Myanmar travel advice

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Myanmar - AVOID ALL TRAVEL

Avoid all travel to Myanmar due to the risk of politically motivated violence and civil unrest. If you are in Myanmar, you are at risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws, which could lead to arrest and detention. You should leave now if you can do so safely.

Safety and security situation

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Safety and security

Political situation

On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military detained officials from the elected government and declared a state of emergency, effectively seizing control of the country's governance. Martial law has been imposed in several townships. Curfews are in effect at specific locations and gatherings are banned.

Demonstrations take place regularly across the country, particularly in Yangon and Mandalay. Security forces have been using excessive and lethal force against protesters in several locations. This has resulted in multiple casualties.

Civil unrest and acts of politically motivated violence may occur anywhere and at any time, particularly leading up to and during days or events of national significance. Improvised explosive devices have been used throughout the country, including in major cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw. Further attacks targeting public venues frequented by foreigners, such as shopping malls, markets, hotels, bars and restaurants are possible.

The political situation remains unpredictable and could deteriorate further.

If you're in Myanmar:

  • maintain a high level of vigilance at all times
  • avoid unnecessary movement, especially on occasions of national significance
  • regularly review your security practices
  • follow political and social developments carefully
  • monitor media to stay informed on the evolving situation
  • plan to have adequate water and food supplies for at least 4 days
  • charge your mobile phone in case of internet, communication and power outages
  • avoid all demonstrations and gatherings
  • expect roadblocks, searches and a heavy military presence

Arbitrary enforcement of local laws

Myanmar's military regime arbitrarily enforces local laws, and may carry out random and arbitrary detentions without due process. If you are in Myanmar, you are at risk of arbitrary detention.

If you travel to or remain in Myanmar despite these risks:

  • stay indoors
  • maintain a low profile when going outside
  • avoid concentrations of police and security forces
  • comply with the regulations and guidelines from local authorities

Border areas with Thailand, China, Laos, Bangladesh and India

The security situation along the border varies and can change quickly.

Clashes between the military and armed groups are ongoing in several border regions. This has caused the displacements of hundreds of thousands of civilians to neighbouring countries.

Landmines are also a danger, particularly in border areas. Unmarked landmines can be found in many border regions and pose a significant risk to your safety.

If you travel to border areas despite this advisory:

  • exercise extreme caution
  • avoid concentrations of police and security forces as well as large gatherings
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Armed clashes

Since October 27, 2023, there has been an escalation of conflict in several parts of Myanmar. Multiple armed resistance groups have attacked regime security forces in Mandalay and Sagaing regions, and the following states:

  • Chin
  • Kachin
  • Kayah (formerly Karenni)
  • Mon
  • Rakhine
  • Shan

There has also been an increase in the number of attacks and regime airstrikes resulting in civilian casualties. The armed conflict is expected to continue and could expand to other states and regions and escalate. The security situation is highly volatile and additional violent attacks could occur at any time across the country.

Violent clashes between regime security forces and armed groups have resulted in:

  • significant internal displacement
  • disrupted access to supplies, cash and goods
  • border crossing closures
  • casualties

If you are in Myanmar:

  • exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings
  • expect heightened presence of security forces
  • expect increased travel disruptions and roadblocks
  • use your judgement to decide the best time and the safest means of exit if you need to move to a safer location
  • monitor international media to stay informed about the latest developments and decrees

Disruptions to supply chains and the closing of border crossings in Myanmar may result in shortages of necessities.

  • Keep a supply of water, food, medicine and cash on hand.

Chin (Paletwa Township), Kachin, Rakhine, and northern Shan States

Fighting between Myanmar regime military forces and non-state armed resistance groups is occurring in these areas and has resulted in a significant number of deaths, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians as well as disruptions to road and rail connections.

In August 2017, there were coordinated attacks on police and security forces in northern Rakhine state. Since December 2018, serious armed clashes between ethnic armed groups and the military have been occurring in parts of northern and central Rakhine State, including in the tourist destination of Mrauk U. Detonations of improvised explosive devices have taken place in Sittwe Township and on the road between Sittwe and Mrauk U.

Violence in the area is ongoing and the situation is volatile. The security situation can deteriorate suddenly and unexpectedly. Be vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Travel restrictions

Travel to parts of the country, including to and from land border crossings, are strictly controlled by the Government of Myanmar. As such, there are some parts of the country where Canadian Embassy officials are not allowed to travel freely without permission from the Myanmar government. The Canadian Embassy's ability to deliver consular assistance, including in an emergency, may be limited or delayed in these areas.

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism maintains lists of permitted and restricted areas. Consult these lists prior to travelling to Myanmar, especially if you plan on travelling outside of popular tourist destinations.

Inter-communal violence

Inter-communal violence occurs. More than 200 people have been killed in religious violence since June 2012, and more than 140,000 have been displaced (mostly in Rakhine State). Attacks against religious buildings, shops, and homes have taken place in several areas, including the regions of Bago and Mandalay, resulting in injuries, deaths and displaced persons. Tensions remain high, and further violence is possible. Curfews and restrictions may be imposed or changed on short notice.

