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Driving Own Car In Burma

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I am from New Zealand and I like to drive my own car (registered in New Zealand) from Thailand to India or Bangladesh crossing Myanmar. Any restriction about it yet? I am holding a New Zealand driving licence or may be to arrange an International driving licence.

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I am from New Zealand and I like to drive my own car (registered in New Zealand) from Thailand to India or Bangladesh crossing Myanmar. Any restriction about it yet? I am holding a New Zealand driving licence or may be to arrange an International driving licence.

If you've read the previous posts in this thread, you'll know that what you would like to do is not legally possible.

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I was caught in 94 and agsin in 96 in public transport (actually, one was a dump truck) and turned back. I seriously doubt even present changes Myanmar is allowing you to take your own transport and roam the country. No way. Folly for asking.

I have heard rumours that some islands will be opening for 1 -2 night stays. If this is done via proper channels there is a park fee of 150us so that with the tour makes the whole thing stupid expensive poor value.

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I have some new information on this topic as I have travelled to Myawaddy (opposite Mae Sot) 3 times this year already. Firstly, it is possible to bring across a Thai car from Mae Sot to Myawaddy without special permission (but the car should preferably be in your name or that of a travelling companion and can't be a Thai rental car), but only for the day and then you are essentially only allowed to travel about 15km inside the country to the industrial estate. This is also the furthest you can go on your own without special permission - although in practice you can go up to the start of the mountains before Kawkareik (I just did this) as the first checkpoint isn't really properly manned. However, going via this route would still require you to leave the same day so it's only useful if you want to explore Myawaddy and surrounding areas on a day trip - perhaps because you would like to buy some things in Myawaddy to take back to Thailand and/or get a feel for Myanmar. If you do make it beyond the mountain checkpoints before Kawkareik either officially or otherwise, you'd probably find it a lot easier just as a passenger in a Myanmar registered vehicle though.

To drive to Yangon officially at least, you'll have to get in touch with MT&T, who'll meet you at the bridge in Mae Sot (or Myawaddy - same thing) helping you with your paperwork and they'll probably give you a guide that would accompany you on your entire trip inside Myanmar. The cost of this permit and guide is hard to say - I have heard reports of something in the region of US$5000 and a few weeks up to maybe 3 months of prior permission before being granted. On the 7th of January a group of Singaporean motorcyclists, along with another group of motorcyclists from other countries did just this - I saw they had a guide with them and probably had to pay something like this to be granted permission to cross through this restricted area.

Hopefully this will all become a thing of the past as I have now received reports that the entire road from Myawaddy to Yangon will be officially opened to everyone by next year. If this becomes the case, there is every reason to believe that the authorities will also allow travel by foreign registered car. It's unclear if this would be the only road opened between Myanmar and Thailand at that time (the next one will be the new Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi-Dawei expressway currently under construction) but even if it is, it would be a good start.

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I am from New Zealand and I like to drive my own car (registered in New Zealand) from Thailand to India or Bangladesh crossing Myanmar. Any restriction about it yet? I am holding a New Zealand driving licence or may be to arrange an International driving licence.

If you've read the previous posts in this thread, you'll know that what you would like to do is not legally possible.

Actually - it may be possible. Read my reply (above). Currently the best and probably only official way of doing this is by contacting MT&T in Yangon. This trip can be done - but the better question is, how much prior planning and how much money will it cost? Because on both counts, expect a lot of time to be required to be granted permission and a lot of money to be charged meaning you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Perhaps yes, if you want to drive across Myanmar to film a documentary or something, but less so if they charge you a fortune even though you just want to say you've done it. Crossing from Thailand to Myanmar and back again will cost a certain amount - but crossing from Thailand to India or Bangladesh via Myanmar will almost certainly cost a lot more, will require more time to be granted permission etc.

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Applying permit is one thing and applying visa is another. Permit is allowed for drivers' to travel starting from

Permit requires 9-10 working days. Definitely you need a travel agency because the ministry want to make sure someone is responsible. I am not sure the about the charge though but I know what documents needed.

