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Crossing Myanmar with own car (Thailand -> India) in Aug or Sep 2014

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May 30th, 2014, 07:13 PM
  #1
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Crossing Myanmar with own car (Thailand -> India) in Aug or Sep 2014

Hello to all the passionate travellers out there!
My girlfriend and me plan to cross Myanmar with our own car in either August or September this year (2014) as part of our raod trip from Australia all the way back to Germany. According to our current knowledge crossing this beautiful country is not as difficult as it used to be. Mainly it is a matter of money. Since the government still charges high prices on entering with own cars (using a local licensed tour operator is mandatory). These costs can be reduced significantly if enough cars (people) can be found to join the group. We have found such a local licensed tour operator in Myanmar who can organize all kinds of tours with own cars in Myanmar but it is up to us to find other people who are interested in joining us (like I have said to make the high costs of such a tour organization affordable). We want to enter Myanmar coming from Thailand and travel on to India. If you are interested in joining us in the second half of August or in September please contact us: nue.travelling[AT]gmail[DOT]com - if anyone has information about other groups already planning something similar please let us know likewise!
Kind regards,
Enrico and Nadine
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May 31st, 2014, 07:23 AM
  #2
 
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Go to the Thorntree forum as there are often posts about this. It typically takes a couple of years to arrange the permits. Also, be aware that the "roads" are in horrible condition.
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May 31st, 2014, 08:02 AM
  #3
 
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See: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntr...in-august-2014

And especially the linked thread:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntr...ar-is-possible

Seems it is indeed possible, which is an improvement over just a couple of years ago, but expensive.

I have a book - "First Overland" by Tim Slessor - about a group of recent British graduates taking Land Rovers from London to Singapore via (then) Burma along what had been the Stilwell Road in 1955. Perhaps the road is in better shape these days than the muddy track it was then. (I have the first edition, but I see on Amazon that it was republished in 2012).
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May 31st, 2014, 05:51 PM
  #4
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@Kathie & thursdaysd:

Thanks for the advices! I'm already active on that forum but thought it would be good to publish our request at more than just one platform!
Travelling through Myanmar with own car is possible!
I know a hand full of different people who already did that successfully (in both directions). It really mainly is a matter of the high costs. That's why I'm looking for other people joining this trip.

As I mentioned before I have found a local tour operator who can organise the trip (and permissions as he is licensed by the government). Already have my visa for Indoa and a Carnet de Passage ('passport for the car'). Visa for Myanmar will be optained in Bangkok (easy - did that once in 2013 already).

With the road conditions: sure it is definitely good having a 4WD with increased suspension (like we have). But the rain season could be a problem. But you never know in advance! We are willing give it a try.
If we cannot find others who join us there is still the way of having the car shipped from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata in India as Myanmar is just one out of 15 countires we will have to cross. But shipping the car is not the sense of a road trip...

Once again: if there is anyone who also plans to cross Myanmar with his own car in August or September this year, please let me know!
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Jun 1st, 2014, 05:36 AM
  #5
 
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Could you send me more information about the local tour operator you are using to do this trip, I am planing to do the same trip, but from Uk to Australia, in 2015 I've contacted Myanmar's embassy in London and they said it was not possible, so is nice to hear it is!
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Jun 1st, 2014, 08:05 PM
  #6
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@pablochacon

The local tour operator's website is brightviewtravel.com
His name is Tin. He is a very nice guy and speeks very good English.
To not believe what the embassy told you! Crossing (and travelling) Myanmar IS POSSIBLE! As long as you have a local (and licensed!) tour guide with you! Heaps of people did it before!
Just to give two examples:
http://www.abenteuerosten.de/atw-2012/rec_030/ (in German)
http://ridingtorangoon.com/blog/

@everyone

I just got the prices for a 4 day transit from Thai to India and the costs include everything exept the own fuel you need: accommodations(twin share hotel rooms since 'wild camping' is forbidden in the country), catering (breakfast/lunch, dinner & teabreaks),permission & royalty fees to the ministy,third party insurance, temporary importation for the vehicle (it seems Myanmar does not accept Carnet de Passages), temporary driving licence fees, leading escort car & accompinied staff, toll fees and taxation.
But as long as there are not at least let's say three vehicles the costs are not affordable / not worth it.

Price for two vehicles with four people: 1287 US$ per person.

So obviously (and as every knows) crossing Myanmar with own car is nothing to consider for budget travellers.

