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myauq

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Richard: As you know, I was just there. Tried to go up that way from Hispaw (based on your recommendation) and was told NO by many people. Something just came up and it's closed. You can perhaps go by boat from Mandalay, but not overland from Hsipaw. Lahsio is as far as you can go. Namshan is OK for a day trip. Mogok is a no go also. Unless you get permits. Then it's potentially possible.

I am working in Myanmar more than 3 years already. Based in Mandalay but travelling a lot for business purpose especially in the Northem part, Sagaing division, Kachin, Shan North and South. Situations there is changing everyday in regard to safety. Right now, it is impossible to go above Lashio, on the way to Muse, many area's in Kachin especially west and north of Meitchyna are restricted to foreigners, Mogoke and Shan south from Taunggy to Thai border. Of course if you are adventurous, you will always find the way but as I am concerned, at this time (pre and after election) I can't get any permits for foreigners to go to these places and even my locals staffs refuse to go there. I am getting daily safety reports from the authorities. The road from Mandalay to Lashio, passing Hsipaw is fine. I have a remote office in Lashio and going there frequently.

I've been to MUSE twice. Last went in February and there wasn't any problem going there. How sure are you about not being allowed to go past Lashio these days? First of all, there are no checkpoints until you reach the Muse special economic zone.

Secondly, they've been talking about opening that border for a while and I thought it was supposed to open this month or next month.

Any new info would be greatly appreciated.

Do note that I did NOT have a permit to go to Muse as that was not required - only to cross into China it was. A recent report over on www.rideasia.net (although it was extremely vague) claims that going up to Muse and even crossing into China is now fine. I dispute that claim, the only thing I am quite sure about is going to Muse.

Of course, simply going to Muse and then heading back into the interior of Myanmar is of very little interest to most travellers - my reason for going was due to being involved in a project exporting goods to China. Otherwise, I wouldn't have gone though I do look forward to the imminent opening of the border gate there.

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A good chunk of Shan State is off limits to foreigners. I think you can get up to Lashio, but that's as far as you can go that way. I also think Taunggyi is as far as you can go when heading east on that highway. Have to fly from there. I was just there and tried to go that route, but no way.

You can apply for permits to go to places like Bhamo, but it takes time, money and not a sure thing. I was on the train with a bunch of troops headed to Lashio to fight the rebels. Seems things have flared up a bit. Unfortunately.

Unless that other poster is sure things have changed, but Muse is open without a permit and there are no checkpoints until the Muse economic zone, 10km from the border. It says so on the Myanmar Ministry of Tourism website and I've been there twice now, last time was in February of this year. As long as you don't cross into China no permit is required. Having said that, there's nothing in Muse itself to draw any interest - rather it's the pretty highlands town of Kutkai and the general landscapes on the way which are interesting. Hopefully the Ruili-Muse border gate will soon open for foreigners, in fact when I was there I could see evidence of the construction of the new building going on and some news media have mentioned that the opening is imminent. Unfortunately, the exact opening date is still not known and the most accurate answer I could get was either the very end of this year or sometime in 2016.

Quite a lot of fighting in Kokang (not sure if that has yet been settled) and central Shan State recently. That may have affected things in recent times but the main Mandalay-Lashio-Muse highway should (in theory) have been unaffected due to it's enormous economic importance.

Taunggyi to Kengtung is possible with a permit, but you'll also need a car with driver. Go-myanmar.com charges a whopping US$990 for the whole package - way more expensive than flying. Or you could always drive yourself and bring your own car, requesting permission to drive through this part of Myanmar. The extra permit cost is minimal given that you'll already be part of a package that includes a government guide, travel agency guide, hotels etc. Just as an example, a one week trip costs about 50,000-70,000 Baht all inclusive and costs do go down the more cars that go. I have seen details of itineraries that take you through the restricted Taunggyi to Kengtung highway (route 4) driving your own car. PM me if you are interested.

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Very interesting, but I'll save the money for my upcoming trip. I'm trying to figure out how to do the Silk Road, Xi'an to Istanbul. Might have to do it in 2 parts as I know it's going to take 4 months. Too long for one trip for me.

Great info!!!!!!!!

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A good chunk of Shan State is off limits to foreigners. I think you can get up to Lashio, but that's as far as you can go that way. I also think Taunggyi is as far as you can go when heading east on that highway. Have to fly from there. I was just there and tried to go that route, but no way.

You can apply for permits to go to places like Bhamo, but it takes time, money and not a sure thing. I was on the train with a bunch of troops headed to Lashio to fight the rebels. Seems things have flared up a bit. Unfortunately.

