I haven’t written a lot here lately, for the simple reason that I’m spending an unusually lengthy amount of time researching my upcoming cruise with Viking River Cruises that will take me through the heart of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Unlike a lot of countries I’ve travelled to, I’m starting with a completely blank slate as far as Myanmar goes. When I booked this trip this summer, I did so without knowing the basic entry and exit requirements. I didn’t research the vaccinations I may or may not need. And I certainly couldn’t make logical sense of our cruise tour stops and ports of call.

To aid me in that respect, I went out and purchased two guide books on Myanmar, and one guide to local customs and culture (under the Culture Smart! Moniker; check them out – they’re tremendously helpful).

There was only one thing that stood between me and the bliss of exotic Myanmar: I needed a Tourist Visa for my passport. And getting one wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped.

Not only will you need some blank passport pages for your exotic river cruise...you might also need a tourist visa. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Not only will you need some blank passport pages for your exotic river cruise…you might also need a tourist visa. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

If you’re curious as to whether you need a visa for a particular country or not, visit your local government website; they’ll typically have travel information published there. For convenience, I’ve added the links to Myanmar for Canadian and American citizens.

Canada:

http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/burma-myanmar

United States of America:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/burma.html

Up until about a year ago, the only way to get a tourist visa for Myanmar was to mail your passport in to your nearest Myanmar embassy, or to use the (expensive) services of a visa procurer, which still requires sending your passport in.

Click here to continue reading!

Our Voyage Report from Myanmar aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Mandalay begins in November – stay tuned!

 

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