How to get a visa for Myanmar in Bangkok
We took a break from travelling for a month in Bangkok as a base to spend Christmas and plan travels for 2015. We stayed for a few nights at the excellent Lub’D Hostel and then rented a condo (with gym and swimming pool) in the suburbs via Air BnB.
Our first destination in 2015 was Myanmar, a country which only recently started to open up to tourism and is still doing so.
Visa on arrival is still not fully available so we had to apply for our tourist visa for Myanmar before arriving. We also had to ensure we had crystal clear perfect new dollars ready for our trip.
Getting a visa for Myanmar in Bangkok
You can apply online for an e-visa for $50 (around £33), or go in person to the Union of Myanmar Embassy and get it cheaper (810 bahts: around £16/$24).
The tourist visa is valid for 28 days and is for a single entry. It is valid from your first visit to the Embassy and expires after 3 months from this date:
The process involved 2 visits to the embassy, over 3 business days, unlike our experience of getting an Indian visa in Kathmandu, which took a bit longer.
1. Preparing your paperwork
The paperwork we had to prepare to bring with us was:
- our passports
- a copy of our passports
- two recent (within the last 3 months) passport sized photos (48mm x 38mm)
- details of our address in Myanmar / Burma and also in Thailand
- evidence of entry/exit?
We couldn’t find comprehensive information about whether evidence of entry/exit was required. We met other travellers who didn’t bother with this and still got their visa without any problems.
But we always err on the side of caution so we booked our entry in from Bangkok to Mandalay and exit out from Yangon back to Bangkok with (ahem!) Air Asia:
2. First visit to the Myanmar Embassy:
The Embassy of The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is located at 132 Sathorn Nua Road, Bangkok, 10500, a 5 minutes walk from the BTS skytrain station of Surasak:
The Embassy is open for visa applications from 9am-12pm, Monday to Friday and closed on both Thai and Burmese National Holidays:
We got there just after 8am and there were around 40-50 people in front of us.
Once the doors opened, we collected the application forms and filled them out whilst waiting in the queue. The Union for Myanmar Embassy has a copy of the application form online, but you can just complete it on the day like we did.
On the application form you’re asked details of your current and one previous job roles: they don’t like “reporter” or “journalist” related roles so if relevant, we were advised to use “consultant” or “unemployed” instead.
Once in, we submitted our papers and given a ticket number. We waited a further 20 minutes for our ticket to be called. At the second counter, we paid our 810 bahts fee each, given a receipt and told the day to return and collect our passports (we went Friday and told to come back the following Tuesday).
3. Second visit to the Myanmar embassy
The second visit was to collect our passport with visa. The pick up time is 3:30-4:30pm and the queuing was more chaotic this time. We got there just after 3pm and there was a large group already waiting.
It took until almost 4pm for the doors to open, but once in, it was very quick. We collected our passport with Myanmar visa and took our proud selfie: