This post is part of a series of guides on how we secured visas for our travels outside Bahrain and the Philippines. The first one is Getting a Tourist Visa for Qatar, second is on Getting a Tourist / Visit / 96 hour Visa for the UAE and third is Getting a Tourist Visa for Oman. 🙂
Okay, so all those three are GCC countries… let’s move on to Southeast Asian countries. Being part of the ASEAN community, Filipinos enjoy visa-free entry to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Myanmar‘s the exception,
Months before the trip, I have read online that Myanmar has started to issue e-visas / visas online. Check out the website: https://www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm/.
However, it showed the status: undergoing beta testing. So I waited until just a couple weeks before my flight, anticipating that the status will be updated so I can secure my visa online. AFAIK, there is no Myanmar Embassy here in Bahrain so getting the visa online would be really convenient.
But Nope. No luck. Actually as of date it has still the same status. Hence I am sharing my experience which may be your option on your trip to Myanmar.
One option is to pay a travel agency online to do it for you. However, I found them too costly and was a bit worried I may not receive the visa on time (looking at their minimum process times) as I was travelling in less than two weeks.
I researched again online and learned that I can get my visa either in Vientiane or Bangkok, my Indochina trip’s first two stops. Great!
Unfortunately, realized I was in Vientiane on a weekend, Sat & Sun. Ansaklap Ate Charo! Maikli pa naman daw pila dun or minsan e wala pa, so it’s a breeze to get a visa. Haist.
Hence, my last and best bet was the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok.
First thing I did when I arrived from my BAH-BOM-BKK flight was to go to the Embassy, for inquiry and to try if can lodge my application that day.
I took the Airport Express Line to Paya Thai, then transferred to BTS train, alighted at Surasak Station and just walked to the embassy.
It was a Friday, and so, the embassy was full to the brim hehe. 🙂
I explained at the counter that I need urgent visa as I was flying Monday, she said “Go back Monday morning and will get it same day, well before my flight time in the afternoon.” Okay then. Grabbed 2 application forms which i filled in the train on my way to VTE.
Visa Application Procedures
- The Visa section is open for submitting applications only from 9am – 12nn. Afternoon is for pick up.
- Bring your passport, photocopy of passport, 2 pcs 2×2 photos (there is an ID machine near the embassy if you fail to bring or have wrong size like me hehe), copy of E-tkt & hostel reservation
- Application Form – take from Front Counter and duly fill up front and back portions
- Visa Fees – Same day visa at Baht 1260, next day visa at Baht 1000, and third day visa cheapest at Baht 810. Of course I got the same day option because I was flying same day, just make sure you point this out to the officer with copy of your e-tkt so you’ll be guided to the “correct” next window, i.e. Express.
- Normal Tourist visa is single entry, for 28 days stay
- Visa pick up time is 3:30 pm. But for same-day visas like me, as well as flying that afternoon, my visa was issued at 12 noon. Yay!
- Note both Thai and Myanmar holidays, Embassy will be closed.
- A VERY IMPORTANT TIP: BE VERY EARLY. The Embassy opens at 08:00am but I was already there as early as 06:30AM. I was second in line and in an hour, the queue already stretched to more than 50.
My overall experience was pleasant, with embassy staff helpful and accommodating. Going there early was worth it as I was able to submit my application early and receive the visa with enough time before my check in at DMK Airport.
My trip to Myanmar lasted only three days and covered only Yangon (Rangoon). Hence I am looking forward for my return for Bagan, Inle Lake and other places of interest, 🙂