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Myanmar reopening April 17.2022

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  • Myanmar reopening April 17.2022

    Myanmar reopening April 17.2022 to International Travellers

    After two years, Myanmar will finally allow international tourists to enter the country starting April 17.2022 Visitors must be fully vaccinated, and will be required to quarantine for a week, according to the country’s health ministry. They will also have to take two RT-PCR tests.

    Apart from the ongoing violence against its own citizens and the current military government unrecognised by the rest of the world, it sounds like a great idea!

    Myanmar has been shut off from the rest of the world following the February 2021 coup on top of Covid-19. The military junta government started to discuss reopening its border last year, wanting to take advantage of tourism opportunities from local traditional holidays.

    Foreigners left Myanmar after last year’s coup caused a brutal crackdown against dissidents, protesters and ethnic militias. But now, the country’s disease prevention committee says it would like to see visitors return.

    “In order to improve the tourism business sector, and in order to have smooth trip for visitors who come to visit Myanmar”.
    Myanmar still faces numerous issues with censorship and suppression under the current military junta. Earlier this month, the junta revoked the citizenships of several members of opposition parties, including from the previous civilian government. Many members have also been exiled since the coup. Myanmar’s military also stands accused of war crimes against ethnic minority groups. More than 1,600 people have been killed since the coup.

    Myanmar has had a total of 608,000 Covid-19 cases. Last year, the country reached its peak of 40,000 cases a day. It has had almost 20,000 Covid-19 related deaths.

    The news of Myanmar’s reopening comes just after neighbouring Cambodia stopped requiring Covid-19 tests for international travellers upon arrival this week. Meanwhile, Thailand will scrap requirements for pre-departure Covid-19 tests for foreign arrivals in April.

    Apart from the Myanmar military’s invitation to return, we urge all potential travellers to do a lot of homework before making a decision to travel into Myanmar at this time.

  • #2
    Myanmar opens up in two weeks, but the detail remains scant
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    Myanmar’s main tourist attractions are pagodas, temples and religious foundations.Myanmar’s military rulers say that the country is back on a near-normal course with the issuing of 28-days online tourist visas as early as April 17. Government websites point out that there are literally thousands of places to visit, admittedly mostly temples and pagodas, with hotels and restaurants nationwide keen for your custom. Particularly recommended is a hot air balloon ride at sunrise in UNESCO’s world heritage site in Mandalay. And don’t forget to drink a can or two of Mandalay Spirulina which apparently has anti-ageing properties you’d scarcely credit.

    Although the junta has taken a lot of flak for the February 2021 coup and the now-familiar catalogue of human rights abuses, the revival of Myanmar tourism has its international fans. Indian newspapers in particular are suggesting that tourists will be perfectly safe, whilst their rupees will help to restore the Myanmar economy. The Chinese government is anxious not to upset the administration of senior general Min Aung Hlaing, but can’t for the moment promote international tourism whilst simultaneously ordering its own citizens to holiday at home. The internet reveals many international tour-escort companies promoting Myanmar right now. Their customer numbers may be a different matter.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Myanmar-Reopening.jpg Views:	0 Size:	94.5 KB ID:	3808

    Tanks parade in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar’s capital city, but create a hostile environment for the return of tourism.Any European thinking of venturing into Myanmar faces some very high hurdles. Fully vaccinated tourist candidates must pay US$50-US$56 online for the e-visa, although the site does warn that you might be refused and won’t be told the reason. But you may be informed you are on “the watchlist”. On arrival, you will be taken to a quarantine hotel for a compulsory sojourn of seven days and two extra RT-PCR virus tests. Once let out, you will quickly discover that some cities and regions are off-limits to foreigners and that electricity brownouts are commonplace even in downtown districts.

    It is not exactly crystal clear which airlines will be flying to Yangon. Prior to the Covid pandemic, there were 30 foreign flights daily from Asian cities, but flagged travel suspension notices for April 2022 suggest that commercial flights will be very thin indeed on the ground. Of course, Myanmar Airways is offering repatriation flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, whilst Thai Airways does operate an ad hoc service. Maybe a few stray tourists will be able to book seats on these semi-commercial flights. If so, they will likely be Asean nationals from Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, the governments of which have said they are “neutral” about the legitimacy of the coup. But the numbers will be non-consequential.

    As Michael Isherwood, chair of the Burma Humanitarian Mission puts it, “the attempted revival of tourism is simply a ploy to benefit the junta and not the country as a whole”. He has little to worry about on that particular score. Yangon airport is likely to remain semi-deserted for as far ahead as the eye can see. The Myanmar international tourist game is going to be very short of players. Very short indeed.


    • #3
      Thai-Burmese border checkpoints prepare to re-open in Tak province

      As the Covid-19 situation appears to ease, Thailand is preparing to re-open 2 border checkpoints in the northern province of Tak. According to a Nation Thailand report, cleaning is underway at both checkpoints, with officials hoping to re-open them by Thursday.

      One of the booths is at the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint, located at the foot of the first Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, in the village of Rim Moei. The second is at the foot of the second Friendship Bridge, in the village of Ban Wang Takian Tai.

      According to the report, Thai border officials are working with their Burmese counterparts, while waiting for an official response from across the Myawaddy border. Both checkpoints have been closed since March 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s understood that in the 2-year period since, the booths have filled with leaves, tree branches, and bird droppings, with workers saying the clean-up operation took some time as a result.

      Business operators nearby have expressed their delight at seeing the checkpoints preparing to re-open, with shop owners saying they hoped the cross-border traffic would help generate revenue. Shop owner Phakakrong Arjimrai says businesses in the area have suffered heavily since the closure of the checkpoints.

      “I’m so excited to hear the checkpoint will finally re-open. It’s been very tough for us. I’m glad the government is re-opening the border. I’ve had to shoulder the high rent with no sales at all for 2 years.”


      • #4
        Myanmar junta to reopen borders to tourists, but travel still isn’t advised

        Myanmar’s junta has announced that after two years of closed borders, the country will soon allow tourists to apply for visas to travel into Myanmar. But with military coup related violence still rife in Myanmar, governments worldwide still advise against all but essential travel to the country. Activists are urging foreigners not to travel to Myanmar in light of the junta’s continuous violent attacks on civilians and suppression of the media.

        Myanmar’s borders have been closed to tourists since March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. From May 15 2022, Myanmar will begin accepting e-Visa tourist applications, “with an aim to develop the tourism sector.”

        Myanmar’s army took power over Myanmar in February 2021, ousting the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Recently, the junta sentenced the ex-leader to prison on several corruption charges. Since the coup, the Burmese junta has repeatedly carried out airstrikes on civilians, especially against ethnic minority groups in Karen, Shan and Mon states. Between April 29 and May 1 this year, more than 12,000 ethnic Karen people were forced to flee their homes as the junta continued its airstrikes and mortar shelling.

        The junta have squashed freedom of the press in Myanmar, killing at least three journalists since the coup, arresting 115 journalists, jailed 57 and convicted 14 according to Reporters Without Borders. Given the continuous violence committed by the junta on Myanmar’s population, activist groups are asking tourists to boycott the country’s plans to develop the tourist industry. Travelling to Myanmar will put money straight into the pockets of the junta, according to Justice for Myanmar…

        “Even if foreign visitors avoid hotels and transport owned by the Myanmar military and their associates, they will still fund the junta through visa fees, insurance and tax.”
        “We call on anyone considering a holiday to Myanmar to boycott.”
        The British government also advises against a holiday to Myanmar…

        “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to Myanmar, based on recent political events.”
        More than 1,800 people have been killed by security forces in Myanmar and over 13,000 have been arrested since the coup.