If you have your visa ready and a valid passport with at least six months of validity from the time of entry in hand, you should have no trouble entering Myanmar either by air or land.

There is no requirement for you to show an onward ticket out of the country in order to enter Myanmar.

Customs Regulations

For the vast majority of visitors, clearing customs is a breeze, but it's important to be aware of the restrictions; for further details see www.myanmarcustoms.gov.mm.

Any foreign currency in excess of US$2000 is supposed to be declared upon entry. Besides personal effects, visitors are permitted to bring duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars
  • 250g of tobacco
  • 2L of alcoholic liquor
  • 150ml of perfume.

It's not a problem to bring a camera, video camera, laptop or mobile phone. You cannot bring in antiques, pornographic materials or narcotic drugs.

Export Restrictions

A wide variety of antiques cannot legally be taken out of the country, including the following:

  • prehistoric implements and artefacts
  • fossils
  • old coins
  • bronze or brass weights (including opium weights)
  • bronze or clay pipes
  • inscribed stones
  • inscribed gold or silver
  • historical documents
  • religious images
  • sculptures or carvings in bronze, stone, stucco or wood
  • frescoes (even fragments)
  • pottery
  • national regalia and paraphernalia.

Visas

Everyone requires a visa. Single-entry tourist visas last 28 days.

E-Visa

Citizens of 100 countries can apply online for tourist visas via Myanmar's Ministry of Immigration and Population website: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm.

The cost is US$50. After your application is processed, you'll be emailed an approval letter. Print it out and give it to the passport official on arrival at the airport or designated land borders with Thailand and you'll be stamped into the country.

E-visas can be used at Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports; and at three Thailand–Myanmar land border crossings: Tachileik, Myawaddy and Kawthoung. You can exit the country at any overland border crossing bar the remote Htee Khee crossing (although you will need a permit and permission to exit to China and India).

Citizens of 51 countries can also apply online for business visas (US$70, valid 70 days), but you'll need a letter of invitation from a sponsoring company and proof of your company's registration of business.

Applications

Tourist visas (28 days) are valid for up to three months from the date of issue. Starting the process a month in advance is the safe bet; these days the processing can take anything between a day and a week.

There are slight differences between the application procedures at Myanmar embassies in different countries. Some require two passport photos, others only one. Postal applications are usually OK, but it's best to check first with your nearest embassy about its specific application rules.

If you’re already travelling, it’s possible to get a tourist visa at short notice from the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok; the cost is 1260B for same-day processing (application 9am to noon, collection 3.30pm to 4.30pm), 1035B for the next day.

Visa Extensions & Overstaying

Some travellers extend their trips by overstaying their visa. This is not normally a problem, as long as you don't overstay for more than 14 days. You will be charged US$3 a day, plus a US$3 registration fee, at the airport or land border as you exit the country. The fine can be paid in kyat as well, but it's important to have the correct amount, as receiving change is unlikely.

However, some hotels won't take guests who have overstayed their visas, and domestic airlines may be unwilling to let you on planes. If you're overstaying, it's wise to stick with land routes and places within easy reach of Yangon. There have been cases in the past of tourists being instructed to leave the country immediately if their visa has expired.