– ODO- 15252 – 15356 km
– Location- 20km South if Tamu, Myanmar
– Weather- 25-35 Clear and humid
The Moreh to Tamu border crossing between India and Myanmar has only been open for about a year according to the blogs I read before leaving Nepal. I described cycling through Manipur and passing the ever increasing check posts in the previous post. After finishing my last lunch in India I rolled towards the border. On the map Moreh is a confusing mess of streets straddling the border. On the ground it’s as confusing and chaotic. First I turned off the main highway to follow the rickshaws and made it to the Friendship Gate. I rolled my bike through the small gates and made it to an Indian border officer post who turned me back. I needed to go to Gate 1.
Back up on the main highway I followed the road as it skirted the village. Seeing a sign for Gate 1 I turned off and visited a small hut with the Indian flag hanging outside. As I was taking of my gloves I was pointed on. Gate 1 was for cargo trucks.
I continued down the road passing a no entry roadblock but continuing regardless. At the bottom of the hill I reached a small bridge. On crossing I reached the Myanmar immigration. All very well but I needed to officially leave India before I could be stamped into Myanmar. The Indian immigration and customs was in a brand new building on the top of the opposing ridge. I climbed in my lowest gear past a family working to break down stones into gravel in the midday heat. At the top of the hill I followed the arrow for Myanmar citizens which appeared better than following the sign for Indian citizens but neither realistically applied to me. The building appears to be a coach station ready to handle hundreds of passengers. When I got there though there was one family waiting ahead of me and some security staff. Otherwise the place was empty.
I went through the normal form and stamping procedure at immigration then for the first time in my entire trip I went though customs. They asked me to open a couple of bags but seemed uninterested in the contents. One item of note caught my attention on the form. I don’t have a satellite phone but I know some travelers, especially paraglider pilots, do carry them. These turn out to be illegal in some countries so perhaps put those in a dry bag buried somewhere at these Asian borders.
The eVisa into Myanmar worked seamlessly and within 5 minutes I was pedalling along the India – Myanmar friendship highway trying to remember to keep right after six months cycling on the left. I got a SIM card working out at 50 pence per GB of 4G data and used my Monzo and Revolut cards at a KBZ bank atm in Tamu town without issue. 150km down the road I’m slowely getting used to the wild differences from India. I love Myanmar. More on that on my coming two weeks of diaries.