I’m currently enjoying my time in Bangkok while slowly figuring out where to go next and I’m locking in on Myanmar. So much that I went to apply for a visa today and it was actually very easy.
NOTE: This is for getting a stamp in your passport before entry. This is needed if you are crossing into Myanmar over land! You can now apply for e-visa online which is good enough if you fly to Myanmar. Flying to Myanmar in general is much easier all the way around.
To and from
Take a skytrain to Surasak Skytrain Station and walk a few hundred meters to The Embassy of the Union of Myanmar. The visa office application is open 9-12 every day except Myanmar AND Thailand holidays. Due to an incident involving a forgotten passport I arrived at 9 and finished around 10:20 while my travel companion had to go back to the hostel to pick up her passport and got back at the embassy around 10:30. She finished around 11:45. This means that it takes about 1½ hours and you don’t have to get up insanely early. There were about 50-60 people in queue in front of us but the expedition for each person was very fast (<5 minutes) and there were several counters. We were there on a Tuesday.
What you need
Your passport and money that’s all you need. about 1400 bahts will get you visa the same day, 1250 baths will get it to you the day after and the budget solution will get it to you two days after for 800 bahts. I opted for the last option. Be mindful that you will not have your passport in that time, so make sure you don’t need it for anything.
Other than that you can bring two passport style photos (any kind really – they seemed very easy with shape/size/color etc) and a copy of your passport if you have it. If you don’t have those things they do it there for you. 8 photos is 100bahts and a copy of your passport is 3 bahts.
You also need and application which is one paper (double sided) and very easy to fill up. You need to write some basic information, your present and current job and the place you stay in Myanmar. If you haven’t figured out yet where you are going to stay, just pick any hostel out of a guidebook or ask the guy next to you where he is staying (that’s what I did). Furthermore it’s worth noting that if you get something wrong, they help you at the counter. You don’t have to go to the back of the line.
Getting back the passport
When you apply for the visa the day before you get a yellow receipt – keep it! You need it to get your passport back. I don’t know what happens if you lose it – but you probably shouldn’t 🙂
Depending on which option you chose you will then have to get back the same day, next day, or the day after respectively between 15:30 – 16:30. Pick-up is swift and the wait is long. Remember your yellow receipt!