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Essential Myanmar Packing List

Wondering about what to pack for your trip to Myanmar?

It is the fact that you cannot bring your apartment inside your baggage. Think twice and just bring something really necessary.

There are many things you can buy here at a much cheaper price than what you pay for it at your home country.

In the other hand, you must prepare something that you cannot or hardly find in Myanmar such as your prescribed medicine or some special gears for your motorbiking trip. 

You will find below all the information you need to prepare for your Myanmar packing list

Preparing for your Myanmar trip

Preparing for what to pack should be done 1 month before you go. This will depend on the climate during your travel period, the activities that you will join, or the countries that you will visit. 

Moreover, your Myanmar packing list also depends on your gender, your private hobbies or your travel purpose. 

Answering the below questions will help you have more idea of what to pack for your Myanmar trip.

What time of year do you plan to visit Myanmar?

In general, Myanmar is a tropical country in Southeast Asia, whose climate is affected by the annual patterns of the monsoon. Temperatures and rainfall levels depend on the season, and also differ between highland and lowland locations. On average, the northern, mountainous region is the coolest, while the delta and coastal regions are the wettest.

Despite being off the radar for most tourists, Myanmar has a fairly steady climate. As in many other equatorial Asian countries, Myanmar has two broad seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. (The dry season can then be further divided into the cool and hot seasons for a total of three distinct seasons.)

With pleasant temperatures, less rainfall, and several festivals, the dry season is a great time to visit anywhere in Myanmar. Bagan, Mandalay, and other central plains regions will rarely see rain. If you plan to visit multiple regions, the consistency of the dry season will make travel easier.

Note: You can check more detail about Myanmar weather and best time to visit here

Which parts of Myanmar are you going to explore?

Of course, you need different gears for the different parts of Myanmar.

There is not much to prepare if you only visit the big city such as Yangon, Mandalay, or Bagan, whose main tourist spots are temples, historic museum, or nearby ethic groups.

The northern part of the country consists of mountain ranges to the north, east, and west, if you plan to trek in the area, then the trekking shoes and/or trekking stick is needed.

More swim wears should be prepared in case you plan to spend some days relaxing at the beach in the western coast and south-west (Mergui Archipelago) of the country.

Check out all the Places to visit in Myanmar  here

What activities are you going to join in Myanmar?

Anything adventurous such as motorbiking, hiking, water activities? Visiting temples and museums?

If you are planning to hike, get the best hiking shoes you have. If you are going to spend some day relaxing at the beach, it's better to have some more bikinis to join the water activities. And if you are going to visit temples, make sure to pack appropriate clothing for places like that.

Check out all the things to do in Myanmar here

How long are you planning to travel in Myanmar?

Depending on how long you are planning to travel can definitely affect your packing list. If you will be caught in the middle of the season change, there is a reason to pack some sweaters, rain jackets, and waterproof shoes. You will also have to get a waterproof cover for your backpack.

Which other countries are you going to after Myanmar?

It's simple, if you are heading somewhere else after Myanmar, you need to check its climate and weather as well, and of course, prepare extra packing list for those countries.

Normally, you can add some Myanmar’s neighbor countries to your plan such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Check out the packing list for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Myanmar packing list

To make it easier, we will divide your packing list into 6 categories below:

  • Essential documents including passports, blood type card, or useful address. 
  • Clothing: specific for women and men
  • Toiletries: remember to pack just something you cannot buy. Most of the toiletries you can find in Myanmar at a cheaper price
  • Travel health & helpful hints: All the essential prescribed medicines that you barely find in Myanmar
  • Electronics & gadget to pack: Suitable electronic equipment to enjoy during the trip
  • Miscellaneous for Myanmar: All other necessary items not listed above

Below is the detailed items list of each category.

