Pa-Auk Forest Monastery
帕奥禅林

 

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Hill top view at sunset

Visa: Entry into Myanmar requires a visa. For short stay of up to 28 days, you can apply for a tourist visa or an entry visa. If you plan to stay at Pa-Auk Forest Monastery for more than one month, you will need to apply for a Myanmar three-month meditation visa, as a 28-day tourist visa and a 28-day entry visa can no longer be extended. Please check with the Myanmar Embassy in your home country to see if they will issue a three-month meditation visa to you. If this is not possible, you may wish to check with another Myanmar Embassy – for example, the Embassy in Singapore – to see what type of visa they will issue to you. To apply for a meditation visa, you will need a Pa-Auk Sponsorship Letter, which can be obtained through a Pa-Auk Contact Person or by writing to the Monastery (Please refer to Residence Application).

For the latest news on visa applications and extensions, please contact Daw Amy at attbbpp@myanmar.com.mm. Contact information for the Myanmar Embassy in Singapore is listed below:

Singapore
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
15
St Martin’s Drive, Singapore 257996
Tel: (65) 67350209 • Fax: (65) 67356236
Open:
9:30 am - 12:30 pm, Monday – Friday

Those wishing to stay longer than 3 months must apply for a "Foreigner Registration Certificate" (FRC). Extension of stay beyond the initial visa period may be applied for with an existing meditation visa; extension of up to 12 months may be granted (although the extension actually granted may be shorter than that). It is to be noted that the regulations pertaining to visa do change from time to time, and the fee and the period granted for visa extension may vary consequently. If your stay in Myanmar exceeds I month, a “Departure Form” has to be completed and submitted on leaving the country.

Customs: All foreign currencies, jewellery, electrical goods and photographic equipment must be declared.

Money: The local currency kyat (pronounced "ja" as in Jack) is pegged to the US$. Owing to the existence of exchange control, kyats cannot be taken in or out of Myanmar. Hence, it is advisable to bring one's cash in US$. Dollar bills must be in good condition: worn, torn, nicked, marked or questionable bills are unacceptable.

Credit cards are rarely accepted in Yangon, it is advisable not to rely on using credit cards in Myanmar,

Communication
There is a telephone located at the Lower Monastery. Incoming telephone service is intermittent and of low quality. Outgoing international telephone service is available only outside the Monastery. However, please note that calling international from Myanmar is very expensive.
All letters/mail should be registered to ensure safe arrival.

Climate
Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate with three seasons: a hot season (March - May), a rainy season (June-October), a cold season (November-February). Temperatures at Pa-Auk range from 15 -40 Centigrade.

Health/Medical care
Certain diseases, including microbial and viral infections such as diarrhoea, hepatitis and typhoid, and vector borne ones such as malaria, dengue fever and typhus, among others, are prevalent in this region. Yogi may wish to consult his doctor for advice, take the relevant precaution and medications before traveling to Myanmar. It is important for yogi to maintain high standard of personal hygiene and good physical health, and bring a supply of suitable supplements, vitamins and medication.

For minor ailments. a local doctor trained in Western medicine visits once a week; another trained in traditional Burmese medicine visits once a fortnight. More serious ailments are referred to clinics or hospital(s) at Mawlamyine or Yangon. Relatively better medical services and facilities are available in Yangon, failing which patients are referred overseas, typically to Bangkok and Singapore.

Dàna
Two vegetarian meals are provided daily: one at dawn, the other at 10.15. Meals, as well as requisites, are often offered as dàna by supporters and residents. Should a yogi wish to offer dàna for meal or other requisites, please arrange directly with the Lower Monastery Office.

Availability of goods
General basic daily essentials may be available at shops outside the Monastery, or at Mawlamyine. Imported goods generally come from China, India and Thailand. More sophisticated goods may be available in Yangon, but the range is likely to be limited.

Major holidays/festivals
The services of government offices, commercial shops, banks, and public transportation are sometimes affected by major holidays/festivals. Yogi may wish to avoid traveling on such days. For a list of major holidays/ festivals, please refer to Major Holidays.