Entry and Exit
Safety and Security
There have been reports of a deteriorating security situation arising from the situation in Rakhine State. In September 2017, the Myanmar Government issued a statement notifying citizens of possible bomb attacks by terrorists against innocent civilians in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and other big cities. There was also a demonstration in support of the military that took place on 29 October 2017.
There have been several cases reported by foreigners visiting Yangon of offences by taxi drivers including mugging and sexual offences. Although Myanmar is still a safe country to travel in, travellers may wish to refer to our taxi advisory when travelling around Yangon.
Singaporeans are strongly advised to be vigilant and to take the necessary precautions for their personal safety, including avoiding large crowds and monitoring the local news. They should purchase comprehensive travel and medical insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage. Travellers should stay in touch with their family and friends so that they know you are safe. Singaporeans are strongly advised to e-Register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/
The Singapore Embassy issues Travel, Security and Health Advisories on our website. Please visit the Embassy’s website at www.mfa.gov.sg/yangon for the latest advisories on Myanmar.
Visitors are encouraged to visit the website of the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism at www.tourism.gov.mm for more information, especially on restricted areas.
MONEYCHANGERS INVESTIGATED FOR POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT MYANMAR CURRENCY NOTES
The Police are investigating a number of moneychangers for their suspected involvement in the possession of counterfeit Myanmar currency notes in the denomination of 10000 kyats.
2 On 29 November 2018, the Police received a report that two Singaporeans had been arrested for allegedly using counterfeit kyat notes in Yangon. The Singapore Embassy in Yangon is in direct contact with the arrested Singaporeans and is rendering consular assistance.
3 Preliminary investigation revealed that the two Singaporeans obtained the counterfeit kyat notes from a moneychanger in Singapore. A raid was conducted at the said moneychanger and counterfeit 10000 kyat notes with same serial numbers starting with “AG” and “AE” were found. Subsequent raids were conducted at 17 other moneychangers in Singapore between 3 and 4 December 2018 and similar counterfeit kyat notes were found.
4 Investigations are ongoing. Anyone in Singapore who is convicted of using counterfeit currency notes can be punished with a term of imprisonment term of up to 20 years, and shall also be liable to a fine. Anyone who is convicted of possessing counterfeit currency notes can be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years.
5 Anyone in Myanmar knowingly using counterfeit money can be convicted under Section 101 of the Myanmar Central Bank Law, and Section 105 states that those found guilty can be fined or imprisoned for up to 3 years or both. They also commit a crime under section 106 of the Myanmar Central Bank Law if they bring counterfeit currency into the country.
6 Members of the public are reminded to be vigilant, and to examine any kyat notes to see if they have serial numbers starting with prefixes “AG” and “AE”. They should also do the following:
· Report to the nearest Neighbourhood Police Centre;
· If the individual offering the note/s is present, please delay him/her, if possible. Call the Police at '999' immediately;
· Observe the individual's identifying features, such as gender, race, age, height, build, clothing, distinguishing marks such as tattoo, language/dialect spoken as well as those of his or her
· Note the vehicle registration number of the individual (if any); and
· Limit the handling of the suspected note and place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope, to prevent further tampering. Hand it over to the Police immediately.
7 Singaporeans in Myanmar who suspect that the Myanmar kyats in their possession are counterfeit should make a police report at the nearest police station. Singaporeans are also advised to purchase kyat only in Myanmar, at licensed money changers. They should always request a receipt when changing money and should retain it for future reference.
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Tourists visiting Myanmar are only allowed to stay in hotels and not in residential properties (i.e. not allowed to stay with friends/business partners etc.), temples or monasteries. A social visit visa is required if you wish to stay at any other property apart from a hotel. The Social Visit Visa can be applied for at the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore.
It is important to respect religion in Myanmar; failing to do so could lead to an arrest. The following rules should be observed;
- At religious places, remove footwear. Removal of headwear is not necessary;
- Avoid wearing revealing clothing. At temples and monasteries, shoulders should be covered and skirts and trousers should be below the knee;
- Avoid shouting or laughing loudly;
- Avoid being a nuisance when taking photographs;
- Treat Buddha images with respect;
- Tuck away your feet. Don’t point them towards a pagoda or a monk;
- Do not play loud music in these areas. Note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music;
- Do not put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate;
- Do not touch sacred objects with disrespect. Hold them in your right hand, or with both hands;
- Leave a donation when possible;
- Show respect to monks, nuns, and novices (even if they are children);
- Do not offer a handshake with a monk, nun or a novice;
- Sit at a lower level than a monk and elders;
- Do not offer food to a monk, nun, or a novice after noon time;
- A woman should not have any physical contact with a monk.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
· Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
· Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
· Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
· eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
· Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
· Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
· Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
· Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]
There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.