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Mae Sot to Yangon trip Aug 2017


ChristianPFC

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I am planning to travel overland from Mae Sot to Yangon begin of Aug 2017. My first time in Myanmar (but spent long time in Thailand and have been to various  other SEA countries on visa runs).

 

I will apply for visa in embassy in Bangkok, their visa form is odd http://www.myanmarembassybkk.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/APPLICATION-FOR-ENTRY-TOURIST-VISA.pdf Which fields are important, which not? Current and previous job? I am unemployed. Will the form be available at the embassy (I don't have a printer at home, easier to fill it out there than going to an internet cafe to print it). Any problems when entering on that land border (Mae Sot - Myawaddi)?

 

According to

http://www.myanmarembassybkk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/visa.pdf

tourist visa costs 1600 THB and takes three working days to process. The most expensive visa in the region, and that is part of the reason why I left Myanmar that long (about 15 visa runs elsewhere, I even twice paid air fare to Taiwan - 8500 THB return - than suffering the humiliation of paying 1600 THB for a visa).

 

The rest of the trip two scenarios:

Either go alone by bus or other public transport and fly back from Yangon to Bangkok. Trip will be via Hpa-An and Kyaikto for some mountains and temples. In Thailand I get around by public transport very easily (I can speak and read Thai), how is the public transport in Myanmar, and how can I get around with English?

 

Or go with a Farang friend and take his car from Thailand to Myanmar and back (we have done such trip recently to Cambodia, where we learnt at the border crossing Hat Lek / Cham Yeam that we have to return on the same border crossing, which was inconvenient), however return via Kanchanaburi if possible (shorter than Mae Sot, but on the way going I have sightseeing in Mae Sot, actually could do the entire trip the other way round: enter Myanmar in Kanchanaburi and exit in Mae Sot). Any experiences taking Thai car into Myanmar?

 

Is proof of exit required when entering Myanmar? If I travel alone, I will buy the flight Yangon - Bangkok before going, but when traveling by car, what to do? The car might serve as proof of exit for my friend, but what about me?

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FIRST  get the visa online $50  takes 2-24 hours only;   https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

 

Mae Sot to Myawaddy is a nice easy crossing than  its only 4 hours by shared taxi to Hpa-an, , a truly lovely town on the river, make sure u rent a bike and get out to visit the caves and temples.

 

Unless he is willing to spend upwards of $2,000 or be on a tour, ur friend can NOT take his thai registered car into Burma

Transport in Burma is fine by bus's, trains, boats, taxi's, flights

 

PS: have entered many time with my thai car at koh kong and only once exited there.   :-)

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What is the advantage of online visa? Other than queues at Myanmar embassy in Bangkok

https://nomadicboys.com/get-visa-myanmar-bangkok/

https://travelhappy.info/thailand/myanmar-visa-in-bangkok-how-to-get-it/

What about proof of exit when applying for visa or at immigration in Mae Sot?

 

What is cost for rent of car and driver, do they speak English, does the car have aircon, change car and driver at each overnight stop (hpa-an, kyaitko) or one all the way? Can it be done by bus (I mean is there a good bus network, like in Thailand)?

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online visa is great ( the only kind I have had in the past 3 years)  if u dont live in Bangkok or chiang mai and dont want to stand in line and wait for 2 days 's ( plus taxi's there and back)

Plus saves u a full page in ur passport

 

No proof of exit needed

Most drivers MIGHT speak a little englsh, air con, same driver and u pay for is room if u overnight somewhere,  price....not cheap

yes can be done all over the country by bus  and many places u can access by train although takes longer.

also very good flights many places.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11.7.2017 at 7:04 PM, phuketrichard said:

online visa is great ( the only kind I have had in the past 3 years)  if u dont live in Bangkok or chiang mai and dont want to stand in line and wait for 2 days 's ( plus taxi's there and back)

Plus saves u a full page in ur passport

I'm spoiled for living in walking distance to Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

 

Got the visa: 17jul2017 queue 11:05-55 to submit, could have picked it up on 19jul but was away, got it today 20jul2017 queue 15:30-45 (and then everyone gone!). 1600 THB for three day, +550 for next day, +690 for same day.

 

Of all the websites that describe how to get the visa, all failed to notice or point out the entrance to visa section is actually on Pan road. So I walk along Sathorn road past the embassy, and turn into Pan road, and shock! There is a small migration of people, estimated 200, sitting on both sided of the road on the sidewalk, for a length of about 100 meter.