Name Lists of participants mentioning Name, Passport Numbers and Nationality

Detailed Itinerary

Guide License

TA's registration card

Car Plate Number & Photo

Car/Driver's License

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Here in bullet points what I was required to do when I drove from Mae Sai to Moeng La (China border) and back (I spent a week inside Burma with my 4x4)

- car must be registered on your name, i.e. driver's name (foreigner no problem or difference to Thai)

- no hired car or leased car allowed to leave Thailand (Thai customs rule)

- no motorcycles allowed to do the trip

- Thai customs papers - they charge you a small daily fee for leaving the country

- original car registration is kept by Thai customs - returned when you enter Thailand again. You receive a paper for it.

- Myanmar Travel at the border will assist you with all paperwork there

- Foreigners driving Thai licensed cars no problem

- You will be issued a one-month-insurance by a Myanmar insurance company

- 2-week visa for Myanmar on entry (unless you have a visa)

- payments of road tax, passenger tax (for additional passengers in your car)

- Thai driving license accepted (i guess EU or international as well)

- you receive immigration card which needs to be stamped at each checkpoint (5 between Tachileik and Moeng La) as well as at the immigration in Kengtung and Moeng La if you stay overnight there.

- road toll to be payed a few times along the highway to Kengtung- that's for every vehicle.

- on return: pay Tachileik road tax again (weird, but dont argue...)

- exchange back your car registration at Thai immigration.

Note: your passport and Thai visa are totally separate issues to the car leaving the country, which is customs stuff! They Thais are very helpful anyway. Myanmar Travel is helpful too, but the authority guys are kind of getting you take deeeeep breaths... just be prepared that the procedure in Tachileik will take 3+ hours.

Total amount of permission and tax fees... approx 120 US$ (we were 4 passengers and my 4x4 pickup truck, 1 week)

Make sure you have 4 sets of copies of all your papers.

During the Myanmar "checkin procedure" I had to go back to Thailand to get copies done... Thai immigration just laughed and let me come back without restamping or keeping my passport wink.png

In Myanmar: Checkpoints: friendly, no fees, no cheats, no pocket money. I passed at least 20 checkpoints during that week and just one time they asked me kindly to let a police dog sniff a little for drugs. More often I had to turn down requests by the police, immigration or customs guys to drink tea at the checkpoint and have a chat... Actually, the only "unfriendly" officials were the ones in Tachileik. Says a lot.

Thai police warned me of security and pocket money requests. Truth: nothing happened. At one makeshift military checkpoint the collected 1000 Kyat from people - I was the only one who did not pay, and they let me pass, too (towards another special area close to China).

Entering special region 4 (Moeng La) - make sure you have YUAN (change them in Kengtung). The local warlords army charges you for a "visa" and some road tax again. But, they don't take Kyat or Baht, even though you are in Myanmar...

Fuel: cheaper in Tachileik and Kengtung. Fill up there. More expensive in Moeng La.

Other recommendation: Ask the hotel or guest house in Keng Tung to get you a local guide to come with you on excursions into the wild countryside. This helps tremendously. Fee approx 1000 Baht for a day for a well-educated guide.

I did the trip during rainy season (August) - 4x4 is a MUST. If you like adventure - take mud-chains with you, its worth it.

Driving into remote villages off the main Thailand-China highway: pay a few Kyat to the owner of the house where you park your car - this way it will be looked after and save while you do a hike.

A good hand-drawn map of the region around Kengtung is in the lobby of the biggest state-owned hotel in town (I forgot the name, but it's where the former Shan palace used to be). You can take pics of that map, even though you do not stay there.

Have a good trip smile.png and forgive me if I forgot to mention some detail wink.png

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I am from New Zealand and I like to drive my own car (registered in New Zealand) from Thailand to India or Bangladesh crossing Myanmar. Any restriction about it yet? I am holding a New Zealand driving licence or may be to arrange an International driving licence.

