India to Myanmar, Road Trip Documentation process and steps Blog-2

Dear Rider, 
  I have written in detail about my experience, odds i faced in procuring the permit and visa, Documents to submit, Do’s and Don’ts, so that you can save a lot of time, so i request you to read this blog till the end to understand the process of documentation for road trip to Myanmar and Thailand from India, 
BTW the new regulation and rules to enter Myanmar is not much in favor of travelers who is entering with own bike and car. The new rule is in favor of backpackers and whoever crossing the Indo-Myanmar bridge by foot and take a tuk-tuk. 


Day-1 I started at 6:10 from Bangalore, headed straight towards Kolkotta which is approximately 1950 KM from my Home. 


 
Day-4 Thursday I reached Kolkata late night around 22:00 hours, The perfect city ride took me over 120 minutes to reach old Kolkata, from here Myanmar embassy is around 9KM, I was so excited and worried, because I have just one day,, I wanted to make sure I have all documents with me, because one pending document will postpone the process for Monday and I planned to reach embassy on time to avoid long queue. 

Day-5, Embassy will open at 10:00 hours 
Note: Embassy operation time is not standard please visit their official website before visiting. 

I was feeling exhausted and sleepy, I saw the wristwatch it was 7:40 and i thought i still have time for a mini nap.

Oh,, Damn!!!!!!! its 10:10., I got ready and rushed to embassy thinking about the long wait and reached the destination at 11:30, it was a multi-story building, i saw lady sitting and peacefully reading newspaper, I came out quickly though I’m in a wrong office, i enquired with the security guard, He pointed at the gate through which I came out just now and said “That is the office” Wow, Thank God, No queue, and I’m the only person there to submit the document. 

I went near her cabin, I greet her and said i want to apply for Land Border Visa, 
She Replied:  To where
Me: “what a wacky questing” And I humbly replied her Off course Ma’am to Myanmar Land Border Visa.
She told I need to get few papers from Myanmar to apply for land border visa and for that i need to speak with Myanmar tour office and get those papers
Me: Ma’am I have all document. 
I took out all the documents and kept in front of her. 

List of documents I submitted for Land border visa
  1. Letter from Tour guide.(Talk to your tour guide he will provide this Letter)
  2. Permit copy, (Talk to your tour guide he will provide this Letter)
  3. Particulars of the participant( Passport, entry/ exit dates)
  4. Particulars of Bike(Registration, chassis, Engine number, color and year of manufacturing)
  5. Daily Itinerary.
  6. Passport copy
  7. Bike pictures side, back, and front.
  8. International driving license

She was surprised and took all the documents and my passport to check and meanwhile she gave me visa application form to fill, I was relieved and feeling happy and I quickly filled the form and gave to her and she told me to wait for some time while she took all my documents and started discussing with another staff. 

There was a bowl full of cookies on the table, Hungry and anxious, I started eating one by one,, while I was having my 6th cookie, she called me, her body language told me there is something missing,, “Oh God Don’t Make It Hard”,, as I expected she told me to get a letter from Immigration of Myanmar, Oh man, I’m really screwed now, i requested her and i tried to convince her these are standard sets documents all embassy takes. 

She replied “Maybe”, but we are not embassy we are consulate and we cannot process without that documents, I asked her where do I get that document, She said Myanmar, I said thanks and came out, i was in hurry to submit document because Saturday and Sunday will be off,,, 

I picked up my phone, and called my guide, “THE NUMBER YOU HAVE CALLED IS NOT REACHABLE’” Waaaatttt… I sat on my bike and redialing my phone. 

14:00 hours I went again inside to ask her “Ma’am Is there anyway i can get that letter from India”, She replied, No not at all,, This letter has to issued from Immigration department of Myanmar. 

I came back and sat on my bike again, its been more than 40 minutes now, the lady came out and walked straight toward me, she looked at my bike and registration number, and asked me are you coming from Karnataka, I replied “yes Ma’am” 
And you will ride this bike again to Myanmar I said “yes Ma’am”  
And then she got a call a walked away. 

