After our night train from Vientiane to Bangkok, we decided to stay for a couple of days and chill out. We spent the first couple of days with Ozzie Dave before he flew home and the last two days with Naomi and Jepser, the Dutch guys we’d met a month or so previous. It’s amazing how you see so many of the same faces along the way! Our plan was to head to Myanmar after but for this we needed a visa. Myanmar now offers a 30 day e-visa, where you apply online, pay $50 (£41) and be on your way to Myanmar shortly after. You can also apply for a visa in the Embassy is Bangkok, with a visa costing only 800 Bhat (£19) and taking three days. (There are options of the same day and next day visas but these are more expensive.) In the Embassy it is considerably cheaper than the e-visa, but the 3 days you spend in Bangkok will mean you’ll end up paying more. However, I wanted to spend some time in Bangkok, I was first here over 3 years ago and it was interesting to see how much things have changed, the prices in some places for example were three times the amount I was paying three years previous. Also I wanted to meet up with Naomi and Jepser again before they flew back to Holland. But as I said if you have no need to stay in Bangkok then apply for the e-visa.
The Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is located at 132 Sathorn Nua Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500. The easiest way to get there is to catch the BTS Sky Train, on the Silom Line to Surasak Station, take a right our of exit 3 and walk about 400m until you see the Myanmar flag on your left. The Embassy is open 9-12 for visa applications and 15:30-16:30 for visa collections. I read some reports of people turning up at 6am to be at the front of the queue, therefore waiting 3 hours before applying. Don’t do this, it’s not worth it. I turned up at 10:00 and was out by 11:15, therefore only waiting just over an hour.
Upon entry we were given a form to fill out and a numbered ticket. This was so we could wait in line to be called up to hand over our passport and visa form. We were number 56 and when we arrived they were at number 9. This didn’t fill me with much hope, they had been open an hour and had only done 9 applications. However do not worry, it went a lot quicker than that. The form has the usual things for a visa application, your name, where you are staying in Bangkok, where your staying in Myanmar, expected date of arrival etc. If you don’t know than make it up. For an address is Myanmar just use the address of the first hostel on hostelworld. They also ask about your work history and contact number, I have no idea why. I’m technically unemployed as I quit my job to travel but I just put in the details of my last job, I don’t like putting that I’m unemployed on forms like that, what if they hold it against me?! Along with the form you need:
- Passport with 2 blank pages and 6 months validity.
- 2 passport photos.
- Photocopy of your passport.
We were called up at 11:10, handed over everything they wanted, paid 800 Bhat and given a receipt. Do not lose this receipt, you’ll need it when you collect your passport. We were told to come back the day after tomorrow, between 15:30-1630 for collection so that’s exactly what we did. We arrived at 15:10 and there was a queue of 4 bags in a line by the collection window. I added my bag to the queue and sat down to keep an eye on it. At 15:30 the collections started and it was all very civilised, I went to my bag and no one pushed or shoved and I was out the door at 15:35 ready to fly to Myanmar the following day!