Myanmar

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Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is quite isolated country in Southeast Asia. Although most people (including Lonely Planet) connect Myanmar only with its bad government, this is not the whole story and should not be the only fact to focus on. Rather it is much more worth seeing Myanmar how it really is: A beautiful country, with hospitable and friendly people and an incredible rich culture. This country has so much to give, it is awesome.


2019: There are still conflicts around Myanmar and travel restrictions to many areas. Be sure to check whether your intended road is allowed for foreigners, or you might put locals at risk by hitching a ride from them in a prohibited area. DON’T accidentally enter from Thailand into Tachileik: That areas is surrounded by prohibited areas on all sides and from there you cannot access the rest of Myanmar any other way than overpriced (100 USD I think) plane. You can get to the nearby Kengdong (4h bus drive away) with a bus, but even there you cannot hitchhike: in the parts of the Eastern Shan province that are allowed to foreigners you are still not allowed to go between towns any other way than an official bus and if you try you will be stopped at a police check point. You need to get your bus ticket at the actual bus station because they need to write you an official paper about you going to the next city. This is the rule only in the Eastern Shan Province, not elsewhere in Myanmar.

BORDERS 2019: Bangladesh: not crossable, India: crossable in 2018 and 19 but situation can change quickly, China (Tibet) not crossable, Laos: somehow crossable but not easy, Thailand: easily crossable

Before 2018 it was really difficult to cross the border between Myanmar and India by land, but now (2019) the border is open and doesn’t require a special expensive permit for crossing like before. Before it was not allowed to bike by yourself to the border but instead you had to take a bus from Mandalay, but since 2018 biking to the border has been possible. Border-crossing places to India are (1) Tamu (Myanmar) - Moreh (India) and (2) Rihkhawdar(Myanmar) - Zokhawthar(India). There used to be a rule that unless you enter the country with your own vehicle you can only exit the country from the same crossing point as you arrived, but that rule has been removed. Rules about borders can change quickly, so make sure to check the newest knowledge. This page has good information: https://www.go-myanmar.com/arriving-and-departing-over-land

Transport

Find info on hitchhiking at Hitchwiki.

Hitchhiking might be illegal for both the driver and the foreign hitchhiker with the punishment of a fine (says a foreigner who has lived 3 years in the country). I have been told there are a lot of police check points. Apparently many local people are also worried that if something happens to the foreigner they could be held responsible. Some people have anyway hitchhiked successfully in Myanmar. In Myanmar it is a common thing to pay for rides.

Companies

{{#ask: Transport type::bus Connects country::Myanmar|intro=* Bus: }} {{#ask: Transport type::train Connects country::Myanmar|intro=* Train: }} {{#ask: Transport type::plane Connects country::Myanmar|intro=* Airline: }} {{#ask: Transport type::ferry Connects country::Myanmar|intro=* Ferry: }}

Accommodation

Find info on hosp ex at Couchwiki.

In Myanmar it’s illegal for foreigners to sleep anywhere else than in hotels and hostels that are registered to receive foreigners. Sleeping at private people’s houses is illegal for sure (so it potentially puts the local person at risk) and I have heard from several sources that camping is illegal too. A traveler elsewhere in the the internet wrote that if you go camping people might call the police mostly because they worry about your safety. Apparently the very cheapest hostels that can be found in Myanmar are something like 6USD.

Anyway there exists some brave illegal couchsurfing hosts and airbnb in Myanmar.

At least before it has been possible for (at least male) travelers to sleep at temples at pilgrimage sites.

Meet fellow travellers on hospitality exchange networks: Trustroots, [Burma/MM BeWelcome]

Food

Find info on dumpster diving at Trashwiki.
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Connectivity

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Busking

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Visa

You can apply for Myanmar visa easily online in the visa page of the Myanmar government: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ For me as a Finnish citizen it costed 50e and was accepted in the same day as I applied. In the internet it says it can take up to 3 working days for the visa application to be processed.

Between Thailand and Myanmar there is some kind of agreement that the citizens of these countries can freely cross the border at the designated crossing places and spend 1 week in the other country without visa.

After Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, there was a huge problem for humanitarian workers to get into the country. MSF ended up finding a route that worked for them. They found a sympathetic official in the London consulate who was either authorized to, or simply took the initiative to, issue a small number of visas per day for MSF. All sections of MSF forwarded passports to a single MSF-UK person, who trickled them through official.

This was in marked contrast to the hordes of people caught in Bangkok clamoring for access. In a certain way, the farther removed from the big noise and confusion, the better.

Just a thought, if it comes up again.

Cities

{{#ask:In country::Myanmar}}

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Travel destinations

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