Burma - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, etc.

Last published date: 2022-07-28

Business Customs 

There are a few specific etiquette rules for business contacts.  However, it is appropriate to wear business attire for official meetings and contract signing ceremonies.  Business people also expect to exchange business cards at first meetings. 

Travel Advisory 

Burma remains at the Level 4 Do Not Travel Status by the U.S. Department of State.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should monitor the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html), where current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found.   


Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or callers outside the United States and Canada, 1-202-501-4444, a regular toll-line.  These lines are available from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except for U.S. federal holidays).   


The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of  State’s pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.  Further details can be found on the U.S. State Department’s Burma webpage


The Burmese military regime controls travel to, from, and within Burma. Foreigners must enter the country via commercial flights.  Land borders are closed to foreign travelers. Please be aware security checkpoints are common throughout the country.  Visitors should be aware of the changing security environment throughout the entire country, where the military regime is fighting an active counter-insurgency with multiple ethnic armed groups.  View the latest Overseas Security Advisory Council’s latest report regarding security in Burma.  

Visa Requirements 

To enter Burma, you must have a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining and a valid visa. The country’s eVisa program allows tourists and business travelers to apply for a visa online rather than physically applying at an embassy or consulate: 

  • You must present the approval letter to immigration and customs at the port of entry. 

  • If your visa application is approved, the visa needs to be used prior to the visa’s expiration date. 

  • Visa application information may be found at Myanmar eVisa (official regime website). Be aware of fraudulent/scam websites.  

Visit the Embassy of Myanmar in Washington, D.C. for the most current visa information.  

Embassy of Myanmar 

2300 S Street NW 

Washington, D.C. 20008 

Telephone: 202-332-4350 

Email: cpu@mewashingtondc.org 


The kyat (MMK) is the local currency.  Currency exchange counters are available at Yangon International Airport and around the city.  Many ATMs are temporarily unavailable as the Central Bank of Burma has limited cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs since shortly after the February 2021 coup.  Consider bringing only new U.S. dollar notes with no marks or creases.  Otherwise, the bills may be refused, or the exchange rate will be lower than the market rate.  

Phone Service/ Internet 

CDMA and GSM cell phone services are available in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, and surrounding areas.  Mobile phones and SIM cards have become much more affordable in Burma and are readily available.  Business hotels provide access to the internet with reasonable download speeds. 


Burma is easily accessible by air, primarily via regional hubs like Tokyo, Seoul, and Bangkok.  Domestic air travel is preferred over driving long distances in Burma under poor road conditions.  Domestic flights connect all major cities. 

In Burma, travel by road can be dangerous as roads outside urban areas are often narrow and in poor condition, particularly during the May-October rainy season.  Traveling after dark is not recommended.   Government permission is required for foreigners to travel by road in border areas.  Rail travel, though available, is not recommended due to slow service. 


Burmese is the official language throughout Burmese, though languages of various ethnic groups are widely spoken in their home regions.  Businesspeople in Yangon and Mandalay talk about some degree of English, but English is not widely spoken outside main urban areas.  Chinese is spoken in Mandalay, Yangon, and significant trade hubs near the China-Burmese border.  Thai language is spoken in trade hubs on the Thai-Burmese edge. 


As of May 12, 2022, Burma has confirmed approximately 613,088 cases of COVID-19 within its borders and 19,434 deaths from the virus.  COVID-19 testing is available in country, but prices and timeframes for results may vary among the various medical testing facilities. Both PCR and antigen tests are available in Burma.  The COVID-19 restrictions have been eased to permit quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated passengers on international commercial flights as of May 5.  Passengers need to have a PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours before arriving in Burma.  The test result must be negative.  Children under the age of 6 do not need to have a test to travel.  On arrival, travelers take an Antigen Rapid Diagnostic (RDT) test and must receive a negative test result before leaving the airport. 

See CDC’s COVID-19 website for more information and view U.S. Embassy Rangoon’s most recent Alerts and Messages for U.S. Citizens.  

Water is not potable, and only bottled water should be consumed.  Visitors should avoid unpasteurized dairy products and uncooked or undercooked meat and vegetables. 

Visitors should consult their physician or local health authorities for a list of recommended immunizations before arrival.  Dengue fever is a prominent, year-round health concern.  Avoiding mosquito bites through mosquito repellent and protective clothing is the only way to prevent this illness.  Although malaria is not a problem in urban Yangon, malaria prophylaxis should be taken if traveling to other parts of the country. 

Medical facilities in Burmese are often inadequate, and a sufficient supply of personal prescriptions and over-the-counter medications should be hand-carried.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. 

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877- FYI-TRIP  (1-877-394-8747) or via fax at  1-888-CDC-FAXX  (1-888-232-3299). 

Local Time, Business Hours, and Holidays 

Burma is 6.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.  Burmese does not observe Daylight Savings Time. 

Business hours are not uniform.  Most private and government offices close on Saturday 


Burma 2022 Holidays 


Day of the Week 


January 04 


Independence Day 

February 12 


Union Day 

March 02 


Peasants’ Day 

March 16 


Full Moon Day of Tabaung 

March 27 


Armed Forces Day 

April 11 


Thingyan (water festival) 

April 12 



April 13 



April 14 



April 15 



May 1 


Labor Day 

May 14 


Full Moon Day of Kaesong 

July 10 


Eid ul-Adha Day 

July 12 


Full Moon Day of Waso 

July 19 


Martyrs’ Day 

October 08 


Pre-Full Moon Day of Thadingyut 

October 09 


Full Moon Day of Thadingyut 

October 10 


Post- Full Moon Day of Thadingyut 

October 24 



November 06 


Pre-Full Moon Day of Tazaungmone 

November 07 


Full Moon Day of Tazaungmone 

November 17 


National Day 

December 22 


Kayin, New Year’s Day 

December 25 


Christmas Day 

December 31 


New Year’s Day 

Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings 

Burmese law does not limit the amount of foreign currency brought into Burma, but any amount over $10,000 must be declared on customs and currency declaration forms.  Departing tourists who claim over $10,000 on arrival must have receipts for all items purchased in Burma.  Their purchases must match the amount of foreign currency exchanged for kyat.  Travelers may not bring kyat in large quantities into Burma or take it out of the country.  Credit cards cannot be easily used in Burma outside urban areas as few businesses can process credit card transactions.   


Ministry of Hotels & Tourism (https://tourism.gov.mm/) 

U.S. Department of State – Burma Country Information  

U.S. Embassy in Burma – U.S. Citizen Services