- No visa on arrival; visa from a Myanmar embassy abroad required (see exceptions at border crossing section below). MTT can organize a visa on arrival as well but only if applied for via internet before entering Myanmar.
- FIT (For Individual Tourist) visa for a journey to Myanmar of up to 28 days issued at embassies.
- Visa can not be extended reliably anywhere at present as it seems local authorities are unsure of whom got the authorization doing such extensions after some changes in the departments. If you wish try your luck at MTT Yangon which used to be able to do extensions before, but don't coun't on it.
- Overstay can be paid at international airports only at a cost of 3US$ per day PLUS a one time processing fee of 3US$. Two passport photographs are required. Processing at airport is straight forward, about 15 minutes.
132, Sathorn Nua Road
08:30-12:00 and 14:00-16:30
28 days FIT visa 810 baht, two passport photos required, allow two or three working days for processing
same day pick up; 450 baht, only doable if showing up early
Currently only a fixed number of applications will be processed per day; therefore it is essential to be at the embassy early in the morning, even slightly before opening hours, to get a number for same day processing
see other embassies
Overland Border Crossings
Complete overland travel in and out of Myanmar is currently not possible.
New regulations require an 'overland permit' to exit/entry Myanmar by the land borders below. This permit should cost 20-30$ (depending on fee of travel agent) and can be applied for at MTT Yangon, allow 14 days (or more!) proccessing time.
Call MTT Tachilek(084-51023) or Kawthoung (059-51578) before entering at those borders and they might be able to arrange the permit for you (if you get through to their phone...).
There have been few reports of travellers who managed to use those two land borders (a permit was issued on the spot) however most who tried without permit were simply refused and had to turn back!
This border remains closed for foreign tourists. Basta.
Albeit a few foreigners have managed to cross the border at Tamu north-west of Mandalay all of them had own vehicles to transfer and needed several month to get the necessary permits for both sides of the border.
There have been no reports at all individual tourists using this border. So closed. Basta.
Having a 28 FIT tourist visa the border at Ruili/Muse can be crossed; processing of the paperwork at the border and onward travel to Lashio require guide and hired car which can be arranged right at the border nowadays at a cost of approximately 1200 Yuan (150US$).
It is not necessary anymore to prearrange this 'tour' in Kunming; the Myanmar Embassy in Kunming has moved but staff at the Camellia Hotel will be able to direct you to the new location.
Going from Myanmar to China is theoretically possible as well however the required paperwork takes several weeks to process and a similar tour with car and driver from Lashio to Muse. So far there have been no reports at all of anyone travelling to China from Myanmar.
The border at Mongla, north of Kengtung and Tachilek remains closed for foreigners.
Currently there are two border points open from which onward travel to central Myanmar is possible. Sooner or later a domestic flight is needed in both cases however and pure overland travel to central Myanmar is simply not possible.
- Individual tourist with a 28 day FIT visa can enter Myanmar at this border (only if they have applied for an 'overland permit' before) and travel by road onward to Kengtung and Muse; some additional papers will be needed for Muse, to obtain in Tachilek. Overland travel from Kengtung to Taunggyi is currently not possible and a domestic flight has to be taken from either Tachilek or Kengtung to reach central Myanmar (Heho, Mandalay or Yangon). No other choice.
- A day pass for Tachilek only can be obtained at the border for 5US$
- A 10 day border pass for the Tachilek-Kengtung-Mongla corridor can be obtained at the border at a cost of 10US$; the passport remains at the border checkpoint during those 10 days and onward travel to central Myanmar is not possible.
- Individual tourist with a 28 day FIT visa can enter Myanmar at this border (only if they have applied for an 'overland permit' before) and travel by express boat or by airplane to Myeik and Dawei. No overland travel possible between Kawthoung, Myeik and Dawei and onwards to Mawlamyine. Yangon can be reached by air from Kawthoung, Myeik and Dawei. There are few flights between Myeik and Mawlamyine as well but only with Myanmar Domestic Air with its aging fleet of Fokkers and less than ideal accident rate.
