Myanmar offers visa-free entry to more Asian countries

Myanmar Fishing Village

Find out if you can visit Myanmar visa-free. Source: Shutterstock.

MYANMAR is back on the tourist map and in its bid to attract more tourists, it will start offering visa-free entry to tourists from selected Asian countries.

The new visa rules will begin on Oct 1, 2018, as a one-year trial.

For the uninitiated, most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar.

As of Aug 1, 2018, visa-free travel is only permitted for countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Holders of diplomatic and official/service passports of Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam do not require a visa for Myanmar.

Adding on to the visa-free entry list next month are Japan and South Korea. Japanese and South Korean visitors will be able to enter by air and land without a visa.

However, as they will be required to show a return air ticket, this would be an issue for those planning to leave Myanmar via land.

Mount Popa Myanmar

Mount Popa in Mandalay division, Myanmar. Source: Shutterstock.

According to the ministry’s data, the number of Japanese visitors to the Southeast Asian country, including those on business trip and for other purposes, has steadily increased in recent years, topping the 100,000 mark in 2016.

In 2017, nearly 101,500 Japanese visited Myanmar, up 0.7 percent year-on-year.

Travelers from China, however, will still have to pay US$50 for visas upon arrival at airports in Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw, This includes those from Hong Kong, Macau, as well as mainland China.

Despite the fee, this is considered an ease on visa requirements for Chinese tourist groups. Chinese travelers previously had to apply for visas in advance.

Tourists are also required to possess at least US$1,000 in cash. If they don’t have that cash on hand, Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism will consider accepting credit cards and other means to check their financial standing.

People transit in the street markets of the city of Yangon, Myanmar. Source: Shutterstock.

In addition, tourists from the abovementioned three countries are permitted to stay for only 30 days in Myanmar.

Other travelers planning to visit Myanmar are encouraged to apply for a visa online at evisa.moip.gov.mm.