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Expat guide to living & working in Myanmar

Expat guide to living & working in Myanmar

Living in Myanmar

Also known as Burma, Myanmar remains true to its origins despite its colonial history. Expats will experience this part of Asia quite differently as western inflection is minimal. Religious sites, customs, traditions and sensibilities reign in Myanmar. Whether this is a breath of fresh air or a challenge is definitely up to each expatriates expectations. If you’re about to plunge into Myanmar, take a quick look at our handy guide.


Myanmar Features

10 fun things to do in Myanmar10 Fun Things to do in Myanmar

If you are the type of traveler who wants to steer away from all things shiny and cosmopolitan, then Myanmar is the place for you. As with its Southeast Asian neighbors, Myanmar has a colorful history of colonization and political turmoil. This is why it is a “late bloomer” among other Asian countries.

Find out more >>

Expat Clubs

Myanmar Women Entrepreneurs Association MWEA
MWEA is the strategic alliance of business women and women of academic that give the association a very firm foundation for women development appropriate for meeting the challenges of a global society.
Address: 288/290, Shwedagon Pagoda road, Dagon Township, Rangoon, Yangon, Burma, 11111
Tel: +951 254400, +251 1 389380, +251 1 389375
Email: mwea2008@gmail.com
Women’s League of Burma WLB
Women’s League of Burma (WLB) was established on December 9, 1999 with the aim of increasing the participation of women in the struggle for democracy and human rights, promoting women’s participation in the national peace and reconciliation process, and enhancing the role of the women of Burma at the national and international level.
Website: womenofburma.org

International Schools 

Yangon International School
The Yangon International School is an independent private school located in Yangon, Myanmar. The school began operation in the Fall of 2004 with grades K-8. The school has added a grade each year and currently includes a pre-school program for ages 3, 4, and 5 as well as grades  K-12. The intent is to provide a college preparatory program to enable students to enroll in international universities. The current enrollment includes approximately 500 students. Nationalities include: American,  Korean, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai, and Myanmar students.
Address: No. 117 Thumingalar Housing, Thingangyun Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 578171, +95 1 573149
Fax: +95 1 578604
Website: www.yismyanmar.net
International School of Myanmar
The International School of Myanmar was founded in 1998 by a group of concerned educators and business leaders who felt there was a need for an affordable, high-quality international education option for Myanmar and expatriate students living in Yangon. From its humble beginnings as an "International Child Zone" with 48 students, the school has grown rapidly to over 1200 students and three campuses of purpose-built classroom building in a residential neighborhood in northwest Yangon.
Curriculum: Advanced Placment, International Schools’ Assessment ISA
Address: W-22, Mya Kan Thar Main Road, Mya Kan Thar Housing, 5th Quarter, Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: + 95 1 530082
Email: admission@ismyanmar.com
Website: www.ismyanmar.com
Myanmar international School Yangon
Children in the Early Years grades of Nursery, Pre Kindergarten and Kindergarten (ages 3 to 5) develop social skills as well as building a foundation for academic learning. An emphasis is placed on learning phonetics as a lead up to reading. Young children learn through play, music and arts in the rich and stimulating MISY environment. For the Primary and Secondary students, MISY offers a combination of the best and most appropriate parts of the British curriculum, plus selected features from elsewhere, including North America. The curriculum is designed to provide for a high quality international standard of education. Modifications are made in our curriculum to meet the needs of our students.
Curriculum: British, American
Address: No. 24, Sae Myaung St. (11th) Quarter, Yankin Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 657885, +95 1 657886, +95 1 09500 5555, +95 1 09550 4139
Email: misy-edu@goldenland.com.mm, misyedu.yangon@gmail.com      
Website: www.misyedu.com
Ayeyarwaddy International School
Ayeyarwaddy International School was founded in 2011 by U Aung Ko Latt, a local entrepreneur whose dream was to bring to Mandalay an exceptional school which would prepare local, national, and international students for university life through an academic program using English as the language of instruction.
Address: No.25(B), 52nd Street, Between 34th & 35th Streets, Chan Aye Tharzan Township, Mandalay, Myanmar
Tel: +951 2 77943, +95 2 77953
Email: aismaynamr.edu@gmail.com
Website: http://www.ayeyarwaddyinternationalschool.com/
British School Yangon
The British International School Yangon follows the English National Curriculum. It is a standardised curriculum that is followed by hundreds of British schools around the world. British qualified staff delivers the English National Curriculum supported in most instances by a qualified Teacher's Assistant. All children are taught in mixed ability classes, with children of the same age. Children may be taught English, Maths or other core subjects in smaller groups if we consider support is needed.
Curriculum: English National Curriculum
Address: 2A Yangon-Insein Road, Ward No. 9, Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar. 11051
Tel: +95 9 250739873
Email: admissions@britishschoolyangon.org, info@britishschoolyangon.org
Website: www.britishschoolyangon.org