Oh thank god,, The phone is ringing now,, I was so happy to hear my guide voice, 

Brother I was trying to reach you since a very long time, your phone was not reachable, my guide told he was traveling with his clients in a remote area and the network was bad, and I was in hurry and explained him everything he politely replied, “Immigration office would be closed now”. 

Damn!!! We ended our conservation and with no other choice I spent Saturday and Sunday in Kolkata, and waited till Monday for the letter,

Day-8 Dec-4th Monday morning  around 10 AM i got the call from my guide, he said he wanted to speak with concern person in Kolkata regarding the same therefore i got ready and reached embassy, and called the guide and handed over the phone to lady in the embassy, after their conservation, she handed me the phone and asked me to wait twenty minutes, 

I called my guide after 30 Minutes, he said there is no such letter can be provided from Immigration of Myanmar, that is not in the process for land border visa, but he asked me to wait few some more time, so that he can give me the confirmation, as he said he called and confirmed that they cannot provide any letter because it’s not in regular process. 
But he recommended me to reach New Delhi or Kathmandu to get the visa, as most of the travelers got easily from there, and the same was confirmed from the lady. 

Note: Myanmar Embassy is in New Delhi,  In Kolkata and other location we have only consulate, And consulate have no much power, hence the process may be delayed and ask for extra documents too. 

It’s always better to reach Myanmar embassy in New Delhi for Land border visa along with the above-mentioned documents.

From Kolkata, New Delhi is 1500 KM  and to Kathmandu is approximately 950 KM, 
I decided to ride towards Kathmandu, since its already noon I decided to leave the next day early morning. 

Day-9 Tuesday 5th Dec 07:00 hours Left early morning towards Nepal, covering around 575 KM i reached Birpur late night, Birpur is a small town of Bihar situated in the border of Indo Nepal, I was so excited about tomorrow, as i would be crossing Indo-Nepal Border,

It was so cold and dark, i reached lodge to check-in, It’s a normal routine we have to write From and To places in the log book,  After writing the log book the lodge owner told me Nepal border is closed for next three days due to Election,, 
Oh Damn!!! I’m screwed… Again,,,, 

Anyways i did not believe him, i was hoping i would be lucky to get through.

Day-10, Wednesday 6th Dec  07:30 AM, I told my Lodge to manage to prepare my bill i will check out now,

He replied politely, Sir trust me really the borders are closed for the next three days, if you don’t trust me, you can just ride to the border and enquire, if they allow then you take all your belonging and check out. 

Anyways the border is only in 5 KM distance,, i went straight to the border, when enquired at the Indian border Check post,  they had no restriction to cross they let me go,, But at Nepal Border post, they did not allow, due to election, I requested them so much, very much, too much, I normally i have no attitude of requesting much, but That day i had to request a lot to let me go, and the only good news is border is closed for two days, not three days, So i can enter Nepal on Friday Morning, Again it doesn’t help me much because Saturday and Sunday i cannot process for visa

Day-13 9th Dec, I started at 08:30 hours, It was a smooth entry in Nepal, There will be no problem to enter Nepal with Indian registered vehicle all you need to pay around Rs 120/- towards Road Tax per day, i paid Tax for a week and Rs 30 for Form, this is the simple process at Nepal customs, There was no formality at Indian Side, except the signature at the border on Logbook, If you are entering Nepal from Birpur, customs office is near Koshi bridge. 

Note: There is short Route to Kathmandu from Bardibas through this route you can save at least 4 hours than the usual route, this information was given to me by a custom officer, and i reached Kathmandu on this route, roads are pretty wide and good

From Birpur to Kathmandu its 340 KM and 8 hours ride, 
You have two options to reach Kathmandu,
  1. Ride as fast as you can and reach Kathmandu before dawn.
  2. Enjoy the ride and stop at the various landscape and river points, chat with locals.