 

However when I asked in the yellow sign copy shop, I am told they are all Myanmar people and not queuing for tourist visa. I got my passport copy there for 8 THB (the most expensive I have ever paid, even in the embassy they only charge 5), but as he provides an airconditioned room, with a seat and table and visa form and stationary, that is fine with me. Much more comfortable to fill out there than it would have been in the embassy. The red sign copy shop looked less comfortable and more crowded when I walked past.

 

No proof of entry or exit requested.

 

I'm currently unemployed, but put my job name and address of job center where I'm registered in Germany as unemployed under "current occupation", and it passed.

 

What would a car with driver from Myawaddi to Hpa An, and sightseeing on the way, making the whole trip 4 hours driving and 3 hours sightseeing, cost? Then for the following day around Hpa An, keep the driver or send him back and get one from Hpa An (who might have better local knowledge)?

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for 1,600 baht ( apx $47)  why bother going twice to the embassy when for ONLY $3 more u can do it all at home?

shared taxi from  Myawaddi to Hpa An around $25,. if u want the whole taxi.......

Rent a motorcycle in Hpa-an ( from Galaxy motel) $6/day, they offer an excellent map to the caves and temple

suppose they could arrange a car and driver.. owner and her daughter speak excellent english

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I'm old fashioned and like to do things on paper rather than on internet. In addition, my bank account is in Germany, if Myanmar embassy bills me in USD, there will be conversion charges. Furthermore I have no printer, so I would have to go to internet cafe to print the visa.

 

Shared taxi Myawaddi to Hpa-an, shared by how many people? (This information is nowhere on the internet or in guidebook, the driver could cram 3 in the back and 1 in front, then the trip would bring him 100 USD.)

 

Around Hpa-An, we travel two, and my friend brings a drone (any advice on droning in Myanmar?), so better by car. Anyway, I have never driven a mocy and have no international driver's licence! Bicycle would be fine for me, but not for my friend. And I plan to go up and down Zwegabin on the two different trails, so have to arrange pick up by driver (if I were alone I would hitchhike or wait for a bus, but my friend wants more comfort).

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/11/2017 at 9:20 AM, ChristianPFC said:

What is the advantage of online visa? Other than queues at Myanmar embassy in Bangkok

https://nomadicboys.com/get-visa-myanmar-bangkok/

https://travelhappy.info/thailand/myanmar-visa-in-bangkok-how-to-get-it/

What about proof of exit when applying for visa or at immigration in Mae Sot?

 

What is cost for rent of car and driver, do they speak English, does the car have aircon, change car and driver at each overnight stop (hpa-an, kyaitko) or one all the way? Can it be done by bus (I mean is there a good bus network, like in Thailand)?

I wouldn't recommend the bus - it's slow and uncomfortable but it will take you to Hpa-an and Kyaitko if needed. Note that despite the road around the mountain pass being upgraded now (it's a beautiful Thai built road around the mountain bypassing a town called Kawkareik or Kawkarek depending on the spelling) and then a rough narrow road to Hpa-an that is in the process of being upgraded, bus services starting from Myawady probably won't allow you to travel only as far as Hpa-an or Kyaitko, though you can ask. Those buses you may see in Myawady are express services that go to Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake and other long-distance destinations. If you want to visit only nearby places such as Hpa-an, Mawlamyine and the Golden Rock, expect to catch a minivan, share taxi or private taxi for Hpa-an or Mawlamyine at the very least before changing for a bus there. Note that Mawlamyine is a bit of a detour if your intention is to visit the Golden Rock.

 

If you have the means definitely go by car. You negotiate the fare directly with the driver. Some drivers can speak English or Thai, or both. You will most likely be sticking with the same driver throughout, though sometimes they bring along a friend to share the driving with. You'll be quoted an amount that covers the car rental, fuel, all road tolls and the driver's accommodation and meals, in other words, an all inclusive amount. If you're only heading for Hpa-an and the Golden Rock and back, I'd say you could probably find someone for around 70,000-80,000 Kyat after negotiation, but you'll probably be quoted something as high as 100,000-120,000 initially so remember to bargain and try another guy if one is unwilling to go down in price. A one way private transfer to Hpa-an should cost you around 50,000-60,000 Kyat. Air-con should be available but sometimes drivers are a bit frugal in using it. Make sure you let your driver know you need it.