Unless that other poster is sure things have changed, but Muse is open without a permit and there are no checkpoints until the Muse economic zone, 10km from the border. It says so on the Myanmar Ministry of Tourism website and I've been there twice now, last time was in February of this year. As long as you don't cross into China no permit is required. Having said that, there's nothing in Muse itself to draw any interest - rather it's the pretty highlands town of Kutkai and the general landscapes on the way which are interesting. Hopefully the Ruili-Muse border gate will soon open for foreigners, in fact when I was there I could see evidence of the construction of the new building going on and some news media have mentioned that the opening is imminent. Unfortunately, the exact opening date is still not known and the most accurate answer I could get was either the very end of this year or sometime in 2016.

Quite a lot of fighting in Kokang (not sure if that has yet been settled) and central Shan State recently. That may have affected things in recent times but the main Mandalay-Lashio-Muse highway should (in theory) have been unaffected due to it's enormous economic importance.

Taunggyi to Kengtung is possible with a permit, but you'll also need a car with driver. Go-myanmar.com charges a whopping US$990 for the whole package - way more expensive than flying. Or you could always drive yourself and bring your own car, requesting permission to drive through this part of Myanmar. The extra permit cost is minimal given that you'll already be part of a package that includes a government guide, travel agency guide, hotels etc. Just as an example, a one week trip costs about 50,000-70,000 Baht all inclusive and costs do go down the more cars that go. I have seen details of itineraries that take you through the restricted Taunggyi to Kengtung highway (route 4) driving your own car. PM me if you are interested.

Not sure if when you are talking about the "other poster" you are talking about me but as I said, during this period (pre and post election), we (I am talking about my expat team on field) been denied to pass the way to Muse. This mainly started after there was a blast in Muse town and also reported about snipers along the road. One of our concurrent has lost one of their guy their (from Myanmar). That was around October beginning November. There are no permanent check points but they have increased the number of control along the way. Also I mentioned, situation are always changing overnight in these area's and for us, as we need to work there (along the road and in the towns) we are in permanent contact with the authorities to get the green light or not.

Also, again as I said, you might always find the way to go there but it is at your own risk to be kick back on the way or even worst.

I am here for business and must try to get my work completed in these area's but if I was here on holidays, i will definitely avoid these area's at the moment and enjoy more safe places in Myanmar. These kind of tension places are not new for me. I have been working in around 20 countries around the world including places such as Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, PNG...and I have learned when to take risk seriously.

I am in Mandalay right now, heading to Yangon this evening for meetings until Friday. Then will head to Phuket for the week end where is my family and return to Mandalay next Monday. Next week will need to go to North Sagaing Katha and few places in South Kachin.

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wow phuket for the weekend,

nice life :-)

Ah ah. Yes. Bit busy here in Myanmar but can afford short trips back home in Phuket as often as i can. Last week flew phuket- bkk on the monday, bkk yangon on Tueday. Back to bkk on wednesday night. Phuket on Thursday night. Mandalay last Monday...
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A good chunk of Shan State is off limits to foreigners. I think you can get up to Lashio, but that's as far as you can go that way. I also think Taunggyi is as far as you can go when heading east on that highway. Have to fly from there. I was just there and tried to go that route, but no way.

You can apply for permits to go to places like Bhamo, but it takes time, money and not a sure thing. I was on the train with a bunch of troops headed to Lashio to fight the rebels. Seems things have flared up a bit. Unfortunately.

Unless that other poster is sure things have changed, but Muse is open without a permit and there are no checkpoints until the Muse economic zone, 10km from the border. It says so on the Myanmar Ministry of Tourism website and I've been there twice now, last time was in February of this year. As long as you don't cross into China no permit is required. Having said that, there's nothing in Muse itself to draw any interest - rather it's the pretty highlands town of Kutkai and the general landscapes on the way which are interesting. Hopefully the Ruili-Muse border gate will soon open for foreigners, in fact when I was there I could see evidence of the construction of the new building going on and some news media have mentioned that the opening is imminent. Unfortunately, the exact opening date is still not known and the most accurate answer I could get was either the very end of this year or sometime in 2016.

Quite a lot of fighting in Kokang (not sure if that has yet been settled) and central Shan State recently. That may have affected things in recent times but the main Mandalay-Lashio-Muse highway should (in theory) have been unaffected due to it's enormous economic importance.

Taunggyi to Kengtung is possible with a permit, but you'll also need a car with driver. Go-myanmar.com charges a whopping US$990 for the whole package - way more expensive than flying. Or you could always drive yourself and bring your own car, requesting permission to drive through this part of Myanmar. The extra permit cost is minimal given that you'll already be part of a package that includes a government guide, travel agency guide, hotels etc. Just as an example, a one week trip costs about 50,000-70,000 Baht all inclusive and costs do go down the more cars that go. I have seen details of itineraries that take you through the restricted Taunggyi to Kengtung highway (route 4) driving your own car. PM me if you are interested.

