Regarding the visa..thanks. My apologies to the board as I was being lazy and found the info with a little more digging.
As for getting from Chiang Mai to Bagan or Mandalay....what I was looking at was a bus from Chiang Mai to the border at Mai Sai. Cross to Tachiliek and then catch an Air Mandalay flight to Tachiliek=>Mandalay (daily flights per their website).
Assuming Air Mandalay is reliable, and if I had a visa in advance, this route seems maybe easier than Chiang Mai=>Bangkok=>Yangon=>Mandalay.
Anyone done this, or the reverse which might be even easier?
#3 plexo has been a member since 5/3/2012. Posts: 2
Hi! We can't say all of Myanmar airlines are reliable .
If you enter to Myanmar from another place ( expect Yangon ) , you will be get only 7 days or 14 days Visa . And you have to leave your passport at border immigration . So , that way is very risk .
I would like to recommend the second way ( Chaing Mai - Bangkok - Yangon - Mandalay ) .
From all my recent research there is no way you are going to cross the border at Mai Sae without leaving your passport at immigration ( to ensure you return same day). Hopefully, despite the military regime, border crossings for foreigners will be allowed in the near future.