 

There is no advantage in applying for a Myanmar visa through an embassy anymore. You not only waste time and money getting there and back, but also a page in your passport. The single exception is for entry through the Phu Nam Ron - Htee Khee (Tiki) crossing between Bangkok and Dawei, where they don't accept e-visas for entry (exit is OK though). No proof of anything is required when applying for the visa or when leaving Mae Sot except for the e-visa confirmation letter, though the Thai side has never wanted to sight mine and just assumes you can enter Myanmar, in any case even without a visa they let you in for the day upon payment of US$10 or 500 Baht.

 

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On 7/21/2017 at 8:21 PM, ChristianPFC said:

I'm spoiled for living in walking distance to Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.

 

Got the visa: 17jul2017 queue 11:05-55 to submit, could have picked it up on 19jul but was away, got it today 20jul2017 queue 15:30-45 (and then everyone gone!). 1600 THB for three day, +550 for next day, +690 for same day.

 

Of all the websites that describe how to get the visa, all failed to notice or point out the entrance to visa section is actually on Pan road. So I walk along Sathorn road past the embassy, and turn into Pan road, and shock! There is a small migration of people, estimated 200, sitting on both sided of the road on the sidewalk, for a length of about 100 meter.

 

However when I asked in the yellow sign copy shop, I am told they are all Myanmar people and not queuing for tourist visa. I got my passport copy there for 8 THB (the most expensive I have ever paid, even in the embassy they only charge 5), but as he provides an airconditioned room, with a seat and table and visa form and stationary, that is fine with me. Much more comfortable to fill out there than it would have been in the embassy. The red sign copy shop looked less comfortable and more crowded when I walked past.

 

No proof of entry or exit requested.

 

I'm currently unemployed, but put my job name and address of job center where I'm registered in Germany as unemployed under "current occupation", and it passed.

 

What would a car with driver from Myawaddi to Hpa An, and sightseeing on the way, making the whole trip 4 hours driving and 3 hours sightseeing, cost? Then for the following day around Hpa An, keep the driver or send him back and get one from Hpa An (who might have better local knowledge)?

 

I've done this many times - but usually by continuing beyond Hpa-an so I was quoted a rate based on the number of days I would be using the car. In some cases, I've managed to do a 2-day one night trip from Myawady to Hpa-an for around 110,000 Kyat (so 55,000 per day) which includes sightseeing along the way but for something a bit longer drivers generally want 70-80,000 and upwards of 100000 for upcountry travel to places like Mandalay etc.

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On 7/24/2017 at 11:54 PM, ChristianPFC said:

I'm old fashioned and like to do things on paper rather than on internet. In addition, my bank account is in Germany, if Myanmar embassy bills me in USD, there will be conversion charges. Furthermore I have no printer, so I would have to go to internet cafe to print the visa.

 

Shared taxi Myawaddi to Hpa-an, shared by how many people? (This information is nowhere on the internet or in guidebook, the driver could cram 3 in the back and 1 in front, then the trip would bring him 100 USD.)

 

Around Hpa-An, we travel two, and my friend brings a drone (any advice on droning in Myanmar?), so better by car. Anyway, I have never driven a mocy and have no international driver's licence! Bicycle would be fine for me, but not for my friend. And I plan to go up and down Zwegabin on the two different trails, so have to arrange pick up by driver (if I were alone I would hitchhike or wait for a bus, but my friend wants more comfort).

There are no buses anywhere near the base of Zwekabin. Some tuk-tuks might wait there or a local can arrange some transport but with a car and driver, you are more flexible. A bicycle or motorcycle would be the other option, but you don't want that so it's better to stick with the car and driver (and if you already went there as I write this message, I presume that's what you did).

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I had a great trip in Myanmar and will go again soon.

 

I posted my experiences here:

http://christianpfc.blogspot.com/2017/08/myanmar-aug-2017-various-impressions.html

 

Car and driver
My farang friend FF knew someone in Mae Sot, who knew someone in Myanmar, who drove us from Myawaddy to Yangon in the course of 4 days 3 nights. Rate was 2,000 THB (80,000 MMK) per day (that is 24 hours, fuel for about 200 km per day and the driver’s accommodation and food included). Split by two that makes 1,000 THB per day for me (Mon morning to Thursday evening 4,000 THB = 160,000 MMK for me, clearly beats public transport, hitchhiking, walking). Our driver was circumspect, English ok (no Thai), non-smoker, and I was completely happy with his service and would hire him again any time. He is based in Moulmein. Contact me if interested.
 
FF could not take his car into Myanmar. No objections from the Thai side, but the Myanmar only let cars in that are importing goods, and then only for limited time and distance, to transfer the good and get the car back to Thailand.
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3 hours ago, ChristianPFC said:

I had a great trip in Myanmar and will go again soon.

