Specific difficulties inherent to Myanmar


Road network is small and of poor quality though in constant improvement. The Highway between Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay has considerably improved the North/South road time consuming.
Traffic in Yangon (economic Capital) and Mandalay is getting saturated, for example from down town Yangon to Airport can take up to 1h and 30 minutes. Over pass are in construction, one already operational at Leiden.

Image 2Road vehicles registered are very small (Around 500,000) (of which 2/3 are commercial vehicles) compared to the number of inhabitants (54 million), though this situation is now changing: new vehicles are imported, taxes have reduced and a system of old car replacement is in place.

Railways date from the British time, slow and dangerous with very few lines.

Water ways: There are 3 large rivers running from North to South. Boats are local and slow except for those used for the tourists.
Speed boats are rare.
Sand banks are wide and numerous along these rivers. The width of the Ayeyarwady, for example, can be above 1000m in August (rainy season) with a lot of current, and shrink to 100 meters wide in the dry season.
Water level in height can be different as much as 8 meters between the two seasons. Mekong River looks very small in comparison.


Network of fixed telephone is not very developed for the size of the country and of poor quality due to bad wire connections.

The use of mobile phones is not yet developed though in big expansion as the National Telecom does reorganize and will soon issue 2 more Telecom operator license.

Connection does not cover the all country and a lot of blank zones exist but soon all will be fine.

It is still difficult and very expenses to call oversea from Myanmar but in coming international call are most of the time acceptable.

Banking system

Image 3It is 50 years behind its neighbors but measures have been taken to improve it and soon JV will be allowed between foreign and local banks.

Though European and (soon) American sanctions have been lifted, it is still impossible to wire transfer to Myanmar except from banks that have an agreement/representation with Myanmar banks.

In general it works well with the major Thailand banks, some banks in Singapore, but from Europe (especially in USD) and America it is still not possible.

Myanmar is a country of CASH transaction for the past 30 years and it will take some time to come to a modernized banking system and get the people trust payment card and banks etc….

To improve the effectiveness for paying the hospitals cost either by cash or bank transfer, it is recommended to open an escrow bank account either in Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore etc.

The following banks have special agreement to transfer money from abroad to Myanmar:

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Personal contact

H/P : +95 (0) 1 292 677

Assistance Emergency Number

+95 (0) 94 200 52 332

Emergency E-mail Address