Documents to bring

  • Passport - must be valid for the next 6 months when you arrive or enter in Myanmar. And it must have at least 6-month validity on the date of arrival
  • Visa - check if you need a visa or if your free visa days are not enough - here is how you can apply for a Myanmar visa, if you need one or not and how to extend your visa if you need to
  • Return ticket - when you land or enter Myanmar, it's not common for the immigration officer to ask for your exit ticket, however, if they do, you should have one ready. You can also tell them that you are crossing the border to Thailand or India, which is acceptable.
  • Accommodation confirmation - it is proven that depending on your length of stay or nationality or immigration officer, a confirmed hotel or accommodation booking will be asked, book at least the first three nights, save the email confirmation (screen shot on your phone)
  • Travel insurance - the immigration will not be asking this; however, your trip can be unpredictable, it's always better to be ready and have a peace in tour mind than taking a risk especially if you are planning to go motorbiking or do adventurous trips. Here is Myanmar travel insurance that you need.
  • Photocopy - get a photocopy of your passport and visa page. This can be helpful in case you lost your passport.
  • Blood type card – have a copy with you either in hard copy or a screen shot in your mobile phone. 

Clothing

The clothing is different for men and women. There should be some extra packing if you are going to join a motorbiking trip. In case you have kids, you need extra clothing for them as somethings cannot be found here.

Clothing for women

  • 1 cotton shirt - preferably in coloured to wash easier
  • 2 dresses - 1 maxi, going/short dress
  • 3 pair of shorts - 2 sports types, one board/denim type
  • 1 pair of leggings - I won't use it as it is but perfect to use underneath a skirt 
  • 1 long sleeve - will be useful for places where you need to cover up (doesn't have to be thick)
  • 4 pair of socks - especially if you are planning to hike a lot (thick one if you are going during winter on the north)
  • 2 pairs of sports bras, 2 pairs of regular bras
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes - if you have North American or European size, those sizes cannot be found here
  • 2 pairs of bikinis
  • 1 lightweight big scarf/sarong - use it with leggings when visiting sacred places or blanket at airports or bus journey
  • 1 walking shoes/hiking shoes
  • 1 pair of flip-flops - don't bring expensive ones, you might lose them anyway
  • 1 pair of cute sandals
  • 1 rain jacket - lightweight
  • 1 quick dry towel
  • 1 security/waist belt

Clothing for Men

  • 3 shorts - 1 travel short, preferably with lots of pockets, 2 day/board shorts
  • 5 T-shirts - 3 cotton, 1 athletic shirt
  • 1 tank top - unless you prefer tank top over T-shirts
  • 1 long trouser
  • 1 long sleeve thin shirt
  • 4 pair of socks - at least one pair for hiking and winter
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 1 lightweight scarf/sarong - can be useful for sacred places and as a blanket
  • 1 quick dry towel
  • 1 pair of flip-flops - don't bring an expensive one, you might lose it anyway
  • 1 hiking/walking shoes/boots
  • 1 closed pair of shoes
  • 1 security/waist belt
  • 1 pair of swim shorts - fast dry and lightweight

Extra for motorbiking in Myanmar – both women and men

If you are planning to drive or ride a motorbike, you might want to add these on your packing list:

  • 1 long trouser - to cover and protect your skin under the very hot sun and possible crash
  • 1 polarised sunglasses
  • 1 face mask - to cover your nose and mouth with dirt and smoke
  • 1 headwear
  • Translation app or Burmese dictionary
  • An offline or online map on your smart phone

Extra for travelling with kids

Travelling with kids will be fun but can also be a nightmare especially if you fail to pack the must bring items and accessories. Here are some:

  • Medicine - they can be found here; however, it will be consuming and the risk of getting not the right dosage or exact equivalent of the medicine you need is too much to risk
  • Cotton clothing - cotton shirts can be expensive in Myanmar while the sizes can be an issue too
  • Entertainment items - such as coloring books, toys, shows to watch
  • Wet wipes and toilet paper - they are pretty easy to find
  • Bag for rubbish - always whenever, wherever
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Swim wear
  • Sunblock for kids - get a reef-friendly sunblock
  • Floaters and goggles
  • Hat/sun hat
  • Underwear
  • De-tangling hair spray, hair comb, and hair ties
  • Water bottle
  • Their own suitcase - if your kids are big enough, you should let them have their own suitcase

You should remember that sizes can be an issue in Myanmar.

