Where is Myanmar and where is Burma? Myanmar and Burma are one and the same country. Its official name is Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It is found (22°N 96°E) in Southeast Asia, sandwiched by a number of countries and the sea: Laos to the east, China to the northeast, Andaman Sea to the south, Thailand to the southeast, Bangladesh to the west, India to the northwest and Bay of Bengal to the southwest.
Myanmar is the second largest country (land area: 676,578 km2) in Southeast Asia and 40th largest in the world. The country may lack in modern conveniences and economic stability but foreign tourists pour in to check out its many enchanting sites; tourists are regularly getting to Myanmar either by air or land. This is how to get to Myanmar.
Getting to Myanmar by air used to be much easier when the former capital of Burma, Rangoon City, was the air transportation hub in Southeast Asia. In the early 60s, Asian travelers going to Europe from countries like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia had to pass by Rangoon. Since Burma separated from the international community, however, major American and European airlines stopped operating here and until today there are no direct flights to Myanmar from the United States or Europe. Typically, Western visitors going to Myanmar take international flights to either Bangkok or Singapore, and then regional flights to the city of Yangon, Myanmar.
Five major international airlines fly daily to Yangon: Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways from Bangkok, Malaysia Air System from Kuala Lumpur, Silk Air from Singapore, and of course, Myanmar Airways International traveling from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Siem Reap, Phnom-Penh, Guangzhou and Singapore. Other flights to Yangon are on board Air Bagan from Bangkok, Indian Airlines from Kolkata and Gaya, China Airlines from Taipei, Jetstar from Singapore, China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou, China Eastern Airlines from Kunming, Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi, Air Asia also from Bangkok and Bangladesh Airlines, which offers the cheapest ticket but flies only on Sundays from Dhaka.International flyers need a visa to get into the country. The basic 28-day tourist visa is not difficult to obtain at any Myanmar embassy or consulate. In Bangkok, for about $30 anyone can get a visa in one day if the tourist got there very early in the morning. If not, it will be available the next day. There are several travel agents in Bangkok that can have this arranged to make things more convenient. And their services are not very expensive, either.
Getting to Myanmar by land is for the adventurous traveler or backpacker. From Thailand, there are only three ways to get to specific nearby places in Myanmar and with limited number of days. When coming from Mae Sai, Thailand, people may cross the border freely but are allowed to stay in nearby Myanmar cities for two weeks maximum. However, western tourists who would like to take this route can travel only up to Kyaingtong since the roads beyond that are reported to be too dangerous to foreigners. From Mae Sot, people crossing to Myanmar are allowed just a day to visit. The third route is through the Three Pagoda Pass and the fourth route is from Kawthong. Some really adventurous travelers have entered Myanmar from the Ruili Town of China. This route, however, needs the advice of travel agents in the nearby city of Kunming. The Myanmar consulate in Kunming regularly provides a one-day pass to the town of Mu-se or a 4-week tourist visas to other towns.
Getting to Myanmar this way may be good for those who wish to experience on-land adventure, but could be very hassle-some, costly and time consuming. Some have also tried crossing from India, while to cross from Bangladesh and Laos is next to impossible. This is how to get to Burma in the most daring way.