreover, you should limit your interaction with the locals, especially with those that require help – obviously, when we say help we mean mundane matters and not medical emergencies or such. In short, if someone seems to try very hard to get your attention just for some directions, for example, it is best if you avoid the individual.

Kidnapping Risk in Myanmar: LOW

When it comes to kidnapping, statistics show that, in 2011 and 2012, the rate for such incidents was of only 0.10 per 100,000 people. Therefore, there are little to no chances of you encountering an individual with such intents.

In this respect, you should be more careful when it comes to those that might want to pickpocket or rob you – there are almost no risks in terms of kidnapping. However, that doesn’t mean you should not be prepared this type of incidents.

  • How to avoid getting kidnapped in Myanmar?

In order to ensure your safety and avoid getting kidnapped in Myanmar, you should not wander off into shady areas, the city slums, remote or unpopulated areas.

In the case of kidnapping, the safety measures that are to be taken are quite self-explanatory – just stick with visiting the populated areas, mainly those that are meant for tourists and don’t go out of your way just because a shady alley is a shortcut to your destination, for example.

Terrorism Risk in Myanmar: LOW

Unfortunately, terrorist attacks are not something Myanmar hasn’t encountered so far. Terrorist groups are active in this country and this is why attacks in Burma cannot be ruled out. They tend to be indiscriminate, directed towards foreigners and previous attacks proved that they cannot really be foreseen. Public places such as commercial premises, hotels, cinemas and other such crowded places can pose some risks for you and your travel companions and you should always be prepared to stay safe in Myanmar.

  • How to avoid terrorism in Myanmar?

In order to stay safe in Myanmar, you should take sensible precautions and always follow the advice of the local security forces. Avoid crowded places and do not forget to always be alert when you are surrounded by other people. In 2016, there were 3 small explosions at two supermarkets in Rangoon and, even if no serious injuries were registered, such unfortunate events can still have a great impact on your mood and on your holiday.

Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Myanmar: LOW

Because of its friendly local people, strong religious beliefs and a well-organized society, this country is quite welcoming for women traveling alone in Myanmar. You do not have to worry too much about being mugged or encountering violence when you’re walking on the streets of Myanmar. This does not mean that a normal degree of precaution should not be taken, especially regarding your clothing and habits.

  • How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Myanmar?

You can be safe as a woman traveling solo in Myanmar if you do not walk alone, in remote areas, at night or leave valuable objects unattended. What is more, any threat can be avoided if you take extra care at your clothing and the religious beliefs of the local people you encounter. Depictions of Buddha are perceived as offensive and can cause serious problems for visitors. Make sure you moderate your behavior accordingly and respect the local religious sensitivities.

Rape Risk in Myanmar: LOW

Same as in the case of scams, reports and statistics come with little to no information in terms of rape and associated risks –  the most common crimes that occur in Myanmar are muggings, petty thefts, and burglaries.

These being said, you shouldn’t worry about this type of incidents while traveling through Myanmar – naturally, you do want to know which areas you should avoid and how to behave in this country before walking blindly on its streets.

  • How to avoid getting raped in Myanmar?

As said before, you’d want to know the areas that you have to avoid in order to ensure your safety – in this respect, we recommend you to avoid walking alone through remote places, shady alleys, and bad neighborhoods.

You should also refrain from taking walks alone during the night.

Risks for People Traveling with Children in Myanmar: LOW

As you may have noticed so far, Myanmar comes with few risks – and when risks are involved, tourists are recommended to take only some basic safety measures.

Naturally, all of the above apply when traveling with children as well – the worst that could happen in this country is losing your children in a crowd of tourists or being approached by a stranger with malicious intents.

  • How to avoid unwanted scenarios?

In this respect, it is recommended that you or someone else keeps an eye on the little ones at all times – let’s not forget that they can become invisible, so to say, quite easy and that you will most likely have a hard time looking for them.

This being said, you should not travel all by yourself and with your children – have a friend accompany you or a trustworthy local guide. You must always have someone taking care of your children.

