*Note: I’ve just been advised that Scoot and Tigerair Singapore are merging from July 25th, 2017!
You can read my review of Scoot here*
With the borders to Myanmar (formally Burma) open, more and more flight options are becoming available. One of the most competitive routes to the country is between Singapore and Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.
From Singapore alone, Jetstar Asia, SilkAir (Singapore Airlines regional carrier), Singapore Airlines, and Tigerair fly alongside Myanmar National Airlines – the countries flagship carrier. So, which one do you choose?
In Australia, Tigerair has a less than stellar reputation, but – after flying them return from Myanmar – let me ease some of your trepidation: Tigerair Australia and Tigerair Singapore are two very different airlines. Tigerair Singapore is an airline I’d fly again.
A quick review of Tigerair Singapore
Singapore Changi to Yangon International Airport (return)
Singapore Changi Airport
An early morning wake up saw me heading out to Singapore’s Changi Airport to take the 7:25 am service to Yangon. Tigerair Singapore flights depart from Terminal 2, the low-cost airline terminal, where airlines like Scoot, take off.
Check-in is a fairly quick process and the line moves quickly. It is important to note that you need a printed copy of your Myanmar Visa to check in to your flight. If you haven’t done it before arriving at the airport, there are a few stalls in the terminal that will allow you to print if off for around SGD$2.
I had pre-purchased my baggage (included in the FlyBag or FlyBagEat tickets) so had 20kg included in my ticket.
Singapore Changi has a great range of food stores, shops, and activities in Terminal 2, including a movie theatre and the world’s tallest slide in an airport!
Yangon International Airport
Myanmar’s busiest airport has recently undergone a renovation with the new international terminal (Terminal 1) having opened in 2016. Service was speedy both through immigration and baggage claim, and again when departing the country.
After passing through passport control there are a few food outlets, ATMs and currency change stations outside arrivals.
When leaving the country, most of the stores seem to be the departure hall including named brand stores, a few decent sized newsagencies/bookstores, and food stores.
If you travel domestically in Myanmar, you’ll be flying out of Yangon International Airport. Domestic flights operate out of Terminal 3 on airlines such as Myanmar National Airlines.
Onboard Tigerair Singapore
Being part of a group, I was one of the first to board the A319 that was taking us to Myanmar.
Tigerair Singapore operates only one class of travel and all of the seats are exactly the same. That said, Row 1 (bulkhead) and Row 13 (emergency exit) are the best choices with extra leg room.Seats come in a 3 – 3 configuration with a pitch of 30″ and seat width of 18″.
Seats come in a 3 – 3 configuration with a pitch of 30″ and seat width of 18″. Legroom is okay, but my knees knocked against the back once the seat in front reclined (I’m 5ft 7″ so on the average side height wise). The seats are comfortable enough for the 3-hour flight.
Fighting for overhead baggage space is common in Australia, so I was surprised to find the overhead compartment only half full leaving me able to stow my camera bag above as well.
Tigerair Singapore doesn’t have seatback entertainment, so be sure to bring your own.
Thanks for being my seat model Asoka!
How was the Food?
Tigerair’s meals are called Tigerbites. I had one of their FlyBagEat tickets which included checked baggage and a pre-ordered Premium meal, which aren’t available onboard. Tigerair also give you a free coffee or tea, water, & Cadbury chocolate bar to those who pre-purchase meals 72-hours in advance!
There are 6 meals you can choose from for each flight leg. Like most airplane food, they aren’t exactly the prettiest meals but they were pretty tasty. I really enjoyed the Vegetarian Lentil Curry (below) and the Nasi Lemak (above).
They also sell cup noodles, snacks like chips and Pringles, and a good array of drinks, including milo, beer and wine. You can see their most up-to-date TigerBites menu here.
After some initial hesitations about flying Tigerair Singapore, I found I really enjoyed flying with them on a short 3-hour flight from Singapore to Myanmar. It’s a no frills experience but they were punctual, comfortable and offered a really reasonable deal with their FlyBagEat tickets.
While I only flew with them on two flight segments, I was really happy with the service and would definitely consider flying with them again, even more so now they are merging with one of my favourite low-cost carriers Scoot.
I put together a short iPhone video of my experience flying with Tigerair Singapore. You can check it out below!
Based: Singapore Changi Airport
Alliance: Value Alliance
Frequent Flyer Program: You can earn KrisFlyer Miles on select ticket types.
Do you need a visa for Myanmar?
It’s highly likely you’ll need an eVisa for Myanmar. While you can get to visa on arrival, it’s smart to get them online before you fly. Don’t go through a third-party visa company. The official eVisa progress is quick and easy.
Tourist visas cost USD$50 and business visas cost USD$70, at the time of writing. The website accepts all major credit cards. You can apply for the official eVisa site for Myanmar here.
Make sure you print your eVisa out with you before you check-in for your flight to Yangon. I didn’t realise that you needed a printed copy and had to print a copy at one of the stalls in Changi’s Terminal 2 which cost SGD$2.
Where to stay in Myanmar
Accommodation in Myanmar is fairly reasonably priced. On my whirlwind trip to Yangon, I stayed at two properties:
On the first overnight stop, I rested at the ibis Styles Yangon Stadium. The seriously funky hotel rooms mix bright colours and modern amenities with Myanmar artwork and locally made furnishings. Rooms are large and comfortable. Best of all the property has free WiFi access!
On my final night in Yangon, I stayed at the Novotel Yangon Max. After a busy week exploring Singapore and Myanmar, it was just the treat I needed with large spacious rooms, a soft pillowy king bed and rainforest shower. I highly recommend upgrading yourself to stay in one of their Executive Rooms, which includes free WiFi, access to the Premier Lounge and breakfast!
For more hotels in Yangon, check out the rates here.
While in Inle Lake, I stayed at the stunning Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min. It’s listed as a four-star property but my gosh you’ll feel like a princess (or prince!) in their beautiful villas, complete with four poster beds, his-and-her sinks and the most luxurious free-standing bath. This is the place to go for a romantic getaway.
I may have also snuck in a traditional Myanmar massage at the on-site spa, which I highly recommend!
I flew as a guest of Tigerair Singapore, part of the #Escapers17 trip with Accor Hotels, Scoot, TigerAir and Asia Holidays.
All thoughts, opinions and iPhone video creations were, as always, my own.