Entry and residence regulations
Visa requirements apply. For a visa you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and has 6 free pages. Visas are issued by the Myanmar Embassy in Berlin. The cost of a tourist visa is € 40. An overview from the embassy provides information on other visas. The processing time for visa applications in the Berlin embassy usually does not take more than a week. Travelers who are late can get a visa at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok (132 South Sathorn Rd.) Usually in one to two days. The possibility of applying for a Visa on Arrival at Yangon Airport does not yet apply to individual tourists.
The stay for tourists is limited to 28 days. The stay begins on the day of entry, which must take place no later than 3 months after the visa has been issued. If this time limit is exceeded, US $ 3 per day will be charged. To do this, you must go to the immigration office at the airport. However, it is possible that hotels refuse to stay overnight for the duration of the authorized stay after a look in the passport.
The travel and safety instructions from the Federal Foreign Office should be observed. Here you will also find information on the special situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel and traffic
- Car: Most of the roads used by tourists are in an acceptable condition. On the other side of the main roads, however, it looks different. Cars can be rented with a driver, there are no car rentals for tourists (yet). Exact knowledge of the routes is necessary to use the inexpensive local buses in the cities. Foreigners usually use taxis, of which there are a great many (and often old ones). The price must be negotiated before starting the journey – even if the taxi pretends to be a “meter taxi”. Taxis can also be rented for several hours or days, in which case an hourly or daily rate is negotiated. There are now some taxi apps with which a taxi can be ordered online, which means that there is no need to negotiate the price.
- Trishaws: are three-wheeled bicycle rickshaws with a seat carriage attached to the side of the bicycle. They are often found outside of Yangon, there are few in Yangon, but they can be found in smaller streets. You usually only cover short distances with the passengers. The price must be negotiated before the trip.
- Bus: There are regular and good bus connections between the larger towns. There are now numerous companies that serve the individual routes. Driving these buses is very cheap and relatively convenient. You have a seat reservation and don’t have to expect overcrowded buses. The large Aung Mingalar bus station, from which most interesting destinations are served, is behind the airport. You either have to take a taxi (guide price: 6000 kyat) or inquire about a shuttle bus. Another important bus station is the Hlaing Thar Yar bus station, from here the Delta region (Pathein and the beaches of Ngwe Saung and Chaungtha) is served.
- Railroad: The rail network is over 5,400 km long. The trains are generally slow and the journeys are rather bumpy. Bookings can be made in advance through travel agencies. The responsible ministry is currently working on improvements and an expansion of the route network.
- Airplane: There are a number of airports and several airlines in Myanmar. The German embassy in Yangon points out that some lines use outdated aircraft and the maintenance leaves much to be desired. She recommends FMI because it uses small jet planes that are flown by foreign pilots. The name of the line stands for “First Myanmar Investment Co.”, a holding company owned by tycoon Serge Pun, the first company to register on the newly opened Yangon Stock Exchange in 2016.
And then there is also the means of transport for special occasions. For example here, on the steep path up to the Golden Rock (Kyaik Tiyo), a kind of sedan chair. It makes the long ascent to the 1,000 m high rock easier – and protects the environment, which is heavily polluted by the numerous small trucks that lazy pilgrims drive up.
Security for foreigners
According to naturegnosis, it is safe for tourists to travel to Myanmar as long as the traveler adheres to the applicable regulations, i.e. does not go to dangerous border areas. He should also avoid taking photos of sensitive buildings (military installations and the like). With increasing liberalization, there is a risk that the crime rate in the country will also rise. The traveler should always have his passport with him. Travel to the classic tourist areas is easily possible. If you are interested in “special” tours, a local travel agency should be consulted. Hiking tours away from the designated trails should be avoided because of the risk of stepping on landmines. The Federal Foreign Office provides information on particularly dangerous situations. The infrastructure is insufficiently developed. With a few exceptions, buses, trains and boats do not meet international safety standards.