International Conference on

Ecotourism in Protected Areas

Strengthening Livelihoods, Conservation, and Adaptation

19-21 May 2015
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Travel Information for Participants

Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital of the Union of Myanmar. It has been the capital of Myanmar since 2005. The city covers an area of 7,054.37 km2 (2,723.71 sq mi) and has a population of 924,608. Centrally and strategically located, it is 391 km from Yangon and 302 km from Mandalay. 

Nay Pyi Taw has hosted a number of large scale events, including the 27th SEA Games and the ASEAN Tourism Forum. Nay Pyi Taw has round-the-clock electricity and most hotels have good Internet connectivity. 

Visa information

Visa is required for entry into Myanmar. Visa application can be submitted at Myanmar Embassy nearest to your location.

You also can visit http://myanmar-visa.org/ to apply visa online as well as applying from your country. 

1) Tourist visa

A valid Passport with Entry Visa is required of all visitors. A Tourist Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extendible for an additional 14 days.

Overland entry is permitted for Thai tourists with border pass and for third party tourists with visa at Tachileik, Three Pagoda Pass, Myawaddy and Kawthaung check points along Myanmar-Thai Border; and for Chinese tourists with border pass and for third party tourists with visa at Lweje, Nam Kham, Muse , Kyukoke, Kwanlong, Mont Lar along Myanmar-China Border.

2) Business Visa

A valid passport with Entry visa is required for all businessmen, applicable at Myanmar Embassies and Consulate General Offices abroad. A Business Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extendible up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis. Visa on Arrival is granted on prior arrangement with the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

3) Visa On Arrival         

Service suspended unless prior permission is obtained from the government that allow Visa to be apply over the Visa On Arrival Counter.

Currency

Myanmar Kyat (pronounced as ‘chat’), (MMK for short) is the official and legal currency in circulation. 1 USD is around 1000 MMK. The exchange rate can vary at places and times. At the airport, you can exchange US dollars into Kyat right after you claim your luggage but before you go through the final custom clearance. Master card, Maestro Card and Cirrus Card can withdraw Myanmar Kyats at CB bank ATM machine. You can withdraw 300,000 Kyats, three times per day. That means, you can withdraw 900,000 Kyats per day. Transaction charges will be about 6 USD per transaction. CB bank ATM machines are available in Yangon includes International airport, Mandalay, Taungoo and Pyinmanar (Naypyidaw). Basically it is advised to carry USD for your personal expenses and not to use any cards.

Weather

April is the hottest month in Nay Pyi Taw with its average high temperatures at 31.2 C. The coldest month is January with average highs at 22.3 C.

In May, the climate will be hot and humid. The highest temperatures rise to 35.6 °C here and fall to 24.8 °C with an average 158 mm of rainfall over a period of 13 days.

How to get there?

Air

Yangon is the main gateway of Myanmar and is directly accessible from main regional cities in Asia, notably Bangkok, Beijing, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, and Singapore. However, Nay Pyi Taw is accessible by only a few direct international flights, including Bangkok, Kunming and Kuala Lumpur. 

Nay Pyi Taw is 35 minutes away by flight from Yangon. All domestic carriers (Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, Myanma Airways, Fmi air and Yangon Airways) operate daily flights from Nay Pyi Taw to the commercial capital, Yangon, the cultural capital Mandalay and to tourist destinations such as Bagan, Heho, Sittwe, Myitkyina, Kyaing Tong and others.  

Nay Pyi Taw Airport also known as Ayelar Airport is 16 km (10 mi) southeast of the city, between the towns of Ela and Lewe. It is about 30 minutes from Nay Pyi Taw main hotel areas. Since April 2009, the airport is undergoing major expansion to handle up to 3.5 million passengers per year.

Public transportation

 Public transport services are limited between neighbourhood cities. The four-lane, 323.2 km (200.8 mi) Yangon-Naypyidaw highway links with Yangon directly and is part of the 563 km (350 mi)-long overall Yangon-Naypyidaw-Mandalay Expressway. There is a 20-lane boulevard; like most roads in the city, it is multilevel, flower-covered traffic circles.  Government ministries run shuttle buses in the morning and evening to their respective buildings. The city has a central bus station and one taxi company, which is operated by the military.

Railways

Although Myanmar's British-built railways are less developed than others in Southeast Asia, you will find the trains are a wonderful way to get around and experience the country at ground level, avoiding unnecessary domestic flights and cramped buses. The Yangon to Mandalay express train  (Yangon - Bago - Naypyitaw - Thazi – Mandalay) are a pretty comfortable and in fact relatively fast and punctual option for travel between these cities. It can be pretty bumpy in places, but much more comfortable than overcrowded buses and infinitely more of a genuine Burmese experience than any flight.  In fact, the train ride is a highly recommended experience, over the old British-built colonial railway. The train runs daily. Yangoon to Nay Pyi Taw is 372 km (233 miles).  

Different class services available S = upper class sleeping-car, U = upper class seats , 1 = first class seats , O = ordinary class seats , R = restaurant. 

Upper class bookings open 3 days in advance.  Ordinary class bookings open just one day in advance.  You can't buy tickets before bookings open.  At some smaller stations you may be told to come back and buy a ticket just before departure. Buy train ticket in person at the train station is easy. The booking system is still not computerized and is based on hand written record list, so booking can only be made at the station where you start your journey. However, it is recommended to buy train ticket a day earlier to your travel. But it is also not difficult for foreigners to book tickets of choices on the day of departure. Sleepers are in short supply on the main Yangon to Mandalay route as there is only one sleeping-car per train, so book a day or two ahead if you can.  You would need your passport in hand before you buy train ticket. The payment is normally done cash in Kyats.