One of the Southeast Asian countries that we knew we wanted to visit for sure during our trip was Myanmar. We did not know when, how we would get the visa and how we would get in and out of the country due to the opening process the country faces and therefore the constant changes.
Before starting the adventure we checked it and the truth is that in the last months the situation has not changed.
You can get in the country by land easily from Thailand or paying a special permit from India or China. Although in any of the cases, you cannot make the visa at the border. The Bangladesh border is closed for tourists and Laos, even if shares part of its border, have no border-crossing.
You can get easily the electronic visa online, but it will only allow you to access the country flying to the airports of Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. The cost of the visa is 50 USD and lasts for 28 days that you can use within three months after issuing the visa. If you decide to do it online, you can do it .
If you are in Bangkok, you can go to the embassy of Myanmar (Sathorn Nua Road, 132) and make it there directly. The visa is exactly the same. Valid for 28 days in the country during three months after the issuing. However, the price, unless you want an express one, is much cheaper as it costs only 800THB (~ 24 USD).
Applying for the visa in Bangkok
If you finally decide to do it at the embassy as I did, here I leave you some information that can be useful.
The Embassy of the Union of Myanmar opens twice a day. To apply for the visa is open between 9 AM and 12 noon, and to pick it up from half-past three until half past four.
When you go to apply for the visa, take along the passport, two passport photos and a photocopy of the passport, that if you don’t have you can do it right there. You can also take the pictures there, but better to have them beforehand since they are far more expensive than elsewhere. You will get a simple form that must fill and wait for your turn.
When you deliver the documentation and the form, you will have to pay the visa fee.
The cost will depend on how fast you want your passport back. If you want it the same day in the afternoon, it will cost you 1.260THB (~ 38 USD). If you want it for the next day, you will have to pay 1.000THB (~ 30 USD). Finally if you are not in a hurry, you can get it two days later and will cost 800THB, as we said. You must also think that only count the weekdays (Monday to Friday) and that the embassy closes on holidays both from Thailand and Myanmar..
Once paid you will receive a receipt and they will tell you to come back that same afternoon, the next one or the one after, depending on how much you paid. And by the way, do not lose that receipt if you want to see your passport again!
The ‘incomplete documentation’
One of the things we were more afraid of when we applied for the visa was that since we wanted to go by land, without knowing exactly what day we would enter or leave the country, or where we would stay, they would see it problematic and the visa would not be accepted. So when we arrived, it was the first thing that we asked and we were told there would be no problem.
Returning to get the passports, still a little afraid, they gave them back with the visa approved and we got a piece of paper, according to the worker, because of ‘incomplete documentation’ . There was written that when entering the country they could ask for the return flight, a hotel reservation or to show if we had enough money with us. We asked if in the border we would have any trouble because of all this and they said that no, that it’s never asked there but it is usually in the airport.
And so it was, just a few days later we crossed the border of Mae Sot – Myawaddy and they stamped us an entry stamp without asking any question.
Where to sleep?
If you will be passing by the city just to get the visa or you want to sleep as close as possible from the embassy, you may want to check this out:
➡ . For 18 USD / night you will have a double room and for only 5 USD / night you will have a bed in the mixed room. And it is located just 300 meters away from the embassy of Myanmar!