Results 1 to 15 of 15
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By LivinLOS

Thread: Goingto Myanmar

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2,059

    Going to Myanmar

    This was posted recently on another site, if repetitive please feel free to delete.


    Posted 13 July 2013 - 08:08 PM
    1. VISA-no current visa on arrival for US citizens. A web portal for online visas exists, see below, but is not yet operational.
    https://www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm/
    EVERYBODY needs a VISA, even Thais and nationals of other ASEAN countries. The Thais DO have their own dedicated line at the embassy. The VISA is easily obtained in just 4 hours in Bangkok for a cost of 1050Baht. The 24 hour service costs only 700Baht. Visa is good for 28 days, not extendable. The penalty for overstay is $3 per day and perhaps an administrative fee of another $3. Whether this impacts ability to return is unclear.
    This link gives directions to Burmese Embassy in Bangkok with pictures and instructions.


    http://www.themadtra.....sa-in-bangkok/
    My comments are as follows: Go at 1130am after the morning line has dissipated. You merely need submit your completed application by 12 noon to retrieve your VISA that afternoon between 3 and 4pm. I suggest going at 330pm or later after the crowd retrieving their visas has dissipated. You need photocopy of your passport, two passport pictures, and a copy of your plane ticket leaving soon to get the expedited, same day service. BEWARE CLOSURES ON ALL HOLIDAYS OF EITHER THAILAND OR BURMA. Check this before relying on getting your visa.
    2. FLIGHTS-choices are increasing rapidly. Air Asia from Don Muang is best IMHO, especially their flight to Mandalay which includes a free shuttle bus into the city (the airport is an hour away and a taxi costs $12). I strongly suggest entering via Mandalay and then leaving via Yangon (or vice versa) as you avoid having to do a second domestic flight to get back to Yangon before departing the country. You can do an open jaw with a one way domestic flight. The domestic flights are expensive. ALL domestic flights I saw are on ATRas (turboprops) although I think Golden Myanmar Airways has the Airbus on the Yangon- Mandalay route. We flew from Mandalay to Bagan (technically the airport is at Nyaung U) on Air Mandalay for $50 for a 40 minute flight. The 75 minute flight from Nyaung U to Yangon costs $102 each way. Air Mandalay is the only Burmese carrier certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. You can reserve online, but then must pay at their ticket office within 24 hours of arrival in the country. Like everything else in Burma, no credit cards are accepted(although I booked all 3 hotels on agoda so used card for that) so must pay in cash for plane tickets. See MONEY section below for important details on this.


    http://www.air-mandalay.com/

    Our ATR had been purchased from Alitalia (still had some logos visible) and seemed in good condition. Excellent landings on both flights. I was pleasantly surprised.
    From Yangon airport a taxi is $8 and no free Air Asia shuttle. They have 2 flights per day to Yangon.
    There is a brand new Burmese Low Cost Carrier called Golden Myanmar Airways that also has flights that route as well as to Singapore using an Airbus A320.


    http://www.gmairlines.com/
    AVOID the regime's carrier, Myanma Airways, at all costs, both because of abysmal safety and to avoid patronizing the regime. The Air Asia flights are under $100 each way. Expensive carriers like Thai, Malaysian etc serve Yangon but Mandalay has few (any?) other international flights except to the PRC on Chinese airlines. Mandalay's population is 30% Chinese already as it is a key waypoint in the evil empire's program of exploiting the natural resources of Burma.
    The international departure tax is now included in the price of your ticket (contrary to latest edition of Lonely Planet from January 2012. )


    3. MONEY-local currency is the Kyat (pronounced "chat"). Unlike in times past where the spread between the official rate and the Black Market rate was 1000% or more, it is now no more thjan 2% so you can exchange money at the airport banks and get almost as much. In Mandalay, I could only get 980 at black market-a large travel agency- whereas bank at airport gave 974. In Yangon you can get 1,000 on black market. This is a 10% drop in the last 30 days or so, they claim because of drop in gold prices (Burma is a major exporter of Gold).
    The ONLY currency accepted is the US DOLLAR, and ONLY US Dollars in absolutely pristine condition will be accepted. Keep the money in an envelope, NOT your wallet where you will put a crease in it that will make it difficult to exchange. All notes must be 2006 or later series. The $100 bill gets a higher return than smaller denominations. Certain fees must be paid in USD. Upon arrival at Bagan airport, you must pay $15 per person. At Inle Lake and at Mandalay it is $10 per person. Upscale hotels and top end restaurants price in Dollars, not Kyat, and demand payment accordingly. You will see ATMS with Maestro or Cirrus logos, but I never heard of any foreigner successfully withdrawing money but this could change at any time. Bringing adequate USD for your entire stay is critical. Parkroyal hotel in Yangon takes Visa or MC at 10% fee.