Accessories

Packing accessories

To help you pack wisely and smartly, here are some packing accessories that can be useful:

  • Packing cubes - it will help you pack faster and access whatever you need in bag easier
  • Ziplocs - it is very useful for keeping your gadgets and documents dry especially during rainy season and if you are going motorbiking
  • Laundry bag - the best ones are the plastic with Ziploc on to contain the dirt and smell

Accessories for motorbiking

If you are going motorbiking in Myanmar, make sure you have these with you as well:

  • Rain cover for your backpack
  • Rain cover for your motorbiking
  • Overall onesie rain suit/rain jacket
  • Rain boots
  • Phone holder - so you can look at the map easier and faster, they can be bought in Myanmar but best to get from your home country in case you are using a new model
  • Dry bag - place items that you will need often so you can reach them easily

Accessories for safety

Trouble and bad people are everywhere, however, if you come prepared, you can avoid or lessen the chances that these issues might happen if you pack some of these things:

  • Padlocks - get a good one that is not too heavy to carry
  • RFID wallet - for passport and bank cards
  • Money bag/waist bag - bring one that is thin enough to place on your waist and hide under your shirt
  • Filtration water bottle - to avoid buying bottled water all the time and to make sure that you only drink clean water
  • Head torch/torch
  • Whistle
  • Copy of your prescriptions - must be translated in English

Toiletries

Toiletries for women

These items are mostly cannot be found in Myanmar; therefore, you must bring them with you from your home country:

  • Menstrual cup/tampon - tampons with applicators are almost impossible to find
  • Toothbrush heads - if you use an electric toothbrush
  • Makeup - some international makeup brands are not available here
  • Shampoo, hair conditioner, body gel - you don't need to pack big sizes/bottles, they can be bought here easily and cheaply.
  • Toothpaste: as long as you need something special, you can find the most popular products from Unilever or P&G in Myanmar
  • Deodorant: you can also find the popular brands in Myanmar
  • Sunblock and moisturizer/lotion - most moisturizer or lotion here have whitening
  • First aid kit - plasters, gauze pads, painkillers, menstrual cramp pills, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic cream
  • Perfume
  • Hair products - for curly hair
  • Tissue/wet wipes - pocket size, they are easy to buy here

Toiletries for men

A few basic toilet items that you cannot get in Myanmar:

  • Shower gel and shampoo - easy to buy in Myanmar
  • Shaving cream - not impossible but not cheap
  • Deodorant – easily to find popular brands in Myanmar
  • Electric shaver – better to bring your own than buy the new one
  • Toothbrush heads - if you use an electric toothbrush
  • Perfume
  • Sunblock and moisturizer - most moisturizer or lotion here have whitening
  • First aid kit - plasters, gauze pads, painkillers, menstrual cramp pills, rubbing alcohol, antiseptic cream
  • Tissue/wet wipes - pocket size, they are easy to buy here

Travel health & helpful hints

Packing a basic health kit is a good idea no matter where you are going, and truly imperative if you have any sort of health conditions or take regular medications.

  • Personal medical essentials plus Epi Pen if necessary
  • Copies of all your prescriptions/immunizations and your doctor’s phone number
  • First aid kit: Imodium, ibuprofen, paracetamol, tums/antacid tablets, Benadryl
  • Allergy meds, asthma inhalers, & eye drops
  • An adequate supply of prescription medications (knowing the generic name comes in handy)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Anti-diarrheal tablets
  • Antibiotic cream/ointment
  • Anti-malarial if necessary (check with your doctor and the CDC/WHO before going)
  • Anti-itch cream for bug bites
  • Tiger balm (for headaches/muscle soreness/sinus issues)
  • Band-Aids/bandages
  • Mints or ginger to aid digestion and upset stomach
  • Essential oils/travel diffuser for wellness regimen

Check the full list of Healthy Packing List from CDC HERE

Electronics & Gadgets to pack

Here are a few electronics and gadgets that you must pack both to keep you entertain and to help you with planning, during travelling, and to keep in touch with your family and friends back home.

Standard gadgets to pack

  • Smartphone - will help you in many ways; digital maps, mobile banking, contacting your hotel/hostel, contacting your family, to download your bus, train, and plane tickets
  • Camera - your smartphone can be good enough, while other travelers bring digital cameras or action camera
  • Phone chargers - pack at least two sets of phone chargers
  • Headphone splitter
  • External hard drive - at least 265 GB to save those photos
  • Power bank - 2 pieces would be better
  • 2 SD cards - for your camera
  • Universal converter