Not sure if when you are talking about the "other poster" you are talking about me but as I said, during this period (pre and post election), we (I am talking about my expat team on field) been denied to pass the way to Muse. This mainly started after there was a blast in Muse town and also reported about snipers along the road. One of our concurrent has lost one of their guy their (from Myanmar). That was around October beginning November. There are no permanent check points but they have increased the number of control along the way. Also I mentioned, situation are always changing overnight in these area's and for us, as we need to work there (along the road and in the towns) we are in permanent contact with the authorities to get the green light or not.

Also, again as I said, you might always find the way to go there but it is at your own risk to be kick back on the way or even worst.

I am here for business and must try to get my work completed in these area's but if I was here on holidays, i will definitely avoid these area's at the moment and enjoy more safe places in Myanmar. These kind of tension places are not new for me. I have been working in around 20 countries around the world including places such as Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, PNG...and I have learned when to take risk seriously.

I am in Mandalay right now, heading to Yangon this evening for meetings until Friday. Then will head to Phuket for the week end where is my family and return to Mandalay next Monday. Next week will need to go to North Sagaing Katha and few places in South Kachin.

Yes I was referring to you, just as I did when I quoted your post in my previous reply.

I appreciate you taking the time to post here about the road to Mu-se, as apart from myself who has been there, you are the only other person who has some recent information about it.

If I may ask, what do you do that requires you to go to Mu-se? Have you ever been there? By the sounds of it, your more official, expat team has raised more scrutiny, whereas my own, more local type of business trips allows me to blend in better and avoid being the center of attention. In general though, if you are denied access to Muse that would (or should) only occur at that checkpoint I mentioned (mile 105) by which time you will have already reached Muse and in all likelihood after a few phone calls you will be allowed to stay. Although as you say maybe it's different now, though I've been told that the tendency over the years has been to remove checkpoints and in fact was surprised about the lack of any checkpoints anymore along that whole road when I first went there in April 2013.

I remember reading about some security incidents including one minor skirmish that resulted in a couple of deaths near Nam Phak Kha, a Shan tribal village on the Mandalay-Muse highway about an hour or so south of Mu-se, where I have previously stopped for tea with my driver and friend accompanying me. However, that attack closed the road only for a short time, maybe a couple of hours. There was another incident near Mu-se about 10-15km outside of town near the Chinese border (this might be the bombing you are referring to), but as a traveller, there would not be any good reason to go there either. Both incidents occurred in the last few months, after I last went up there. They were mentioned on the Irrawaddy I think it was (www.irrawaddy.org).

Mu-se itself is quite safe, and no matter what incidents may have occurred recently, they haven't been any worse than those that occurred in Sep/Oct 2014 and again in July 2015 on the roads between Kawkareik and Myawady, which is the corridor that must be passed through if travelling overland between Mae Sot and Yangon; this is the main border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar these days. The October incident involved a rocket that killed 4 villagers next to the highway near Kawkareik. When they did close road access on this corridor, it was only for a few days before quickly re-opening and that was only this July when things escalated as result of a dispute between the central government and DKBA rebels who had illegally occupied the new road and collected road tolls they were not entitled to. I wonder why Muse seems so much more sensitive when in fact, more trade flows between Myanmar and China to/from Muse than all overland trade flows to/from Thailand, most of which go via Myawady/Mae Sot. Not to mention that China and Myanmar both want to open up this crossing as an official checkpoint ASAP but Myanmar has been dragging it's feet. I realize that the Kachin and Kokang conflicts are all more or less in that region, but so far they haven't (as far as I'm aware) have had much of an impact on security along the Lashio to Muse road or Muse township itself.

I understand you have a good sense of avoiding risk, especially having been to all those dangerous countries you mention I wouldn't for the life of me ever consider going to. In my personal opinion though, apart from the ongoing conflict areas, Myanmar is remarkably safe (overall much safer than most of Nigeria, Pakistan, PNG etc.) and I feel absolutely 0 danger even though many of the areas I go to on a regular basis were in fact full of danger as recently as 3-4 years ago.

Anyway, if you do get an update about going to Mu-se, let me know. It is of special interest to me.

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A good chunk of Shan State is off limits to foreigners. I think you can get up to Lashio, but that's as far as you can go that way. I also think Taunggyi is as far as you can go when heading east on that highway. Have to fly from there. I was just there and tried to go that route, but no way.

You can apply for permits to go to places like Bhamo, but it takes time, money and not a sure thing. I was on the train with a bunch of troops headed to Lashio to fight the rebels. Seems things have flared up a bit. Unfortunately.

