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Myanmar Visa?


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Can someone give me the current status.

I haven't been to Myanmar, other than a one hour visa run in two years.

I'm an American citizen living in Chiang Mai and heard I must travel to Bangkok to get the visa in person. Is it possible to fill out the form and give your passport to a reputable travel agency and have them do it for a small fee?

TIA

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depends how long you want to stay for. if only a short time, you can cross at maesai and stay for up to a month. restricted where you can go.

or go to the consulate in bangkok and apply for business visa, 3 months. i think its a 24 hour turn around. visa starts the moment you get it.

when are you thinking of going and where ?

regards.

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OK, let me add the details that I thought were unnecessary and correct some of the above info.

If you go to Tachilek, you can get a 14 day visa that restricts you to Kyiangtong and Mong La.

IF you can get a VOA at Mandalay, that's useless info for most of us. The only international flights into MDL originate in China.

Sometime before the last election the Myanmar govt suspended the VOA. Not only that, you couldn't use a travel agent to obtain a visa. You had to go to the consulate/embassy in Bangkok. I was going to go back six months ago, but I didn't want to make the special trip to Bangkok just to get the visa. I'm trying to find out if that has changed.

I've done several multi-week trips to Myanmar, the first one back in 1996. For the sake of this post and question, all I want to do is fly CNX-RGN on a 28 day tourist visa. Has anyone gotten a tourist visa recently without personally appearing at the consulate/embassy in Bangkok? I also read that, according to the Nation, the online visas will be available again soon. I'd prefer not to depend on the Myanmar govt.

Edited by el jefe
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OK, let me add the details that I thought were unnecessary and correct some of the above info.

If you go to Tachilek, you can get a 14 day visa that restricts you to Kyiangtong and Mong La.

IF you can get a VOA at Mandalay, that's useless info for most of us. The only international flights into MDL originate in China.

Sometime before the last election the Myanmar govt suspended the VOA. Not only that, you couldn't use a travel agent to obtain a visa. You had to go to the consulate/embassy in Bangkok. I was going to go back six months ago, but I didn't want to make the special trip to Bangkok just to get the visa. I'm trying to find out if that has changed.

I've done several multi-week trips to Myanmar, the first one back in 1996. For the sake of this post and question, all I want to do is fly CNX-RGN on a 28 day tourist visa. Has anyone gotten a tourist visa recently without personally appearing at the consulate/embassy in Bangkok? I also read that, according to the Nation, the online visas will be available again soon. I'd prefer not to depend on the Myanmar govt.

Just got my Myanmar visa without having to visit Bangkok.

Sadly still no VOA at RGN. It is promised to return but no joy yet. In CM either use Air Bagan opposite the Shangri La or PB Travel opposite side of the road nearer the traffic lights to the south of Air Bagan.

Takes about 5 business days.

If you are organizing a full trip with a company in Myanmar they can arrange a form of VOA for you. All a bit convoluted and I don't like having one company arrange my whole trip.

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Thanks, Folium. I knew if you had the info, I could count on you.

I did talk to STA travel today. Yes, you can have almost any reputable travel agent get the Myanmar visa for you. The restriction that you must appear personally in Bangkok has been lifted.

Like you, I'm not interested in having anyone arrange my itinerary. Tour companies in Myanmar can issue visas for you. It's pre-arranged, so not really VOA.

And FYI for all -- there are NO VOA's at any entry point, incl the 2 intl airports.

Edited by el jefe
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folium,

Thanks very much for posting this. And, please, what is the length of stay of your visa? Can it be used at land borders?

You'll have to wait for land crossings into Myanmar. But heck having waited almost 50 years what is a few more months (possibly, fingers crossed)? Roll on the day when you can head due west on a decent highway straight to Ngapali for the best beach in M'mar (so far, some interesting spots way further south now opening up), an easy 3 hour drive away.

re my latest visa it is a single entry T visa good for 28 days with a 3 month validity from date of issue.

Access remains only via RGN, unless you go KMG-MDL, but Air Mandalay is talking about reopening its CNX-MDL routing, which would be amazing, as while Mandalay has lost most of its appeal except its name, it will open up the northern 2/3 of M'mar.

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folium,

Thanks again. I'll keep my fingers crossed, too.

It may take a handful of years for Myanmar to truly nose up from the runway and take flight. First things first. For the last few months, I understand the IMF has been working with Myanmar authorities to "untie a complex exchange rate regime". So, the kyat won't skyrocket with the expected tsunami of capital inflows.

Cheers.

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folium,

Thanks again. I'll keep my fingers crossed, too.

It may take a handful of years for Myanmar to truly nose up from the runway and take flight. First things first. For the last few months, I understand the IMF has been working with Myanmar authorities to "untie a complex exchange rate regime". So, the kyat won't skyrocket with the expected tsunami of capital inflows.

Cheers.

Given the fact the much of the foreign facing economy is $denominated already, it would not be totally surprising to see a dollarisation of the economy in M'mar, like Ecuador, Panama or Zimbabwe. Might require a bit of political pride swallowing but if Zim and Ecuador can manage it...

