Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Crossing Myanmar with own car (Thailand -> India) in Aug or Sep 2014

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

Reply

Oct 2nd, 2014, 12:20 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Hi Enrico and Nadine hope the journey is going well.

Hi ALL

I am planning the same trip for early Dec 2014 or early Jan 2015 depending on various factors. If anyone has a wish to join me then please speak up now as I am in the process of planning.
JJSS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 2nd, 2014, 12:34 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1
Hi there! Is there anybody planning a trip through Myanmar from Thailand to India between April and June 2015? It would be great to hear from you, maybe we can get some more people together to make the crossing cheaper.

Best regards,

Stefanie
nahbaka is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 24th, 2014, 01:22 AM
  #23
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
Hello everyone,

Finally I like to provide some feedback about our successful and great road trip (with own vehicles) through Myanmar hosted by Mutu from myanmarexperttours.com in October 2014.
Upon booking our travel group consisted of six people travelling in three cars (all 4WD).
Crossing the border from Mae Sot (Thailand) to Myawaddy (Myanmar) took three hours in total (basically because of slow working customs and queues at the counters). When crossing the bridge you switch from left-hand driving to right-hand driving. Read here why:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_..._.28Myanmar.29
On the Myanmar side we were welcomed by Ye, who is a Burmese travel guide and was hired by Mutu and by the MTT official who also is an experienced and relaxed guy and basically responsible to notify the ministry about our movements. They provided ‘temporary number plates’ which we had to place on the windscreen. After changing some money (change rates for USD in MMK were pretty good) we left Myawaddy and fortunately we were allowed to pass the customs bay behind town without the cars getting checked. We then started the first stage of our tour to Kin Pun, a village at the base of Kyaiktiyo Golden Rock (on the way there we did a short stop at a pagoda near Thaton). The single line road between Myawaddy and Kawkareik which is only open every second day (oncoming traffic the other day) is very windy, often unpaved and trucks are slow and there are only few spots allowing to pass them. You pass several military checkpoints along the way. You definitely have to be at the border very early to actually finish this stage of the tour on time (we arrived in darkness and most Burmese drive without using lights at all!). We skipped visiting the Golden Rock in the following morning and moved on to the capital Nay Pyi Taw with a stop at the market in Waw. The two-lane highway is very good and allows cars to drive 120 km/h. Nay Pyi Daw is a clean city with heaps of empty hotels and roads. Seeing the government buildings was not possible. On the afternoon of our arrival we visited the Uppatasanti pagoda which was inspired by the famous Shwedagon pagoda. As a tourist we found this a very nice place and unlike Shwedagon there are no crowds of people.
The Myat Mingalar hotel was a nice place to stay and we were almost the only guests at that time. In the evening another participant and I drove by ourselves to a close-by mall to get some beer and food since the hotel’s restaurant was a bit too expensive. The next day we learned that we actually were not allowed to drive without a guide in front even though having the license plate, visa, passport and so on with us. Seeing Nay Pyi Daw as foreigner was interesting albeit surreal. As we learned you cannot get here with public transport (only with a licensed tour operator). On the late afternoon around 5pm we did see a group of road workers who just finished today’s work shift and immediately were picked up by soldiers in an army truck…
After two nights in Nay Pyi Daw we moved to Bagan with stops at a palm sugar station and driving to the first stupas and watching sunset from one of them. In the evening we got to know Mutu who is a really nice guy, knows a lot about the country and is the perfect mate to have a beer with. The next day we spent the morning with visiting some more stupas, using the hotel’s swimming pool in the afternoon and did a river cruise on the Ayeyarwady in the early evening.
The next morning we moved on to Monywa with seeing the Phowintaung caves which actually were hundreds of holes in a sandstone outcrop containing carved Buddha statues.
The following day we went to Kalay via Gangaw (which is the main road between Kalay and Monyaw used most of the time of the year). Along the sometimes very windy and very muddy ‘road’ we passed lots of stuck trucks and also our guides 2WD Toyota Hiace used to have difficulties getting up the hill sometimes (unlike us with our 4WD). For us it was sheer driving pleasure!
The stage between Monywa and Kalay was the longest and most exhausting one of all but has to be done at once since there are no places with hotels along the way and sleeping in the cars is still strictly prohibited.
From Kalay we moved on to the border town Tamu where people only have power from 6.30pm til 8.00am in the morning. On the way we crossed the tropic of cancer. Exiting Myanmar took about half an hour while entering India was more time and nerve consuming (read on).
Finally I can say that all six of us enjoyed the trip very much. Mutu even managed to let one of the participants bring its dog in (and of course out of) the country. Ye was a very nice guy and both Ye and Mutu managed to organize the trip to our full satisfaction. Actually we would have stayed longer but four of us are on a road trip from Australia to Europe and we had to keep the trip short for budget and time reasons. But Myanmar is a very beautiful country with amazingly friendly locals and except of the major tourist attractions like Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandaly the country is still very unexplored by tourism.
We definitely can recommend Mutu and his team to everyone who is also interested visiting and crossing the country with his own vehicle.
Nevertheless Myanmar is still very expensive to travel. Accommodations are more expensive than in its eastern neighbouring countries (also due to USD regularly used as second currency) and the government charges high fees to travellers (sightseeing, permissions to see certain areas, obligation of using a licensed tour operator, …). There are news found online about a Trans-Asian highway to be built through Myanmar to connect India with SE Asia but I hardly believe this project will ever be realized / finished. Furthermore since the government makes a lot of money with tourism possible due to the whole tricky system of ‘special permissions’ and so on it is hard to believe that it ever will be more easy to get in and explore the country. And still there are riots and conflicts going on in the country, like in eastern and northern Mon state and also in the far north of the country which still will make it almost impossible for tourists to travel to these regions for a long time. But if there is a chance to actually visit a certain area as foreigner, Mutu can bring you there.
Once again about the prices: travelling to Myanmar is and will be expensive. Basically a bigger group with more participants should make such a trip more affordable, but also more exhausting because the more cars / people need to travel along the roads / need to be checked the more time consuming it will be.
At the end we all were happy with the size of our group (three cars).
For a group of six people including all permits, fees and so on (excluding food and fuel) one will hardly find an offer charging less than 750 USD per person. But it is definitely worth the trip.
The following Google Maps link shows our basic route through the country:

https://www.google.de/maps/dir/Mae+S...!1m0!3e0?hl=de

After we left Myanmar using the bridge over the little river and switching back to left-hand driving we arrived at a military checkpoint where we had to provide Passports and open the cars for a simple inspection. It was around 10am (after time change) and the military pointed us to the police station in Moreh were it took us some time to actually find a present police officer to stamp our passports. To get the Carnet documents stamped he pointed back to the border. The customs office (a white building complex) is situated between the border bridge and the military checkpoint. We then had to wait once more for the customs officers to show up (Indian officials are known for starting working very late at the day). Stamping and checking the cars was done very quickly and at the end we left Moreh. They whole border crossing took us three hours. Mainly caused by non-presence of customs and asking around where to actually find police and customs.
The road from Moreh makes its way through the mountains (windy but properly paved) and you pass three military checkpoints where one always has to stop and provide personal details.
Once one makes it into the valley behind the mountains traffic gets more and cows and goats sit, walk and lie everywhere along and on the roads.
When travelling in Manipur and Nagaland it is not unusual to get stopped by the police and following them to their police station for general interrogation and providing personal details and travel plans. We even were asked to follow a police man to the police station when walking along a main road when looking for a restaurant in Bongaigaon, Assam.

Finally I hope this information is helpful to anyone interested in visiting amazing Myanmar by own vehicle. I will publish travel reports on my blog www.nue-travelling.com within the next days.