Natural Disaster Risk in Myanmar: MEDIUM

In order to make sure you stay safe in Myanmar, you must take into account the fact that earthquakes and cyclones are pretty common in this country. Burma is subject to frequent earthquakes and tremors and can interfere with your schedule during your stay if you do not keep yourself alert enough. In order to be well informed about any seismic activity that might interfere with your plans, you could check out the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What is more, if you plan your trip from April to October, you must monitor the progress of tropical cyclones, as unfortunate events such as landslides or floods could occur and ruin your holiday.  Get informed and your trip will for sure be safe and enjoyable.

Transportation Risks in Myanmar:

Authorities usually advise against travelling for pleasure in this country, mainly because the poor state of road and rail infrastructure can pose some problems for visitors. Both drivers and pedestrians can encounter trouble if they do not have enough caution when crossing any road, so extra care should be taken.

In order to stay safe in Myanmar, you should definitely exercise a high risk of caution and avoid the following places, as they may turn out dangerous for you:

  • Rakhine State
  • Kachin State
  • Shan State
  • Chin State
  • The border areas

If you still plan or want to visit the Rakhine State, you should know that several southern townships, such as Ramree, Toungup, Kyaukpyu, Munaung, Gwa, and the Ngapali tourist resort are safe to visit.

When it comes to the Kachin State, you can still safely visit the townships of Bhamo, Putao, and Myitkyina. However, it is recommended that you monitor the media and consult with your tour guide before venturing into such areas, in order to be sure that the security’s situation there does not change and the areas are still labeled as safe.

Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Myanmar: LOW

Once again, you should not worry about special incidents while in a night-club, pub, or bar. Of course, the usual pub brawl might occur, but other than that, there are no reports of incidents involving spiked drinks or violence towards foreigners in such facilities.

Still, you should keep an eye on your drink and not accept any from strangers – you might come out rude, but it is better to ensure your safety rather than endanger it, right?

If you plan on visiting a night-club, pub, or bar in one of the areas mentioned above, you should either reconsider or inform yourself on the region’s condition/ status – one or more violent incidents could mean that the aforementioned facilities might be visited by dangerous individuals.

Health Risks in Myanmar

When it comes to medical treatment and advice, you might not get a competent one in areas outside of Mandalay and Rangoon. Moreover, it is recommended that you avoid intrusive examinations entirely, mainly because most hygiene standards are not met and, thus, there is a danger of infection.

Naturally, proper travel health insurance is recommended, as well as enough funds to pay any of the treatments that you might be subject to – the hospitals usually require a cash payment before the medical treatment.

List of Vaccines You Need in Myanmar

Even if Myanmar has well-equipped hospitals and you can be safe there in cases in which you need medical assistance, you should still visit your medical care provider before travelling to this Asian country. Make sure you have the right medical assurance and do not forget to get the right vaccines at least 4 weeks before embarking on your journey, respectively the routine vaccines against: measles and rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella, influenza and others. Another dangerous threat is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), which is a respiratory disease you might encounter when travelling to this part of the world. Make sure you take into account every factor before embarking on a journey to Myanmar.

  • Routine Vaccines
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis B
  • Malaria
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Yellow Fever

Most Dangerous Areas in Myanmar

  • Rakhine
  • Kachin
  • Shan
  • Sagaing

Each of the above come with several restrictions that are subject to change – it is better if you inform yourself before traveling through them.

Concluding Remarks: Is Myanmar Safe to Visit?

After reading our Myanmar safety guide, you are for sure familiarized with the requirements a trip to Myanmar can imply. If the medium to low risks still did not change your mind about enjoying the beauties Myanmar can offer you, do not forget to keep in mind the safety tips that ensure you of an enjoyable holiday far away from any unpleasant events:

  • Make sure you have the right vaccines and health insurance before embarking on this journey;
  • Do not carry valuable goods with you around, when travelling in Myanmar;
  • Do not leave your luggage unattended;
  • Pay attention to the people around you and be skeptical about the people you’ve just met;
  • Keep up with the news permanently and make sure you’ll well informed about the local laws and customs;
  • Exercise a high degree of caution when exploring the country and do not forget about common sense.

The decision to travel is always up to you, so if you have packed the Myanmar safety guide in your thoughts and think this country will turn out to be a great experience for you, enjoy a safe trip and treasure every experience this part of Asia can offer you.

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