Traveller Tips

Long hidden from the rest of the word, uncover the unspoilt beauty and charm of Myanmar.

Passports & Visas
For up-to-date requirements contact the consulate office in your country of residence, or your travel agent. For general guidance please note the following:

  • Your passport must have at least 6 months’ remaining validity at time of travel.
  • Visas are required by all visitors to Myanmar and are valid for 28 days. A visa must be obtained before entering Myanmar. Your reservations office/travel agent will issue you with a package tour letter prior to you contacting your local Myanmar Embassy or Consulate for a package tour visa.

Please note that it is the responsibility of each passenger to ensure that they are in possession of any necessary and valid documentation. The Company assumes no responsibility for the consequences of any failure to comply.

Dress
The atmosphere on board is relaxed. For dinner, appropriate dress is smart casual, e.g. open-neck shirt and jacket for men. Formal wear is not required.

Please note that laundry service (not dry-cleaning) is provided. Between September and February it is advisable to pack a light sweater for the mornings and evenings.

When visiting temples and pagodas, clothing should cover shoulders and legs. It is important to remove all footwear (including socks and stockings).

Currency
Please note that visitors to Myanmar can only use, the local currency, Myanmar Kyat (MMK), for all purchases in the country. 

Visitors can only exchange their foreign currency at an official currency exchange centre, which are located at airports and locations around the city centre. In addition to exchange centres, visitors can also obtain Myanmar Kyat at ATM machines which are becoming more common in Myanmar. In addition to accepting Myanmar Kyat, our properties in Myanmar, Belmond Road to Mandalay and Belmond Orcaella, also accept payment by Visa and Mastercard.

Climate & Weather
Myanmar has three seasons. From September to February the daytime temperature is about 28 degrees C (80 F) with cool evenings. March to May is hot but dry. The rainy season runs from June to September.

The area visited by Belmond Orcaella is protected from most of the monsoon and is described as the dry zone.

Dietary Requirements
We endeavour to cater for special dietary requirements when noted in advance. However, we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in their preparation.

Disabled Passengers
We are able to accommodate passengers with slight walking difficulties but recommend that they are escorted by an able-bodied passenger. Excursions and facilities on board are not suitable for wheelchair-bound passengers or those with severe walking difficulties.

Festivals
Myanmar is a land of numerous festivals. One of the merriest is the Thingyan Water Festival in mid-April. During this religious festival water is thrown on everyone and no passer-by is spared.

Photography
Observe local notices. Some pagodas and temples do not allow photography while others ask for a small payment. Treat Buddhist images with respect and seek permission from monks before photographing them. Taking pictures of airports, railway stations, bridges, police stations, military installations and government offices may result in confiscation.

Shopping
The local markets offer good lacquerware, silver, jewellery and fabrics. Not all gemstones offered on the streets are genuine.

Time Zone
Local time is GMT +6.5 hours.

Communication
On board the ship all external calls are via satellite. The use of international mobile telephones is not reliable in Myanmar and phones that are not registered in Myanmar or Thailand are unlikely to work.

Food, Drink & Meals
Early morning tea and coffee are served in cabins on request. Buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner will be served in the restaurant, on an open sitting basis. Afternoon tea is also served.

Gratuities
On board Belmond Orcaella, gratuities are at passengers' discretion.

Safety & Security
Belmond Orcaella meets international safety requirements for river vessels of its classification. Safety procedures are advised prior to the ship's sailing.

For the safety of all passengers, a discreet security presence is part of our operation. Visitors are not permitted on board.

Shore Excursions
Tours are fully escorted by qualified guides. Passengers who prefer may visit the sites by themselves.

Alternatively, a car or minibus for private use, including an English-speaking tour guide, can be provided at an additional cost.

Smoking
Passengers may smoke on the Observation Deck. The remaining parts of the ship are non-smoking areas.