Don't think sheep are allowed in cars in Myanmar, so better you leave your Ewe behind ! cheesy.gif

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Here in bullet points what I was required to do when I drove from Mae Sai to Moeng La (China border) and back (I spent a week inside Burma with my 4x4)

- car must be registered on your name, i.e. driver's name (foreigner no problem or difference to Thai)

- no hired car or leased car allowed to leave Thailand (Thai customs rule)

- no motorcycles allowed to do the trip

- Thai customs papers - they charge you a small daily fee for leaving the country

- original car registration is kept by Thai customs - returned when you enter Thailand again. You receive a paper for it.

- Myanmar Travel at the border will assist you with all paperwork there

- Foreigners driving Thai licensed cars no problem

- You will be issued a one-month-insurance by a Myanmar insurance company

- 2-week visa for Myanmar on entry (unless you have a visa)

- payments of road tax, passenger tax (for additional passengers in your car)

- Thai driving license accepted (i guess EU or international as well)

- you receive immigration card which needs to be stamped at each checkpoint (5 between Tachileik and Moeng La) as well as at the immigration in Kengtung and Moeng La if you stay overnight there.

- road toll to be payed a few times along the highway to Kengtung- that's for every vehicle.

- on return: pay Tachileik road tax again (weird, but dont argue...)

- exchange back your car registration at Thai immigration.

Note: your passport and Thai visa are totally separate issues to the car leaving the country, which is customs stuff! They Thais are very helpful anyway. Myanmar Travel is helpful too, but the authority guys are kind of getting you take deeeeep breaths... just be prepared that the procedure in Tachileik will take 3+ hours.

Total amount of permission and tax fees... approx 120 US$ (we were 4 passengers and my 4x4 pickup truck, 1 week)

Make sure you have 4 sets of copies of all your papers.

During the Myanmar "checkin procedure" I had to go back to Thailand to get copies done... Thai immigration just laughed and let me come back without restamping or keeping my passport wink.png

In Myanmar: Checkpoints: friendly, no fees, no cheats, no pocket money. I passed at least 20 checkpoints during that week and just one time they asked me kindly to let a police dog sniff a little for drugs. More often I had to turn down requests by the police, immigration or customs guys to drink tea at the checkpoint and have a chat... Actually, the only "unfriendly" officials were the ones in Tachileik. Says a lot.

Thai police warned me of security and pocket money requests. Truth: nothing happened. At one makeshift military checkpoint the collected 1000 Kyat from people - I was the only one who did not pay, and they let me pass, too (towards another special area close to China).

Entering special region 4 (Moeng La) - make sure you have YUAN (change them in Kengtung). The local warlords army charges you for a "visa" and some road tax again. But, they don't take Kyat or Baht, even though you are in Myanmar...

Fuel: cheaper in Tachileik and Kengtung. Fill up there. More expensive in Moeng La.

Other recommendation: Ask the hotel or guest house in Keng Tung to get you a local guide to come with you on excursions into the wild countryside. This helps tremendously. Fee approx 1000 Baht for a day for a well-educated guide.

I did the trip during rainy season (August) - 4x4 is a MUST. If you like adventure - take mud-chains with you, its worth it.

Driving into remote villages off the main Thailand-China highway: pay a few Kyat to the owner of the house where you park your car - this way it will be looked after and save while you do a hike.

A good hand-drawn map of the region around Kengtung is in the lobby of the biggest state-owned hotel in town (I forgot the name, but it's where the former Shan palace used to be). You can take pics of that map, even though you do not stay there.

Have a good trip smile.png and forgive me if I forgot to mention some detail wink.png

Interesting report - I've read a report somewhere written by a foreigner who did the exact same route bringing in his own 4x4 truck some time ago, complete with pictures and all. I haven't been able to find the blog or website since, but I'll try again.

A few questions: did you have to request advance permission to bring in your car, or did you just show up at Mae Sai and told Thai customs you're heading into Myanmar by car?

