It all started with a Skype call with my editor at Bootsnall (a popular indie travel website that I’ve been using since 2009), a conversation about solo travel in Southeast Asia, and adventure. A conversation where I ended up suggesting an article on travelling solo, and before I realized what was happening the word ‘Myanmar’ had trickled off my tongue. I didn’t even thinking about getting my Myanmar visa.

Booking the flights was easy, and cheap thanks to Air Asia. I was filled with excitement, so much so that I completely forgot I would need a tourist visa to go to Myanmar.  Not that I was in a panic, I wasn’t. In fact I was so relaxed and ‘meh’ about the whole thing that I forgot, again, once I was in Bangkok.

In my first week in Bangkok I was caught up in acclimating to the heat, the food, and being back on the road full-time. I hung out with friends, wandered around Silom, and slept, telling myself I have plenty of time to do things as my return ticket to Canada is March 1, 2016. I even started working at a co-working space in Silom, which also happened to be RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and I still didn’t bother to apply.

A week before departure, while on my way to the co-working space I decided to stop in a shop I had seen advertising passport photos, and photocopies for Myanmar visas. For 150THB ($5.56 CAD) they would give me an application to fill out, photocopy my passport, and take the required passport photos. A great price. It was already after 9:00 a.m., so my intention was to get the photos and paperwork done, then go to the embassy the following morning to apply.

Nice & Clean Myanmar Visa Service

Nice & Clean Myanmar Visa Service

The Myanmar Embassy is probably one of the more busy embassies in Bangkok. There are always crowds of people outside the gate, and I was not mentally prepared to spend an hour or more waiting in line to hand in my passport and paperwork for a tourist visa.

“Tomorrow, I’ll go before they open tomorrow morning”, I told myself.

After filling out the paperwork the women then asked if I wanted to go in person, or to use her visa service. If I go in person, I wait in line in the morning to drop it off, then wait in line in the afternoon (3 days later) to pick it up. If I used her service I simply return to her office in three days, late afternoon, and pick-up my passport and visa. The charge for everything is 1,400 THB ($51 CAD), 810 THB ($29.85 CAD) for the visa, and 590 THB ($21.72 CAD) for her services.

It sounded like a good deal, especially since an online visa application costs about $50 USD. I gave her my paperwork and passport, and agreed to come back in 3 days to pick-up my passport and visa, and to pay her.

Three days later I walked into Nice & Clean, Hong’s storefront visa shop, and picked-up my passport. Hong took the time to show me the visa, pointed out the validity, the stamp, and signature. When I agreed that everything looked good I paid her 1400 THB, thanked her, and left.

As my seven year-old niece would say, “Easy peasy, lemon squeezy”. Ha ha

Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok

Visa Section at Myanmar Embassy

Visa Section at Myanmar Embassy

Address: 132, Sathorn Nua Road, Bangkok 10500

Closest BTS: Surasak (about a 5 min walk to the embassy)

Visa application: Open 9am to 12pm for application drop-off.  Applications must have two passport photos. 

Visa costs: Same-day visa 1,260 THB, Next-day 1,000 THB, Three day processing 810 THB

Visa pick-up: Open 3:30pm to 4:30pm for visa pick-up

Nice & Clean visa services: 137/21-22 Pan Rd, Silom, Bangkok (on the same street as the embassy, about a 5 min walk). You can email Hong at hongniceandclean9@gmail.com.

For more information on applying for the visa in person, visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s website.

During my time in Myanmar I used the Lonely Planet guide, which was quite helpful in terms of the base planning – a good option for getting the basics together. Once that is done, I highly recommend speaking to locals and fellow travellers for up-to-date tips and advice.

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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