We are presently in the States getting ready to return to Dali. It looks like we can get one-year multiple entry Visa, but it will require us to leave China every 60 days. (Wanting something besides student Visa -- have had enough of Chinese university study.)
Does anyone have experience going from Dali to Myanmar? We have a vehicle and can drive. Seems there might be flights, and also that Myanmar offers advance approval for tourists Visas in the airport.
We'd prefer to drive from Dali rather than fly from Kunming.
Any one with experience?
I've heard it's pretty tricky to do a land crossing from China – maybe even impossible for the casual tourist, but I'm not sure.
There are several flights a week between Kunming and Mandalay and Rangoon.
Driving to Myanmar is out of question. The Burmese will not let you in. However, you can cross the border, but you will need your arrival Visa in Myanmar arranged by a Burmese Travel Agent.
The good news is, there are flight from Kunming to Yangon and Mandalay. Since last week the Myanmar immigration allows Visa upon arrival in Yangon and Mandalay. Just take 2 photos and your PP. In addition you will have to show that you carry 300 USD (or equivalent amount in other currency) with you. (Credit Card not valid).
Probably cheaper and easier to fly to Kathmandu.
The overland border has opened and closed for individual tourists during the past year with it currently being closed but could be open again soon. There are direct flights to Yangon and Mandalay with those to Rangoon being slightly cheaper (mid-$500+/rt range). Kathmandu while a lovely city, besides not being in Myanmar, it is no easier and currently more expensive than either.
Thanks for the replies.
We got one-year multiple entry L-Visas. They require us to leave every 60 days. Hopefully we can get our business started before we have to leave.
There does not seem to be an easy way to fulfill this Visa requirement.
We have talked with many Chinese people who have moved to the US. They are happy. They do not have these strange Visa requirements in the US. They also get a Green card in the US.
The Burmese do allow vehicles into their country - but mainly from Mae Sai in Thailand. I have asked about this and it is indeed possible. Even non-Thai foreigners have managed this, but driving a Thai vehicle of course. It does require lots of permits and money to pay for these permits along the way aswell, but I have seen a personal account of a foreigner who did this - I can't remember the website, but it's easily searchable by googling it. There are restrictions and you can't go everywhere you want either. I think it may only be possible to drive from Tachilek (opposite Mae Sai in Shan State) to near the Chinese border and back.
From China, the conditions and restrictions may be very different. Myanmar is a fascinating but also very strange country with some of the most bizzare laws in the world. You can definately drive your own Chinese car to the border at Ruili but as for progressing further into Myanmar you might want to enquire in Kunming or Ruili if anyone can help you further.
I think it's unlikely, or maybe you'll be permitted to take the car to the town across the border (Mu-Se or something I think it's called) but no further, since that town is just an extension of China anyway (Chinese is spoken, most people are Chinese and Yuan are used). Then again, just being able to spend a day driving in a border town is probably not what you want so do enquire somewhere official that may be able to help you further as I can only comment on driving in Myanmar from Thailand.
While we're on it, does anybody have any suggestions on destinations or itineraries for Burma (non-driving)? A friend is thinking of coming over from the States in January for a week-long trip and I'm at a bit of a loss. We're up for anything as long as it doesn't mean spending too much time in urban areas.
Sure...fly in, spend a day or two in Yangon, a strange city with not a single ATM and no new cars on the roads...it feels like you've stepped back in time 30-40 years. The hotels there are cheap and good and you'll even get cable TV, though usually not more than about 3-5 foreign channels, even at the best 4 or 5 star hotels.
Then go to Chaungtha Beach, a SE Asian "beach resort" with almost no western (or other foreign) tourists that are so ubiquitous throughout the rest of SE Asia. Then head to Mandalay for some authentic Burmese cultural experience and/or Bagan, a city with thousands of temples strewn across the plains. Alternatively, spend 2 days and one night climbing up to the Golden Rock.
But beware, traveling in Myanmar (Burma) takes time and patience. Don't plan too much if you've only got a week. Traveling around Myanmar is cheap but slow if you go by bus...maybe take a private car with driver, but it won't be cheap...for example, the 125 mile (200km) one way trip from Yangon to the Golden Rock in a beat up 25 year old car set me back US$120 for 2 days just for the car rental...although the hotel I stayed in provided accommodation for the driver, for free if I remember correctly.
Thanks for the advice, Tom. The beach thing sounds pretty cool. Has anybody else had an experience with the visa on arrival thing in Yangon? Is there anything else we (two Americans) should know before we show up w/ our passports and two passport photos?