It was June, and my travel partner and I were on our search for our next destination. We’ve practically wiped out most of SouthEast Asia, and we got 3 options left: Laos, Myanmar, and Brunei.
Well, you guessed it right *wink* – we picked Myanmar! I was slightly hesitant at first because of the warnings about safety in the country. We did some research and eventually convinced ourselves that the place is worth seeing. We had a week, so we planned for 2 stops, Yangon and Bagan.
We were a few days closer to our trip and have had our flights and hotels already sorted, until we bumped into hurdle. We learned that we needed to have an entry visa! In most countries in SouthEast Asia, we can get away with a visa on arrival or none required at all!
It can get very confusing if you do your research online. Websites will tell you different things – some say there is a Visa-on-Arrival facility and some say you have to obtain it before flying into the country. You will find plenty of travel agents online that can process your e-visa, but be careful when choosing as scammers are everywhere to take advantage of naive tourists. Since there was no Myanmar embassy nearby our location, we took a gamble with one agent that we found online. The travel company is called Sincerity General Travel Services and our contact person is Kay.
*Sincerity General Travel Services full contact details:
Kay Zin Tar
Sincerity General Travel services
OFFICE; No.42 A, Pantra Street, Dagon Township. Yangon.Myanmar
Residence; No.28, 4th Floor, 53rd Street, Pazundaung Township, Yangon. Myanmar
Mobile : 09 73138320; 09 4200 96014
Tel/Fax: 01 378994
We called her up and inquired about the tourist e-visa and she’s asked us to send our passport scans, personal details (home address, phone number, and occupation), and our travel details (return flights and hotel information) to her email address. The cost was 100 USD per person, to be paid upon arrival. This made us feel confident that the agency was no sham. We received our approval letter via email, 3 days later. Upon arrival at Yangon airport, we proceeded to the Visa on Arrival counter, and handed out the e-visa documents along with our passports.
Don’t worry if you receive something like this. It may look dodgy, but it’s legit.
We also received a listing with our names and passport details on it, along with the Visa Approval letter.
After a few minutes of waiting, we were called back to the counter and our passports were given back to us with the visa sticker! It’s a single entry visa, valid for 28 days.
The same entry and exit dates are probably a typo, but it was never an issue for us. They looked at the Duration of Stay, which was 28, so we were good!
And that’s it – we headed to the immigration queue and got through in no time. Kay’s representative was at the arrivals hall waiting for us and she had a car to take us to our hotel. Not bad at all – we only paid for visa services and yet we managed to get a free drop-off, too!
If you have an embassy in your country, then consider applying before traveling. This saves you a great deal as the visa will only cost somewhere between 20-30 USD. Processing can also take up to 3 days. The Myanmar embassy in Bangkok is known to release visas on the same day, provided you have submitted your application before 10am.
Stay put for the continuation of our Myanmar trip! We just got in – we will be exploring more in the next post!
Happy travels! 🙂
Disclaimer: I have no associations with the agency mentioned in this post.