Hi guys !
I am planning atrip to Myanmar in the coming weeks !
Any one having infos about overland crossing border and visa requierements at Ruili?
once in Myanmar any good connections (yangoon)
like travel agencies or buying plane ticket out of the country
thanks for your reactions
You can't go in over land, you need to fly. I just bought a ticket for a trip March 10-18 that was just 1500 RMB, including tax (!) from Ctrip.
For recent info on visa requirements, check the Myanmar Consulate listing. I called a week ago and posted what I found there.
My understanding is that you can go overland with an expensive permit and a guide from the border town of Mu-se to Lashio, after which you can go on your own. There are people who have recently done this. Enquire at local travel agencies, particularly the one at the Camellia hotel and at the Myanmar consulate for more details. A visa in advance is also required, which is very easy to get. Most people fly, not only because it's a lot faster but I believe the permits may cost as much as the air ticket.
In the near future, this crossing will become an official overland crossing between the two countries and no more permits will be required.
I have also heard that you might need to contact a Ruili based travel agency to arrange the guide, but in order to do this, you'd need to have your Myanmar visa already and be in Ruili (or phone a travel agency there to be safe prior to arrival). From Lashio to Mandalay, there's plenty of transport options, down to Yangon it's even easier with buses, planes, trains and taxis/private cars with drivers. Both Mandalay and Yangon airports offer flights to Kunming.
I've been to Ruili 4-5 times and I can confirm that they don't allow overland passage for Westerners. That said, policies change regularly depending on a myriad of factors so the Ruili agency thing might be real. Tom is correct that visas need to be done from Kunming (only place in Yunnan) beforehand. I don't know if it helps, but you're normally allowed to cross into China from Myanmar through the Yunnan crossings. It might not be worth the hassle though considering you'd have to fly there first and arrange a ton of things after that. Also since few to no Westerners arrive from there, the border check might not be pleasant nor quick.
Here are the directions to the consulate
Check Lonelyplanet's Thorntree forum (www.thorntree.lonelyplanet.com) for more details. It appears to be possible to cross this border in either direction, but a guide and permit are required. As mentioned, soon this required will be abolished but for now this seems to be the way to go. I also heard it was easier to travel from Yunnan into Myanmar than the other way round so go figure.
DanM, Is it cool in Ruili? I have thought about heading down there just to check it out. Anything to see?
In Ruili? I guess it's OK. We take a trip there now and then to relax. There's a very nice waterfall, some of the border villages are interesting. There are many Burmese restaurants (recommendable) and you can buy tax free in the many shops on the border. Western brand cigarettes is the only think that really is cheaper than Taobao though, around 100 yuan a tiao. The climate is nice during spring and autumn but it's sweltering in the summer. I haven't been there in winter but people say it's still shorts-and-a-shirt weather then. Also, fresh fruit is cheap AND you can stock up on avocados, I haven't found those on sale anywhere else.
The driving is absolutely horrific and probably just about as bad as it gets in Yunnan. It's minority country so expect motorcycles appearing out of nowhere constantly, seemingly without any knowledge of how braking and right of way works.
I'm living in Ruili at the moment, and also planning to go to Mandalay overland from Ruili. I got the Burmese visa in Kunming, where they said it's allowed to go overland. I just have to get a travel permit here in Ruili. I haven't asked about it yet, but will do soon, and post what I find out.
There's just been violent clashes between Buddhist Burmese and Muslim Rohingyas in Mandalay, so there might be restrictions on travelling there, if it continues.
Also, most of Kachin state is off limits. This week I took a bus to towards Laiza, (where it's supposedly possible to cross the border, as it's not controlled by the Burmese government, but by the KIO), but was stopped at a checkpoint some 10 km. before Laiza and sent back. "For my own safety", they said.