Unless that other poster is sure things have changed, but Muse is open without a permit and there are no checkpoints until the Muse economic zone, 10km from the border. It says so on the Myanmar Ministry of Tourism website and I've been there twice now, last time was in February of this year. As long as you don't cross into China no permit is required. Having said that, there's nothing in Muse itself to draw any interest - rather it's the pretty highlands town of Kutkai and the general landscapes on the way which are interesting. Hopefully the Ruili-Muse border gate will soon open for foreigners, in fact when I was there I could see evidence of the construction of the new building going on and some news media have mentioned that the opening is imminent. Unfortunately, the exact opening date is still not known and the most accurate answer I could get was either the very end of this year or sometime in 2016.

Quite a lot of fighting in Kokang (not sure if that has yet been settled) and central Shan State recently. That may have affected things in recent times but the main Mandalay-Lashio-Muse highway should (in theory) have been unaffected due to it's enormous economic importance.

Taunggyi to Kengtung is possible with a permit, but you'll also need a car with driver. Go-myanmar.com charges a whopping US$990 for the whole package - way more expensive than flying. Or you could always drive yourself and bring your own car, requesting permission to drive through this part of Myanmar. The extra permit cost is minimal given that you'll already be part of a package that includes a government guide, travel agency guide, hotels etc. Just as an example, a one week trip costs about 50,000-70,000 Baht all inclusive and costs do go down the more cars that go. I have seen details of itineraries that take you through the restricted Taunggyi to Kengtung highway (route 4) driving your own car. PM me if you are interested.

Not sure if when you are talking about the "other poster" you are talking about me but as I said, during this period (pre and post election), we (I am talking about my expat team on field) been denied to pass the way to Muse. This mainly started after there was a blast in Muse town and also reported about snipers along the road. One of our concurrent has lost one of their guy their (from Myanmar). That was around October beginning November. There are no permanent check points but they have increased the number of control along the way. Also I mentioned, situation are always changing overnight in these area's and for us, as we need to work there (along the road and in the towns) we are in permanent contact with the authorities to get the green light or not.

Also, again as I said, you might always find the way to go there but it is at your own risk to be kick back on the way or even worst.

I am here for business and must try to get my work completed in these area's but if I was here on holidays, i will definitely avoid these area's at the moment and enjoy more safe places in Myanmar. These kind of tension places are not new for me. I have been working in around 20 countries around the world including places such as Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran, PNG...and I have learned when to take risk seriously.

I am in Mandalay right now, heading to Yangon this evening for meetings until Friday. Then will head to Phuket for the week end where is my family and return to Mandalay next Monday. Next week will need to go to North Sagaing Katha and few places in South Kachin.

Yes I was referring to you, just as I did when I quoted your post in my previous reply.

I appreciate you taking the time to post here about the road to Mu-se, as apart from myself who has been there, you are the only other person who has some recent information about it.

If I may ask, what do you do that requires you to go to Mu-se? Have you ever been there? By the sounds of it, your more official, expat team has raised more scrutiny, whereas my own, more local type of business trips allows me to blend in better and avoid being the center of attention. In general though, if you are denied access to Muse that would (or should) only occur at that checkpoint I mentioned (mile 105) by which time you will have already reached Muse and in all likelihood after a few phone calls you will be allowed to stay. Although as you say maybe it's different now, though I've been told that the tendency over the years has been to remove checkpoints and in fact was surprised about the lack of any checkpoints anymore along that whole road when I first went there in April 2013.

I remember reading about some security incidents including one minor skirmish that resulted in a couple of deaths near Nam Phak Kha, a Shan tribal village on the Mandalay-Muse highway about an hour or so south of Mu-se, where I have previously stopped for tea with my driver and friend accompanying me. However, that attack closed the road only for a short time, maybe a couple of hours. There was another incident near Mu-se about 10-15km outside of town near the Chinese border (this might be the bombing you are referring to), but as a traveller, there would not be any good reason to go there either. Both incidents occurred in the last few months, after I last went up there. They were mentioned on the Irrawaddy I think it was (www.irrawaddy.org).

Mu-se itself is quite safe, and no matter what incidents may have occurred recently, they haven't been any worse than those that occurred in Sep/Oct 2014 and again in July 2015 on the roads between Kawkareik and Myawady, which is the corridor that must be passed through if travelling overland between Mae Sot and Yangon; this is the main border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar these days. The October incident involved a rocket that killed 4 villagers next to the highway near Kawkareik. When they did close road access on this corridor, it was only for a few days before quickly re-opening and that was only this July when things escalated as result of a dispute between the central government and DKBA rebels who had illegally occupied the new road and collected road tolls they were not entitled to. I wonder why Muse seems so much more sensitive when in fact, more trade flows between Myanmar and China to/from Muse than all overland trade flows to/from Thailand, most of which go via Myawady/Mae Sot. Not to mention that China and Myanmar both want to open up this crossing as an official checkpoint ASAP but Myanmar has been dragging it's feet. I realize that the Kachin and Kokang conflicts are all more or less in that region, but so far they haven't (as far as I'm aware) have had much of an impact on security along the Lashio to Muse road or Muse township itself.

I understand you have a good sense of avoiding risk, especially having been to all those dangerous countries you mention I wouldn't for the life of me ever consider going to. In my personal opinion though, apart from the ongoing conflict areas, Myanmar is remarkably safe (overall much safer than most of Nigeria, Pakistan, PNG etc.) and I feel absolutely 0 danger even though many of the areas I go to on a regular basis were in fact full of danger as recently as 3-4 years ago.

Anyway, if you do get an update about going to Mu-se, let me know. It is of special interest to me.

As you are most probably aware, Myanmar has open telecom licences for new mobile operators. I am working on this telecom business to rollout their network through all Myanmar. I been based originally in the south west, Ayerrawaddy division, for few months, then asked to setup operations in Rakhine state for sometime, starting operation in Nay Py Taw and then based in Mandalay to cover all operations for the Northem part including Mandalay division, Sagaing division, Kachin, Chin and Shan.

I am not a field guy but operation manager. I am freelance guy working on contract for different customers, basically selling my knowledges and experiences on operations management. I have my own team (locals and expats) + allowed to hire additional resources (locals and expats) based on defined budget. So i am mostly working in offices but also required to go to the field area's either to see the real situation of the ongoing operation myself or meet the authorities (townships, divisions...) to facilitate our access, ressourcing, authorisations. That's the reason i am required to travel within the country. I am always travelling by car with a personal local assistant for translation and also who has large contacts to introduce us to the local communities.

I interacted in this post only to share my own experience of the area if it can help. I am not pretenting to be an expert.

Also, as i mentioned before, i agree with you. There is always a way to go anywhere such as the way to Muse. After it all depend on the risks you are ready to accept for the purpose of your trip. I was in Sittwe, Rakhine, few years ago for my job just during the time of the villages burned and i met a family of backpackers with 2 kids less than 15 years old travelling in restricted area's. I am not sure that's the place I would go travelling if not necessary...

No, never been to Muse myself. My team went and worked there. I was about to go there when I was in Lashio in October but after concerting with the local authorities, we were advise to abort this trip. Few days later, there was troupes movements and my team came back. Since, we have hold our activities there, more especially because of the election period. We might resume soon.

I also agree with you. I like the country in general. I feel safe in Myanmar mostly everywhere and also, as i am also a traveller, i enjoy with my job to visit the country. During my business trips, i as much as can schedule stops to visit the area. Of course been in the popular places such as Bagan, Taunggy, Inle Lake, Mount Popa...or even multiple time around Mandalay, Sagaing, Monwya, Mingun, Inwa, Py Oo Lyin which from my point of view are more interesting to see than places like Shan North Went few month ago by road from Mandalay to Meitkynia (Kachin) as i needed to see the road condition especially after this flooding period this year. It took us 15 hours drive by car with roads under construction, missing bridges but i really like the city of Meitkynia.

I also have a Myanmar driving licence. I am used to drive myself sometime but in Mandalay only but I prefer to use a driver for convenience.

Hope that will be of interest for you.

By the way, I am Yangon today (flew from Mandalay)

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Had an article in the Bangkok Post yesterday about the new fighting up north. I guess it's happening in a few different areas and getting quite intense. Locals are evacuating, etc. Doesn't look good!

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G'day mate,

Have you got a Thai visa with a double-entry and a Myanmarese visa

in OZ yet?

If not, one of your best bets would be to arrive in Thailand on a 30-day

visa-exempt entry, apply for a 28-day Myanmarese visa in Bangkok,

enter Myanmar via Kaw Thaung from Ranong, come back to Thailand

via Mae Sai on a 15-day visa-exempt entry (The Aussies can only get

15 days to stay in Thailand if they enter the kingdom by land) and extend

it for 30 days at the immigration offices for 1,900B.

You could also apply for a 60-day visa at the Thai Embassy in Yangon

for US$40 (approximately 1,400B) and come back to Thailand on it.

http://www.thaiembassy.org/yangon/en/services/33445-Tourist-Visa.html

You cant extend a 15 day visa exempt by 30 days.

You can only extend it by 1 week.

Have you extended your 15-day visa-exempt entry for

only 7 days before?

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/744440-longer-visa-exemption-extensions-begin-august-29-2014/?p=8127060

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/767219-15-days-visa-exempt-entry-how-to-extend/

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G'day mate,

Have you got a Thai visa with a double-entry and a Myanmarese visa

in OZ yet?

If not, one of your best bets would be to arrive in Thailand on a 30-day

visa-exempt entry, apply for a 28-day Myanmarese visa in Bangkok,

enter Myanmar via Kaw Thaung from Ranong, come back to Thailand

via Mae Sai on a 15-day visa-exempt entry (The Aussies can only get

15 days to stay in Thailand if they enter the kingdom by land) and extend

it for 30 days at the immigration offices for 1,900B.

You could also apply for a 60-day visa at the Thai Embassy in Yangon

for US$40 (approximately 1,400B) and come back to Thailand on it.

http://www.thaiembassy.org/yangon/en/services/33445-Tourist-Visa.html

You cant extend a 15 day visa exempt by 30 days.

You can only extend it by 1 week.

Have you extended your 15-day visa-exempt entry for

only 7 days before?

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/744440-longer-visa-exemption-extensions-begin-august-29-2014/?p=8127060

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/767219-15-days-visa-exempt-entry-how-to-extend/

Your getting land crossing and Air crossing confused

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  • 1 month later...

I'll be in Ranong next week, with the 28 day Myanmar visa in my passport. Just confirming it's still OK to cross the border from Rangong to Kawthaung, and stay in Myanmar on my tourist visa for the next 4 weeks?

I can sort out the logistics of getting to Yangon (via Myeik, Dawei, Pa-an.. and anywhere else) when I'm in Kawthaung.

Any confirmation on this would be great!

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yes, easy BUT u can only leave Kwathoung by boat or fly out, overland travel not permitted,

Boat leaves early so will need overnight at Kwathoung, not my favorite town in Myanmar

i came down that way 10 days ago

my trip;

Yangon -Kyaithkya (golden rock ) Bus 7:30 3 hours $8
Kyaithkya- Hpa-an 2 1/ hours bus

Hpa-An- Mawlamyine 2 hours boat- 8,000 kyat 1 pm
Mawlamyine - Ye 5 hours train,

Ye- Dawei ; 5 hours bus,
Dawei- Myeik; express/air con Boat 4- hours $35 hours leaves at 4:30 am need leave town at 12:30 am
Myeik- Kwathoung (Ranong); express air con boat $45 7 hours

In Myeik, splurge and stay at the Hotel Grand Jade , fabulous room for $50 with great views of the town, nice night market, there is also a gh right on Strand street, where the boat pulls in

Dawei; Shwe Moung Than 18,000 kyat Rent a motorcycle an head out to the beaches

Ye; American run Starlight Guest house rihgt on the lake, very nice small town 31,000kyat for air con, 21,000 for fan

Hpa-An; Galaxy Motel 18,000-20,000 kyat rent a motorcycle an head out an visit the caves

Mawlamyine ; ( hated the city) book ahead an stay at the Sandlewood hotel

I stayed at a overpriced place cause everywhere was booked

Kyaithkya; book somewhere on Booking .,com , gets very full with locals all the time now, u will love the 45 minute truck ride to the top :-)

PS make sure u check into immigration when enter Myanmar and when u leave Kwathoung, the office is right near where the boats pull in an many touts will show u the way

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yes, easy BUT u can only leave Kwathoung by boat or fly out, overland travel not permitted,

Boat leaves early so will need overnight at Kwathoung, not my favorite town in Myanmar

i came down that way 10 days ago

my trip;

Yangon -Kyaithkya (golden rock ) Bus 7:30 3 hours $8

Kyaithkya- Hpa-an 2 1/ hours bus

Hpa-An- Mawlamyine 2 hours boat- 8,000 kyat 1 pm

Mawlamyine - Ye 5 hours train,

Ye- Dawei ; 5 hours bus,

Dawei- Myeik; express/air con Boat 4- hours $35 hours leaves at 4:30 am need leave town at 12:30 am

Myeik- Kwathoung (Ranong); express air con boat $45 7 hours

In Myeik, splurge and stay at the Hotel Grand Jade , fabulous room for $50 with great views of the town, nice night market, there is also a gh right on Strand street, where the boat pulls in

Dawei; Shwe Moung Than 18,000 kyat Rent a motorcycle an head out to the beaches

Ye; American run Starlight Guest house rihgt on the lake, very nice small town 31,000kyat for air con, 21,000 for fan

Hpa-An; Galaxy Motel 18,000-20,000 kyat rent a motorcycle an head out an visit the caves

Mawlamyine ; ( hated the city) book ahead an stay at the Sandlewood hotel

I stayed at a overpriced place cause everywhere was booked

Kyaithkya; book somewhere on Booking .,com , gets very full with locals all the time now, u will love the 45 minute truck ride to the top :-)

PS make sure u check into immigration when enter Myanmar and when u leave Kwathoung, the office is right near where the boats pull in an many touts will show u the way

Overland travel from Kawthoung to Myeik is permitted BUT the road is so bad that it reportedly takes 16-20 hours for what is only around about a 300?km distance. Going by ferry (or flight if you want) is the most realistic way out.