I reckon more open borders will be in place by the end of this year and road access by late 2013. Those generals' wives are getting bored of Singapore and want to shop in Milan & Manhattan.

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Land borders have been open for a while between Myanmar and China, but for most westerns to enter Myanmar that way they need to be on an expensive pre-arranged trip with a tour company licensed by the Myanmar govt.

I'm crossing my fingers too for a revival of the CNX-MDL flight. Hopefully this time it will be a return flight without having to go thru RGN on the return. My original question relates to my planned trip to the areas NW of Mandalay, some of which have only been opened for a year or two.

As for land borders to Shan State opening near CM, I don't see that happening any time soon. And in some ways I hope it never happens. That would be pretty bad news for the Shan and Karen. The Myanmar govt still doesn't have control of much of the border and until they surpress and repress the minorities further, they won't be opening the border. If you read the motorcycling forums, you'll see that plenty of people have gone across, especially near near Pang Ma Pha. Illegally, of course, but with the consent of the Shan and Karen.

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Would you trust A travel agent with your passport. and You being an American,

I do it often and have never had a problem. Of course, I always deal with an agent that has a storefront and is not a fly-by-night operation.

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depends how long you want to stay for. if only a short time, you can cross at maesai and stay for up to a month. restricted where you can go.

or go to the consulate in bangkok and apply for business visa, 3 months. i think its a 24 hour turn around. visa starts the moment you get it.

when are you thinking of going and where ?

regards.

Last time I applied for a business visa, there were two options: Fast (one day) and normal (I think around 4 days). I chose the fast option, handed the application in on a Wednesday morning and learned that "one day" means that I could pick it up on Friday afternoon.

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Where in Myanmar are you going? You can still the visa on arrival at Yangon and Mandalay airports.

I saw a booth stating "visa on arrival" when I arrived at Yangon airport, and went there to ask how this works. A travel agent has to arrange this in advance, and they will have your details at that booth and will stamp in the visa. If your name is not on the list, you won't get the VOA.

It's not like Thailand, where folks who need visa on arrival (like my Taiwanese friends) just show up at the booth and then get it.

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folium,

Thanks again. I'll keep my fingers crossed, too.

It may take a handful of years for Myanmar to truly nose up from the runway and take flight. First things first. For the last few months, I understand the IMF has been working with Myanmar authorities to "untie a complex exchange rate regime". So, the kyat won't skyrocket with the expected tsunami of capital inflows.

Cheers.

The "complex exchange rate regime" is that the official rate is 7 or 8 kyat to the dollar, the black market (read: real) exchange rate is 700 or 800 (I forgot), and when you import goods, customs uses a rate of 400 kyat to the dollar. (My memory of the exchange rates may be off by a bit, but not by a magnitude.)

The important thing is that the dollar bills you bring are new. For some reason, if you want to change used (i.e. previously folded) dollar bills, they either won't accept them or you get a worse exchange rate in the market.

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Where in Myanmar are you going? You can still the visa on arrival at Yangon and Mandalay airports.

I don't believe this to be correct. Just like Vietnam, AirAsia and the like won't even let you fly without a visa. I was in Yangon in December and friends going to and from there all the time and they always make a visa at Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

To the thread starter yeah you can use travel agency but why toast 1000 BHT when it's very easy to do yourself.

Edited by afx
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  • 1 month later...

Where in Myanmar are you going? You can still the visa on arrival at Yangon and Mandalay airports.

I don't believe this to be correct. Just like Vietnam, AirAsia and the like won't even let you fly without a visa. I was in Yangon in December and friends going to and from there all the time and they always make a visa at Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

To the thread starter yeah you can use travel agency but why toast 1000 BHT when it's very easy to do yourself.

1,200 Baht - but it looks as if it is all done and dusted and you just pick up per post #16

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  • 2 weeks later...

folium,

Thanks again. I'll keep my fingers crossed, too.

It may take a handful of years for Myanmar to truly nose up from the runway and take flight. First things first. For the last few months, I understand the IMF has been working with Myanmar authorities to "untie a complex exchange rate regime". So, the kyat won't skyrocket with the expected tsunami of capital inflows.

Cheers.

The "complex exchange rate regime" is that the official rate is 7 or 8 kyat to the dollar, the black market (read: real) exchange rate is 700 or 800 (I forgot), and when you import goods, customs uses a rate of 400 kyat to the dollar. (My memory of the exchange rates may be off by a bit, but not by a magnitude.)

The important thing is that the dollar bills you bring are new. For some reason, if you want to change used (i.e. previously folded) dollar bills, they either won't accept them or you get a worse exchange rate in the market.

Don't know what the situation is now but a few years ago we hired a driver in Mai Sa and drove alll the way to Monglar on the Chinese border. They would only take Chinese money. I had not figured on a deposit for the hotel key and after showing them Thai money and Burmese money they finely settled for a $100 American bill which I got back when I checked out.In Kengton they would only take Thai money on the way in coming back I made them accept the Burmese money.

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