Anybody got the latest on the following:
1) Is it possible to reach Myitkyina or at least Bhamo (both were off limits to tourists in January/February 2013)? Ideally we'd like to fly in from Mandalay and return to Mandalay by river, train and bus.
2) When does the Golden Rock get covered? We had to change our plans to visit it in February 2013 as we heard it was being covered. Is this a regular annual event? For the approaching rains? A festival?
We'll be back in Myanmar in February 2014 and looking to do both.
And thirdly anyone been through the land crossing at Mae Sot ? I gather it is now open.
Plan is to fly in to Mandalay, fly up to Myitkyina or Bhamo, return slowly to Mandalay via Katha, bus to Bago, Mt Kyaiktiyo, Hpa-an, Moulmein and back to Thailand via Mae Sot border crossing.
Any news welcome.
Thanks in advance.
#1 bananas4baba has been a member since 29/3/2010. Posts: 14
Flew in to Myitkyina from Yangon about four weeks ago. The day we wanted to take the boat to Bhamo the river got closed off to foreigners! Problems in the state of Kachin. We had to take the train to Naba and then get a pickup to Katha and go back up river to Bhamo the following day. The long way around, involved doubling back down river and, of course, we missed out on Sinbo but we'll worth the extra few days it took.
Mt Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) wasn't covered when we visited early in February but it does get covered at some point.
#3 bananas4baba has been a member since 29/3/2010. Posts: 14
Last week I contacted the Myanmar Embassy in Australia as I too was of the understanding that foreigners could cross by land from Thailand. I was intending to cross at Mae Sai this July and take a flight from Tachileik to Heho. I was advised this was not possible in the absence of a letter of approval from the Ministry in Myanmar.
Waiting months for approval (advised by embassy lady approval not likely) even to travel 12 kilometres from the border to Tachileik airport, I have better things to do with my time. I'm now flying in.
@Stoneman - that's quite curious advice from the embassy - that border has been open for some time now for people with a visa -- and no letter of approval is required. Perhaps they misunderstood you and thought you wanted to overland it to Heho (which I thought was still impossible).
Iexplained to the embassy lady that all I want to do is travel 12kms from the border to Tachileik airport. She was adamant that travelling as an individual was 'was not good' etc. Decided I'm just not prepared to be stuffed around, either by the embassy when applying for my tourst visa or if issued, then rock up to Burmese Customs & be denied entry despite visa in hand. Not worth the angst.
Until I retire I cannot afford to be stuffed around, time is of the essence. Hence, fly from Chiang Mai back to Bangkok and fly over to Mandalay next day.
For future reference, I'll be interested in reading blogs/trip reports from people who have crossed over with a tourist visa.