Incidents of violence, which resulted in injuries and damage to property, occurred in Mandalay in early July 2014. In late March 2014, violent protests targeting the staff and offices of international organizations took place in Sittwe, Rakhine State.

Security forces

The presence of police and security forces is likely to increase in Yangon and elsewhere in Myanmar on significant dates, including the anniversary of demonstrations led by monks to protest for political reform (September 26) and the anniversary of the 1988 uprising (August 8).

Crime

Violent crime

There have also been incidents of violent crime against foreigners including muggings.

Exercise a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occur. Scams involving gems and jewellery occur. Merchants sell lower-quality items at inflated prices with promises that the items can be resold later at a profit. The guarantees that merchants offer are not always honoured. The Government of Canada cannot assist in obtaining refunds for purchases made.

  • Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times
  • Carefully consider all purchases if you are not knowledgeable about gems and jewellery

Demonstrations

Demonstrations can occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings
  • Follow the advice of local authorities
  • Monitor local media

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Swimming

Exercise caution at beach resorts in Ngwesaung, Chaungtha and Ngapali as there are strong underwater currents and riptides. There are no lifeguards and drownings have occurred.

Scuba diving

Exercise caution when considering diving excursions in Myanmar. Rented diving equipment may not meet internationally acceptable safety standards and may not be maintained adequately.

Water safety abroad

Trekking

Tourists trekking in remote parts of the country have experienced difficulties with military authorities, even after obtaining prior permission.

Tourist facilities

Tourist facilities are adequate in Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Ngapali Beach, Yangon and Taunggyi, but limited elsewhere. Good hotel facilities exist in Nay Pyi Taw, but transportation is limited. Foreign tourists rarely visit Nay Pyi Taw and may be viewed with suspicion. Foreigners can expect to pay several times more than locals for accommodations, domestic flights and entry to tourist sites throughout the country.

Communications

Telephone services are unreliable in Yangon and are difficult to find in other areas. Long-distance calls can be extremely expensive. There are Internet cafés in Yangon; identification is required, access to certain websites is restricted and records of which websites users have visited are kept. While some websites were unblocked in 2011, many remain inaccessible. Electronic communications, including email, may be monitored by local authorities.

Public transportation

Public transportation within Myanmar, including air, rail and sea travel, often does not meet international safety standards. Railway equipment tends to be outdated, and fatal accidents have occurred. Boat and ferry accidents causing deaths are common. Vessels may be in poor condition and overloading is a common problem.

Road safety

Travel is restricted outside major cities to designated tourist areas only. Permission from local authorities is required to visit certain areas. Military checkpoints on roads are common.

The general condition of automobiles does not meet minimal international standards. There is a combination of both left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles in use throughout the country. Driving can be hazardous, especially after dark. Some roads can become impassable, particularly during the rainy season. Drivers have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe-driving practices. It is common for pedestrians and livestock to walk on roads. A driver involved in any accident with a pedestrian is always at fault and is liable to be detained.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Myanmar authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Myanmar.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required 
Business visa: required

A visa is required for tourism and business purposes and is valid for 28 days. It should be obtained prior to travel at a Myanmar diplomatic mission. An eVisa option and multiple-entry business visas are available.

The Myanmar government has created a visa-on-arrival program to allow select business travellers, including Canadians, to obtain a business visa upon arrival at the Yangon International Airport. Travellers are encouraged not to rely on this option, however, as the program’s requirements and eligibility criteria remain unclear. It is strongly recommended that all travellers, including business travellers, carefully verify visa requirements and options with the nearest Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar before travelling.

Foreign journalists have had difficulty obtaining visas, and some have been denied entry upon arrival despite having received a visa. In the past, journalists, and tourists mistaken for journalists, have been denied entry when travelling on tourist visas, have been harassed and have had film and notes confiscated upon leaving the country.

Travel to parts of Myanmar is strictly controlled by government authorities. Foreigners have been deported and detained for visa offences.

eVisa - Myanmar's Ministry of Immigration and population

Port of entry

You should use the same port of entry (e.g. Yangon International Airport) to enter and exit Myanmar to avoid problems with immigration services.

Border crossings

There are few land border crossing points, and permission to cross these borders may be required in advance, through a process separate from the required visa application. Some government-authorized tour companies may be able to secure the appropriate permission from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

Border crossings may close with little or no notice, and entry may be restricted to the nationals of the bordering states and/or to the immediate area or border town. Although travel to or from Myanmar via a land route is possible, Global Affairs Canada advises against travel to the border areas with China, Laos and Thailand. 

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)
Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
 
There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 
• Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin. 
• Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
• Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area. 
• Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 
 
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Lymphatic filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Avian Influenza

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Limited medical facilities are available in Yangon but may not meet Canadian standards and are very limited elsewhere in the country. Foreign prescription drugs are often counterfeit and are unsafe to use. There are no emergency neonatal services in Myanmar.

