The easiest place in the world to get your visas has to be Vientiane. The crowd is so less that there is hardly any trouble and all kinds of requests are taken. I went to the Myanmar embassy in Vientiane today to get my visa done. Typically, the visa takes three days to be processed, but the folks at the Myanmar embassy were very kind to process the visas in one day for those who didn’t have another day in Vientiane.
The Myanmar embassy is next to the Embassy of South Korea and one on the same road as the Indian embassy. It is about 5-6 kilometers from the center of town and towards the Thailand border. I cycled there today from the center of town and it takes about 15 minutes and costs 10,000 kip (for the whole day bike rental). A one way tuk tuk ride should cost you 40,000 kip. The embassy opens at 8:30 AM and accepts applications till 11 AM.
All you need before you reach the embassy are:
1) 3 colour passport photographs (with white background)
2) Passport with 6 months validity and 2 empty pages
3) 20 US Dollars (for the visa fee…no kip or baht accepted)
Once you reach the embassy, the security guard will guide you to the visa office and here someone from inside will notice you and provide you 2 forms to fill up. It is good to know a hotel address in Yangon for the visa processing. Flight tickets, hotel vouchers and other stuff is not required, though it is good to know the approximate date that you will be landing in Myanmar. As a standard, the embassy gives visas that are valid for one month from the day of application and allows you to stay for a period of 28 days in Myanmar from date of entry. If you request, they will give you longer validity visas too. I saw a fellow traveler get a visa validity for 3 months.
A total of 6 people, including me applied for the Myanmar visa today in the 2 hours that I was there. In spite of this low volume, the visa process takes 3 working days. But, if you show a ticket to another destination or give a plausible reason, the Embassy staff are kind enough to consider your request and provide your visa on the same day.
The visa directly from the embassy costs USD 20. If you go through a travel agent in town, the cost is USD 42 for a 4 day turnaround and USD 50 for a single day turnaround.
The embassy staff will ask questions like:
1) What is your purpose of visit in Myanmar?
2) What is your job in your home country and would like to see some kind of ID or business card?
It is perfectly alright if you do not have any evidence, but give a honest reply. The people seem to accept honest replies here. Once you finish the process, the embassy staff will give you a receipt for your visa payment and ask you to collect it between 2 and 4:30 pm on day 1, day 2 or day 3, depending on your request. The embassy is open from Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. It is closed on all Laos and Myanmar national holidays.
Overall, it is very easy to get a Myanmar visa from Vientiane. I recommend you get yours here than in Bangkok if you can or are traveling to Laos.