And again my request: If anyone else wants to travel from Thailand to India via Myanmar please contact me (or reply here)!
Thanks.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 06:36 AM
  #7
 
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Good luck to you - I hope it works out. I have seen reports by so many people who thought they were going to be allowed to do this and it didn't happen. Or the people who spent months near the border with India waiting for their permissions. "Heaps of people did it before!" is a bit of an exaggeration. It has been done recently by a number of people at considerable expense and considerable time spent.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:34 AM
  #8
 
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Good luck! Sounds liek a cool trip, but I'm not planing on Asia this year.
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Jun 6th, 2014, 05:11 PM
  #9
 
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thank you for the information! good luck!
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Jun 6th, 2014, 07:50 PM
  #10
 
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Apart from the hassle months of driving would be very tiring. For mine better to hire cars in each country and have 7 days on the road followed by r&r in between. A mix of cars, planes and trains would be more fun. 7 day car hires allow free 1 way drop offs.
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Jun 7th, 2014, 12:51 AM
  #11
 
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Sounds like a wonderful trip . Would love to join tour but we won't be starting our next long trip around Asia until oct or November. We you be keeping a blog of your travels? Would love to follow along.

Prachuap, I think you are entirely missing the point of this type of travel!
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Jun 7th, 2014, 09:31 PM
  #12
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@Kathie
Just check the Internet. During the past years a lot of people did the crossing - small groups of three cars up to big convoys with 20 or vehicles. The only thing you still have to consider these days is booking a local licensed tour operator - getting a special permission from the government for crossing the country on your own is still very unlikely to happen.

@Prachuap
As crellston already said: you missed the point. Our idea is a road trip from Australia to Germany - with one car: our own car. We start from Canberra at the 18th of June.

Let's get back to the point: we are looking for people who also would like to cross Myanmar with their own car in August or September this year. If anyone is interested, please reply!
Thanks to everyone.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 01:44 AM
  #13
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Hello to everyone.

In the meantime we have found another tour operator (www.burmasenses.com
) who offers guided tours through Myanmar.
The price per person for a group of 4 people would be 1080 USD excluding food and fuel.
The more people, the cheaper.
If anyone else is interested in crossing Myanmar from Thai to India in August or September this year please reply!
Cheers,
NuE
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Jun 28th, 2014, 11:49 PM
  #14
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UPDATE:
According to our latest research the crossing is not as expensive as I / we thought it is.
To quickly summarise:
Next to the German guy Jörn Schlag whose latest price for an extensive trip through Myanmar was 2000 Euros (~ 2750 US$) per car (independent of the number of cars building the convoy) we already found three licensed travel agencies situated in Myanmar who offer crossings through Myanmar (all following prices are based on a four or five day crossing):
1st was Tin Maung Shwe from www.brightviewtravel.com who basically provided the following prices (includes everything except of own fuel, any sight seeing and personal expenses): for 1 car / 2 pax : 2163 US$ per pax; for 2 cars / 4 pax : 1287 US$ (costs are getting cheaper the more people join the group)
2nd was Thar Aye from www.burmasenses.com who offers the crossing as follows: for 1 car / 2 pax : 2000 US$ per pax; for 2 cars / 4 pax : 1060 US$ (costs are getting cheaper the more people join the group). Furthermore we found a
3rd tour operator whose costs vary significant from those of Tin and Thar Aye:
His name is Mutu Suresh from www.myanmarexperttours.com and who recommends a six day crossing due to the more difficult road situation on the rainy season for the following (costs are in total, NOT per person!):
1 Person - 900 US$
2 People - 1060 US$
4 People - 1700 US$
6 People - 2250 US$
Includes three meals per day and five nights' accommodation. Not included as already mentioned above: own fuel, sightseeing entrance fees on the way, personal expenses and road tax (no more than 50 $US per vehicle).
I was wondering how this high price difference is possible. But I only found few reviews only of people travelling with him (all were very satisfied with his work) and he assured me that no extra costs would apply (except the ones mentioned). If anyone can give any reviews about Mutu Suresh this would be very welcome!

So far I found another couple with a 4WD who is willing to join us on the crossing. Furthermore I am waiting for the reply of two motor cyclists who also are interested in joining us.
That means currently we are four, maybe six people who will do the crossing together. I requested another offer + itinerary for a six day crossing allowing for visiting Bagan and a seven day crossing allowing for Bagan and Mandalay.
News will be posted.