 

I posted my experiences here:

http://christianpfc.blogspot.com/2017/08/myanmar-aug-2017-various-impressions.html

 

Car and driver
My farang friend FF knew someone in Mae Sot, who knew someone in Myanmar, who drove us from Myawaddy to Yangon in the course of 4 days 3 nights. Rate was 2,000 THB (80,000 MMK) per day (that is 24 hours, fuel for about 200 km per day and the driver’s accommodation and food included). Split by two that makes 1,000 THB per day for me (Mon morning to Thursday evening 4,000 THB = 160,000 MMK for me, clearly beats public transport, hitchhiking, walking). Our driver was circumspect, English ok (no Thai), non-smoker, and I was completely happy with his service and would hire him again any time. He is based in Moulmein. Contact me if interested.
 
FF could not take his car into Myanmar. No objections from the Thai side, but the Myanmar only let cars in that are importing goods, and then only for limited time and distance, to transfer the good and get the car back to Thailand.

Thanks for your report, it was useful.

 

I've brought my car in there twice, the first time to pick up goods from the Myanmar side and then bring back to Thailand, second time just to for some light shopping and temple visiting. You are only permitted to drive up to the commercial zone, located 12km from the bridge. Cars (and trucks) can only be brought in during the day, during the border operating hours of 5.30 to 20.30 Thai time (Myanmar time is half an hour behind Thai time). The same rules apply to Myanmar registrations entering Mae Sot - can only drive around town during the day and with permission to the Mae Kasa hot springs and the Pawo temple (must pay a little extra and deposit the driver's ID card or other document).

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6 hours ago, ChristianPFC said:

Went through your blogspot and found a lot of information. However, I could not find where I was looking for.

 

Going by car from Mae Sot to Rangoon covers around 450 km and can be done in around 9 hours (according to google maps).

 

The trip however took 4 days and 3 nights. I was wondering about your itinerary. Where did you stop, what did you visit and where did you take a hotel.

 

Looking forward to more information.

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from Mae sot;

stop at Hpa an  ( i stay at the Galaxy motel ( book in  advance as fills up) at least 2 nights and go out and see the caves and temple in the lake. Rent a motorcycle if u dont have a car

up to Kyaikto, stop for the night, splurge and get a hotel at the top a the golden rock, (book on agoda in advance as they fill up ) an amazing experience.   Especially if ur there on a full moon

Bago stop for the night, great town and nice Wat

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/30/2017 at 4:06 PM, Halfaboy said:

Went through your blogspot and found a lot of information. However, I could not find where I was looking for.

 

Going by car from Mae Sot to Rangoon covers around 450 km and can be done in around 9 hours (according to google maps).

 

The trip however took 4 days and 3 nights. I was wondering about your itinerary. Where did you stop, what did you visit and where did you take a hotel.

 

Looking forward to more information.

Two nights in Hpa An for mountain climbing and caves, one night in Kinpun as base for climbing up to golden rock (I really did climb up all the way in about 4 h 30 min, everyone else took the shuttle service, and funicular is under construction). In Hpa An I stayed in a guesthouse (don't remember which), same in Kinpun where even in low season prices are high, I paid 15 USD for a room that would cost 200 to 300 THB in Thailand.

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  • 1 month later...

I am soon going to apply for my next visa for Myanmar at their Bangkok embassy, and here

http://www.myanmarembassybkk.com/?page_id=61

I found

Quote

The embassy is open Monday through Friday from 09:00-16:30.
However, the Visa Section is only open 09.00 – 12.00 and 13:00-15:00 (Monday – Friday).

But my question is: can I apply for visa morning or afternoon? (In other embassies it's usually apply in the morning, pick up in the afternoon.)

 

After having done the manual way (visiting embassy twice to apply and to pick up passport), I might as well try the evisa. Any experiences with that (I'm looking for things that are not obvious or do not work as it should).

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I just applied for evisa. Took me 40 minutes, still much quicker than going to embassy twice (I live in walking distance). Interestingly, much less data required than on the form at embassy. Will report back when I have the evisa.

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I got the visa approval letter by email the same day, now I am converted!

 

However my original reluctance is based on true events: State Railway of Thailand didn't have online booking until recently, and in Cologne Airport it took me half an hour to log into their free WiFi (and I'm German!), so I can imagine and endless list of things that can go wrong when applying online for a tourist visa for Myanmar, but all worked out fine.

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