Burma – a place with a name that conjures magic images. From Schwedagon Paya to Bagan, Mandalay and Rangoon, Myanmar has a lot to offer. As Rudyard Kipling said – “this is Burma – and it will be quite unlike any land you know about”. So – expectations are high, camera ready – and visa in the passport. And this post is all about getting the elusive Myanmar visa.
Why elusive? Because there are no embassies in a lot of countries – for Romanians a trip to Belgrade is necessary. Or getting it i Bangkok (like I did). Putting the wrong profession in the application form can lead to denial. And as the word of mouth at the hostel goes – having a too darlk or too light photo can also cause problems.
Doing a Google search also show a labyrinth of information – a lot of website devoted to electronic visas (if there is such thing), offering visa services, and only 2 or 3 blog posts that state how to get the actual visa.
My luck started when I discovered that the hostel is in walking (Asian, but still) distance from the embassy. So – one trip on Monday with: passport, 2 photos (3.5×4.5cm), and the first hotel address from Lonely Planet. i think that hotel gets a lot of virtual tourists. At the embassy I had to pay 5 baht for a passport copy,and 820 baht for the actual visa. For 200 baht more you can pick the visa next day, and some people payed 1300 baht for same day service. Same day service is available only if you queue at 9am. People who came at 1pm could only ask for a second day service.
The visa pick-up service is from 3:30pm (not 1pm as it is on the embassy placque – however on the paper slip it is clearly written 3:30pm). Pick-up took no more than 20 minutes, the double queue to get the visa form and the order number took 40 minutes. Pretty quick and efficient.
So – in short – it was an easy and painless experience, and no need to use weird tout services. There is also a photo center nearby in case of lost / forgotten photos, and some good food options nearby if you want to hangout and wait to pick the passport same day.
I hope this might prove useful for people who intent to get this visa and are scared by the online information floating around.
Cannot wait to actually visit the country!