There are reports on foreigners having travelled overland between Myeik and Kawthoung. All of them are from late 2014 onwards.

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In Hpa-an, forget the Galaxy Hotel (it's OK though it's not possible to book it online) but there are way better options. However, the young girl, who's the daughter of the manager speaks fantastic English.

Try the Glory Hotel, Hotel Angels Land or the Zwekabin.

In Moulmein the best place to stay and by far the most popular is the Cinderella Hotel.

Of course there are cheaper places but since most Thaivisa members are a bit older I am going to assume no one would be willing to stay in a bed bug infested backpacker dump, so I have recommended the sorts of places most people would consider to be of an acceptable standard.

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they wont let u travel NORTH overland from Kwathoung, u can travel south from Myeik on the bad road if u choose, a few have done it on motorbikes and hassled in many places

Galaxy was fine, an not being online means no <deleted> backpackers or <deleted> an the owners are great

Hotel angels would be a good alternative but costs a lot more

Sandlewood is much nicer/newer than Cinderella and closer to the river

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Brilliant - thanks for the advice. Sounds like there are lots of interesting places to go and things to do.

Tomtom - the hotel advice is very useful. I'm interested in meeting the Galaxy Hotel manager's daughter now :)

I'd love to travel by road to Myeik, though I know it sounds very difficult (if not impossible). Good to know there are options for onward travel. Speed boat sounds good. I'll let you know how I get on, and post back in a few weeks.

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I made it back safely, and here's my report...

Getting to Kawthaung was very easy, and there are now on-road options to travel to Myeik, as well as a smaller town on the way called Boke Pyin. The bus/minivan options are very new, and I'm sure they'll improve with time... but the roads are shit. I enjoyed the road-side refresher stops, chatting with the locals and watching a bit of international football. From my perspective the locals are always fun to travel with, but not much of interest if you don't speak Burmese - they are very accommodating, but the driver/bus operators may take advantage of this time-wise. The drivers aren't always punctual, and sometimes there are delays waiting for people to arrive, or moving luggage / passengers around along the way. I told them to get a hurry-on in a lighthearted way, just because I was annoyed with the mindless chit-chat at the bus stop.

So, if you do decide to travel by road, expect it to take longer than the stated times and for it not to be the most comfortable trip. Having said that the people have the very best intentions, and it's always good to keep that in mind. They might not tell you why they are taking a particular detour or why they're stopping for so long, but they will always try to help you find a place to stay or a driver when you get to your destination. I would still recommend booking the place before you leave though.

Bope Pyin only has one hotel. It's a small town, and the beach is not the easiest to get to. But you can find someone to take you to an island to see the villagers there. That's quite a pleasant trip, but it's not something you'll find in a hotel guide brochure. I went to a music concert with a women I met in the town. She got a bit flustered at the attention she was getting being with the only foreigner in the town, and understandably so. There really isn't much to do in Bope Pyin if you're looking for touristy things to do, but I enjoyed the local food (expect lots of dishes with squid and fish).

Myeik is pleasant enough, and most things seem to happen around the Grand Jade Hotel. There is a friendly German guy working there, and his team has just started to organise tours to the islands. The islands are very enjoyable - though expect to pay much more than you would for a similar thing in Thailand, and for it to be less organised. The highlight of these tours is not so much the fish or reefs (there are lots of those in Kawthaung too), but the people living on the islands.

Dawei is pretty awesome. Lots of unexplored beaches (I don't want to publicise that too much), and like most places in rural Myanmar - people are totally awesome, and make you realise how socially retarded we have become in other parts of the world.

I stayed in Dawei a little longer, and decided to catch the plane to Yangon as my ass had had enough of the buses. The plane route connects Yangon to Kawthaung, and its a round trip, stopping off at the different towns in between. From memory I think they said that the route was Kawthaung > Myeik > Dawei > Yangon; then back again. Tickets are around US$60-US$100, and there are two carriers - hurrar for the free market!

I missed out on going to Pa'an, but that is certainly on my list for my next visit, along with the towns in Shan state. I may never get to meet the manager's daughter of the Galaxy Hotel, or here her excellent English, as I'm sure she'll be a STEM graduate in Canada, and working for a 6 figure salary in the West by the time I get to visit.

