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Seeking tips and advice

Asia
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109 posts
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Seeking tips and advice

Hi everyone,

I'm planning a trip to Myanmar this coming Nov for about 8 days (hopefully my Visa has no problem). Have been reading up a lot of things online to plan my itinerary. Most probably I will be going to Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay. Well, I'll be traveling solo on budget and I am into photography. Am hoping to get some advice/answers in here to my questions.

1. I am thinking to get a private tour guide to accompany me throughout my travel there. Is this possible? Any recommendations would be great.

2. Which one would you recommend: (A) to get a local travel agent when I'm there or (B) to get a tour before I fly in?

3. Been reading a few travel agents' sites and seems like it's going to be pretty costly cause of the internal flights. Any money saving tips pls?

4. How's the political situation there now? I heard there's going to be an election on Nov 7? Should this be a concern?

Many thanks in advance for your answers.

Cheers!

Doha, Qatar
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11. Re: Seeking tips and advice

No one can say what's going to happen over the election period although I certainly wouldn't worry or cancel your trip over it, by all accounts it should be quite a busy period with tourists. Avoid any large gatherings, don't photograph anything you shouldn't be photographing over the election period, polling stations, official looking types etc & you'll be fine.

There's been no reports of any other embassies other than Vietnam refusing to issue visas to independent travelers, that's only been one report though & he still managed to get his visa. Please let us know how you get on with your visa, maybe you can ask them & reports back whether they intend to stop issuing visas over the election period as to help other travelers who intend to apply over that period.

Singapore, Singapore
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12. Re: Seeking tips and advice

Hi One , last Dec it was 3 filled forms with 3 photos pasted on .if you are working then Companys' letter n business card, for us Singaporeans also a copy of our Identity Card, passport and Sin$35. Go in the morning smile @ Mr Lau and collect 3-4 working days later in the afternoon.

I'm waiting for another member of my group to return before I collect all to process. My Yangon agent suggested a letter from them to help facilitate the process, for that he needs pass. no, date of birth, issue and expiry date of passport.

Good luck. n as BonZai says please let us know the outcome.

ec

Kuala Lumpur...
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13. Re: Seeking tips and advice

hi...i'm planning a trip in november as well and came across the article about the november 7th election. did you manage to get your visa? i am planning to call up the embassy next week...it helps to get a heads up from you.

Asia
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14. Re: Seeking tips and advice

Thanks BonZaiReserVoir and EC! I'm just going to try my luck tomorrow. If it's meant to be, I will be there in Myanmar :) Going to put a big fat smile at Mr Lau!

Will keep you all posted on my application soon. Wish me luck!

Thanks again :)

Sanford, Florida
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15. Re: Seeking tips and advice

I know you said you're on a budget, but are you planning to do Balloons over Bagan? That hot air balloon ride was the highlight of my trip and worth every penny (I was on a pretty tight budget, too!)

Asia
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16. Re: Seeking tips and advice

@FlyingHourglass: Thanks for your tip! I would love to get onto that hot air balloon ride if I have enough cash. Must be quite an experience I must say. Will probably save more before I fly in and hopefully I get there, eventually :)

Now comes the sad news, which I still can't get over it :(

Yes, it looks like my Visa has been rejected. I went into the Embassy around 9+AM yesterday. There was already a queue at the Visa section. I gathered my stuff and went in line. At my turn, the person (not sure if it's Mr Lau) looked through my files. I told him that the only piece of information I'm missing on the form is the address in Myanmar. I asked whether I can put down the tour agency's address that I've been in contact with. I've also attached print out copies of my email exchange with the agency as a proof, but he returned them to me. He simply wrote "HOTEL" in the Myanmar address field on my forms. So I thought "OK cool". After he checked everything, he handed me a clean sheet of A4 and asked me to write a personal letter to the Embassy for my Visa application. At first, I thought it's a letter from company that they needed but he told me I can write my own. Again, "OK cool" I thought and went to the side to finish my letter. Once I handed in my letter, he read through it. Then he handed me back my passport and told me that he will contact me later in the afternoon re my Visa approval. At that moment, I knew something was wrong somewhere and my chances are quite slim by now. Since then, I've been waiting for their call and nothing so far (second day already). Maybe today? I don't think so. Maybe I should email them and enquire about it? I'm just disappointed that my plans have gone astray. All the time and effort I put into reading up and planning this trip is all wasted. God knows when I could re-submit my application. Next year? Sounds ridiculous when I wanna go this Nov (soon it's going to be Oct, that's how close this is). Oh wells, it's not meant to be I guess. Tough luck for me :(

Some observations during my application: I don't know what's the reason behind my case. My nationality? (I'm Indonesian btw) There was a lady with a Malaysian passport in front of me and she got hers approved for collection. No sponsor letter from company? The same lady wrote her own letter on the spot beside me. My reason of visit? Holiday - sightseeing in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle. Also there was a Singaporean girl acquiring Visas for her group of friends and I saw theirs got approved as well. From what I saw, they are still allowing entries to their country despite the election.

Anyways, it is what it is for me :( Hope those who are applying have better luck than me. I must admit I envy those who gained their Visas. Just bitter I guess, but do enjoy your trips! It's a beautiful country. And many thanks to those who have given me their tips/advice/opinions in this forum! You guys have been really helpful and I am truly grateful for that :)

Have a nice day now!

Edited: 28 September 2010, 02:23
yangon
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17. Re: Seeking tips and advice

I'm sure , Indonesian is not a problem for your visa approval. They only scare of reporter or journalist. Only one possibility is you are going alone and they afraid , you are reporter . Try to get from your company stating that you are working with them as what and try again. For the hotel address , you can search from web easily . Try www.myanmarhotelier.org and you can get all the address.

November is still one month a way and don't give up .

Asia
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18. Re: Seeking tips and advice

Thanks mgzaymin! I attached my business card with my application as well. So they know that I'm working for who and as what. Perhaps a company letter would have made the difference, maybe you're right. As for re-submission, I am not too sure if it's a good idea to try again so soon. They'll end up being more suspicious and agitating them is not exactly the thing I want to do. I have wasted my half-day leave yesterday too. If I were to try again, it's gonna cost me my limited annual leaves again (which translates to less and less traveling time for me). But thanks again for the encouragement. Appreciate it!

So, anyone here have tried re-submission and succeeded? How soon do you think I can try again? Thanks!

Doha, Qatar
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19. Re: Seeking tips and advice

As your trip is planned over the election period that might have been enough to raise a suspicious eyebrow & for them to check a little further , it's common practice around sensitive times. The fact that he asked you to write the letter on the spot & helped you fill in your application properly is a good plus so don't give up hope just yet, let's hope that today you get a phone call with some fruitful news.

Thanks for the update from the embassy, very helpful.

Asia
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20. Re: Seeking tips and advice

Strangely I don't remember putting down my dates of travel on the forms. Maybe I did. Oh wells. Thanks anw! I don't wanna hang too much hope on it. Like I mentioned, the others in front of me got theirs approved on the spot.

And you're welcome BonZai :)