OBTAINING A BURMESE VISA
To obtain the Burmese visa we went directly to the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. Myanmar has set up an e-visa system (at a cost of $50) that allows you to apply via the Internet but is only valid if you arrive in the country by air. Crossing the border by land we had no choice but to apply to the embassy.
Requests are only made in the morning from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Monday to Friday. You must complete a form and attach two photos, your passport and a copy of it. The offices open at 9am but you can go into the front room to fill out your paper and take a number. We found the form to fill out a little twisted but it takes a few minutes.
Once at the counter he asks you how long it will take you to get the visa, there are 3 possibilities: one day for 1260 Baths, two days for 1035 Baths and finally three days for 810 Baths. It is this last option that we have chosen. You will receive a receipt that you will have to give to collect your passport and that’s it! No questions about what you’re going to do in the country, why and where, it goes by itself!
For the information, there are people every day but the ticket office is quite fast. We arrived at 8:30 and we were out at 10:30. To collect the visa, you must go to the embassy between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm only.
If you want to sleep next to the embassy to be there early the next day, we slept at the Nine@Silom: a dormitory bed at 300 Baths. It is the cheapest in the neighbourhood, very clean and pleasant.
BORDER CROSSING BY LAND
In December 2015, the crossing of the land border in the direction of Thailand – Myanmar is very easy. There is no longer any alternating traffic system, so there is no problem for arrival in the country.
We had taken a bus from Bangkok at 8pm to arrive in Mae Sot around 3:30am. The bus station is 3 kilometres from the border, you must take a taxi to get there. We had to wait a little while because the border only opens its doors at 5:45 am.
Once opened, you are directed to the “foreigner” counter and after a quick check you get your exit stamp from Thai territory. All you have to do is cross the bridge on foot (about 300 metres) to reach Burma. The Burmese welcome you to a small room where you have to fill out a form with the main information about your stay, smile at the camera, wait for your stamp of entry and hop you are free to move around Myanmar.
After everything we read about crossing the border, we never thought it would have been so easy!
Little info, in the end we entered Myanmar on the morning of December 11 and our visa is valid until January 8… so we have a 29-day visa and not 28!