Message for U.S. Citizens – Taxi Security Advice

Although there is no indication that U.S. citizens are being targeted, in light of a recent mugging that occurred in a taxi, U.S. Embassy Rangoon suggests the following security measures:

  1. Avoid unmarked vehicles: Always use a registered taxi (you can often identify these by their red license plates).
  2. Do not share taxis with strangers: Never board a taxi with strangers or allow a taxi driver to pick up additional passengers.  Check that no one is hiding in the rear trunk area of the taxi.
  3. Sit behind the driver: Sit directly behind the driver to limit the physical proximity between you and the driver and make it more difficult for the driver to reach you.  This also gives you easy access to both doors in case you need to exit the vehicle quickly.
  4. Take note of identifying information: Document the license plate or registration number located on the side of the doors prior to entering the vehicle.  Not only will this prove to be extremely valuable in the event of an incident but may also deter the driver if he sees you taking note.
  5. Limit your travel alone: Try to limit how often you travel alone, especially at night or if you have been drinking.
  6. Trust your instincts: If something does not seem right, it probably is not.  Take the first opportunity to exit the vehicle.

Burma is a relatively safe country to visit.  The recent incident is not typical.  However, practicing strong security habits will reduce the risk of such incidents.

For further information about security in Burma:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Burma Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Burma, located at 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, at +95 1 536 509, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +95 (0)95124330, or +95 1 500 547.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow the State Department on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Twitter and Facebook.