So far to our situation.
Still looking for more people to join us!
Since we are having travel delays the currently desired departure time (start time) for the crossing will be middle of September.

Best regards to everyone,

Enrico and Nadine
www.nue-travelling.com
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Jun 29th, 2014, 07:07 AM
  #15
 
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You mean you're going to spend almost all your time in Myanmar driving? That's crazy, it's a great destination for sightseeing.
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Jun 29th, 2014, 11:57 AM
  #16
 
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It sounds like a cool trip. However you should add some time for sightseeing as Burma is a great destination as @thursdaysd said. It is nice to know you are dealing your caravan tour with Thar Aye and his company Burma Senses, really a responsive and nice guy. Good luck!
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 03:00 AM
  #17
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@thursdaysd & dannyjacob
You right with the sightseeing. But what you do not know is that we already havee visited amazing Myanmar in 2013 already so we are basically focussing on a quick crossing. At the moment we are focussing on a 6 or 7 day crossing including a stop at Bagan. And since most of the group agree with limited sight seeing we are fine.
Currently we are six, maybe 8 people. And for all of them Myanmar is only one country in a very long list of destinations due to each ones travel plans (take ourselves for example: Road trip from Australia to Germany!) and each one has to keep an eye on expenses you know...

@dannyjacob

I believe you misunderstood something: we are NOT going with Tar Aye (burmasenses)! Our tour guide will be Mutu Suresh (myanmarexperttours).
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Jul 17th, 2014, 09:57 PM
  #18
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Hello everyone.
Anyone else interested in joining our group in September?
Currently we will be 7 to 10 people.
7 day crossing with one day stop in Bagan.
Starting at Mae Sot (Thai) - Myawaddy (Myanmar)
Finishing at Moreh (Myanmar) - Tamu (India) border
Price: ~ 450 $US per person, excludes own fuel, lunch and dinner and private expanses but includes accommodation, tour operator fees, sight seeing entrance fees (Bagan and Phowin cave) and all government and administration fees
More participants are welcome til middle of August when booking will be done.
If anyone else has serious interest please contact me for further details.
You need to have a Carnet de Passage, proper health insurance, a Myanmar visa and an India visa.

Cheers,

Enrico
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Sep 10th, 2014, 09:29 PM
  #19
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Hello everybody,

since I received several requests from other travellers about prices for the Myanmar crossing I like to provide an update. Most of the others who contacted me reported much higher prices provided by the different tour operators.
Our tour operator also had to inform us about higher prices due to a miscalculation by himself (we are / were one of his first crossing groups while he used to only offer tours within Myanmar till now) and higher charges by the MTT. Furthermore I forgot to provide information about an additional cost charged by the Myanmar Roads and Traffic Department in my prvious posts caused by a misunderstand between me and Mutu.

After some discussion we reached a compromise about the price which is still cheaper than what other travellers told me but more expensive than what we got told at the very beginning.

For a group of six people we achieved a price of 3300 USD + 200 USD per vehicle (Myanmar Roads and Traffic Charge; for motorbikes it would by 100 USD). Dividing the costs equally it comes to 650 USD per person in our case.
INCLUDED: all kinds of government permission fees, accommodation (mostly 2* or 3* hotels with private bathrooms, A/C), entrance fees for national parks en route and Bagan, tour operator costs
EXCLUDED: own fuel, personal expenses, lunch and dinner
Actually the tour operator wanted to charge us 3900 USD + MRTD charge instead of the 2700 USD we knew about at the beginning.
But I believe that future requests for an offer of the same trip (7 day crossing with stop in Bagan an Phowin Caves) will result in at least 4500 USD for the trip (six people for this example).
Nevertheless here is a feedback from another traveller who already finished their trip with Mutu (coming from India) which reads very well:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntr...#post_21475839

We will also publish a report after we made it to India (we start our crossing at beginning of October)

To summarize I just can recommend everyone who is interested in travelling and / or crossing Myanmar with their own cars to early start looking for other people interested in the same to join them and make the costs more affordable. Again here are names and websites of tour operators in Myanmar who offer such guided tours:
- Tin Maung Shwe from brightviewtravel.com
- Tar Aye from burmasenses.com
- Mutu Suresh from myanmarexperttours.com

Basically you can also contact every other travel agency in Mandalay or Yangon and ask if they offer such tours and can point you some other agency.
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Sep 13th, 2014, 01:14 PM
  #20
 
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Please let us know how this goes. I would do this in a second if I could take the time off.
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