Overland Myanmar Travel
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Myanmar
- 2 Entering Myanmar with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Myanmar
- 4 Gas price in Myanmar and Diesel price in Myanmar
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Myanmar
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Myanmar
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
For a long time it was impossible to drive into or across Myanmar (also called Burma) with a foreign vehicle. As of 2013, that seems to be changing.
Entering Myanmar with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: Aug 2018
To enter in Myanmar from Thailand you can use the Myanmar E-visa (see their Official website) at the followed Overland Borders:
- Tachileik Land Border Checkpoint
- Myawaddy Land Border Checkpoint
- Kawthaung Land Border Checkpoint
Also if you enter from India at Moreh/Tamu border you can use an e-visa by applying online: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ - Also since May 2019 the regulations to enter a country by car have relaxed; you still need to go through a travel agency but there is no longer a compulsary government minder and follow car but you need to have a license guide along the trip in the car (to sort out any language problems and check points etc along the way). Khiri Travel (email: email@example.com) can arrange Myanmar overland permit for your car including compulsary insurance and all paperwork and guide for approximately 125 Usd / day (+ a 200 Usd application fee)
In order to get the Myanmar Overland Permit you need the followed documents (info update on August'18 from a Myanmar Overland Agency):
- International driving license
- Pictures of the vehicle (front/back/sides)
- Chassis plate picture
- Vehicle registration card
- Passport copy
- A Carnet de Passage is NOT mandatory to enter enter Myanmar.
Process at border
There are few agencies for the crossing Myanmar with own vehicles and bikes, one of the pioneer is Osuga Myanmar Travels which was the local company who run the tours of Asia Senses Travel http://www.asiasenses.com/ (or Burma Senses as their division http://www.burmasenses.com/) as they are an agency from Vietnam and they were not allowed to offer those services. You can see the full report of that in a thread of the forum Horizons Unlimited.
As they got bad reputation for this (and for using the name of Burma, which has a negative connotation in Myanmar for being the name imposed on them by the British colonizers), they decided to create a new trademark called Myanmar Sense Family. But it is still the same company from Vietnam, as you can see their quotations and itineraries, because they only bothered to change the logo, but in the text specifies that they are Burma Sense
Here is a detailed blog post from a crossing in April 2015: http://rightbeyondthehorizon.com/autoreise-myanmar/
A couple drove across from India to Thailand in early 2014 - their blog has lots of details http://epicycles.com/Truck%20Blog/2014-02-21/2014-02-21.php
A trip report from people in that crossing can be found here: (also in German) Welcome to Bhutan
They have said "Our trip trough Myanmar was organized by BrightView travel from Tin (firstname.lastname@example.org). He did all the paperwork and guided us trough Myanmar in 9 days and that was to short, if you go with more than 1 vehicle I suggest at least 2 weeks."
A discussion thread at Expedition Portal has details also Myanmar
Even if you don't have any vehicle you can cross Myanmar Overland joining any group of travelers with their own vehicle as this traveler report on his blog:https://www.meanderingwanderers.com/crossing-the-indianmyanmar-border-overland/
Please update the information here if you know anything further.
Cost of entry
The price of the Myanmar Overland Tours vary according to the number of travelers and duration, but not with the number of vehicle. The prices seems to have been drop in the last few years, and you can cross the country in only 3-4 days, which is the cheapest option. As reference, a 5 days tour for group of 6 travelers cost 460USD per person
Cheapest is probably if the compulsary guide can sit in your car and do 7 days Tamu - Kalaymyo - Moniwa - Bagan (2 nights recommended!) - Yangon - Hpa An - Myawaddy: 1075 Usd in total for 1 car and 2 persons (check with Khiri Travel: email@example.com) incl all paper work for the car.
You can find an update (2018) price list of one of the agencies here: (Download PDF price list), so you can calculate approximately your expenses.
The following was posted to a discussion on expedition portal, and it gives a great idea on costs:
Myanmar Itinerary 2015
We are planning to cross into Myanmar from Thailand in April or May 2015.
I have a proposal for an itinerary for a 14 day tour and also some costs.
Anyone interested to join our group? At the moment we have one 4x4 truck and one motorbike.
- Day. 1 - ( Thailand ) Maesot - Myawaddy ( Myanmar ) - Hpaan. 160Km. ( Thanlwin Hotel )
- Day. 2 - Hpaan - Golden rock. 120Km. ( Sae sar )
- Day. 3 - Hpaan - Taungoo. 280Km. ( Mother's House )
- Day. 4 - Taungoo - Kalaw. 356Km. ( Pine Breeze )
- Day. 5 - Kalaw - Pindaya cave - Inle. 100Km.( Aungmingalar )
- Day. 6 - Boat Excursion on Inle lake. ( Aungmingalar )
- Day. 7 - Inle - Bagan. 320Km. ( New wave )
- Day. 8 - Visit Bagan temple. ( New wave )
- Day. 9 - Bagan - Amarapura - Mandalay. 256Km. ( Mann Myanmar )
- Day.10 - Mandalay city tour. ( Mann Myanmar )
- Day.11 - Manday - Sagai - Monywa. 160Km. ( Monywa Hotel )
- Day.12 - Monywa - Kalay. 200Km. ( Shin hone )
- Day.13 - Kalay - Tamu. 125Km. ( Shwe Oakar )
- Day.14 - Tamu ( Myanmar ) - Moreh ( India )
Tour cost - $7,980.00 USD
MTRD charges - Vehicle - $200.00 USD ( for One Vehicle )
Bike - $300.00 USD ( for 3 Bike )
Total $8,480.00 USD
Including in tour cost - Special Permission fees / Entrance fees / Hotel ( 3 Twin Room ) / Lassen officer fees / All kind of Tax / Insurance / Escort Vehicle And English speaking guide.