Myanmar is changing quickly, and it's good to see those changes taking place in the countryside too. They will need those STEM grads soon, when the West has devalued everything it once had for the fickle consumer debt and credit card lifestyle.

If you need any advice on things to do or getting around in that part of Myanmar, feel free to post...

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  • 2 weeks later...

they wont let u travel NORTH overland from Kwathoung, u can travel south from Myeik on the bad road if u choose, a few have done it on motorbikes and hassled in many places

Galaxy was fine, an not being online means no <deleted> backpackers or <deleted> an the owners are great

Hotel angels would be a good alternative but costs a lot more

Sandlewood is much nicer/newer than Cinderella and closer to the river

Overland travel north of Kawthoung is now allowed. There is no reason for it not being allowed anyway. Besides, I just read recently that the ferries operating between Kawthoung and Myeik will be cancelled since the demand for them is so low now. That only leaves going overland or flying.

www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/burma_myanmar/southern_burma_myanmar/tanintharyi_region/kawthaung/3578​

www.wikitravel.org/en/Myeik

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-south-east-asia-mainland/myanmar/travel-to-myanmar-from-krabi-thailand

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I wrote the above in DEC and i took the ferries around the 10th

There is also a local bus between Myeik and Kawthoung. Travel agencies charge foreigners MYK25,000 and the whole trip takes about 13 hours without delays. The "road" between Myeik and Kawthong has improved.

Great; compared to 7 hours on a boat LOL

all ferries are now cancelled, so u must use the bus which is a road to hell

from Kawathoung to Myeik

Why link to the LP from 6 months ago??

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I wrote the above in DEC and i took the ferries around the 10th

There is also a local bus between Myeik and Kawthoung. Travel agencies charge foreigners MYK25,000 and the whole trip takes about 13 hours without delays. The "road" between Myeik and Kawthong has improved.

Great; compared to 7 hours on a boat LOL

all ferries are now cancelled, so u must use the bus which is a road to hell

from Kawathoung to Myeik

Why link to the LP from 6 months ago??

Mainly because I am not going to spend an hour searching for all the possible trip reports from the last two weeks just to make a point.

​I know for a fact however that foreigners have been travelling by road between Kawthaung and Myeik since at least 2014. It has been a bit vague as to whether foreigners could travel the road up until more recently, but even back in 2014, when a westerner drove his motorcycle from Myeik down to Kawthaung the only thing immigration cared about was the fact the foreigner came by bike, not that he came overland - immigration in Bobkyin wanted to put him on the bus. Apparently a western couple who travelled in the opposite direction came on the bus, no problems at all. All in all though, very few foreigners have ever travelled overland between Kawthaung and Myeik, and only some of these people have made some kind of report, whether on this forum, on a travel forum such as Lonely Planet or on their own blogs hence finding out the latest information, particularly given the proliferation of outdated info on the web is difficult.

Also, since Thais can now travel between Dan Singkorn and Myeik overland on a border pass, that would force them to travel the northern part of the Myeik-Kawthaung road as the road from the Singkorn pass joins up with the road from Kawthaung somewhere north of Bobkyin. Even though foreigners can't travel across the Dan Singkorn pass yet, if Thais have been allowed to travel to Myeik from Singkorn since May of last year then foreigners from third countries must also be allowed to travel that road just for that reason alone (even if crossing the border has not yet been allowed). Wouldn't make sense otherwise since Thais are foreigners in Myanmar too.

I think the availability of the road is going to be great for tourism - ferries were nice and all and I would personally have liked to get on one just to experience it once (doesn't look like that will be a possibility anymore though), but reportedly ferries were unlikely to run during the rainy season anyway, so if the road is in good enough condition that means year-round travel will now be possible. Yes there are flights too but they aren't daily, they are prone to cancellation/delays, are overpriced given the much cheaper domestic airfares you'll find everywhere from Thailand to China to Indonesia and personally I would feel a little apprehensive about getting on a Burmese domestic flight - the single exception would probably be Yangon to Mandalay, which is served by modern jets such as the A320.

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it seems u constantly pass out outdated or simply wrong info, to make a point....

Mainly because I am not going to spend an hour searching for all the possible trip reports from the last two weeks just to make a point.

Why bother post at all?

Plus you seem to love to write and write,

I stated in DEC no one IN KAWATHOUNG was allowed to leave the town by road heading north, I migration would not allow it,

YES some people came DOWN form Myeik last year by motorcycle ( we have all read the trip reports)

BUT i Have never read or heard of anyone BEFORE DEC heading north by bus

I did the trip the 2nd week in Dec by ferries. Heading SOUTH

Now it does seem the ferries have stopped for good

PS as to flying, have made numerous Prop flights in Myanmar, no problem.,

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