The only sure-fire way to get more than a few kilometers inside of Myanmar is to fly. Although Mandalay has a brand new state of the art international airport, as yet very few international carriers fly there. Almost all international flights land at Yangon's Mingaladon Airport. The name sounds a bit like a dinosaur, and that impression is reinforced by your arrival there, although a new terminal is under construction.
Airlines Serving Myanmar
Sanctions have kept most western airlines out of Myanmar, so getting there will most likely involve a transit in Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
- Thai Airways
- The Thai flag carrier flies to Yangon daily from Bangkok. You can book tickets online through their web site.
- Bangkok Airways
- Thailand's second carrier also flies daily between Bangkok and Yangon.
- Malaysia Air System
- The Malaysian national carrier flies internationally between Kuala Lumpur and major cities around the world.
- Silk Air
- This Singaporean airline flies between Singapore and Yangon every day.
Visas for Myanmar
You will need a visa to enter Myanmar. You can obtain a visa at any embassy or consulate of Myanmar. The basic tourist visa is good for a stay of up to four weeks (28 days).
You can get a visa from the embassy in Bangkok, if transiting there. Apply for the visa before noon and you can get your visa after noon the next day. The cost is 800 Baht (20.78 USD). For an additional 400 Baht (10.39 USD) you can get the visa the same day, but be warned you need to get to the Embassy first thing in the morning. In any event, be prepared for long waits in a queue. You can have a travel agent do this for you. There are several of them around Bangkok that specialize in Myanmar travel. You'll need to contact them to make domestic flight arrangements in Myanmar anyway, since the domestic carriers are generally not online.
There is a US$10 (payable in dollars only) departure tax that must be paid on leaving Myanmar. Don't forget to set aside this amount.