I choose option two and be sure to fill up fuel tank where ever you get the opportunity, and after few kilometers from Bardibas you will ride through mountain passes and landscapes are good the road followed by river Don’t mind to take a break, and no need to worry if you could not reach Kathmandu before dawn, there are plenty of lodges are open few operates 24 hours and few closes early too due to cold weather condition, 

16:00 hours, started to get dark and I’m still 100 KM behind Kathmandu, and the climate is also getting cold, so i decided to stay at back and leave morning. 

Next day by noon i reached Kathmandu, Since internet will be not working, i had taken the list of hotels to check-in but i missed that paper and i don’t remember the name of the place too, 
After thinking hard for sometimes i remembered the street name, “Thamel” 

Thamel looks like Goa in India to me, Lot of foreigners, All kind of restaurants, Hotels, lodges, and home-stay, If you are planning to visit Kathmandu head straight to Thamel for the best stay, you will get rooms starting from $10. 


Day-15, 11th Dec, I reached  Myanmar Embassy in Kathmandu, and submitted the same documents which i submitted in Kolkata along with Visa Application Form, The process was very easy, Just remember INR is not accepted, you will have to pay 40 USD towards visa,and i was told to come back on Wednesday again to collect my passport, I requested to give on the same day or at least by tomorrow, It cost me another USD 10 extra to get it by tomorrow

Day-16 12th Dec By Noon i got my Myanmar Visa, but my entry date to Myanmar is postponed to 22nd Dec…

Since the entry date is postponed for 10 days i decided to ride to Bhutan, I will write about the document process and experience in Bhutan in another blog, In this blog, I will clear the process of entering Myanmar. 

After exploring all the fun and bliss, i headed towards my next destination “Myanmar” 
With all the documents in hand, like Permit, Visa, IDL, Bike Documents, Carnet, entering Myanmar was like a cakewalk. 

With all the above-mentioned documents, don’t wander here and there, follow the step by step process. 

Step-1 get stamped out your passport at Indian side in Moreh. This location is approximately 250 Meters behind the border gates of India and Myanmar. 

Step-2. Show your passport to BSF persons at the Gate, They will write down the details and allow you to pass the India border.


Step-3. Visit Customs office and clear your carnet process.


Step-4 head towards Immigration office of Myanmar,


Step-5 Call your Myanmar guide, he will take care from here,


Step-6 Enter the most anticipated and dreamed Indo Myanmar Bridge

Step-7 After entering the Indo-Myanmar bride, Immigration, Customs, and IDL will be taken care by your guide, you just need to walk along with him. 

Make sure you have converted INR to Myanmar Kyat before entry, 

India to Thailand Solo Bike Ride (Some where in Nepal)

This video was taken when I was riding to Nagarkot in Nepal, the roads were treacherous, the roads were getting narrow gradually, most of the routes are isolated, and I was changing my GoPro battery, suddenly there were two short guys in front of me shouting Paisa nekhalo, Paisa Nikhal (take out the money) but one guy seeing my outfit asked me, are you from ARMY, obviously “NO” will be the stupidest answer, 
I said “YES” they just went back as if I was invisible GHOST

India to Thailand Road Trip Blog-1

Cramp and pain almost shattered my dream.. I woke up with an Elephant on shoulder

I remember I was seeing this route map for almost a year, I have taken printouts and stuck everywhere from my office desk to bedroom, Ever time I saw this map, I felt so excited and happy, I’m going to ride on the same route one day,

For the last 90 days apart from routine physical workouts, I focused mainly to strengthen my lower back and shoulders.

On 26th of November Sunday morning, my daily routine started with the workout for my lower back and with lots and loads of excitement as I’m about to leave in next 24 hours to make my dream come true.

While working out I felt a little cramp in my back muscle, wasn’t a big deal at that moment.

09:30 I started to pack my things but just in few hours the intensity of the pain was enormous I was unable to sit or lean forward, packing my things became challenging. Every step and movement became very difficult, I sat down worried and left all packing to my wife and by 16:00 hours all packing was done and now we wanted to test the weight distribution and balancing of bike, since I was riding solo I preferred to take everything for my bike and me which resulted in 4 kits (details of kit and essential accessories and tools to carry will discuss on my later blog)

I called two of my friends to home and by now I was unable to pick up my saddle bag from the floor.

