Little help needed. Heading in to Mandalay on the 29th October... flying from Bangkok.
Firstly.. I keep hearing conflicting reports as to getting visa on arrival or visa beforehand... has anyone done it recently? Or know the answer... I thought it was fine now to pay on arrival for 30 day tourist visa?
Secondly... with the recent banning of Homestays in Mandalay and Yangon and possibly now all over the touristy areas of Myanmar. what are budget travellers doing for accomodation? Because I know there was already a hotel shortage....
Essentially I am looking for someone who can ease my mind. I have travelled Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, a little of Indonesia, and almost all of Thailand, but am very worried about travel In Myanmar being currently a lot harder, with money going to the government and not the people, a lot of fighting in different areas. Plus I travel alone and one of my favourite things about it is meeting people when I arrive somewhere. Without home-stay's, I'm also worried about going mad with just my own company.
Can some one either confirm or hopefully put an and to my worries. Because I want to see this country at its most authentic and ethical... and right now I am considering the thought that it maybe wiser in a year or two to get exactly what I want from the country... when infrastructure and politics are hopefully improved.
Any help appreciated.
#1 EliCharlie has been a member since 26/10/2013. Posts: 1
Little late to the game on this one...
a) Visa on arrival: No go. You need to get your visa beforehand. Bangkok and KL are popular spots for this.
b) There are still budget (by Burma standards) places to stay across the main destinations -- they're just guesthouses rather than homestays.
c) Re $$$ to the government, this remains an issue, but more problematic are the cronies - see my post here regarding this.
I followed my parents to Burma (with a break of about 30 years) after growing up on stories of the Burmese people being the most beautiful people in the world. Although the statement sounds saccharine, we really did find the everyday Burmese to be gentle, open and warm people. English is widely spoken and many Burmese are interested in you and in sharing their own culture/history. So, I wouldn't worry about not meeting people/being lonely.
Money will go to the government - it is inevitable. However, you can still inject money directly into the local economy easily - hire a few guides, buy off small stalls.
You will need to pre-book accommodation - travelfish has a post on this.
#3 natalie_rae has been a member since 13/10/2012. Posts: 4