How do People In Myanmar Rate The Tap Water?
Travellers and residents of Myanmar have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
Tap water ratings
- Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 68% High
- Water Pollution 73% High
- Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 32% Low
- Water Quality 28% Low
Can you drink the tap water in Myanmar?
The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Myanmar (source). Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
What do people in Myanmar think about the tap water?
- Never drink tap water.
- Check bottled water seals are intact at purchase.
- Avoid ice.
- Avoid fresh juices – they may have been watered down.
- Boiling water is the most efficient method of purifying.
- Iodine, the best chemical purifier, should not be used by pregnant women or those who suffer with thyroid problems.
- Ensure your water filter has a chemical barrier, such as iodine, and a pore size of less than four microns.
Tap water in Myanmar is not safe to drink. Most restaurants, with the possible exception of roadside stalls, now use packaged ice made from bottled water, so ice should be safe. When out and about, even the locals drink bottled water and that's your safest option. Bottled water is readily available just about everywhere. As of May 2013, the standard going rate is MYK300 for a 1L bottle of mineral water.
Hygiene in Myanmar may seem terrible to the average Western traveler but it is possible to stay healthy with some basic precautions such as prophylactic medication, care choosing food and water, and antibacterial ointment. Never drink tap water. Restaurants are legally required to use ice made and sold by bottled water companies, so ordering ice is usually safe in major places. Always drink bottled water and check that the cap is sealed on, not simply screwed on. Diseases such as dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and malaria are endemic. Drug-resistant strains of malaria and tuberculosis are common in many areas. Hepatitis vaccinations are highly recommended and cholera oral vaccine is worthwhile. At the dinner table, Burmese use a spoon and fork, or their fingers when this is more convenient. You might feel better rinsing all of them before meals. Antibacterial wipes or alcohol hand-rub is a good idea at regular intervals.
As in any other developing country: "if you can't fry, roast, peel or boil it - then forget it". Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (tap water is OK for hand washing). Always have hand sanitizer ready, since most germs are spread through hand contact.
Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.
Sources and Resources
Check tap water safety for other popular destinations
Check tap water safety for other countries in Asia
- Hong Kong
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- West Bank