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Thread: Myanmar ( Burma ) - A Traveller's Guide

  1. #1
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    Myanmar ( Burma ) - A Traveller's Guide

    Getting to Myanmar

    Myanmar sits in South East Asia with the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea along its coastline and shares land borders with Bangladesh, China, India, Laos and Thailand. Key geographical features are the Irawaddy river, flowing North to South through the country into the Andaman Sea via the Irawaddy Delta, and the mountain ranges to the East of the country which form much of its borders.


    Myanmar by Air

    Myanmar has 25 airports operating commercial flights, 3 of which serve international destinations; Mandalay ( MDL ), Yangon ( RGN ) and Naypyidaw ( NPT ). A fourth airport at Bago, Hanthawaddy International, is expected to open in 2016.

    Direct flights to Mandalay are currently possible from Bangkok, Dehong, Kunming, Gaya ( India ) and Singapore.

    Direct flights to Yangon are currently possible from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Mae Sot ( starts October 2013 ), Phuket, Beijing, Kunming, Guangzhou, Gaya ( India ), Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Frankfurt ( Condor Airlines, part of the Thomas Cook group, once weekly ), Singapore, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong, Doha, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

    Direct flights to Naypyidaw are currently only possible on charter flights from Hanoi, Tokyo, Shantou and Hong Kong.

    It should be noted that the situation is changing rapidly as Myanmar becomes more accessible. More carriers are serving Myanmar than ever before and the options for travellers are increasing.


    Land Borders

    The border situation for travel to Myanmar is very much subject to change. Currently ( June 2013 ) land border entry is not possible from Laos and Bangladesh. Land border entry is also not possible for foreigners from India although the border is open for locals. Land border entry is possible from China at Ruili in Yunnan province but only with a pre-arranged package from agents in Kunming.

    From Thailand, land border crossing into Myanmar is possible at:

    Mae Sai – Tachilek
    Mae Sot – Mayawaddy
    Sangkhla Buri – Payathonzu ( Three Pagodas Pass )
    Ranong – Kawthaung ( actually a sea crossing )

    In all cases normal Myanmar visas are not valid for travel. Passports will be surrendered at the border in exchange for an entry permit which will be valid for anywhere between six hours and 14 days. Travel outside the immediate area, usually 10km from the border, will not be permitted and onward travel into Myanmar will not be possible. Passports will be returned on exiting the country via the same border crossing used to enter.


    Visa Information

    Visa on arrival for tourists is currently not possible, though that may change soon. Business visa on arrival is available and simple to arrange via local agents.

    Best advice currently is to get a visa before travelling. Failing that, the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok issues visas and the process is reported as being straightforward.
    Last edited by Steve@thaib; 16th June 2013 at 23:50.

  2. #2
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    Where to Visit in Myanmar

    Shewadagon Pagoda - Burma's Jewel
    Last edited by Steve@thaib; 17th June 2013 at 05:55.

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    Where to Stay in Myanmar

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    Where to Eat in Myanmar

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    Nightlife in Myanmar

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    Visas:
    Cheapest method is normally to apply in you own country.
    Different countries provide different validity after issue (i.e. how long you have to activate the visa) - All (tourist) visa allow for 28 day in country.
    E.G. LONDON Embassy is GBP14 + postage, can take 3 days - 2 weeks
    Visa overstay - technically not a problem, simply pay USD3/day at the airport but many hotels will not check you in if your visa is expired and
    given the current cost of hotels especially in Yangon this may prove to be expensive
    VISA from BKK - only embassy that I'm aware of that offers same day VISA - approx 1350baht, 3 day is approx 1000 baht, queues can be long!
    Visa on Arrival - not currently available for tourist but......
    Pre-arranged Visa - any travel agent can organise this however many of them would require that you also order other services from them, Myanmar Visa Online Service - Visa On Arrival and eVisa Travel Information on Burma will happily organise visa only and may also meet you at the airport to make sure everything is ok (they seem to have given up on me ... )

    (Feel free to add to visa post/edit/delete as you wish)
    Last edited by t0rn; 21st June 2013 at 20:55.
    LivinLOS and K2 like this.

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    Thanks for info. I will edit it into the first post when I can.

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    Came across this site recently - Myanmar (Burma) small group private trips, Experience Burmese lives by Asterism Travel which while it's from a travel agent has some nice info about out of the way places.

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    The visa situationis changing too, Myanmar looks likely to be far more accessible to curious travellers pretty soon.
    t0rn likes this.

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    That's been imminent for at least 8 years though
    I think them being head of ASEAN this year should bring some changes though.

  11. #11
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    I'm erring on the side of not wanting too much mass tourism ... another Thailand I'd hate Myanmar to become.
    Its My Life .....!

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    ^^^ But would they hate it ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    ^^^ But would they hate it ??
    Thats the key isnt it? For the Burmese people to have a shot at improving their lives they need outside influences. Surely the very best way to ensure that some of the new money arriving gets to the regular people is for us to be therehandingit tothem personally bybuying stuff?

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    #MotoAsia - Ultimate motorcycle tours

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