Exclude - Your Fuel / Meals and Personal Expense.
Permitted length of stay
The Myanmar visa allow you to stay a maximum of 28 Days
Extension of stay
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
If the for any important reason (like health problems) the owner of the vehicle need to leave the country during an Overland Border Crossing Tour, the Myanmar Agency who made your overland permit will be able to storage your vehicle for a maximum of 6 months.
Exiting with a vehicle
Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.
Driving in Myanmar
Recommended books for Overlanding in Myanmar
Travel insurance for Myanmar
Vehicle insurance requirements
Yes insurance is mandatory in Myanmar and can be bought on arrival (to be pre-arranged by travel agency you work with)
Cost of vehicle insurance
State the price of insurance and a time period.
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Describe where insurance can be purchased.
Just a regular driving license is accepted
Driving side of road
Myanmar has driven on the right since 1970, when it changed sides for unknown reasons; military dictator Ne Win's tendency to superstition has been suggested, as has the desire to shake off a perceived vestige of British colonial heritage. However, because many of the country's cars are very old and newer ones are often sourced second-hand from Japan, the great majority are still right-hand drive as in neighbouring Bangladesh, India and Thailand. As such, there should not be any issue with the legality of foreign vehicles on the basis of drive side.
Mandatory items in vehicle
State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)
General Road quality
Generally the roads are good (with some potholes), there is a big highway connecting Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay; don't speed as the road has some tricky curves. The road from Tamu border to Kalymyo is good (with some scenic old bridges), the road Zokhawthar crossing into Myanmar near Rih lake is in a bad shape (on both sides of the border).
Roads are good nowadays although there could be some potholes every now and then. Sometimes there are toll fees to be paid for bridges, toll ways or villages - usually small amounts (i.e. 200 Kyats which is about 0.15 Usd). At smaller roads there are often only road signs in Myanmar script but everywhere you will find friendly local people to show you the way. Mobile internet is very fast and cheap in Myanmar and there is coverage at most places; buy a Sim card on arrival (cost about 1 Usd) to use Googlemaps or use maps.me
There are a lot of toll roads, but as you will need to travel with a Guide and you paid for it, they should pay all the road fees. For reference, from Myawaddy to Yangon, the cost of the toll roads are around 15.000 Myanmar Kyats
Bribery in Myanmar
There is no need to pay any bribes; police, government officials and other local people are usually very happy to see foreigners travelling through their country. There might be requests from officials to see passport or papers; all very relaxed and smiley
There might be check points when entering a new state or division (the guide travelling with you will show all paper work for the car) and there might be some stops by traffic police; usually all very friendly (just smile and have a bit of patience)
Traveling with pets
Travel to Myanmar with your pets is very easy, you will not be asked for any document for your dog/cat at the land border. A couple of overlanders from Spain and France traveled in 2014 with their dog (Golden Retriever) without any problems. You can read more about their experience traveling with a dog in Myanmar
Gas price in Myanmar and Diesel price in Myanmar
Last updated: (last updated date)
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||$3.00 USD per Gallon (US)|
|Diesel||$0.00 USD per Gallon (US)|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Briefly describe if gas shortages are known to occur.
Also state the approximate average distance between gas stations. This is a very rough estimate.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.
Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.
Special driving considerations
A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Myanmar - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Myanmar
Describe if organized "pay" camping is common. List the facilities commonly found at these campsites.
List the approximate average price range of camping in organized campgrounds.
Also discuss the possibility of "wild" or "roadside" camping. How common is it? Is it considered safe, or a bad idea.
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping. Officially camping is not allowed and every foreigner has to stay in a guesthouse or hotel that has been licensed to accommodate foreigners (i.e. checked on fire safety, cleanliness etc) - if you have a camper car it's best to look for parking spots at hotel compounds and negotiate a small fee (so the hotel staff can register you at the local police station)
Describe if the regular tap water is safe to drink. If not, describe where safe water can be purchased and the approximate average price range.
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Myanmar
GPS Maps of Myanmar
Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Myanmar
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
Special Overland Travel interests
When travelling through the country you will have to take enough time to visit the Unesco heritage site Bagan. Best to enter through Tamu border (from India) and leave from Myawaddy border (to Thailand).
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Myanmar
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.