For entertainment

  • Kindle/ebook reader - to kill time on those long bus journeys or flight connections
  • iPod/music player - again, the bus journey can be really long
  • Laptop - unless you will use it for something else like work or you will be travelling for a really long time, perhaps it will not be smart to bring a laptop
  • Chargers - for every gadget that you will be bringing
  • Headphones/earphones - never ever leave without these

Miscellaneous

  • Eye mask & neck pillow
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel journal
  • Waterproof watch
  • Mosquito repellent - easy to buy here
  • Chapstick, nail cutter & nail file
  • Toric contact lenses

What NOT to pack for Myanmar

1. DON’T BRING a bath towel.

Bath towels are notoriously bulky and take forever to dry in a tropical climate. A towel is one of the essentials to take to Myanmar, but pack a quick-dry one instead, which is much lighter and more convenient.

2. DON’T PACK heavy books.

Even just a couple books will really weigh down your bag. If you want to do some reading during your trip, take a Kindle instead, which stores as many books as you want and takes up very little space. Many guesthouses and hostels in Myanmar also have book exchanges, where you can pick up a book for free and then return it or drop it off at another one.

3. DON’T TAKE lots of cash.

Except in very rural areas, ATMs are located throughout Myanmar, so you shouldn’t have any trouble accessing cash once you arrive. There’s no reason to take a bunch of money with you and risk having it stolen.

4. DON’T PACK a mosquito net.

Mosquito nets sometimes appear on packing lists for tropical countries, but it’s really not worth bringing one. At hotels where a net is necessary, one will normally be provided – and even if it isn’t, there’s usually not a way to hang up your own.

5. DON’T BRING a sleeping bag.

There’s no reason to bring a sleeping bag unless you’re planning a camping trip and know you’ll need your own gear. A travel sheet should be sufficient for anything else.

6. DON’T TAKE expensive jewelry.

Flashy jewelry is best avoided since it can make you a target, and if you have anything valuable or sentimental, there’s no reason to risk it being lost or stolen.

7. DON’T BRING unnecessary electronics.

You’ll probably want to bring some electronic devices with you, but leave whatever you won’t need at home. Unless you’re really going to use it during your trip, don’t run the risk of it getting lost or stolen on the road.

8. DON’T TAKE lots of warm clothes.

The climate is hot and humid, so the best clothes for Myanmar are lightweight. A rain jacket is a good idea, and a light fleece or sweater can be useful on buses that crank up the A/C, but you really don’t need anything warmer than that.

Packing tips & tricks

If you are having a hard time to decide what to bring, check out these packing tips:

  1. Pack only what you need - sounds easy but I understand it's not, with this, you should remember to forget about the phrase "in case I need this"
  2. Pack the ones you really need and cannot buy in Myanmar - like lotion without whitening or tampons or clothes of your size
  3. Do a trial packing - if you can't fit everything in your bag or suitcase or you barely can close it, remove 1/4 of it (decide which one is your least favorite) and pack again
  4. The ideal weight - how long will you be travelling for, what season? for one month of hot seasons, you won't need more than 15 kgs
  5. The heavy and big ones - unless you are on a bigger size, you should a buy winter jacket and other heavy accessories such as shampoo or shower gel in Myanmar, much better is pack a soap instead

And below are some recommended packing tricks

  1. Pack all of your chargers and cables in a separate packing cube
  2. Keep some Ziploc bags handy for any emergency
  3. Travel size containers for jewelry, toiletries and personal items are always helpful
  4. Official currency is the Myanmar Kyat but keep a stash of US Dollars or Euros 
  5. Always keep medications and tech gear in your carry-on luggage/personal item
  6. Pack duct tape, it saves the day every time!
  7. Clip a few carabiners – they always come in handy
  8. Keep a few clothes pegs with you – good for laundry and closing snack bags

Frequently asked questions

Q. What kind of luggage or suitcase that I need?

If you’re travelling around, nothing beats a backpack for sheer portability, especially as not everywhere in Myanmar has pristine pavements that will make maneuvering a wheelie suitcase easy.

Invest in a well-made backpack – if you need to economize, this is not the item on which to do it. Osprey is a solid choice in a variety of sizes. Remember to get a daypack too.

Use travel cubes to organize items in your backpack so you don’t have to empty the whole pack to get to what you want.

Luggage locks are useful for peace of mind while your bags are away from you in transit. Get TSA approved locks if you’re going in and out of the USA.

