Many travelers hire a Myanmar taxi tour and an accompanying Myanmar driver. To drive one yourself is possible in Myanmar, but permission must be arranged via the Myanmar government-run MTT and Myanmar road Transport Administration Department, and you must be accompanied by a Myanmar local at all time.
Business travelers and expats have to apply and register with the Myanmar road Transport Administration Department and have an International Myanmar Driving License. These visitors are not bound by the restriction to have a Myanmar national in the car at all times. Anyway, we see our foreign friends driving alone.
Myanmar Driving conditions are poor but often better than on many roads in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos. Of the 24,000 km of roads in Myanmar, about half are paved; the remainders are graded gravel, unimproved dirt or simple vehicle tracks and Myanmar taxi.
Hiring a car and driver
Hiring a Myanmar taxi tour and driver is an increasingly popular way to get around Myanmar country; it's also favored as an easier, time-saving way of making a day Myanmar taxi tour trip. It's quite easy to hire a reasonably new, air-con car with a Myanmar driver for around US$ 100 a day; older Myanmar taxi cars without air con cost about half that. For longer-term Myanmar taxi tour trips you can negotiate lower daily rates in Myanmar.
Prices include fuel and up to 12 hours of driving per day in Myanmar. And you won't have to cover the Myanmar driver's own expenses. The cost will usually go up only a few US dollars per extra person in the Myanmar taxi car or van.
Keep in mind that it can get quite dusty, particularly around Bagan, if you don't have aircon in your Myanmar taxi. There are no Myanmar car-rental agencies per se, but most Myanmar travel agencies in Yangon, Mandalay or Bagan as well as Myanmar guesthouses and hotels elsewhere can arrange Myanmar taxi cars and drivers. In most cases you will be asked to sign a simple contract and pay a good-faith deposit. Note that you'll pay more for your hired Myanmar taxi car if you arrange the deal through touts, such as Myanmar trishaw drivers and money changers in Myanmar.
Among the most popular and reliable rental Myanmar taxi tour cars in Myanmar country are second-hand, reconditioned Toyota hatchbacks imported from Japan and called super-roofs. Myanmar assembles its own Mazda jeeps MJs using 85% Myanmar local parts. Though mostly a Myanmar government monopoly, these Myanmar Mazda jeeps make decent off-road vehicles. The old Us make, WWII-era Willys jeeps that once characterized outback Myanmar Taxi tour travel are becoming few and far between.
Prices for new Myanmar taxi cars have risen with recent inflation: from about US$ 3000 in 1996 to US$ 20,000 in 2004.
Petrol is rationed (four gallons per week) to Myanmar vehicle owners. If you need more than this you'll have to purchase petrol from Myanmar black market outlets run from makeshift stands everywhere. Myanmar taxi tour prices rise and fall, but black-market petrol is usually twice as expensive. When Myanmar taxi vehicle owners make an upcountry "road trip" (the Burmese-English term for any driving out of Yangon.), they have to buy fuel on the Myanmar black market or carry along numerous jerry cans of petrol.
Another small cost to consider when traveling by Myanmar taxi tour is the customary K100 or K150 "toll" collected upon entering many Myanmar towns and villages throughout Myanmar a legacy of the tributes paid to warlord states in centuries post. Many Myanmar drivers are adept at handing these to the toll collectors while barely slowing down in Myanmar.