Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens travel to Burma for tourism, to visit family, and for other reasons. The Consular Office wants your travel to Burma to be safe and practical. The information in this section will help ensure you have a successful trip to or through Burma.
For comprehensive information about traveling to Burma, please read the country information page. See the Department of State website for Travel Alerts and Warnings. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Important Security Note to All U.S. Citizens Traveling to Burma
Conflicts between the government and various ethnic minority groups continue in several border regions in Burma. In some border areas, anti-personnel landmines pose an additional danger. Occasional fighting continues to occur in Kachin State and northern Shan State, including along the Burma-China border. In the past, fighting between government forces and rebel groups has occurred along Burma’s borders with India and Thailand as well.
In February 2015, intense fighting broke out in the Kokang self-administered region of northern Shan state between the Burmese military and armed groups. The government subsequently declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law in the Kokang self-administered region. Numerous civilians have fled the area and sought refuge in Lashio, the largest town in northern Shan State, and across the border in China. Attacks on Myanmar National Red Cross convoys in the Kokang area have injured humanitarian workers.
Additionally, recent clashes in Kachin State between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese military continue to endanger civilians.
Ongoing violence in Rakhine State has displaced thousands, and has resulted in civilian casualties. Violence in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, in March 2014 resulted in widespread property destruction and prompted many international non-governmental organizations’ employees to temporarily leave Rakhine State.
Burma has experienced sporadic bombings, primarily targeting government buildings and vehicles. In October 2013, a hardline faction of an armed ethnic group planted five bombs in public areas in Rangoon and Mandalay. The explosions killed two and injured four, including one U.S. citizen. In 2014, IEDs exploded or were otherwise discovered throughout Burma, including in Mandalay Division and Kayin and Mon States.
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Burma to the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for November 2015. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation in the period leading up to the elections.
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness. U.S. citizens should avoid crowded public places, such as large public gatherings, demonstrations, and any areas cordoned off by security forces. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can quickly become violent and unpredictable. While in country, U.S. citizens should closely follow media reports and public information about the security situation, which changes daily, in Burma.
There are some restrictions to the areas where tourists are permitted to travel. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a list of areas where travel is permitted.
eVisa Program for Tourists
The Government of Burma now has an e-Visa program that allows visitors to apply online for a tourist visa. After submitting the applications, applicants will receive an email informing them of their pre-approval for a tourist visa. Please click here for more information.
First time in Burma?
The U.S. Embassy Rangoon cannot give any tourist recommendations. Please see the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism website for information for tourists, to include: permitted areas, do’s and don’ts, hotel and tour information, and where travel is permitted.z
Credit Card Use in Burma
Although many sanctions have recently been lifted, no Burmese bank accepts traveler’s checks. Burmese businesses have begun developing the capabilities to accept credit cards, often with a 3% surcharge. While several banks in Burma now accept limited Visa or Master Card ATM card withdrawals, we encourage foreign travelers to enter the country with enough cash to cover all expenses, including unexpected ones. Please plan accordingly to ensure a smooth trip.
Rangoon-Mandalay Highway 24/7 Emergency Telephone number
Call “1880” for police, fire, ambulance, and towing support.