Valid on 11.2015
Crossing the border is very easy and safe
UPDATE 2018: We heard that recently Burma closed the border for individual travelers and they let you in only if you buy a tour with a travel agency.
What you will need:
- Myanmar visa (tourist for 28 days) – it is issued for two working days at the consulate of Myanmar in Kolkata or the embassy of Myanmar in Delhi. IT CAN’T BE ISSUED ON THE BORDER!
Documents needed: two photos, filled-in application form, flight tickets reservation for entry and exit of the country (every tourist agency in India can issue such fictious reservations for you without the need for you to actually buy them. After you receive the visa these reservations are cancelled. The agencies do this for free or it will cost you 200-500 rupees (3-6 euro).
The price of the visa: 1400 rupee (20 euro) – paid on spot. (It is better to NOT say at the embassy that you plan to cross the border on land)
- MTT permit: it is a special permit issued for crossing the land border Moreh-Tamu, which is the only one where foreigners are allowed to pass. It is required by the authorities in Myanmar. It is issued only by Myanmar travel agencies such as Exotic Myanmar Tours S Travels. They issue the permit for around 15-20 days. The price is 80$ per person. It is not possible to be issued for 50$ as before.
You have to contact them by e-mail (www.exoticmyanmartravel.com ; www.exoticmyanmartour.com) and send them copy of your passport, your Indian visa, your itinerary (which cities and when you plan to visit them) and exact entry date. In about two weeks you will receive the MTT permit by e-mail, you print it and show it at the border. You can pay the agencies in two ways: with bank transfer or electronic payment.
– It seems that the agency called 7 Diamonds has merged with Exotic Myanmar and the option to receive the permit for 50$ doesn’t exist anymore. Have in mind that sometimes they respond in 2-3 days. Be patient. They have a good reputation and we haven’t heard of anyone having problems with them. It is possible that there are other agencies that charge less, but we haven’t heard of any so far.
– You will not be allowed to enter the country by land without the MTT permit. It is needed just to cross the border and to us this looks as a scheme to make money.
A French couple tried to cross the border without it and after they got out of India and the Indian authorities stamp their passports upon exiting and then had to stay on the border until a MTT permit was issued for them. It was an express order and they had to wait for a few days and maybe paid much more.
Now at the Indian border they ask upon leaving if you have the permit – probably because of what happened to the French couple.
– Regarding the exact date the needs to be in the permit we asked several people who crossed the border and they told us that it is OK if you don’t cross exactly on it. An Australian crossed the border several days before his data, a Spanish coming from Myanmar entered 10 days after his date and on top of this had his visa overdue and had to pay 3$ per overdue day. We crossed it a day before our date.
– There was only one name and passport number on our permit, but the people at the agency told us that they warn the authorities at the border in advance of who and how many people will cross the border so it is not a good idea to try and falsify the permit.
– After we entered a guide came with a scooter and drove us for free to Tamu (which is 3 km away from the border). We told him that we will eat and will take the bus later so he left without any further questions. Apparently the service is included in the 80$ you pay for the permit.
Roads condition and hitchhiking:
– India: from Imphal to Moreh (the border) the road is good. The distance is 110 km., but you cross it for 3-4 hours because the road is mountainous and has many bends. Hitchhiking goes well.
– Myanmar: from Tamu (3 km. from the border) to Kaley/Kalewa) are 150 km. – the road is good. We waited for around 40 min. for someone to takes us. At Kaley a police patrol stopped us and they didn’t mind we are hitchhiking in a truck. Hitchhiking is good and sometime you have to wait more only because there are not many vehicles passing on the road.
Kaley – Monywa is 180 km. and the road is terrible and mountainous. You travel many hours on end. The last 60 km. are better.
Monywa – Mandalay is 120 km. Perfect hitchhiking, very good road, lots of cars.
You can read how we crossed the border and all our adventures in Myanmar and India here
Related articles about religion, culture and food read here.