Obtaining a tourist visa for Myanmar in Phnom Penh was much easier than I thought it would be. In fact, the whole process was probably easier than what it would have been back in the US, the country from which I hail.
Aside from some initial confusion on where the Myanmar Embassy was located, it was smooth sailing after that. Note: The confusion was due to Google Maps claiming that the location of the Embassy had changed. I am still uncertain on whether the address on Google Maps is wrong or right, so to be safe follow the address listed on the official website.
When you arrive at the embassy, there is no real security to get inside the building. All one has to do is sign a guestbook.
The Myanmar Embassy Website for Phnom Penh did not have any available applications for print out; at least any that I could find. I fretted and printed out one from the Myanmar embassy in the US. Just in case. However, that ended up being unnecessary because when I arrived they handed me a form to fill out.
Online I had read that one needed to present a confirmed itinerary. At the embassy itself, hey did not ask for a specific itinerary. But I was asked when I planned on visiting.
In the application are two main portions: general information and then an entire page about work history as well as one’s current employer. Since I don’t really have a “current employer,” I just put “self-employed.” They looked a little skeptical when looking at the application, so I handed over a business card. That gesture ceased all weariness. They ended up attaching the card to the application.
Apparently, though, if one works for a large NGO, the UN or some other suspect organization, an employer letter regarding the purpose of the visit may be required.
In addition, 2 passport photos are needed along with the application. Also, there is a $20 USD fee. For me and everyone else at the Embassy applying for a visa that day, the $20 fee had to be paid up front. I have read online, though, that sometimes it is collected after picking up the visa three days later.
In my case, I only had a $50 bill on me. Unfortunately they could not provide any change so I had to run outside and get my tuk-tuk driver to visit a nearby market to break the large bill. So, to be safe, try to have exactly $20 USD with you when applying.
After payment, a receipt will be given. Hold on to it, because it is needed to pick up your passport three days later.
When I ended up going back three days later, it took a whole five minutes to sign-in and retrieve the finished visa.
While getting the visa itself was simple, I highly doubt the trip itself will be so seamless.
Applying for a Myanmar Tourist Visa in a Nutshell:
Visa application hours: Mon – Fri (9:00 AM – Noon)
Visa pick up hours: Mon – Fri (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Cost: $20 USD
Processing time: 3 working days
Address: 181, Preah Norodom Boulevard, Boeung Keng Kang 1, Khan Chamcarmon, Phnom Penh
— Paya Shwédagon Pagoda Tazaung Pavillon, Wikimedia Commons