- A day pass for Kawthoung only can be obtained at the border for 5US$
- The islands of the Mergui archipelago require permits at 80 (nearer islands)-120US$ (all islands) to be issued in Yangon and Kawthoung only. Those permits require guide and hired boats and a live aboard operating out of Pukhet might be the better alternative.
Three Pagoda Pass
- Day pass at 5US$ only, no onward travel of any kind possible. No Thai visa stamp available here.
- Day pass at 5US$ only, no onward travel of any kind possible. Situation at this border is changing frequently, sometimes it is not possible to get a Thai visa stamp here, sometimes the border remains closed at all.
Both US$ cash and local currency (kyats) are needed for travelling in Myanmar. Entrance fees to major attractions, train and ferry fares, hired cars, hotels and guesthouses are paid in US$ cash only. Usually no Euros or whatsever accepted.
Drinks, food, local shopping, bus and local taxi and trishaw fares are paid in kyats.
- The FEC still exists however the obligatory exchange of 300 US$ into FEC upon entering the country has been abolished many years ago. There is absolutely no need for foreigners to have/use FEC during their stay and FEC has not to be accepted given as change for US$ cash.
- US$ cash in new, clean notes only, thorn and old notes are often not accepted for exchange; smaller notes for entrance fees can be a bit more worn. Serial numbers beginning with CB and more recently with AB as well are usually not accepted due to fear of fakes among those serials.
- Best rates are given for 100 and 50 denominations, for smaller notes exchange rate is lower. Best rates are available in the big centres, notably Yangon and Mandalay. In smaller places rates are often lower, up to about 10%
- Albeit Euros and British Pounds can be exchanged at decent rates in Yangon it will be difficult to exchange those currencies at competitive rates elsewhere
- Thai baht is useful in border areas only, where it can be used instead of US$ cash to pay for accommodation or exchanged into kyats at competitive rates; outside those border areas exchange rate for Thai baht is low, up to 20% lower, and cannot be used instead of US$ cash for payments.
Where to exchange
- Scotts Market - nowadays called Bogyoke Market - has plenty of jewelry shops which exchange currencies as well; bargaining for rates is usually needed; the front desk of the nearby Central Hotel gives good rates as well.
- Jewelry shops are the place to exchange money throughout the entire country; in smaller places it often is only one or two shops which exchange US$
- Current exchange rates at Irrawaddy.org
ATM's, Credit Cards and TC's
- Credit Cards and TC's are not accepted in Myanmar.
- Currently only the Sedona Hotel in Yangon and Mandalay give cash advance on Visa/Master Card however at a whopping 7.6 percent; allow up to 24hrs for processing which is done via their branch in Singapore.
- There are no ATM's at all in Myanmar
- Internet is slow to use in Myanmar; only very few places have half-way decent connections, in most places it can take several minutes for a page to load.
- Hotmail, Yahoo and other popular mail servers cannot be accessed in Myanmar; a very few places seem to have a work around however you will to ask around for it.
- In many internet places e-mail can be send and received during your stay using the e-mail address of the internet place or hotel/guesthouse
- Bringing in cellular phones into the country is technically not allowed however this rules rather applies to Myanmar citizen and foreign tourists are usually not bothered.
- Cell phones brought into Myanmar cannot be used there as there is no roaming and no prepaid cards are available. Cell phones make for emergency flash lights and alarm clocks in Myanmar, that's all.
- Peak of Rainy Season is roughly from June to September for the entire country, however some places see more rain than others. Often thunderstorms lasting for a few hours mix with sunny periods but it can rain for days without end as well. Do expect to get wet if you go during this time.
- With the end of rainy season in October weather has more and more sunshine with only occasional thunderstorms and rains. the countryside still remains lush green during this time of the year. December and January can be refreshing cool at night - and quite cold to outright cold at night in the mountains and the far north.
- From February onwards temperatures are steadily rising with their peak in April and May before rainy season begins. It can be very hot and dry during the day then and the countryside is brown and dusty in many places.