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Hopeful Relocation to Lashio Area


Gonzo the Face

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Would like to relocate to the Lashio area of Shan State.

Can anyone offer advice and helpful thoughts such as living conditions, avg monthly expense, health care, banking, etc.? Also what is required as in the way of necessary permission to work and other legal involvements, such as what type of visa? All this in early planning stages.

Thanks for any constructive advice

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Lashio? That's a rather unusual choice! Have you been there before? Fantastic place, lots of minorities, fresh mountain air, nice climate not too hot not too cold. Wet season rains are less severe than in most parts of Thailand or southern/western Myanmar. I've been up that way twice. Never stayed in town though, I was on my way to/from Mu-se on the Chinese border.

In terms of jobs, what would you want to do there? I don't think there'd be much with the exception of hotels and tourism, maybe agriculture and food processing (i.e. you could set something up).

In terms of visas, there are other members such as SeaVisionBurma (haven't heard from him for a while) and Greg K. who would probably be better persons to ask but my understanding is a business visa is what you need. To start off with, you'll need a 70-day single entry business visa (it's easy to get but you need a sponsor) and then the second time you get either another 70 day visa or if you're lucky, a 6-month or even the coveted 12-month multi entry. I'm not sure if there's anything else and this means a couple of visa runs first, but after you've established yourself it should be fairly straightforward. I believe in-country extensions may be possible even on the 70-day single entry. Not sure how long you get, however.

I wouldn't trust health care in Lashio or anywhere in rural Myanmar! Even in Mandalay or Yangon it's fairly basic, so most expats and well-off locals go to Bangkok or Singapore (or sometimes Kolkata) for medical treatment.

Not too sure about banking other than the major banks (KBZ and CB Bank) are available in Lashio. No idea about the requirements to open an account.

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Thanks very much for that Trip T... is very informative ..... Yes it would be something related to the tourism industry as that has been my life for many years. As of yet I have not been there, but its more of a program to get my wife back to her roots and family; get something solid started for her where she does have the help of her family ; then its on to feed then worms.

Very sincerely, thanks for your input. it is more than helpful. At this point just gathering info and the first trip up will be in the next couple months.

Any others wishing to contribute info would be appreciated

Gonzo

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If this comes off, I'd be very interested in your experiences. We wouldn't be wanting to work or anything, all I need from life is a solid internet connection and Mr K likes to go for a drink on a weekend to watch the football. Our needs are very simple, but the internet would be the deal breaker for me. I keep thinking about the future here in CM and am seriously looking for a plan B. Despite the difficulties, I think Myanmar might be interesting as long as we could get our belongings there without it costing the earth. I loathe Cambodia, husband loathes Malaysia, Vietnam, meh. Myanmar could be refreshing, particularly somewhere not too hot.

Please let me know how you go when you do. Bangkok Airways have a good sale on at the moment 4,540 return from Chiang Mai. I have a spouse visa so can't do 90 day reporting, I have to leave the country and we've been saying we'll go for a week or so for years. The only question is, Mandalay or Yangon? We know nothing, just decided it will work out well a couple of hours ago.

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Love traveling to Burma and go every 3-4 months, Lashio was ok but far preferred Hsipaw.  head back in Oct to visit the chin state. Been from the far north ( khamti) to the far south ( Kwathoung) and lots of places in between and down the Irrawaddy, Salween and Chindwin rivers.
IF ur in ur 30's and cashed up, good place to start something now before it all changes

Otherwise living there could be a challenge if ur used to western comforts/food,  Best internet is via a sim card ( i use MPT)

i doubt Burma is for you if u find the other se asian countries trying.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Visit the websites of big banks like Kanbawza Bank, AGD Bank, CB Bank, Ayeyarwaddy Bank, etc and find out yourself. Really not that hard. Anyways, I am 99% sure that there will be at least one or two functioning ATMs. 


Also I would not recommend planning to move to a place which you havent even visited yet. 

 

I have been living in Myanmar for a few years now. Not in Lashio but Myitkyina which might be comparable since it is also a medium sized rather isolated town far away from Mandalay or Yangon.

 

Health Care: Horrible. Most Myanmar doctors have little clue about what they are doing. Get used to be prescriped antibiotics for every possible symptom you might have. If you have a serious medical problem you  either need to go to Thailand or at the very least Mandalay/Yangon. I would guess that there is not even a simply CT scan available in Lashio (same here in Myitkyina). 

 

Living conditions: This is very difficult to answer. What exactly do you want to know? 


Visa: If I understood correctly you have a Myanmar wife. So get a Social Visa. It is valid for 28 days and can be extended as often as you like. There is some paperwork neccessary but not hard to do. First extension is good for 3 months, second extention is good for 6 months and third extension is good for one year. So if you stay long term all you need is an annual visa extension. Much easier than in Thailand since there are no requirements to be met. No 90 days reporting or stuff like that. Use your wife as a proxy for any business you might want to do. Be descrete about it. That is really the only feasable way to do it. Never heard of any expat who got a problem with this kind of arrangement. 