Any documents required from the Land Transport Department for the car, or is the blue book enough (like in the case of Cambodia)?

Did you need a Myanmar guide with you in the car? It turns out that prior to August 28 of last year when 4 Thai-Myanmar border checkpoints opened for foreigners holding visas (and for Myanmar citizens too, who wanted to travel further into Thailand) you needed a guide for travel inside eastern Shan state, even if you travelled by public transport.

While I would love to travel all over Myanmar in my own car one day soon (this is becoming a regular occurrence with overland caravan tours scheduled regularly...some of them are now even crossing at the new Phu Nam Ron crossing and exiting or entering via Ranong/Kawthoung and not just Mae Sot/Myawady as I previously thought), if it is possible to travel independently the corridor from Tachilek to Mong La opposite Daluo in China that would be a good start to get a feel for self-drive in the country.

Interesting regarding the Yuan in Mong La. I traveled to Muse opposite Ruili last year by car with driver and although Yuan were accepted for many transactions, hotels still quoted in USD but accepted Kyat for payment.

Are there any hotels to stay in Mong La? If so, are they any good and how much per night?

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Hello to all the passionated travellers out there!

My girlfriend and me plan to cross Myanmar with our own car in either August or September this year (2014) as part of our road trip with our 4WD from Australia all the way back to Germany. We have found a local licensed tour operator in Myanmar who can organize all kinds of tours with own cars in Myanmar but it is up to us to find other people who are interested in joining us (to make the high costs of such a tour organization affordable). We want to enter Myanmar coming from Thailand and travel on to India. If you are interested in joining us in the second half of August or in September please contact us: <removed> - if anyone has information about other groups already planning something similar please let us know likewise!

Kind regards,

Enrico and Nadine

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I am from New Zealand and I like to drive my own car (registered in New Zealand) from Thailand to India or Bangladesh crossing Myanmar. Any restriction about it yet? I am holding a New Zealand driving licence or may be to arrange an International driving licence.

It is now possible to drive your own cars crossing Myanmar to India and other countries. We did the tour last April via Burma Senses who offered us a very reasonable price. I took reference on the Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor and the prices there were quite expensive.

Yes, you should have the International Driving License, because you could save a bit money.

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Hello to all the passionated travellers out there!

My girlfriend and me plan to cross Myanmar with our own car in either August or September this year (2014) as part of our road trip with our 4WD from Australia all the way back to Germany. We have found a local licensed tour operator in Myanmar who can organize all kinds of tours with own cars in Myanmar but it is up to us to find other people who are interested in joining us (to make the high costs of such a tour organization affordable). We want to enter Myanmar coming from Thailand and travel on to India. If you are interested in joining us in the second half of August or in September please contact us: nue.travelling[AT]gmail[DOT]com - if anyone has information about other groups already planning something similar please let us know likewise!

Kind regards,

Enrico and Nadine

Hi, you can contact Burma Senses Travel & Tours to compare the price. This company can arrange the private caravan tours with tight budget.

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Hello to all the passionated travellers out there!

My girlfriend and me plan to cross Myanmar with our own car in either August or September this year (2014) as part of our road trip with our 4WD from Australia all the way back to Germany. We have found a local licensed tour operator in Myanmar who can organize all kinds of tours with own cars in Myanmar but it is up to us to find other people who are interested in joining us (to make the high costs of such a tour organization affordable). We want to enter Myanmar coming from Thailand and travel on to India. If you are interested in joining us in the second half of August or in September please contact us: nue.travelling[AT]gmail[DOT]com - if anyone has information about other groups already planning something similar please let us know likewise!

Kind regards,

Enrico and Nadine

Hi, you can contact Burma Senses Travel & Tours to compare the price. This company can arrange the private caravan tours with tight budget.

Thank you for the advice! If have just contacted them as request a quote. I will let know if they can offer cheaper rates.

@everyone: Still looking for more people to join us!

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