Pun Hlaing International School
Pun Hlaing International School offers a contemporary British independent school education. The School prides itself on providing a friendly, student-centred learning environment. We combine academic excellence with a holistic approach to education through our focus on music, sport, the arts and community service; what we like to think of as a blend of Eastern rigour and Western balance.
Management of the School is overseen by Dulwich College International (DCI) with the prestigious Dulwich College in London acting as educational adviser. The School will be part of the Dulwich College International family of eight international schools across Asia.
Curriculum: English National Curriculum
Address: Pun Hlaing Golf Estate Avenue, Hlaing Thayar Township, Yangon
Tel: +95 1 687701
Email: admissions@dulwich-yangon.com.mm
website: http://www.dulwichcollege-yangon.com/

Local News in English

Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times has the latest news from across Myanmar, covering national events, business, sports, opinion, in depth analysis.
Website: www.mmtimes.com
Mizzima Myanmar
Since its founding the aim of Mizzima has been to provide high quality news relating to Myanmar, contributing toward freedom of expression and the free flow of information in the public interest. 
Website: www.mizzima.com
Eleven Myanmar
Website: www.elevenmyanmar.com

The Irrawaddy News Magazine
News covering Burma and Southeast Asia
Website: www.irrawaddy.org

Country Information 

Location: Asia
Capital City: Naypyidaw
Other Important Cities: Yangon
Currency: Kyat
Language: Burmese
Calling Code: +95
Internet TLD: .mm
Electricity: The country runs on 230V 50Hz.

Emergency Numbers:
Ambulance: 199
Fire: 191
Police: 199

Country Information

Embassy Information

Looking for your local embassy in Myanmar? We found this link really useful...


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from the following countries may enter and stay in the country for 14 days: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam. By 2014 a visa-free travel policy is planned to be introduced for ASEAN nations.
Visa on arrival is available for foreigners from: EU, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States.

Other nationals not included in the exemption and visa on arrival provision, must obtain a visa through a Myanmar embassy or consulate in their home or host country. For more info please visit: www.mofa.gov.mm/?page_id=418
Visas available for foreigners are: tourist visa, entry visa, business visa, multiple journey entry visa and diplomatic or official visa.

Expats who plan to stay for an extended period in Myanmar normally apply for business visas, valid for up to 70 days.
Documents required:
  • Valid passport, minimum 6 months
  • Completed application form (1.5 in x 2 in, white background)
  • Copy of flight itinerary
  • Recommendation letter of employer address to Visa Section, Embassy of the Republic of the union of Myanmar. This document describes briefly the occupation, purpose of visit, arrival and departure dates of the expat.
  • Invitation letter from a Myanmar individual or organization
  • Visa fees
For more information visit the Myanmar Embassy >>
To extend the stay further, expats apply for ‘permit to stay’, through a local sponsor. This is valid from 6 months to one year. Permanent residency scheme is still in progress.


