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A Visa Scavenger Hunt to Visit Myanmar

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From September 23 to 28, 2012, we focused in Bangkok, Thailand on figuring out how to get a visa to Myanmar. We traveled by local boat (15B about 50 cents) and sky-train (15B one stop) from Koh San Road to the Silom area where the Myanmar embassy is located. Getting to the embassy was easy and we had downloaded part of the forms online. Walk 100m along the same street as the embassy at the copy shop with the yellow sign that says "Photo Copy," the man sells all the forms for 6 Baht, he will also copy your passport for you. Bring two copies of your passport-sized photo, a copy of your passport, fill in both sides of the form and 810B, wait in line.

We left our hotel around 7:45 a.m., boat around 8 a.m. and at the embassy 8:45 a.m., and we were about 25th in line for when they opened at 9 a.m. After turning in all the forms and paying, we were able to start on the next part of our scavenger hunt. Step #2 of our personal amazing race -- gathering pristine $100usd bills to use in Myanmar (Burma). We went to HSBC where we have an account, but the only branch in all of Thailand now only sees corporate customers.

Bangkok Bank has Western Union services as part of its branches which helps, but the first branch did not have clean bills which you must acquire for use in Myanmar. In Myanmar, foreigners cannot use the local ATMS or any type of credit cards. Since we did not arrange any accommodation in advance, we would need to pay for everything with cash.

On the second floor of the main Bangkok Bank branch (333 Silom 5), we had our money! $3000usd in clean, unmarked Benjamin Franklins were now ours to not lose or bend or crease in any way. We heard that some tourists buy a special Tupperware box to keep the money dry, clean and without any creases. Our budget would be approximately $100/per day for the two of us for the 28 days our visa would entitle us to stay. So step one, apply for visa; step two, get crisp, clean, unmarked American dollars from 2006 or later; step three, get plane tickets -- which we got online from AirAsia.com. Note to fellow Americans: use your debit card to pay for your Air Asia tickets. I cannot tell you why, but with an American credit card you will not be able to buy tickets online.

You can get your visa by going to a travel agency and miss all this excitement. We were told 2800Baht at one agency and 1500Baht at another. We decided we were not that busy and went ourselves!

After summiting these three steps, we celebrated by taking the Sky Train to the Siam Paragon mall to go to the movies!

This movie is from our month stay in Thailand (September 2012) and our year TRIP in South East Asia, see all the videos from our trip.