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Where is Burma

Where is Burma

Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia. It's located at the northeast edge of Southeast Asia and borders Thailand, Laos, China, Tibet, India, and Bangladesh. Although Burma is considered by some to be part of South Asia, it is officially a member of ASEAN.


Burma has beautiful scenery and 1,200 miles of coastline along the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, however, tourism numbers are far lower than those of neighboring Thailand and Laos. The country was mostly closed off until relatively recently; the regime in charge didn't do much to attract visitors. Today, tourists are flocking to Burma for one simple reason: it's changing rapidly.


Burma or Myanmar, Which is it?

Burma's name was officially changed to "The Republic of the Union of Myanmar" by the ruling military junta in 1989. The change was rejected by many world governments due to the junta's messy history of civil war and human rights violations.

Although diplomats and governments once showed disapproval by sticking to the old name of Burma, that has changed. The 2015 elections and the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's party helped open up international relations and tourism, making the name "Myanmar" more acceptable. People from Myanmar are still referred to as "Burmese."


Traveling to Burma

The political climate in Burma has changed drastically. With the drop in international sanctions, Western companies rushed in and a tourism infrastructure is blooming.


Myanmar/Burma Visa Requirements

Getting a visa to visit Myanmar has never been easier. With the introduction of the eVisa system in 2014, travelers can simply apply online and pay the $50 fee with a credit card. You’ll need a digital, passport-sized photo taken of yourself against a white background within the last three months. A Visa Approval Letter is sent via email within three days. Just print the letter and show it upon arrival in the airport in Myanmar to receive a visa stamp in your passport. The Visa Approval Letter is valid for up to 90 days before entering Myanmar.


If an eVisa won’t work for you, a tourist visa for Myanmar can still be obtained by applying at an embassy outside of Myanmar before your trip. A visa for Myanmar grants only one entry and allows you 28 days in the country. Proceed directly to one of the immigration counters to get stamped in, not the visa-on-arrival counter.


Although international flights from Western countries to Burma are still practically nonexistent, there are excellent connections from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and other major cities in Asia. (airport code: RGN).


Visiting Burma is still very inexpensive, although backpacking travelers accustomed to other places in Southeast Asia find that accommodation is more expensive when traveling solo. Teaming up with another traveler is the cheapest way to go. Getting around is easy, although you won't encounter many English signs in transportation stations. Tickets are still done the old-fashioned way: your name is written into a giant book with a pencil.



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