Tips for Safe Travel in Myanmar

It is useful when traveling in a foreign land to be reminded of the possible lapses of care and attention. It is not so much because you are in a foreign land but because you are traveling, and when travelling one needs to take more precautions about losing one’s possessions or being cheated.
Generally, Myanmar is a safe place for traveling, all the must-see attractions including Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, or Mandalay are completely safe. However, there still be several things you need to take into account to have the best Myanmar vacation.

Take your bag with you
Take your bag containing your documents and money along with you wherever you go, even to the washroom. Don’t leave it with a companion, for the simple reason that your companion may not be as alert to what happens to your bag as much as to his or her own, and this possibility may be exploited by any watcher who’s interested in yours.

The hotel safe deposit box
Not knowing which hotel you are in, there can be no recommendation, either way, to use or not use your hotel safe deposit box. Hotels or inns here do not usually have the personal safe deposit box in your room which you can operate with your own code.

Don’t gamble
Some foreign visitors are fond of gambling and lookout for a chance to engage in their favorite pastime or activity. But gambling tends to take you into dubious places among unsavory characters and one never knows what might happen. You also take additional risk in that gambling in any form is illegal in this country.

Don’t go alone to obit-of-the-way places
If you go to out-of-the-way places you might get lost among people who may not have the smattering of language necessary to help you, however much they might want to do so. In the day you will probably get back to familiar streets. At night, on a lonely stretch of road, in the rain is a typical setting for a who-dun-it.

Don’t go where you are advised not to go
Though most of the exotic and interesting sites have been opened up there remain a few areas which are considered not advisable to visit. However, there are some foreign visitors who feel they must go to those places so that they may write a travel article or money-making book or a report they can use for their own convenience. The advisory is there for your own good and you should heed it.

Beware of cheats, swindlers, imposters
Comparatively, this country has a smaller population of cheats, swindlers, imposters and assorted ‘bad hats’ as the quaint phrase goes. But if even one works successfully on you, the smallness of numbers becomes irrelevant and you are the loser. So don’t be sweet-tongued into action which you will later think was not wise. “Don’t judge the age of the bullock by the smile on the face of the farmer,” goes the saying.

Avoid use, trafficking, handling, possession of narcotic drugs
Be very careful to avoid trafficking, handling, possession or use of narcotic drugs. The death sentence is not mandatory here for such offence but you can be in very deep, deep trouble if you are caught.

Bring some medicines
If you are under medication, you will have your pills. Even if you are not taking medicines regularly you should bring along some rehydration salts and anti-diarrhoetics, some antibiotics, travel sickness pills (the rail coaches here are well known to be wilder than rodeo broncos), salves for insect stings, mosquito repellant, gauzes, bandages and Band-Aid. You might also bring along scissors and something to pick out a thorn (you step on at least one on Bagan ground).

Don’t get drunk
Drink but don’t get drunk in public places like restaurants or the hotel dining room even among established friends. You know the reasons. If at all you must get drunk, do it in your hotel or apartment room and only among true and faithful friends, not somebody you just picked up.