Traveling with children implies a lot of energy spend. Both on the ground and online. Going into an unknown territory and climate can be tricky without proper knowledge and resources.
Finding useful information about Myanmar it’s not a easy task. Opened fully to the tourism in 2011 (throw there are areas still restricted) Myanmar is an beaten track for many tourists.
Are you traveling to Myanmar with children? So the above tips can be useful to have the best tour to Myanmar for you and your family without any hassle.
#1 BE SELECTIVE WITH THE CHOICE OF FRUIT
Myanmar (Burma) has a wide range of fruit, most of tropical origin. It’s important to know when it’s their season so you can know which one are local (fresh) and which one are imported (usually from China and not fresh and with many chemicals).
Watermelons can be found all year round; strawberry season is from January to March and the Pwin Oo Lwin strawberries are the best. Avocado from December to February. The best and fresh mango are to be found at the beginning of the rainy season in Myanmar from May to July.Myanmar Mango come in different shapes and tastes and have different names. Ma Chit Su, Sine, Thone Lone Tit Htaung, Sein Ta Lone, My Kyauk, Yin Kwal, Sugar Mango.
Green avocado are a bit early from March to June.
Jack fruit is available in the rainy season from June to late October; it taste can be a bit to strong and sweet for your kid.
Durian – famously known as “The King of Fruits” throughout the South East Asian Countries, and is available in the hot season from February to May. Take into consideration it’s strong small and that many hotels in Myanmar has this fruit banned to taken into the rooms!
TIP: Wash the fruits with bottle water instead of tap water. Water treatment and management in the big cities as Yangon and Mandalay is not at western standards.
#2 GET A PRIVATE TRANSFER
In our holidays we try to improve our negotiations skills; but after a long flight and the nap time has passed for your children it’s better to have everything arranged before your travel to Myanmar.
Traveling with children can be difficult if you rely on private taxi. Yangon International Airport is located 20km from the downtown and taxi are not in a very good shape; not to mention that most cars run on GLP and there is not much space left for the baggages. Not to mention that there is no fix fare and you have to negotiate for it.
Heho Airport which serves the Inle Lake region is 55min drive from the lake. Booking a transfer in advance is recommend and why not spend few more hours for a short detour to Pindaya Caves.
TIP: Private transfers are available in the main touristic destination via Myanmarvels.
#3 CHECK BOOKINGS REQUIREMENTS
Balloons Over Bagan is one the most popular touristic destination in Myanmar. The Balloons Over Bagan seasons starts in November and end in mid April. But for the balloon ride there are some strict rules regarding the kids.
Pregnant women & children under the age of 8 years will not be allowed to fly. Do not make any booking for such passengers, as no refunds will be offered.
Children aged between 8 and 16 years need to be accompanied by a responsible adult and the children have to be over 137cm tall (4 feet 6 inches)
There are no baby sitter and the hotel and the start point and the landing place of the balloons over bagan varies.
TIP: Measure your kid before making the booking.
4# BUY BABY ESSENTIALS
Even if most of the items below can be found in Myanmar in the remote areas it will be difficult even to find tissues!
Don’t forget to pack:
Diaper rash cream
Small bottles of disinfecting hand gel, baby wash, and baby lotion
5# KEEP YOUR CHILDREN HYDRATED
Bottle water is safe to drink in Myanmar. But it’s a bit different from the water we are used to be drinking back home. Has no minerals – it’s osmoses water. Throw a process they eliminate all the minerals from the water (don’t ask me why – one of burmese mysteries). There are different mineral drinks as 100 plus but can contain sugar and some chemicals.
The best option is to by bottle water as Evian, Fuji Water or Bucovina Mineral Water which are available in the main supermarkets in Yangon. In Bagan or Inle Lake finding those brands can be tricky.
TIP: Try to buy quality & purified water.
6# PICK A GOOD HOTEL WITH SWIMMING POOL
When booking a hotel in Myanmar you have to take into consideration that the star clarification and hotel standards might not be same as in Thailand, Singapore or Spain for example. A 3* hotel in Myanmar will be the same with a 2* hotel. Even if the prices of the 4* hotels in Myanmar are above average for the South-East Asia it’s advisable to book a superior hotel. 4 or 5* hotels in Myanmar are the best option for family travellers.
Kids love water and what can be more fun after a long, hot day in Bagan or Inle Lake to have a swim and relax with a cocktail along the swimming pool while your children are having a blast time?
