18 Responses

  1. You are kidding right? Must be American

    Why even try to screw with things like this? No sympathy

  2. Mike S
    Mike S at |

    You are more brave than me. In early June I’m flying my second tour of Asia thanks to the RGN fare. I did 3 days in Yangon last time, and this time I would have loved to just transit through RGN. I didn’t have the guts to do it, so I booked 1 night at the Royal White Elephant Hotel and got my second Myanmar visa.

  3. Hobo13
    Hobo13 at |

    Wow, we did twov with zero issues in jan. they had us wait in the large open area before you go down to immigration or up to the gates. They took our passports to check us in (which they explained before hand). And they came back on probably 15 mins. Meanwhile we watched planes and chatted (or tried to!) with security guards who just wanted to make funny faces at our kids Oh right, We had two white kiddos under two in tow! so we kind of drew a crowd everywhere we went like it or not. Lol.

  4. Bethany
    Bethany at |

    I would never and I mean never do this without a visa..I would get one to be on the safe side. You just NEVER know how these immigration folks over there will react and you saw first hand how things can go.

  5. smitty06
    smitty06 at |

    What are the rules about transiting through Myanmar? Why did you choose not to get a visa? Was it inconvenient or expensive to do so? I am glad that it worked out for you. It doesnt sound like much fun.

  6. Mike S
    Mike S at |

    @Smitty … the visa is $20 for US citizens, but you have to mail off your passport and it takes a couple weeks, so you need to have an open time without international travel to get it.

  7. Michelle S
    Michelle S at |

    Why not just get a visa? Not worth stressing over from what it sounds like!

  8. Joey
    Joey at |

    if you live in New York City or DC area, it was only a 4-5 day wait to get a tourist visa. I agree with Bethany though — going to highly corrupt and poor countries without a visa is quite risky. If you had a corrupt agent, you may have had to give him/her a Benjamin Franklin to get anything done.

  9. joeyjoe
    joeyjoe at |

    @mike.s It is possible to acquire a second passport due to waiting for visas in the first. See recent FTG article.

    @seth Having had my passport taken away frequently, I tend to carry photocopies. Often that’s what they want, and it saves them time running to the copier (and me some stress). Doesn’t work every time, but any time I can avoid them walking away with my passport is worth it.

  10. Hendrik
    Hendrik at |

    I got one visa for my various trips. When I left BKK or TPE I showed that passport and was allowed to board. In RGN I used one of the other passports that did not have a visa. Approaching the immigration officers (white uniforms) on the ground floor I was once sent back up and escorted through a glass door into the departure area and two times also ended up in the ‘international waiting lounge’. They let me out of that room and into the lounge(s) once check-in for my onward flight opened and they could print my tickets.
    I finally used my visa for a stay in the country.
    Worked perfectly fine although one time I had to sign a paper stating that I’d pay for ‘transport on the next available flight out of the country’ if I wasn’t allowed in the country. Well, I was booked on that next flight anyway 🙂

  11. Łącz
    Łącz at |

    I’ve dobę te transfer a couple of times and the experience was always pretty much the same as yours – flipping the passport at checkin, some argueing and finally allowed through. On arrival finding someone with authority to do the transit and surrendering my passport.

  12. Matthew
    Matthew at |

    @Mike S: Why would you have to mail off your passport? I quickly and easily got a VOA when I flew thew Burma last month, with no prior paperwork completed, only possible for a transit visa.

    Seth–I am sorry I didn’t do a post on this yet, unless you wanted to have the adventure you did and save the $20…

    All you have to do is arrive with a copy of your onward itinerary and two passport pictures. Go downstairs, fill out the form, pay with a crisp $20, and in five minutes I had a nifty visa in my passport that I used to head out to Rangoon for a few hours.

  13. Trevor
    Trevor at |

    Seth – I can imagine how nervracking that is – I still get nervous when the hotel wants to take my passport upon check-in (of course they return it fairly quickly, but anytime its out of sight, I get nervous).

    Thanks for sharing the experience though. I’m sure a lot of folks that got in on that deal will be experiencing similarly, or better, learning from it.

  14. Nic
    Nic at |

    Its actually very easy to transit in Myanmar without a visa. I had printed the Transit visa on arrival paperwork, had the pictures ready. When I got there, I asked if I could go directly upstairs to the lounge, so I didn’t actually didn’t get any visa. They called two girls that escorted me to the lounge, took my passport for sometime, then brought it back with my boarding pass. Everyone was really nice and polite. I think by now they know the drill.

  15. Missy H
    Missy H at |

    Burma is an amazingly beautiful country. Instead of transit I really recommend a stay for a week of more.

  16. John
    John at |

    We did exactly the same thing as you in January – Singapore airlines insingapore almost didn’t let us board, then in Myanmar we had to convince them we were transit passengers, waited in the same room for an hour, then sat in the Royal Jade.

    There were a few anxious moments that day! Finally we boarded for PEK and the rest of our trip (PEK-FRA-ZRH-YUL) was amazing in Air China then Swiss first.

    Worth the nail biting moments!!!

  17. AlohaDaveKennedy
    AlohaDaveKennedy at |

    Bad way to do Myanmar, but you at least had a good outcome. The country is worth seeing if done the right way.