Best regards to everyone from Delhi, India.
nue_travelling is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 24th, 2014, 02:17 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,159
Congratulations!!!! And thanks vey much for the report.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Nov 3rd, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Thanks for the report. Fantastic. Many congratulations.
JJSS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 28th, 2014, 07:33 AM
  #26
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1
Hey fellow travlers. Myself and a friend are looking to cross myanmar from thailand to india in the beginning of january 2015 if you would like to share the costs we would love to join you! We are 2 pax 2 motorcycles.
badjerbike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 1st, 2014, 01:26 AM
  #27
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Hi Badjerbike. I am interested depending on a few things. Would you be able to continue the conversation offline from this blog ? If so please give me an email address. Thanks JJSS
JJSS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 9th, 2014, 10:27 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
Hello everybody

Im in Bangkok with my Motorbike and Plan to cross Myanmar in the middle or in the end of January, anyone join me? i drive then to India, after that, all the way back to Switzerland. Write to my Mail

[email protected]
Janosch1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 28th, 2014, 08:00 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1
Hi everybody,

i am in India right now and looking for someone to join me passing myanmar in the middle of january.
I am alone with my bike and already contacted some agencies.
If interested please contact me on

[email protected]

thanks

luca
ilgirodelmondo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 25th, 2015, 11:30 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
Hello,
We are planning to make the same trip from India to Thailand and back.
We are 4 with 1 vehicle.Anyone interested to join us with vehicle please communicate. It is always more people less expense.
Sumit2601 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2015, 04:33 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
hi,
@sumit2601 we are 2 with 1 motorcycle trip from india to thailand and back. we are plan to go near first week of jan 2016. if interested please contact me on

[email protected]
DeepakDuhoon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 15th, 2015, 11:59 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1
Hi @sumit 2601 and @deepak,
Bharat here from Delhi. We guys are planning as well. Somewhere between jan and feb. any update on your plans?
lifeontheroad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2016, 11:19 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1
Hello Guys me along with 5 more friends are traveling on January 21st we are going with Burma senses... Do let me know if anyone wants to tag along.. [email protected]
Our Facebook page

Facebook.com/IndiaRoadWanderers
joglekarsachin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 25th, 2016, 12:22 AM
  #34
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1
hi, me and my friends are planning travel to New Delhi by car from Malaysia across Thailand & Myanmar and then reaching Delhi. We are schedule to leave 1st week in October 2016. If anyone interested can join us.
tisharah2121 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 14th, 2016, 01:17 AM
  #35
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
We are planning a trip with 6 ea vintage car 2CV Citroen from Bangkok to Burma via Tachileick, then go to mandalay and return to Thailand via Mae Sot.Do you know if it is possible to have obtain a car insurance at the Myanmar border coming from Thailand?
rchesnel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2016, 12:27 AM
  #36
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2
@ tisharah2121

We are a German family and we like to join you with our van.

Please write us an email or contact us via our website!

Thanks

Tobias - Carolin - Max

www.TheGrassVan.com
TheGrassVan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 14th, 2016, 07:42 AM
  #37
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
We are a family of 3, wishing to travel with our private 4WD car from Thailand to Nepal in October - November 2016.
Anyone who could accept us to join, or join with us?
We are open with the schedule, and route. Just wish to end in Nepal, and then come back later after 2 - 3 weeks.
Jestas1970 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 21st, 2016, 12:24 PM
  #38
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,068
Too early for me - I'm now looking (again!) at driving into Myanmar from Thailand. I hope to do a loop early next year (2017) however I'm still put off by the red tape and cost. I've driven my car in both Malaysia and Laos, but these are very easy crossings.
If anyone is interested we aim to ross in late Jan early feb. plans are to say the least not definite.
khunwilko is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 24th, 2016, 08:04 AM
  #39
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1
definite plan to travel on 11th Jan 2017 crossing into Myanmar from Thailand and returning into Myanmar again on 2nd Feb from India.
malikkal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 30th, 2016, 12:51 PM
  #40
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,159
Was browsing the new GeoEx catalog and came across this:

http://www.geoex.com/trips/india-tribal-crossroads

Not your own car, and (very) expensive, but interesting that there is now at least one tour across that border.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:17 PM.