I came this close to crossing the border into Myanmar in August 2019… I could literally see Myanmar across the Rauk River. The only problem: my passport was an hour south in Chiang Rai. You see, the guy who I rented my motorbike from was holding my passport as collateral.
Although I never crossed the border into Myanmar, I developed an interest into learning about the locations and logistics of crossing a land border between countries; specifically into Myanmar.
Prior to this, I had extensive discussions in Laos with my travel partner about wether it was possible to cross the border from Laos into Myanmar. After realizing this wasn’t possible, I ended up making my first Asian land border crossing ever from Laos into Thailand.
In Thailand, after we traveled to the Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet, we continued our motorbike trip up to the northern most point in Thailand to visit the Thailand soccer team cave. It was here in Mae Sai that we accidentally found the Tachileik land border crossing into Myanmar.
My goal with this blog post is to educate you about Myanmar border crossings with official information from Myanmar’s Ministry of Immigration. Additionally, you’ll find information about which ports of entry accept a tourist eVisa and the best way to get your Myanmar visa.
What Countries Border Myanmar?
Myanmar borders a total of five countries.
Of these Myanmar border countries, the longest is shared with Thailand at 1,501 miles long. A close second is the Myanmar/China border which extends 1,323 miles. India shares a 912 mile long borderline with Myanmar. Finally, Bangladesh and Laos only border Myanmar a length of 168 and 148 miles respectively.
Myanmar Port of Entries
Although Myanmar is surrounded by five countries, international border checkpoints for an eVisa only exist at select Thailand and India border crossings. As of February 2020, no Myanmar overland border crossings are available at China, Laos, and Bangladesh borders.
Myanmar has three international airports where you can enter the country with an eVisa.
- Yangon International Airport (What airports fly to RGN?)
- Mandalay International Airport (What airports fly to MDL?)
- Nay Pyi Taw International Airport (What airports fly to NYT?)
In addition to these airports, below is a list of all Myanmar land border checkpoints where a tourist eVisa is accepted.
Tachileik, Myawaddy, and Kawthaung allow travel between Myanmar and Thailand while Tamu and Rih Khaw Dar are India/Myanmar border crossings. The only two Indian states sharing a border with Myanmar are Mizoram and Manipur.
1. Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint
The Tachileik land border checkpoint allows locals and tourists with a visa to cross the border between Myanmar and Thailand. On the Myanmar side of the border is the town of Tachileik while on the Thailand side is the tambon of Mae Sai in Chiang Rai Province.
2. Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint
The Myawaddy border crossing station allows locals and tourists with a visa to travel between Myanmar and Thailand. On the Myanmar side you have the town of Tachileik while on the Thailand side is the district of Mae Sot in the Tak Province.
3. Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint
The Kawthaung immigration check point allows locals and tourists with a visa to travel between Myanmar and Thailand over water. Because Kawthaung and Ranong, Thailand are separated by approximately 3 miles of water, this trip must be made by boat. The town of Kawthaung is the southernmost part of Myanmar and across the water on the Thailand side is the Ranong Province.
4. Tamu Land Border Checkpoint
The Tamu land border crossing allows locals and tourists with a visa to travel between Myanmar and India. On the Myanmar side is the town of Tamu while on the India side is the Moreh Border check point in the Indian state of Manipur.
5. Rih Khaw Dar Land Border Checkpoint
The Rih Khaw Dar checkpoint allows locals and tourists with a visa to travel between Myanmar and India. On the Myanmar side is the village of Khawmawi while on the India side is the Zokhawthar village in the Indian state of Mizoram.
Applying for a Myanmar eVisa Online
While the vast majority of countries need a visa to enter Myanmar, some Southeast Asian countries and other Asian nations such as Hong Kong are exempt. You can check to see if you need a visa to travel to Myanmar by using iVisa’s online visa lookup tool. A Myanmar visa for US citizens is required.
Assuming that you need a visa to enter Myanmar, it’s actually quite easy to apply for a Burmese visa.
The cheapest option is to apply for your tourist visa directly on the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s government website. Here you need to fill out a Myanmar visa application. The cost of a 28 day tourist visa is $50 according to the Myanmar eVisa website.
Another option is to use iVisa, a reputable service providing expedited processing for visa applications. iVisa will submit the necessary paperwork and documentation to the Burmese government on your behalf. All you have to do is input your passport information, anticipated travel dates, and port of arrival. Then within 12 hours, iVisa will email you your Myanmar eVisa.
A Myanmar visa on arrival is only available for business purposes, not tourism. Therefore, you must arrange your Myanmar tourist visa before you arrive.
Myanmar Visa Requirements
It’s worth pointing out that your passport cannot expire within six months from your planned date of entry. In addition, you must submit a recent passport-style photo of yourself that was taken within the last three months.
Once issued, your Myanmar tourist visa will be valid for 90 days. Upon entering Myanmar, your stay must not exceed 28 days. As soon as you leave Myanmar, your visa expires and you will need to apply for a renewed visa.
Happy Myanmar Travels!
By now, you have all the information that you need to get a Myanmar visa. Although I haven’t personally traveled through Myanmar, I hope that my extensive research helps you plan your trip. While that’s the case, I can recommend nearby Thailand and Laos as part of your travel itinerary.
While many other land border crossings exists between Myanmar and its surrounding countries, those mentioned in this blog post are the only ones where tourists can legally pass.
Let me know if you have any questions about Myanmar border crossings or visas below.