Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 29 September 2016, 16:04 NZDT
  • Still current at: 6 December 2016

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High Risk

There is high risk to your security along the borders with Laos, Thailand and China and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel in the vicinity of these borders, including official border crossings. Military activity, ethnic militias, armed drug smugglers and the presence of landmines pose a particularly high risk to your safety. 

There is high risk to your security in Kachin, Rakhine and northern Shan states due to ethnic tensions and the potential for armed conflict and violent civil unrest. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these areas.  

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Myanmar due to the uncertain political situation and potential for civil unrest and we advise caution. 

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Ethnic tensions
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. There are sporadic outbreaks of armed violence between government forces and ethnic and rebel groups, particularly in Shan and Kachin 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 periods of unrest are possible.  

There have been outbreaks of violence in the past in Rakhine state, some of which were directed against United Nations and international NGO staff and offices. Further violence in this area is possible. Curfews and restrictions on movement may be imposed at short notice. 

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, some of which have resulted in fatalities, have periodically occurred in the past in Myanmar. Further incidents cannot be ruled out, including in urban areas such Yangon and Mandalay. New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to be security conscious in public and crowded places. 

Border areas/crossings
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.

Travel tips


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 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

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

Hours: Mon-Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs Consular - Legal and Notarial service: by appointment, Monday to Friday

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