Myanmar Eases Travel Restrictions for Foreigners

Myanmar has revised travel restrictions for foreign visitors, removing some areas in four states and two regions from the restricted-area list and adding a number of new ones, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

The places in Mon State where travel ban has been lifted are Kaylartha Taung, Kyaukpi Pagoda, Kyauktakhar Pagoda, Myatabeik Pagoda, Welkali hot springs, Panga Salt Field, Death Railway, Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Kyaikkhami Yele Pagoda and Set Se beach. Travelers will need permission from local authorities to visit areas outside Kyaikmayaw and Thanbyuzayat townships.

The travel ban has been lifted in Putao and Machanbaw townships, among other areas in Kachin State; 11 places in Kayah State; seven places in Shan State; three places in Mandalay Region and four places in Tanintharyi Region.

“Restricted areas for foreign travelers are set by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism then cites their data to inform travelers,” U Khin Maung Soe, Director General of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, told Myanmar Business Today. “This is to protect foreign travelers and enable them to travel safely. They can avoid restricted areas by looking at our list.”

A travel ban for foreign nationals has been imposed in some new locations due to security concerns. These include Ponna Kyun, Mrauk U and Min Pyar townships in troubled Rakhine State and Platwa in Chin State.

Pyin Oo Lwin, one of the most visited cities in Myanmar, has been put on the travel ban list following the August 15 surprise rocket attack by an armed ethnic group. Foreigners will need permission to venture outside the city, although they can visit the city proper.

Mogok, Thabeikkyin, Kyundai, Nyaungdon, Thabyay Chaung, Mogyo Pyit, Padigon, Naung Pain and Meadow in Mandalay Region have been on the restricted list since 2016.

With restrictions recently imposed on seven new locations in Kachin State, 19 locations in Sagaing Region, two locations in Shan State, 13 locations in Shan State and one location in Yangon Region, the list now includes 100 places.

Myanmar received over 3.14 million foreign tourist arrivals between January and September 2019, an increase of 621,286 people or 25 percent from the same period last year.

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