One of the first things that travellers often do when visiting a new country is buy a Sim card, put it in their phone, and off they go, ready for a new exploration. So what do you need to know about the sim card and internet situation in Myanmar before you arrive?
Well, there are now 4 companies that you can buy a sim card from in Myanmar. These are Ooredoo, Telenor, MPT and MyTel, and you'll most likely see one of their shops as soon as you arrive at the airport in Yangon or Mandalay. Any of the first three companies (Ooredoo, Telenor or MPT) offer very similar rates, and also coverage across the country. MyTel is the newest kid on the block, but we can't vouch for it's converage at this stage.
Generally you'll find that sim cards are the best way for you to get internet access while in Myanmar. It will set you back about $1-2 to buy a Sim card, and then around $10-15 for an internet package, depending on how much data you wish to buy, and how long you are going to be in country. In general the coverage is great in the major cities in Myanmar, including Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Nyaung Shwe, but can get a bit sporadic once you head into the hills in the North, or down South to the islands. Compared to a couple of years ago, the coverage is incredible, so don't worry about any stories you've read about poor connecticity. These reports are now old.
If you're not one who usually buys a Sim card, then you'll want to know about the WiFi situation in Myanmar. Well much like Sim cards, this has also improved remarkably over the past 2 years or so. Whereas in 2014 you'd be lucky if an internet page loaded while staying at your hotel, now you can check your emails, upload your latest Instagram post, or even stream a YouTube video if that's what you feel like.
Obviously this slightly depends on the hotel you are staying in, and the location, but all in all, don't believe the reports of bad connectivity. All of the hotels that feature on our website we've found to have great WiFi access, and if there are any problems, then you'll find the staff very accommodating. Even while at Boulder Bay Eco Resort in the very southern part of Myanmar, we were able to send emails. Impressive!
We think it's fair to say, that if you're travelling to Myanmar any time soon, then internet access won't be an issue. It's easy to get connected, and very cheap as well. And we're very happy to help if you have any queries or issues while staying in country.