Medical evacuation is necessary for cases of serious illness or accident. Ensure that your travel health insurance covers medical evacuations. Doctors and hospitals may demand immediate cash payment for health services and medical evacuation. Make sure you have adequate/accessible cash to cover the cost of emergency needs.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

The Canadian embassy does not normally receive timely notification of the detention, arrest or deportation of Canadian citizens in Myanmar. If you are arrested or jailed you should request immediate contact with the Embassy of Canada to Myanmar. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

A foreigner who has broken the law is subject to deportation upon payment of fine or completion of prison sentence.

Blasphemy

Under Myanmar law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offence. This includes any disrespectful treatment, depiction or image (including tattoos) of Buddha or other religious representation, or wearing any tattoo of Buddha anywhere below the waist. Foreign nationals have been sentenced to prison, fined and/or deported for breaking this law.

Missionary activities and the importation of religious materials are illegal without the written permission of the Myanmar authorities.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect imprisonment or a death sentence.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Travel restrictions

Under Myanmar's immigration act, tourists are required to stay in registered hotels, motels, inns, guest houses or resorts. You must show your passport and valid visa at domestic airports, train stations, hotels and security checkpoints. It is illegal to enter restricted areas without authorization.

Political activism

Political activism (including the dissemination of printed materials), protests, demonstrations and unauthorized assemblies are not tolerated in Myanmar. Freedom of speech and political activities are restricted, and the Myanmar government is very sensitive to any expression of opposition to its rule. Foreigners criticizing the regime in public may be arrested or detained.

Artifacts and gems

A permit is required to purchase or possess cultural or archaeological artifacts. It is illegal to export gems. Foreigners have been arrested, searched and imprisoned for attempting to take Myanmar gems out of the country.

Photography

Photography of scenes or people that could be considered politically sensitive, such as military installations, security personnel or demonstrations, is prohibited. Offenders could be arrested, deported and have their equipment confiscated. It is also illegal to fly a drone over certain religious installations.

Driving

International driving permits are not recognized in Myanmar. It is illegal to drive without a Myanmar driver's licence.

Imports and export

Customs officials strictly limit what is brought into and out of the country. Baggage is examined and may be searched upon arrival. It is illegal to enter or exit Myanmar with religious materials. Foreign currency in excess of US$10,000 must be declared upon arrival; failure to do so could result in imprisonment. Importation of communications equipment such as mobile phones and laptop computers has been restricted. Laptop computers have been taken from tourists and held at the airport until their departure. Customs regulations on prohibited imports and exports are often unclear and further advice on this subject should be sought from the nearest Myanmar embassy or consulate.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws of Myanmar prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Myanmar.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Myanmar.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Myanmar, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

The Myanmar authorities activated a 2010 conscription law that came into effect on February 10, 2024. If local authorities consider you a citizen of Myanmar, you may be subject to military obligations requiring all men aged 18-35 and all women aged 18-27 to serve at least two years in the army, with possible extensions up to five years during a state of emergency. The current state of emergency began in February 2021 and has been extended to July 31, 2024. Future extensions are likely. There is no guarantee that travelling with a Canadian passport will provide protection from this law.

You may face up to three years in prison plus a fine, if you evade or ignore a summons to serve. The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadian travellers avoid all travel to Myanmar and take this advice seriously.

The Embassy of Canada in Myanmar is extremely limited in its ability to assist Canadian citizens who might be detained in Myanmar.

You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize the risk of your Canadian citizenship being denied. You may also need to carry and present a Myanmar passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country.

Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. If you are a Canadian citizen, you will require a valid Canadian passport to re-enter Canada.

Travelling as a dual citizen

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Myanmar.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Myanmar by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Myanmar to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Dress and behaviour

Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour, particularly when visiting religious sites. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities or breaking the law.

Local customs - Myanmar government

Money

The currency of Myanmar is the kyat (MMK). U.S. currency is widely accepted; however, only new, unmarked and undamaged bank notes are accepted. Other foreign currencies are not accepted. There are a few official currency exchange offices in Yangon, including one at the Yangon International Airport. It is illegal to exchange currency at unauthorized locations.

Carry enough cash to cover all of your expenses while in Myanmar. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Even where credit card facilities do exist, Internet connections may be too slow to enable credit cards to be a reliable payment method. Traveller's cheques are never accepted and debit cards are not used for direct purchases. It is possible to find some internationally linked ABMs in Myanmar, but the daily withdrawal limits are low and the machines are often out of service. Neither cash advances via credit or debit card nor cheque-cashing services are available.

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Natural disasters and climate

Seismic activity

Myanmar is located in an active seismic zone and minor earthquakes are common.

Monsoons and typhoons

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from May to November. Severe rainstorms can cause flash flooding and landslides.

Cyclones usually occur between April and October. Severe rainstorms can result in significant loss of life, extensively damage infrastructure and hamper the provision of essential services.

Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 199
  • medical assistance: 192
  • firefighters: 191

Consular assistance

Yangon - Embassy of Canada
Street Address9th Floor, Centrepoint Towers, 65 Sule Pagoda Road, Yangon, MyanmarTelephone+95 1 384 805Fax+95 1 384 806Emailyngon@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-MyanmarFacebookEmbassy of Canada to MyanmarTwitterCanadian Embassy in Myanmar

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Myanmar and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

 

 

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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