TIP: Select from a wide range of luxury hotels in Myanmar from Amazing, Aureum or Novotel chains.
*Image source @Bagan Lodge Myanmar.
#7 DON’T RELY ON A BABY COT
If your baby usually sleeps in a cot, don’t forget to ask for one when you make the booking.
But even you have booked one cot don’t really expect to have one or to be function. Few hotels have more than one cot and if any other guests with kids will be accommodated in the hotel you might end up with a baby how will be sleeping in our bed.
TIP: Book a room with an extra bed rather than asking for a baby cot.
#8 CHECK THE VACCINE LIST FOR MYANMAR
With not such a great health system in Myanmar better safe than sorry. When people where is the best hospital to go in Yangon the answer is only one: Bangkok. For serious problem this is the best solution of you have any medical problems while traveling to Myanmar. Try to have a good insurance as well for all t he members of your family.
As for the vaccines needed for Myanmar the list can be divided into two:
Advised Vaccines for Myanmar: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Poliomyelitis; Tetanus; Typhoid.
Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies
TIP: Check the vaccines card before going on the trip and go to your local doctor to get properly informed about the exact vaccines needed for you and your kids while traveling in Myanmar and South East Asia.
9# SLEEP PATTERNS
Traveling with your baby or young child can be challenging, especially when it comes to keeping his or her nap time and bedtime routines.
Your daily tours should start just in time after they had breakfast and it should end no later than the afternoon nap. Some sightseeings in Myanmar as the sunset at Ubein Bridge in Mandalay or the sunset or sunrise from Bagan implies changing your kids sleeping pattern while traveling. Going earlier to bed the night before the tour
Many babies will naturally fall into a predictable eating and sleeping schedule or adapt fairly easily. But not all the children are the same. And climate can influence a lot the sleep. Try to book a hotel which has AC.
TIP: Organise well your daily tours in Myanmar in order to have a happy chid and not to miss the most important sightseeings in Myanmar.
10# BOOK AHEAD
Hotel industry in Myanmar is changing a a higher pace. But during the touristic season which starts in November and ends in late May with the peak season during the New Year Eve and Christmas, good hotels are fully booked.
Last minute does not work very well in Myanmar; not because the concept is not working but due to the fact that demand is higher than the supply for luxury and good hotel establishments.
TIP: Book the hotels via a local travel agency in Myanmar at least 2 months in advance.
11# BE PREPARED FOR THE HOT & HUMID WEATHER
But in the same time, depending on the region you are traveling or for period of year don’t forget to take as well few warmer clothes as a small jacket or rainy one. Kachin and Putao destination in the Northern part of Myanmar has a colder climate with snow during the cold season.
Morning and evening are a bit colder on the Inle Lake. During the tours on Inle Lake a cap is a must to protect again the hot afternoon sun.
In Bagan, located in a semi-arid climate, sun cream with a higher UV protection is a must.
Stay out of the sun while it’s at its hottest and Schedule your tours early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Stay hydrated. Water is essential for keeping you cool during hot weather
12# DON’T USE & RELY ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Bangkok is great in terms of public transportation: from skytrain, MRT to subway and decent buses. We can easily move from one place to another.
Yangon is a totally different story. Train is very slowly and carts are very old – a new system, improved carts will be implemented soon but it might time take. Buses were very old, more then 50 years old and there were famous for they speed and not respecting the traffic rules at whole. A new bus system has been put in place in February and new buses were been bought. But the driver’s remain the same..
There are no latin numbers on the buses and it’s very difficult to know where it’s heading. Uber is not available yet in Myanmar but there are local apps like Oway Ride. Some problems can occurs while you we order the taxi: driver will not speak english and it will be difficult to talk to him regarding the address. Even if you put the correct destination address they will not know it.
TIP: Rent a Driver & Car to have a hassle free tour in Yangon or Mandalay.
13 #ALWAYS ASK FOR THE FOOD NOT TO CONTAIN – MSG – Ajinomoto
Ajinomoto or Monosodium Glutamate or Ajinomoto how is common know is a very popular and in the same time controversial ingredient in Myanmar and in South East Asia & China especially. It improves the taste of the food products making the food sweatier and more delicious.
Secondary effects can be headache, thirsty during the whole day and the desired to eat again quite fast after finishing eating.
Before ordering food all the time inform to the waiter not to pus MSG into the food; in Myanmar is used all most in all the restaurants especially on the street food and Chinese restaurants.
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