    4. HOTELS-I booked through Agoda and chose privately owned, mid range places. In Mandalay I paid $70 per night, in Bagan $82 and an even $100 in Yangon for a room that would cost half that if in Bangkok. And this was during LOW SEASON! In Yangon in particular, demand far exceeds supply despite the frantic building boom with new hotels sprouting up like mushrooms in a cow pasture after a heavy rain. Hotels will be your biggest expense. I will discuss each hotel in the chapter about that area.


    5. GETTING AROUND-in Yangon an air con taxi costs $6 per hour. I highly recommend the very friendly, English speaking, Min Soe who served as our guide throughout our two days in Yangon. He is available for longer road trips as well. With the new expressway to Mandalay, the drive now only takes about 8 hours and the toll is about $15 each way and there is very light traffic once you get out of Yangon area. Yangon does have rather bad traffic, though NOTHING like Bangkok, Manila or Jakarta. Motorbikes are banned in Yangon, after a motorbike collided with a Senior General's car some years back.
    Min Soe-was our driver from Yangon airport but we liked him so much we kept him; minminsoe137@gmail.com; cell-09=73046201
    Last edited by Evilbaz; 18th July 2013 at 15:56.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Loop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    375
    Don`t know if it`s been mentioned but Nok Air has a new service to Mawlamyine and Yangon from Mae Sot for as little as 1300 baht one way.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Is there still a CNX Yangon direct ??

    Also theres strong rumblings of 3 borders opening up for onward travel.. Not just border hops and visa runs but allowed into the country and out of the border province. Theres also ongoing discussion with the Shan state army to open up a clear transit route from the Mae Sai crossing. Lots developing rapidly on that front.

    I am told I might be able to get one of my bikes over as part of a tour group in December which would be riding on to Bagan and Madalay.. If so I am strongly interested in a bike tour and would probably put the DRZ back into a dirt config to attempt that.

  4. #4
    K2
    K2 is offline
    Super Moderator K2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,543
    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Is there still a CNX Yangon direct ??
    Yes - Sundays and Thursdays on Air Bagan ~8000Bt RT.
    Its My Life .....!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Immigration officials relax restrictions for tourists travelling overland | Myanmar Articles Links

    Foreigners entering Burma through three major border checkpoints along the Thai border can now travel inland and will not be required to exit the country through the same portal, in accordance with a new regulation passed by Burmese immigration authorities. According to the new rule, foreign travellers who pass through border checkpoints at Shan state’s Tachilek, Karen state’s Myawaddy and Tenasserim division’s Kawthaung towns will be able to travel inland freely, except in restricted areas, and leave from their desired point of departure.

    During a press conference at the immigration office in Kawthaung last Thursday, government officials met with representatives from tourism companies and businesspersons to expound on the parameters of the new regulation, said Moe Ei, a reporter from Tenasserim Weekly News Journal who attended the meeting. “The town’s immigration director San Lwin explained that under the new regulation, foreigners who come in from the three main checkpoints will be allowed to leave from anywhere,” said Moe Ei.

    The immigration director also discussed a future plan to expand tourism in the border town, which included opening more hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, souvenir shops, and provide training to tour companies in order to meet the demands of travellers visiting the country.

    With the area limitation removed, tourists who enter through the Kawthaung crossing can now visit the area’s renowned hot springs, which was previously off limits due to its distance from the border. Border crossing and visa fees at the respective checkpoints will remain the same despite the change in regulations. A foreigner who through enters Burma through the three major Thai-border crossings must pay US$10 for a week’s stay in the country.
    Source: Immigration officials relax restrictions for tourists travelling overland | DVB Multimedia Group
    ================================================== =

    YANGON, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Three Myanmar-Thai border check points will be open to Thai nationals and other foreign visitors for entry and exit as of August, aimed at providing better service to the visitors holding passport and Myanmar entry visa, official media reported Monday. The three gates are designated as Tachileik-Mae Sai, Myawady- Mae Sot and Kawthoung-Ranong under a Myanmar-Thai Border Crossing Agreement, said the New Light of Myanmar.

    Visitors will be allowed to visit any place except restricted areas under security reason and to depart from any official exits, the Ministry of Home Affairs was quoted as saying. Categories of visa granted for tourists include Entry Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Gratis Official Courtesy Visa, Tourist Visa, Business visa, Transit Visa and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa. The move would help create greater job opportunities for trading, tourism and hospitality sectors, the report said. In 2012, the number of tourist arrival reached over 1 million, according to Myanmar Tourism Statistics.
    This is a pretty big deal, it means the old system of not allowing overland border entry and exit from different border points seems to be changing very fast.

