Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Burma, Visa On Arrival


If you have plans of visiting Burma don't delay them as VOA is available and it is as easy as a brand new “Benjamin” or a “Jackson”.

I made my application online and paid about US$43 for the service with the understanding that I would pay an additional US$30 on arrival for the visa itself.


SAM_1373Although the email service from the company was slower than expected, eventually I received an approval letter and a list with my name on it from them. Both of these items I saved on my netbook to present to Air Asia when checking in for my flight and to the Immigration officials when I arrived in Yangon.



At the VOA desk you have to fill out another form and present one passport photo. The process could not have been any simpler or more pleasant as the officials were friendly and very accommodating. However, one interesting thing.

Your American currency must be in perfect condition as it has to pass the tough inspection of one Chief Currency Inspector No. 13. No folds, wrinkles or markings or bent corners. Fortunately, I had a fresh from the bank at home and well traveled US$100 bill.



SAM_1392One of Many Pagodas In Yangon



Once my visa was issued, I then proceeded onto Immigration and Customs where again the officials were refreshingly friendly and welcoming.

In the baggage claim area there is an ATM with dial up internet connection, I swear I could hear that old familiar dial up tone. Don’t pretend like you are too young to remember, I know you had a Vic-20 too!

Nearby is a Currency Exchange Booth where your old worn out, torn, dog eared and wrinkled Jacksons, Benjamins and even Old Georges are gladly welcomed. There is a varied rate for currency exchange with the hundred dollar bill getting the best treatment, as it should.



SAM_1399Being in Burma is exciting and with the ease of VOA, I would say start packing.

I think my new found friends would agree.

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