Getting a tourist visa for Burma in Bangkok is simple and cheap!
Find the Embassy
The easiest way to find the embassy is to take the sky train to Surasak. Once you are at the station, you will likely notice the sign which tells you what exit (3 if my memory serves me correctly) to use for the embassy. Once you exit, walk in the direction of the traffic on your side of the road. Take the second left turn (it’s signposted!) and you will see the little white building. Simple!
What You Need
In order to get the visa, you need to have completed the form which was 2 sides – 1 side asking for employment history. Alongside this, you need a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and 2 passport photos. Don’t worry – you can rock up to the embassy and find all you need; just outside the building are a friendly couple with a van who have the forms, sell pens, can sort your snaps out and photocopy your passport for a few quid. Sorted!
Inside the Embassy
Once you’ve got all your bits and bobs together, head inside. It could be rather busy – if it is, join the queue for counter 4 and fill in your form as you move down the line. (Regardless of busyness, join the queue for counter 4… that tip is just a time saving exercise!). Once you reach the counter you will get your form checked over and receive a number card which will eventually get called out in due time, at a dedicated counter. When you are called up, head to your counter, hand your stuff in, ask for the service you require (same day, next day, day after tomorrow) and pay accordingly. You will receive a slip that notes when your passport will be ready for collection – keep it safe as you will need this to pick up your passport.
We went for regular service which cost 810 baht – under £20. Not bad eh!
Things to Note
If you opt for the regular service like we did, you won’t get asked for onward proof of travel or any sort of itinerary – perfect for travellers who don’t have set plans or want to go overland. Though I cannot confirm for definite, I am led to believe if you opt for speedy service, you need to show a printed copy of your travel details indicating that you will be leaving Myanmar!
The embassy is only open Monday – Fridays, between 9am-12pm for visa applications, and 3.30 – 4.30 pm for visa collections. If there is a national holiday the embassy will be closed – be sure to check this out if you need your visa in a hurry.
Given the recent influx of tourists into Myanmar due to the opening of land border with Thailand and the let up of travel restrictions the embassy can get packed and queues can hang out the door and well into the street. Be prepared for a bit of a queue!
So, it really is that simple, cheap and easy!