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Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 8:39 AM

Hi Everyone

I had posted recently about Sri Lanka: I was planning on going there but instead, am going to Burma because of the political situation in Myanmar. 

I'll be visiting one of Pa Auk's Monasteries for 20 days and am super excited about it. But I had a question with which some one may be able to help me. If this is the wrong place to post, I apologize. I searched the internet in and out, contacted travel agents, contacted Burmese official website, and no answer.

Question is: Can I go on a Burmese e-visa (tourist visa) and stay at a Monastery? On the evisa website, it explicitly says, you should stay in a hotel, motel, lodge (not even with a friend!), etc. However, the travel agent said, it does not matter. The monastery said, come on a tourist visa. And on the internet, I don't seem to find any clear cut answer. 

Can some one help me? Again, I apologize if this is the wrong place to post such a question but I ran out of options. And if it is indeed the wrong place, just let me know, and I'll stop this thread.

Thank you!


RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 12:26 PM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
I don't know about that particular monastery, bur if you check out the website for Panditarama they have all that info here and it should still apply: https://www.saddhamma.org/html/getting-to-burma.shtml

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 12:38 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thank you for writing Andromeda.
Again, does not answer my question and the same confusion perpetuates.
Monasteries say that you can come on a tourist visa. But to get a tourist visa (at least, to get an electronic tourist visa), you need a hotel booking and you're not allowed to stay at some ones home or at a monastery anywhere else. So, how can one go meditate on a tourist visa?
But does not matter. I think, the only way to answer this question might be to actually find some one who went to Burma on a tourist visa for the purpose of going to a monastery, not tourism!
 

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 12:48 PM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
I got a tourism visa ahead of time in 2016 and then went to burma for a retreat at Panditarama. Didn't have any problems. Don't remember the specifics, though. 

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 12:50 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Was it an e-visa or did you go to the Embassy?
And which country was this? I'm assuming US, but I'm unsure. And maybe it does not matter if it is an e-visa.
Thank you again, Andromeda.

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/2/19 3:20 PM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
It was an e-visa applied for from the US. 

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/3/19 2:22 AM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
Hi Mike you can go with your turist visa in a monastery without worrying. Usually people ask for a meditation visa when they plan to stay more than 30 days, for exemple if you do a 3 months retreat there is a option to ask for a meditatior visa that covers all this time, but you need to ask some papers etc.

Anyways if you overstay more than 30 days nothing bad is going to happen to you. You only will need to pay x day overstayed and isn't to much. 

Enjoy your retreat!

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/6/19 5:31 AM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
Mike, please visit this website as it has an up to date page on the Myanmar visa situation:
placestomeditate.wordpress.com

Short answer is if you meditate for less than 30 days, you only need a tourist visa via the website. If more, then contact the monastery and they will send you a letter which you take to an embassy and apply. See the above link re doing this in Bangkok. 

Also, your opening comment re going to Burma due to the political situation in Myanmar has me a little confused. You do know they are the same country but 2 different names, right? And there is always a political situation in Myanmar, the question is whether it affects you, and it won’t. Same with Sri Lanka for that matter, which is where I am right now. No problem at all. Plenty of tourists still wandering around. Can get a 30-day visa online then after arrival can extend for up to 5 months. Also discussed on the above website. 

All the best!

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/7/19 12:00 AM as a reply to Paul.
Thanks Paul for writing.

That was a typo: I meant due to the political situation in Sri Lanka, I am going to Burma.

Regarding Visa, it looks like theoretically, it is not permitted to go meditate on a tourist visa (I wrote to the Burmese immigration authorities) but practically, it is fine, and even monasteries say it on their websites.

Regarding Sri Lanka, it is my Sri Lankan friend who told me, that it's better to wait until later -- but your experience is different -- and has been noted -- thanks for pointing it out.

Thanks again Paul.

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/7/19 12:18 AM as a reply to Jordi.
Jordi, thanks for writing! Sorry it has taken me long to acknowledge. I am more at ease now on just going on a tourist visa to meditate. 

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/7/19 12:19 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thank you Andromeda! I've sorted out the visa situation and am headed to Myanmar on 20th of May.

RE: Retreat, Burma
Answer
5/7/19 3:14 AM as a reply to Mike Smirnoff.
Mike Smirnoff:

Hi Everyone

I had posted recently about Sri Lanka: I was planning on going there but instead, am going to Burma because of the political situation in Myanmar. 

I'll be visiting one of Pa Auk's Monasteries for 20 days and am super excited about it. But I had a question with which some one may be able to help me. If this is the wrong place to post, I apologize. I searched the internet in and out, contacted travel agents, contacted Burmese official website, and no answer.

Question is: Can I go on a Burmese e-visa (tourist visa) and stay at a Monastery? On the evisa website, it explicitly says, you should stay in a hotel, motel, lodge (not even with a friend!), etc. However, the travel agent said, it does not matter. The monastery said, come on a tourist visa. And on the internet, I don't seem to find any clear cut answer. 

Can some one help me? Again, I apologize if this is the wrong place to post such a question but I ran out of options. And if it is indeed the wrong place, just let me know, and I'll stop this thread.

Thank you!


Hi! I'm going to Mahasi's school in Yangoon next week, also for 20 days.

They advised me to go with the tourist Visa so you will be ok.

Cheers

Nico