Housing options in Myanmar are various with a long range of rental prices that will suit any expat’s budgetary requirements. A 1 bedroom apartment can cost from $230 to $ 1,030 per month, while a 3 bedroom is around $500 to $2,400 per month. Prices will depend on the location, proximity to the city center and the amenities available nearby.

The former capital Yangon has an influx of international travellers and expats. Myanmar’s religious heritage and culture is very pronounced in the city. Foreigners will find it a little difficult to navigate through the city streets as most signs will be in the local language. Embassies, diplomatic organizations as well as international schools are located in Yangon.

The current capital, Naypyidaw is the opposite of Yangon. Government buildings from the old capital were rebuilt here and more infrastructures are in progress. Residential areas are organized within the city and allotments are made according to status; civil, marital and rank.

Meanwhile, the second largest city, Mandalay, remains to be the commercial center of upper Myanmar. It is also culturally diverse with expat populations from China, Thailand, Laos, to name a few.

Driving License

Expats are advised to hire a driver for the duration of their stay as a neither their domestic or international license is valid in the country. Expats may apply for a Myanmar Driving License at the Department for Road Transport and Administration, now based in Naypyidaw. The process is takes about 1 month. Only registered foreigners in a long-term visa, like a business visa, may do so.
For a detailed information on obtaining a license in Myanmar, please visit: www.myanmarrtad.com/?q=en/article/79


Facilities and services in Myanmar are limited to Mandalay and Yangon. Routine treatments and basic services are adequate. Cash payment is to be expected prior to receiving any treatment. It is highly advised to secure health insurance that can cover or reimburse the costs of treatment including medical evacuation. It is also recommended to stock up on personal medication, as these can be scarce and difficult to obtain.
Insurance Companies
MSH International ASFE
For twenty years, ASFE has designed and managed international healthcare insurance solutions for all mobile individuals: Expatriates living abroad alone or with their families, students, interns and young people with "Working Holiday Visas", self-employed persons or company employees, and seniors.
Address: 16, rue Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
Tel. +33 (0)1 44 20 48 77
Fax +33 (0)1 44 20 48 80
Website: www.asfe-expat.com
Asia Royal Hospital
Asia Royal Hospital is an 11th Storey twin building which was opened on the 18th March 2000. They are providing multidisciplinary medical care service with modern medical equipment.
Address: No. 14, Baho Street ,Sanchaung Township ,Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 538055
Fax: +95 1 537296
Email: asiaroyal@asiaroyal.com.mm
Website: www.asiaroyalhospital.com
Pun Hlaing International Hospital
Pun Hlaing Hospital (PHH) was opened on May, 2005, to provide an international standard medical facility in Myanmar private sector. The Hospital has been rendering In-patient and Out-patient services.
Address: Pun Hlaing Golf Estate Avenue, Hlaing Thayar Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 684 323
Fax: +95 1 684 323
Website: punhlainghospital.com
International SOS Myanmar
They started their operations in Myanmar in 1987 and opened our first clinic and office in Yangon in 1995. Both are located at the Inlay Lake Hotel, a 15-minute drive from the airport and close to the business and residential districts.
Address: Dusit Inya Lake Resort, 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 657 922
Fax: +95 1 667 866
Website: www.internationalsos.com/en/asia-pacific_myanmar.htm
Australian Embassy Health Clinic
Address: 62 U Wisara Road, Dagon Tsp, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 531342
Sakura Medical Centre
Address: 23 Shin Saw Pu Road, Sanchaung Townshipm, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: +95 1 510 079, +95 1 510 186
Fax: +95 1 510 131
Mandalay Children's Hospital
Address: Cor. of 30th Street & 74th Street, Mandalay, Myanmar
Tel: +95 2 21508
Mandalay General Hospital
Address: 30th Street between 74th Street & 77th Street, Mandalay, Myanmar
Tel: +95 2 21041
Mandalay Orthopaedic Hospital
Address: 30th Street between 74th Street & 77th Street, Mandalay, Myanmar
Tel: +95 2 21511


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