Mobile phone - Laptop
Your mobile phone will not work in Myanmar (except if you have a Singaporian phone company).
There is no roaming in Myanmar.
Nevertheless, you can use your phone to connect to wifi in hotels or restaurants (more and more common).
IF your telephone is unlocked, you may try to buy a GMS card but it is sure that it will work.
In case of emergency, you can rent a phone + a SIM Card at the airport of Yangon (and only here).
Renting a mobile phone and a Sim card (July 2011)
Starting end of July 2011, it is now possible (only at Yangon's airport) to rent a CDMA mobile phone and a SIM card.
Where : arrival hall at Yangon's airport (they will add soon an outlet at Mandalay's airport.
Procedure : You have to rent a CDMA/GSM mobile and/or a SIM card (if by change you already have a CDMA phone).
You need to deposit for guaranty 100 USD for the phone set and 100 USD for the SIM card.
Renting fees :
The CDMA phone cost 2 USD a day (you are not obliged to rent it if your telephone accept CDMA Sim card).
The SIM card cost 2 USD a day.
So if you rent the telephone + the Sim card, your cost will be 4 USD /day
After that, you have to buy a recharge for your Sim card. It is very easy to find everywhere and the cost is 10 000 or 20 000 or 50 000 kyats.
Back to the airport :
You have to go back to Yangon's airport to get bax your deposit and give back the phone set.
The renting cost (2 USD per day for phone + 2 USD per day for Sim card) will be deduct from your deposit.
Make a call abroad
Theorically, you make an IDD everywhere in Myanmar. Pratically
it is very difficult from countryside, but you will be
able to make IDD call from almost all the hotels without any
problem in Mandalay and Yangon.
It is always easier to call from Myanmar to abroad, than from
abroad to Myanmar, especially Inle area where it is almost
impossible to get an outside call.
Receive a phone call from abroad
Possible in Yangon, but you should avoid afternoon time (Myanmar time) as it is very difficult to get a connexion from abroad in the afternoon.
Mandalay, it is even more difficult than Yangon.
In other cities in Myanmar, forget it, it is almost impossible to receive a phone call from abroad, unless you are very lucky.
Many places still have manual switch board with burmese speaking staff..
Cost of a phone call : DANGER
Be very carefull while making a phone call abroad.
One minute cost between 5 and 10 USD and they charge you after 10 seconds even if your call did not go through.
The phone bill can be very high !!!!!
Internet - Email
Currently, the situation is far better than few years ago and it is very easy to find in the main cities a cyber cafe.
There is cyber cafe in a lot of cities in Myanmar, even also in small city like Taungoo, Bagan, Monywa, Taungyi etc...
It is now quite easy to send an email and to receive it (see below).
Gmail is the ONLY mailbox you are sure that is working in Myanmar. All other email accounts are banned in Myanmar (theorically but more and more are authorised). Pratically, every Myanmar people is using Gmail.
SO if it is important for you to stay connected, you must open a Gmail account before coming here.
Things are changing fast and now a lot of hotels and restaurants are proposing WIfi acces to their customers, usually free of charge.
So you can bring your laptop and connect to Internet. It is usually
quite slow, but enought to connect to your mail box (Gmail ONLY).
250 V, a lot of surge problem and black out.
If you want to connect your digital camera, transformer, ... it is really better to buy a small surge protector. It cost almost nothing but you can save your electronic equipment..
Black out is very common and most of the hotels have their own generator. It is the best way to destroy your transformer....
Photograph of the main electricity plug in Myanmar :