- Reviewed: 29 January 2018, 14:30 NZDT
- Still current at: 20 February 2019
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Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel along the borders with Laos, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and China, including official border crossings. Military activity, ethnic militias, armed drug smugglers and the presence of landmines pose a particularly high risk to your safety.
Avoid non-essential travel to Kachin State (excluding Myitkyina), the northern Rakhine State areas of Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung, northern Shan State and Paletwa township in southern Chin State due to ethnic tensions and the potential for armed conflict and violent civil unrest.
Exercise increased caution
Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Myanmar due to the uncertain political situation and potential for civil unrest.View Larger Map Close/Open map
Myanmar has experienced prolonged internal conflicts involving a number of ethnic and non-state armed groups. Most of these groups have signed bilateral ceasefire agreements with the government, and a number of groups, mainly those located along the Thai border, signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement in October 2015.
However the security situation in some border states remains volatile and unpredictable. In mid-November 2017 active armed conflict between ethnic groups and military forces escalated in Paletwa township in southern Chin State. There are sporadic outbreaks of armed violence between government forces and ethnic and rebel groups, particularly in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine States. Such clashes have in the past killed security force members and rebel fighters.
Civil unrest/Political tensions
The political situation throughout Myanmar remains uncertain following the November 2015 election and civil unrest could occur with little warning.
Attacks by rebel groups on police outposts in northern Rakhine state in late August 2017 have been followed by large-scale security operations that have seen civilians killed, villages burned and more than 400,000 people displaced across the border into Bangladesh. Further violence in northern Rakhine State is likely. Curfews and restrictions on movement may be imposed at short notice, in addition to those already in place.
In the past, there has been politically-motivated violence on or around public holidays such as Armed Forces Day (27 March) and Martyrs Day (19 July). Significant anniversaries, such as the 8 August 1988 uprising and the September 2007 protests, may be accompanied by an increased security presence in Yangon and elsewhere.
New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to monitor the media for any developments that may affect the security situation. We recommend avoiding all protests, marches and demonstrations and complying with any instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfews.
Small scale bombings in November 2016 targeted government buildings and supermarkets in Yangon, resulting in several fatalities. Further incidents cannot be ruled out. New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to be security conscious in public and crowded places.
There are a limited number of legal land crossing points into Myanmar, and these are subject to closure without notice. Permission to cross these borders may be required in advance through a separate process to a visa application. Travel restrictions placed by the Myanmar government apply for most border areas. We advise New Zealanders against attempting to cross any border illegally or enter restricted areas without the appropriate permission from Myanmar authorities.
General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social/cultural traditions in Myanmar to avoid offending local sensitivities and potentially breaking the law.
We advise against taking photographs of any protests, demonstrations or government or military installations, as this could result in arrest and/or detention.
Travellers visiting Myanmar have experienced difficulties accessing their money. Myanmar remains a predominantly cash-based society and although credit and debit cards are increasingly accepted in major tourist areas some cards do not work.
New Zealanders travelling to Myanmar are advised to check with their bank before travelling to confirm that your debit, credit or ATM cards will allow them to withdraw cash or make payments in Myanmar. You should take enough cash (US dollars) to last throughout the duration of your stay in Myanmar.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Myanmar should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Myanmar are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Yangon, Myanmar
Street Address No.43 (C), Inya Myaing Road, Shwe Taung Kyar (2) Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar Telephone +95 1 230 6046-9 Alternate Telephone +95 1 230 5805 Fax +95 1 230 5805 Email YangonOffice@mft.net.nz Web Site www.mfat.govt.nz/myanmar Hours Mon-Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs Consular - Legal and Notarial service: by appointment, Monday to Friday
See our regional advice for South East Asia
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New Zealand Embassy Myanmar
No.43 (C), Inya Myaing Road, Shwe Taung Kyar (2) Ward, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Telephone: +95 1 230 6046-9
Alternate Telephone: +95 1 230 5805
Fax: +95 1 230 5805
Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs Consular - Legal and Notarial service: by appointment, Monday to Friday