Mysterious Myanmar

Andrew Leeson


Myanmar SE Asia

Myanmar hasn’t been the easiest country to explore since independence in 1948, but an increasing number of flight connections, upgraded airports, easier online visa applications process, and a boost in new and renovated hotels is making this once troubled country into an intriguing and highly enjoyable travel destination.

Bordered by China, Bangladesh, India, Laos and Thailand, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a country of 51 million people. One third of its perimeter is coastline, which hugs the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea for 1,930 kms. As recently as 2010 international visitor numbers were only 300,000 but by 2016 this had increased to over 3 million. The Myanmar Tourism Master Plan is for 7.5 million visitors by 2020, so to avoid the impending crowds a trip sooner than later may well be a very good idea. 

What is there to see?

First and foremost Myanmar is country upon which tourism has only just begun to place its often overwhelming hands. This gives it an untouched, almost raw beauty. Aside from the two largest cities of Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay, the country has rich cultural sites such as Mon State, Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An, together with the glorious ancient cities of Bagan and Mrauk-U. Adventurous travellers can explore the nature trails around Inle Lake or Kentung, or discover the beautiful unspoiled beaches Nabule, Ngapali and Mergui (with its 800 islands and World Class diving).



Getting there

The simplest way for visitors to get to Myanmar is by flying. Access over land is almost non-existent. For most Australians flights will be through either Bangkok (which has the most connections), Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or perhaps Ho Chi Minh City. Arrivals will be through Yangon Airport (RGN) and Australians require a Visa (obtained online or upon arrival).

Note: Myanmar has no retirement visa at this time.

General Information

  1. Bring US$ with you (and make sure they’re not torn or folded).
  2. The country uses British adaptors for electrical appliances.
  3. The internet is slow and unreliable, and blackouts are not uncommon.
  4. Kissing in public is frowned upon, and as with many parts of South East Asia, shoulders and knees must be covered up when visiting religious sites (such as the Pagodas)
  5. Awakening

Political change has brought a new wave of optimism to Myanmar, and Tourism is booming. This diverse and culturally rich country is awakening after decades of isolation, and whilst it wouldn’t be considered a retirement destination at present, it is another example of the wonderful places that are on your doorstep as a long stay visitor or retiree to Asia. 

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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