Visa’d up

Monument from a distance

Monument from a distance

No problems with my Myanmar visa at all. I popped over to get it this afternoon and coughed up the very reasonable $20. I believe the government will just try to screw me for cash in other ways when I’m there, but $20 for a visa isn’t bad in Southeast Asia.

For my cash, I’ve got a 28-day visitation period beginning any time from yesterday until the 4th of May – in other words a 28-day window within a 3-month period, single entry. The only thing mentioned when I went in to collect my passport was that fact that I was clean-shaven (other than my chin) on Wednesday and I haven’t shaved since so I pretty much have a full beard – which threw the guy slightly!

The plan currently is to get to Battambang tomorrow, stay a full day over Sunday, bus to Bangkok on Monday and fly out on Tuesday. Flight prices still haven’t changed. Unusually for Air Asia, it looks like the prices are fixed with Saturdays costing a few Baht more than other days of the week.

I had a look around for some mefloquine / Larian but the cost here is pretty high. $75 for 8 tablets, which is how many I’d need. Ouch. I’ll check in Bangkok instead as I’m sure they were far cheaper there.

The monument close up

The monument close up

I walked for an age to find an ATM that didn’t charge (see following post) to withdraw as many dollars commission-free as possible. No point in withdrawing Baht and exchanging it or paying credit card fees at the airport when I can get the cash from a hole in the wall in Cambodia. Myanmar has no ATMs, at least none that take foreign cards, and cash advances on cards are usually at prohibitive rates – I’ve seen 16% to 37% quoted. Ow.

KFC for dinner again (hey, it’s $3) and back to the hostel to type this lot up, watch some Drawn Together and drink the 50c beers I bought from Pencil – the 6% abv awesomely-named “Klang” seems good value. Early bus tomorrow and don’t know the state of the internet access in Battambong so it may be a couple of days, or even weeks, till my next post if I don’t get online before I get to Myanmar.

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