One of the main reasons we flew into Bangkok was in order to get Visas our upcoming trip to Myanmar (Burma). We had heard that it was possible to get a visa in one day so we were optimistic that we would have no problem during our five day stay.
It ended up taking us three days, but we eventually successfully obtained 28 day tourists visas. Here’s all the information you need about getting a Myanmar visa in Bangkok.
Visiting the Embassy
The Myanmar Embassy and visa office is located near the Surasak sky train stop. If you get off there, its only about a 5-10 minute walk to the office. Take exit three out of the station, and walk dow the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs, make a U-turn so you are walking along the street in the opposite direction. Keep walking, passing by the Skytrain Escalator entrance. On your left you will pass a school, keep walking and eventually you will get to the cross street where the embassy is located.
The embassy is a large grey building surrounded by a gray wall with spikes. Take a left onto the side street and you should see the door leading into the Visa office.
The office is open for visas submissions from 9:00 – 12:00 Monday – Friday except on public holidays (including those celebrated in Thailand and Myanmar.) We learned that the hard way – on our first day, after the 40 minutes train ride we showed up to find the office closed due to the full moon holiday.
The office reopens in the afternoon for visa pick up. They are open starting at 1 pm, but you will be given a time to arrive for your pick up.
What you need for your Visa
You will need several things to apply for a Myanmar Visa:
- Your Passport
- A copy of your passport
- Two Passport sized photos of yourself
- The completed Visa Application form (the form can be picked up in the office and you will probably have time to complete it as you wait in line)
- Round trip plane tickets (only necessary if applying for a same day visa)
Then you must attach your passport photos to the visa application and paper clip the whole thing together. If you don’t have access to photo copiers, glue, passport photos etc, there is a VERY helpful copy shop right near the Embassy.
Keep walking down the side street and you will see a sign on the right for the copy shop. They have everything you need to complete your application including a station with scissors, glue, paper clips and an example visa application. They can even take passport photos.
Applying for your Visa
Try to arrive early at the office. When we arrived, the line was literally out the door and down the block. I waited in line while Shannon went inside to gather the paperwork. Once we had filled out the paperwork, Shannon waited in line while I ran to the copy shop to put everything together. All and all we waited in line for about an hour.
Finally, you will get to a counter where you will hand in your paperwork and let them know when you need your visa: the options are same day, next day, and two days. The sooner you want your visa, the more expensive the cost. However, the most expensive visa is only about $35.
The guy at this counter simply wrote “next day” on our paperwork, handed it back to us and gave us a number. It made the entire line seem a bit pointless. Now that we had a number, we sat down and waited to be called.
Thirty minutes later, we were called up to a counter where we paid our fee and turned in our paperwork again. We were given a receipt and told to return at 3:30pm the next day. Done. The whole process had taken several hours but we had only spoken to Visa Officials for about twenty seconds.
Picking up your Visa
If you have same day, you will need to wait around until your visa is ready, otherwise you simply return at the pick up time you are given. Make sure to hold onto your receipt.
In the afternoon, during pick up times, your receipt will specify which counter to go to (1,2 or 3). Make sure not to get stuck in the line outside – just walk in and line up behind your counter. The wait was only about thirty minutes. Once I got to the counter and handed over my receipt I was immediately given our passports – visas inside!
Now that we had our visas all that was left to do was sort our our Myanmar money and find affordable and budget friendly hotels.