 

Avg. monthly expenses: Depends on you entirely. If you tell us how you plan on living there then I might be able to help you with that. 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been in Lashio several times and mostly all around Myanmar as I working there for the last 4 years. Was based in Mandalay for 2 and half year before I relocated to Yangon now. When I was based in Mandalay, use to go regurarly to Lashio as we had a remote office there. I was always staying only 2 or 3 nights each time. The place is ok but limited in my opinion. Internet is very poor. I was staying everytime in the same hotel "Golden Hill" which seems to be the best hotel in the town. I think the room charge is about 45 USD / night which is pretty good for the standard. It can be pretty cold early morning there as it is high elevation. Was going out a bit for dinner and few drinks with my team based there but very limited. I used to go also regularly to Myitkyina for the same purpose and i definitely prefer it as Lashio. More clean and nice.
I used to be stuck in the hotel sometime when there are some local tension in Shan North and authorities restrict foreigners to go around for the safety.
For me Lashio is not place where I would relocate for long term as it is very limited but this is according to my standard and living.


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Just to add about ATM, there are plenty all over Myanmar now including Lashio. I mostly using KBZ as they seems to be more than others but others are ok too. For me, i always withdraw cash using my Thai ATM card (Bangkok Bank or SCB) and never had any problem. The only problem you can face is "communication error" due to poor internet connection. Maximim withdraw amount per time is 300,000 MMK and they charge 5,000 MMK each time


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jphasia Thanks for that.....  just happened to click on right after your post.  Even though moving to Lashio is more a move to get my wife back with her folks and further working retirement for me,  I would consider developing some type of guesthouse/restaurant operation to cater for trekkers into Myanmar.  Developing this type of thing has been my field all my working life, with the past 20 years operating a like facility in Thailand.  

Each and every year we have numbers of trekkers wanting to know "can you go trekking in Burma"?  So want to explore the possibility   Thanks again for your input.

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Yes. I understand your point. View on this aspect, i believe it might be interesting. Like i said, been based in Myanmar for the last 4 years, i can see the huge changes in the country and lot of improvements including Lashio between my first visit nearly 4 years ago and the last one which was about few months ago. There is definitely lot of opportunities in your domain, tourism to facilitate and help tourists to discover the remote area's of this great country


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  • 4 weeks later...

The store brand you mentioned above are not in Myanmar.
I can't recall having seen any super store in Lashio and I just asked my PA (local) and she confirmed that there are none. There is a big supermarket only near the market area


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29 minutes ago, phuketrichard said:

i cant recall seeing ANY OF THE STORES U MENTION ANYWHERE IN MYANMAR!! I have been to all magor cites and lots of other as well, do u have any idea at all about Lashio?

 

Well! 

Walmart, K-Mart, Makro, Lotus-Tesco: Never saw one this stores brand here but I am not a kind of going much to supermarket...so I might be wrong. I live in Myanmar for the last 4 years but on long term stay in hotels (and services apartment) only. So not much doing shopping here. Actually, same as Phuket where my house is and not going much to super stores as I don't like it and let my wife manage the supplies. I know of course in Phuket Tesco Lotus, Makro, Big C... don't even know about Walmart, K-Mart...

In Myanmar, what I have seen so far is Ocean and City Mart. 

Lashio: well, used to go to Lashio very regularly especially the first 2 years when I was based in Mandalay and had a remote office in Lashio. I had to visit the remote office regularly, maybe 2 times a month and sometime more.

I am not saying that I am expert here. I gave my comment based on my personal experience and also asked local people around me when I saw this post as I was in my office in Yangon at the moment.

But if you have a better information than mine and confirmed that there are such super store in Lashio, please go-ahead. Gonzo will be happy to take as much information's and different opinions.

After 4 years here in Myanmar, the only area I have not yet been are Mon states and Tanintharyi (except Kawthoung but from Ranong for visa run 15 years ago).

Have a nice day.

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you did not read my post well.( Or ur glasses need fixing)

I said i have NEVER seen  any of the stores he mentioned.:rolleyes:



Right. I thought your post was addressed to me... :)


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if you look back at Gonzo's post #14 he is asking if any stores like Walmart etc exist in Lashio. i.e. The local equivalent not the exact store. Anyone else for glasses?

 

i haven't been to Lashio so cannot answer the question.

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OK; fair enough,

i have not seen ANY STORES even closely similar to the ones he mentioned anywhere in Myanmar..

There is one  supermarket style store in Mandalay and a few in  Yangon only, but nothing on the scale of a BIg C or Walmart

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  • 2 weeks later...
Can someone who has actually done it,  tell me how far is it from Mandalay to Lashio, in kilometers/miles and how many hours driving by van.
Thanks
 


5 to 6 hours with private car. Road is narrow especially in some mountain parts with heavy trucks along the way coming / going to China.


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On 8/10/2016 at 2:43 PM, Gonzo the Face said:

Can anyone update me on the ATM situation in Lashio?  ..... i e  can a International bank card be used for a cash withdrawal?   Thanks

Yes. KBZ, CB Bank, Myawaddy Bank and maybe a few others that have opened since. I've also been to Lashio just like another poster earlier in the thread has.

 

 

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On 7/22/2017 at 0:36 PM, Gonzo the Face said:

Are there any expats on here living in the Lashio area???   If so I would appreciate a PM so I can ask a few questions.

Gonzo 

I'd be surprised if there were any at all, apart from some Chinese nationals perhaps. Though there is that guy who said he used to go there to his remote office, I reckon you'll be the only westerner or one of only 2-3 that live there, if you go. Lashio is the kind of place where if you're a westerner, you'll receive equal stares and smiles at every corner. It's rare for foreigners to venture there, even as far as tourists go.

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