Whenever one ponders over travelling to a Southeast Asian country, there are more probabilities of inadvertently thinking about the usual suspects such as Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and the likes. What most of us unfortunately forget about is the existence of a far more gorgeous and far less explored nation further up, Myanmar, which doesn't lack anything that the above-mentioned countries offer. Beaches, nightclubs, hotels, a healthy mix of urban and rural life – Myanmar is everything a seasoned traveller seeks in a new country. If at all, it only offers extra, and that too at a far cheaper cost. Hence, it's time you pinned Myanmar on your world map to start thinking about the Golden Land more seriously.
For starters, let me tell you more on how to plan a week-long itinerary to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
How to get a visa to Myanmar from India?
Unlike most countries, a visa to Myanmar is very easy to get. Indian passport holders can either visit the Myanmar Embassy in New Delhi or get it online.
The address for the Myanmar Embassy is 3/50 F, Nyayamarg, Chanakyapuri New Delhi 110021. Their phone numbers: (009111) 6889007, 6889008, 26889007. Their fax number: (009111) 6877942.
Alternatively, you can apply for a visa online by logging on to www.myanmarvisa.org, and later pick up the visa at the Myanmar International Airport once you reach there.
How to enter Myanmar?
Your entire trip budget revolves around how you choose to enter the country. There are three ways – one directly via road, one directly via flight, and the last one is a mixture of the two. Let me explain all three so you can act judiciously.
Directly via road: This is the best way to get to the country if you are on a budget, and not pressed for time. You can cross over from India to Myanmar directly via road from Imphal, the capital city of the state of Manipur. The two connecting villages are Moreh (on the Indian side) and Tamu (on Myanmar's side). You can hire a local taxi from Imphal till Moreh and then cross over to Tamu by walking. Once in Tamu, you can catch a local bus to the nearest major city of Mandalay.
Directly via flight: There are direct flights between Delhi and Yangon which can be booked for as less than Rs. 9,000 per head if you plan in advance.
Partially via flight and road: This option can be chosen if you want the best of both worlds, i.e. you want to save time and money and also explore another major city in the process. The flights between India and Bangkok are considerably cheaper than direct flights to Myanmar. Hence, it is recommended that you take a direct flight till Bangkok first, stay there for a day or two, and then cross over to Myanmar via road. For this, you can take a bus from Bangkok till Mae Soot (on Thailand's side), cross the borde to Myawaddy (on Myanmar's side), and then take a bus to Yangon.
Once you're in Myanmar, you can follow this week-long itinerary to extract the most pleasure out of this beautiful country.