February 11, 2015

the visa run

visas are the bane of travelers.  some countries have more complex rules than others.  Thailand, for example, doesn't charge for visas and it's quite easy to get a 60 day stay with an extension.  you just show up and they stamp your passport.  

a visa is just a stamp in your passport that grants you the right to be in the
country. some countries penalize severly for overstaying and will prevent you from rentry if you are a repeat offender.  others like Myanmar just charge you $3 a day for every day you overstay.

in most SE Asian countries, there's a really complex set of rules around when you apply, where you apply, how long the visa is valid, how many entries are allowed on one visa, when you want to visit and of course the type of visa [tourist, buisiness or diplomatic].

for Myanmar, they grant 28 day tourist visas and you can stand in line at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok [see my earlier post about that delight] or in late 2014 they launched a VOA [visa on arrival] which can be applied for online and picked up at the airport if you fly in [not available or overland travel].  see, it gets complicated.  

for a Myanmar Business Visa, with the proper paperwork, you get 70 days in country.  so that's what i came in on.  initially i thought it would be inconveinent and a pain in the ass.  now that my 70 days are up and i need to do a visa run i am thrilled to be getting kicked out.  i am going to Thailand.  i am going to find the fat westerner beach, sit at a luxury resort and imbibe fancy drinks for three days.  then it's back to Myanmar.

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