Myanmar, also sometimes known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Famous for its diversity, Myanmar has a long and complicated history that has helped contribute to the complex realities of its contemporary existence.
Many of the intricacies of that history were kept locked away inside its borders for quite some time. In fact, up until 2011, the country heavily restricted foreigners from stepping foot on its fertile lands, leading to wild conjecture about what travelers might one day find.
Once it did open its borders, folks from all over the world began to flock to Myanmar. It quickly established itself as a must-see for the more adventurous backpackers and vacationers who were keen on visiting the region.
It was not just Westerners who were interested in a trip to Myanmar. In fact, Myanmar’s new willingness to interact with the outside world attracted people from just across its international limits. Indian passport holders now are some of the most consistent visitors to their neighbors.
The Myanmar visa for Indians-an online eVisa application system designed to make the visa distribution system easy to use-is crucial to fostering friendly relations between the two nations.
However, due to the current political climate and pandemic landscape, anyone hoping to visit Myanmar should familiarize themselves with the most up-to-date information about the current situation.
Doing so before planning a trip will minimize the risk they face of a flight cancelation and a traveler’s headache.
What Is the Latest News Regarding the Coup in Myanmar?
In tandem with their attempts to open up the country to the outside world, Myanmar instituted a more stable, civilian government in 2011, following nearly 50 years of strict military rule. Unfortunately, back in February 2021, a military coup overthrew that government, sending the country into disarray.
Unfortunately, in addition to the toll, the coup has taken on the local population, there has also been a severe restriction on the comings and goings of people. This means that the newly-installed government has closed down their borders, halting the issuing of visas to foreigners, and denying visitors access to the country.
There are a few exceptions to the border closure as people who wish to enter for humanitarian purposes may be granted an exemption.
How Is Myanmar Responding to COVID-19
Due in part to the government situation, there has been an unfortunate uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases. In fact, the sharp rise in the rate of transmission has essentially doubled the total number of infected people over the previous two months.
Fortunately, there is a vaccination campaign underway. Hopefully, once those efforts are renewed, the increase in vaccines distributed will be enough to slow down the rate of transmission.
When Might These Restrictions Be Removed?
The current ban on the issuing of visas is set to expire on September 30th, meaning that there is hope that foreigners will once again be able to apply for permission to enter Myanmar shortly.
For anyone who is hoping to be able to visit Myanmar soon, the best thing they can do is to stay vigilant on the latest guidelines and restrictions to ensure that they are up to date on the most recent news.
While there is a chance that restrictions will be extended, hopefully, the situation will calm down soon and visitors can once again explore the extensive beauty that Myanmar offers.
What to See and Do In Myanmar
While we await the government’s decision to reopen to the public, excited visitors can get a jumpstart on planning their future trips.
One of the most visited places in all of Myanmar is Old Bagan. This UNESCO heritage site is home to an amazing concentration of pagodas and temples that dot the valley. For thousands of tourists each year, a hot-air balloon is an unforgettable way to see the expansive area.
It would be nearly impossible to name all of the majestic palaces and religious structures that are worth visiting in Myanmar. A traveler would practically need to spend every waking moment palace-hopping to see them all.
A prime example of the wondrous structures that Myanmar offers is the Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun. The all-white pagoda is a monument to love, making it a can’t miss for romantic travelers.
Myanmar isn’t all pagodas and palaces. The capital city of Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is a bustling center of commerce and culture. For tourists who are spending a few days in the city before exploring the more rural, natural regions of the country, a visit to the city center is essential.
It’s there in central Yangon that they will find the Bogyoke Aung San (Scott Market) where a dizzying array of market stands and stalls are waiting to be explored.