    Combine that with the opening of a Myanmar / Laos friendship bridge and rumblings of opening the pan asian highway right through Myanmar for (commercial initially) vehicle traffic.. So that there will be a road network from India through to Vietnam is all huge changes.

    http://www.worklivelaos.com/laos-and...ndship-bridge/
    K2 likes this.

  6. #6
    K2
    K2 is offline
    Super Moderator K2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,543
    ^ VERY happy to read this!
    Its My Life .....!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Myanmar Postpones New Easier Overland Travel Facility | Chiang Rai Times English Language Newspaper

    CHIANG RAI – Myanmar Officials have postponed a new easier overland travel facility, due to heavy flooding in some border areas.

    It initially indicated easier entry and exit rules for overland travel would be implemented 6 August. However, the deadline passed without any change in regulations.

    Under the new provision, overland travellers will be able to enter Myanmar at one checkpoint and leave via another. It was supposed to be introduced on Tuesday at Tachilek that borders Mai Sai in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

    Foreign travellers crossing the border at Tachilek are forced to deposit their passports with Myanmar’s immigration officers and retrieve them on their return.

    It ensured they complied with the rule that all overland travellers have to enter and exit at the same checkpoint.

    There is considerable concern on the part of tourists who do not want to hand over their passports and then travel in a country where there could be security risks. Also there are regulations in Myanmar that insist travellers always carry identification papers.

    Thai-Myanmar Culture and Economic Association Chiang Rai branch president, Phakaimas Vierra, said Myanmar’s government recently approved the change in overland travel rules for Tachilek, Myawady and Kawthaung from points in Thailand.

    “However, the recent floods in Myanmar near the Myawady crossing forced the authorities to postpone the move indefinitely.”

    The president added: “Easing overland travel will have to wait until Myanmar restores the area.”

    According to Myanmar- Thailand Border Crossing Agreement, Tachilek-Mae Sai, Myawady-Mae Sot and Kawthoung-Ranong are officially designated as entry and exit points between the two countries.

    To provide better service to tourists crossing the Myanmar-Thai border at the three gates, Thai nationals and foreign visitors with passports and entry visas will be allowed to travel to all approved areas for travel and exit through a different checkpoint if needed.

    “The scheme aims to spread the benefits of tourism and create jobs, but the process at the Myawady Friendship Bridge could not be implemented due to floods,” said Myawady District Immigration and National Registration Department head U Aung Win Thein.

  8. #8
    K2
    K2 is offline
    Super Moderator K2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,543
    Hiss ... boo ...
    Its My Life .....!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    95
    I exited from Tachiliek to Mae Sai around 8 years ago when it was allowed as standard but there were a lot of restrictions around the area which I believe are still in place (essentially to go anywhere interesting /further that 20km) you had to fly.
    I'm surprised more chinese crossings haven't opened though I know there is a big concern about more gambling towns being formed.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    I am hearing that on the ground there is talk of both foot passengers (for sure) and own vehicle travel..

    As yet no one has done it without the (tuber expensive for tour groups) ministry approval letter.. I would love to be the first.. Thats for own vehicle 'free travel'..

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    I am hearing that on the ground there is talk of both foot passengers (for sure) and own vehicle travel..

    As yet no one has done it without the (tuber expensive for tour groups) ministry approval letter.. I would love to be the first.. Thats for own vehicle 'free travel'..
    'free travel' - I think that's some-way off. At least throughout the country. Also need to consider that to date the government seems to be against cheap mechanised transport - many, many places have horse and cart as the affordable way to get around.
    I'll try to upload a map that gives an idea of roads/permits required - it's 7-8 years old but I don't belive much on iy will have changed.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by t0rn; 11th October 2013 at 17:07.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Quite a few people are reporting renting small bikes in country and free travel.. There are conflict zones.. Shan state etc.. But large swathes seem easy.

    The current limitation is getting your own vehicle over with you.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    95
    Sure, there's lots of 'green' roads away from the borders and yes limited amount of hire is available in country but a lot more still has to change. Hotels/GH's need a licence to accept foreigners, the guy on the ferry isn't sure he's allowed to carry you then that's an end....
    Still many, many military checkpoints .....
    I think that those those who do make the first real forays it'll be very rewarding but there's still real value in being a 'normal tourist' there.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    1,564
    Did Myanmar in 1995 (Yangon, Pagan, Mandalay, Lake Inle) and used a Singapore owned domestic ailine flying ATR 72. All pilots were Australian or French.

  15. #15
    New User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    3
    I first visited Myanmar in 1995 too and they are still flying ATR 72's today! The main difference I see compared to 20 year ago is the amount of traffic in Yangon - not as bad as Bangkok but if it carries on at the current rate it won't be long! At least there's no scooters allowed in Yangon so a pedestrian has some chance to cross the road (unlike Hanoi). NB If it helps there's a list of Myanmar hotels and travel/visa agencies here Travel | Yangon Life

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •