Backup plan for Burma - Where?

Old Aug 5th, 2012, 09:02 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,433
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Backup plan for Burma - Where?

All packed up for our trip to Copenhagen this week (can't wait!)...which got me think tonight about our December trip to Burma. We've got everything all set for that trip and are just counting down the days at this point. We're thrilled for the trip but still have a bit of trepidation and uncertainty around our visas.

Some of you may have followed a thread I posted on here months back about our concerns for our visa approval process. In a nutshell: DH works in the entertainment biz and we definitely have some concerns about his ability to get approved for a visa since people who work in TV (even if the news or reporting in any way) are definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to visa approvals in Burma.

It's really just going to be a crap shoot at this point. I believe we can apply in early October (for our arrival in late December.)

And now to the point of my post: it seems to be that it'd be wise to have some sort of Plan B...even if it's none too detailed. Just something to fall back on just in case. I may be paranoid, but I'd rather be that and not be shocked with no plan and no time to enact it.

We'll be flying into Singapore and would have about 10 days before we head back to Thailand for a beach stay and then the trip back home.

I've thought long and hard about where to go in the unlikely event we don't have visa approval and I keep coming back to Sri Lanka. It was on our short list this year and, even though, from what I gather, December isn't the "best" time to go (rainy season, etc.) it seems like we could have an amazing time there even so.

For those that have been (Kathie, et al.) I wonder what your thoughts are on a basic and yet fulfilling 10 day trip to SL in December. I don't plan to plan too much on this one, but having a basic backup itinerary and hotel ideas would seem to be a wise idea.

Thanks in advance, fellow Fodorites!
filmwill is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2012, 11:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,001
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were in SL in Feb 2011,which although supposedly the dry season, we found ourselves knee deep in floods for the first week or so. Locals told us that the monsoons had shifted in recent years. You could be lucky and get de ent weather but if not , the major sites will still be there although some, like Sirigiya may be difficult to get around.

SL is probably best visited with a driver/guide and in 10 days you would have time for the major sights such as the Cultural Triangle - Sirigiya, Dambulla etc., Kandy and it's environs and maybe a few days in the hill/ tea country.

The main problem with SL in a short visit is the time it takes to get from place to place - it always seems to take much longer than you think. You will probably need to spend your final night in negombo for your onward flight
crellston is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 02:15 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,894
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think 10 days in SL would be fine. In fact it was the first country to come to mind when I saw your post. It may be a challenge to put it together at the last minute as SL has become more popular since the end of the civil war. But I am sure an agency such as Boutique Sri Lanka could book it for you. If you focus on the cultural triangle and hill/tea country, it is easily doable in 10 days.
Craig is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 05:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, I think Sri Lanka is a reasonable back up plan. You can do the cultural triangle and the tea country in that time.

I wonder what the paperwork for the pre-approved visa looks like. Santa Maria would be glad to get your pre-approval since you've booked with them. You might ask them what i takes to get a pre-approval.
Kathie is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 06:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BTW, the visa you receive from the embassy in Washington is good for 90 days. You have 90 days in which to enter Burma, then you have up to 28 days in country. You can enter on the 90th day after receiving the visa and still get your full 28 days in Burma. So you can apply in Sept for your visa.
Kathie is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 07:09 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,433
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Kathie, what is this pre-approved visa of which you speak? I was aware that they may be enacting some sort of e-visa or visa on arrival (but wasn't banking on that.)
filmwill is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 07:28 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is a pre-arranged visa you can get through a travel agent. It was originally meant for people who lived in countries where there isn't an embassy. I have absolutely no idea what kind of paperwork it requires. You submit some paperwork to the travel agent and the agent takes it for review. If it is approved, you get a pre-approval letter (email) that you take with you. When you arrive in Yangon, the visa is affixed to your passport. Write to Zaw (or whoever you are working with at Santa Maria) and ask about it. It's more expensive than getting it from the embassy - usually about $70.

There was rumor of an e-visa but that has been restricted to business visas. No indication right now that they are re-considering the visa on arrival for tourists.
Kathie is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 08:37 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 26,400
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I was in SL the month before crellston, Jan 2011, and definitely had wet weather and floods to deal with. Click on my name for my TR. I enjoyed the visit anyway, but it would certainly have been better (and resulted in better photos) in sunny weather.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2012, 09:21 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
what about maldives??

india--golden triangle--our first trip was 11 days..
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2012, 05:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm worrying bout this as well--- I work for a government news org, albeit not in the news division. When I applied for an Indian visa, the consulate told me to be a salesman. I told the truth for China, but it was a long, dragged out affair. My trip is in November, and I'm going to begin the application process next week!
coolcreek is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2012, 07:56 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hopefully, you will all get your visas quickly and efficiently.
Kathie is offline  
Old Sep 9th, 2012, 04:43 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,433
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm in the process of filling ours out now. As mentioned in my other post, the questions on this visa application are a bit crazy (but yet amusing!) I love that I have to (on the job description page) list on one line my full name; then the next line asks for my surname; then the line after that asks for my first and middle name...all just in case I forgot what they were on the first line.

Plan to submit the forms in 2 weeks and then it'll be a game of finger crossing and intense Plan B planning.

Currently considering Sri Lanka, but also looking at Vietnam and Borneo as backups just in case things don't work out in our favor.

I'm hopeful, though, given all that I've read on how things have relaxed recently (a bit) on visa applications in general but particular for media and people in media applying.
filmwill is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2012, 06:52 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am very happy to report that I picked up my visa in DC this week--- things truly have loosened up!
coolcreek is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2012, 07:05 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
congrats! When will you be in Burma?
Kathie is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2012, 08:30 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Right after the President---Nov 22-25.
coolcreek is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hassanmaalik
Asia
4
Feb 27th, 2018 02:32 PM
sophiefriedman
Asia
4
Dec 7th, 2013 06:43 AM
ma12
Asia
4
Sep 5th, 2013 07:51 PM
impacked
Asia
22
Feb 22nd, 2008 07:11 AM
saurabh000
Asia
4
Mar 12th, 2007 10:58 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:11 AM.