Q. How many kilos can I have with the checked baggage and hand luggage?

Most of the regional carriers only accept maximum 20 kilos of checked baggage and 7 kilos of hand luggage.

Q. When is the cheapest time to fly to Myanmar?

Logically, the cheapest time to fly to Myanmar is during the off-season from April until October. As there are not many tourists visiting the country, the airlines and hotels seem to offer promotion to attract more tourist and try to fill-up the plane. If you are ok with the heat and some sudden rain, this is the time for you.

According to cheapflights.com.au, the cheapest flights to Myanmar are usually found when departing on a Monday. The departure day with the highest cost is usually on a Friday.

Moreover, Myanmar flights can be made cheaper if you choose a flight at noon. Booking a flight in the morning will likely mean higher prices.

Simply follow this, sometimes you can have the promotion of 40-50% discount.

Check our full guidelines to find the cheapest ticket to Myanmar

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Myanmar, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Myanmar
Yangon
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Bagan
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Mandalay
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Inle Lake
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Mergui Archipelago
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Ngapali Beach
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Myanmar PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Must-see
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Cycling
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Myanmar PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Myanmar BLOG ARTICLES

Thanaka or  thanakha is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

Within this article, we will learn everything about Thanaka and the benefits of its powder in making a secret beauty ingredient of Burmese women.

...more

Burmese Longyi, along with the country’s longtime history, art, and heritage sites has contributed to the richness of the local culture that will grasp your attention whenever you find yourself in strolling around the streets of Myanmar. With just a piece of fabric grasping on the lower part of the body through time, the longyi has made it become an incredible pattern of Myanmar traditional costume for both men and women. In this article, we are going to find out the secret of Myanmar quintessence through Longyi, about why it has been worn for centuries by the Burmese people.

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Kachin Manaw Festival is an annual traditional dance festival celebrated by Kachin people. Mostly held at Myitkyina, Kachin State also known as Manaw Land in Myanmar and also celebrated by Kachin people around the world. Manaw is the largest festival in Myitkyina, held at the beginning of January. Manaw Festival is the most significant event for Kachin People. Tribes of Kachin gather together in Manaw ground and dance around the erected Manaw poles. The Manau dance is performed at Manau festivals, which originated as part of the ‘Nat’ or spirit worship of the past.

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If your idea of fun involves a blurry riot of colour and explosions, look no further than the Taunngyi Fire Balloon Festival, which takes place in the culturally diverse capital of Shan State over several days every November. This celebration is held around the Full Moon of Tazaungmon, a Myanmar national holiday that marks the end of rainy season and is also known as the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights.

Traditionally, it is a festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda by sending up decorated hot air balloons, and lately it also became as a Hot Air Balloon Competition Festival and the festival is divided into two parts; daytime competition and nighttime competition. In the daytime, hot air balloons are sent up with the shapes of various animals and mythical creatures, and hot air balloons with firework & fire-cracker (known as Nya Mee Gyi) and lot of lanterns are hanging in the hot air balloons (known as Seinnaban) are sent up in the nighttime.

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All year round, visitors to Myanmar can experience the country’s warm and rich culture. However, one particularly special and unique time to visit is during the Naga New Year Festival, which will be held in Lahe around mid-January every year.

This special time allows visitors the chance to experience the traditions and customs of Myanmar’s Naga people. For the Naga, Lahe (New Year) is a significant time when people share their wishes and hopes for the future, and families are reunited.

It is a time of great celebration; where lively dances are performed in traditional dress, to the beat and sounds of traditional instruments.

Few tourists are lucky enough to share in the joy and festivities of the Naga New Year, but those who do are richly rewarded with an incredible cultural experience.

Overall, for those who seek genuine cultural exchange and the opportunity to take some truly stunning photographs, the Naga New Year is an amazing and unique festival to attend.

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The full moon of the Thadingyut month is when Buddhists believe the Buddha descended back to earth after three months of preaching in the spiritual realm above. While the rest of Myanmar celebrates it by lighting the Buddha's way home, the town of Kyaukse near Mandalay commemorates it a little differently: with a Elephant Dance Festival, populated not by real elephants, but by pairs of dancers in gigantic elephant costumes.

Hmm... What is it? What makes it so special? and how to join the festival? You will have all the answers below.

...more
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