Many people opt to apply for a Myanmar visa in Bangkok for two reasons: The process is quick and very simple and the cheapest flights into Myanmar depart daily from Bangkok. The visa is valid for three months from date of issue, and once you are in Myanmar you are allowed a 28-day stay.
We went through this process, and it was quick and painless. Shortly after receiving our visas, we traveled through Myanmar for three weeks, visiting eight cities. If you want more information about the country or things to do there, check out our other Myanmar posts!
Getting to the Embassy
Address: 132 Sathorn Nua Road
Phone number: (662) 233 2237 or (662) 233 7250
The embassy is in the Sathorn district and easy to locate. If you’re looking for a quick way to get there (i.e.: not the public bus) without shelling out for a taxi, tuk tuk or motorbike taxi, you have two options. If you’re staying along the Chao Phraya River, take a public ferry to Sathorn central pier. From there, you can either walk about 20 minutes (away from the river on Thanon Sathorn) or go one stop on the BTS (sky train) to Surasak. Then the embassy is just a couple blocks away on the corner of Thanon Sathorn and Thanon Pan. Likewise, if you’re near a BTS or MRT station, just take the train to Surasak, which is on the BTS Silom Line.
When you exit the BTS station, walk toward the pedestrian overpass on Sathorn (the river will be behind you), and you will be headed in the right direction. You want to be on the left side of the street, which is opposite St. Louis Hospital. You’ll see the embassy on the corner a couple blocks ahead. The entrance is on Pan, so you will make a left off Sathorn.
What You Need
Always double-check information provided here with the consulate as things can change at any time.
1) Cash: The embassy offers three visa services: same day (1260 baht), next day (≈1000 baht) and two days (810 baht). Yes, they provide change.
2) Application form: Blue or black ink is fine. The form is double-sided and asks for work history, where you’ll stay in Myanmar, and basic personal information. You can either get this for free from counter 4 inside the embassy (read: after doors open at 9am), print it yourself or pick up one for 5 baht from a copy/print/fax shop down the street (more on this shop later).
3) Two passport-sized photos: There is a shop that offers photo services just across the street from the embassy’s gate. One photo will be clipped to the application and the other will be glued. The embassy provides scissors, glue and paperclips next to counter 4.
4) A copy of your passport: If you don’t have a copy, go to the copy/print/fax shop to obtain one for a few baht.
5) Your passport: This seems obvious, but don’t forget it in the hotel! Make sure you have at least six months before it expires and a blank page for the full-page visa.
Submitting Your Visa Application
We arrived at 8:45am on 3 April and there were about 30 people in line ahead of us. By the time we left at 9:45am, the line had shorten to 20 people total and was no longer spilling onto the sidewalk. You can arrive early if you are worried about a long line, but you probably don’t need to. The staff is really quick and efficient.
There are chairs for those waiting to pay and tables for those needing to complete the application form. The main line brings you to counter four where you hand over your completed application. The staff member checks it over and asks what service you’d like (same day, next day, two day). He or she will hand it all back to you with a number. Sit down and wait until your number is called and displayed on an electronic screen. Proceed to the counter indicated on the screen. Hand in your completed application, passport and cash. They can provide change if you only have large bills. They will give you a yellow receipt that indicates when you can pick up your passport and which counter to queue at.
Updates from a reader (thank you, Jane E.!): “A couple of small updates. A couple of vehicles park right outside the Myanmar Embassy these days with portable equipment and supplies to help with copying etc. I needed one paper clip and a dab of glue and was given these willingly and not charged. Secondly, the Embassy tends to let people wait inside the air-conditioned building until opening time, which is a relief from the heat. Otherwise, it’s pretty much as you describe it. Regarding cost, the 2-day visit still costs the same (810THB) as of July 2014.”
Picking Up Your Visa and Passport
Pick-up hours are 15:30-16:30. About 50 people were waiting at 15:15 when we showed up. Though because of the sun, they were scattered on either side of the street. Bring a newspaper or something to block out the sun and wait in line by the gate so you’re first in. Be sure to queue up at the counter number indicated on your yellow receipt. Hand over the slip and receive your passport. Don’t forget to check over the visa before exiting to ensure that all information is correct.
Through it all, don’t forget to smile and be polite! They don’t like smelling hordes of sweaty people all day either.
Hours and Holidays
The embassy is open Monday through Friday, except on holidays. Application submission hours are 9am to 12pm, and collection hours are 3:30-4:30pm (15:30-16:30).
How to Get to the Copy Shop
If you are facing the reflective “The Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar” sign, walk left up Pan (away from Sathorn). You’ll pass a couple buildings before hitting a side street on your right. You’ll know you’ve hit the side street when you see yellow signs with a black arrow. Turn right and the shop will be on your right. The owner is friendly and quick to help. If you prefer to fill in the application while you wait in line, pick one up here for 5 baht.
If you found this helpful and want to read more about Myanmar, check out more posts from our MyANmar trip!
If you visited the embassy in Bangkok and notice that things have changed, please put them in the comments or email me to help fellow travelers!