“Oh Damm man, I’m screwed”

With the help of my friends, I managed to test weight balancing,

19:00 Hours, Cramp on my lower back muscle was very severe, I felt like possessed, unable to look left or right and get up from the chair, painkiller tablets, spray, hot water bag, nothing helping.

I moved my steps inch by inch from living room to bedroom,

Oh god, save me, I’m totally screwed…

And by now I lost all hopes of beginning next day morning.

My body is 100% not supporting to stand on my legs, Deeply saddened and broken,

But I was so stubborn at heart I told my wife to wake me up at 4:30 AM, “She laughed and replied are you SERIOUS”

Normally most of us don’t feel sleepy when we have a road trip ahead, But I had two reasons not to sleep tremendous pain and excitement.

4 AM I’m awake but unable to get up from the bed. I just did not let tears roll out of my eyes.

 Gathered all strength and attitude. Literally, i got up from the bed as if I’m carrying an elephant on my shoulder, This moment reminded of Hercules and his adventure.

I got out of bed in my 5th attempt, Legs and hands shivering in cold, unable to stretch my body from hunchback position to stand straight, with the help of cupboard I finally stood straight

Determined and Got ready, my wife helped me and carry out saddle bag and kits and she tied all my kit on the bike.

Taking off the bike from the main stand was a great labor on DAY-1 of my journey.

With cramp and pain in my lower back, I shifted the first gear at 6:30 AM towards my dream and passion

On Day-1 I covered 630 KM and reached one of my friend home near Vijayawada.

Bangalore to Vijayawada roads are excellent, AH45

Day-2 towards Rajahmundry I followed the GPS and it leads me the shortest route it was through State highway.

Day-3 and Day-4 Thursday, I ignored GPS and covered 1900 KM in AH45 and I reached Kolkata around 22:00 hours.

All the fun and adventure started from Kolkata.

Procuring Myanmar Visa and why I could not get Myanmar Visa in Kolkata. Documents and procedure to get Myanmar visa I will share on my next blog.

Thank you, Don’t forget to leave your comments and query,

Stay connected more exciting adventure coming up.

 

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Madurai Land of Historical Monuments

Madurai, The land of rich cultural and heritage the birth of Madurai is dated back in 300BC, The existence of the city is written by Roman historian and lawyer Pliny the younger and Ptolemy on their books,  
While we are talk about Madurai the very first thing strikes our mind is the famous grand Madurai Meenakshi temple, situated on the bank of Vaigai river,  the city is developed around the temple in the form of lotus, The existence of the temple are dated in 7th century AD, and most the structures what we today was reconstructed in 1623 to 1655 by the Nayak ruler, Madurai kingdom was ruled, captured and recaptured by various kings and dynasties,

 
During 14th century, dispute among the pandyas over the thrown, weakened the kingdom taking advantage of the situation Delhi sultan Alauddin Khilji dispatched Malik Kafur and his army.

Malik Kafur a slave general in Alauddin khilji’s army led a series of successful battle against Yadavas, Kakatiyas, Hoysalas, along his way he plundered treasures, ravaging the city, suppressing Hindu worships and temples, killing & capturing innocents men and women. The message of his army marching towards Madurai was confirmed, knowing the consequences the five supreme priest who worshiped lord Meenakshi every day planned to save at least the sanctum of the temple, therefore they built a wall closing the main sanctum and replicated the Idol and jewels, Malik kafur as determined destroyed the replicated sanctum built by five priest, and the secret of the main sanctum was kept among the five priest all their life. 
After 48 years the Madurai was recaptured and reconstruction of Madurai temple was begun,  four priest had already passed away, it is when the last of the five supreme priest disclosed the secret about the main sanctum to the king,  when the wall was taken down the city astound to surprised, and it is believed and said in various books that the lamp in the main sanctum was lit and smelled fresh and sandalwood just exactly like day it was closed 

Believe it or not

I know, Scientifically it is hard to believe, but remember every invention of science is belief of some one The root of every scientific invention what we see today is Belief.