Crossing into Myanmar Part II – Ben Around the World Diary – Day 119 – 5 June 2019

Crossing into Myanmar Part II – Ben Around the World Diary – Day 119 – 5 June 2019

– 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.

The WRONG WAY! This gate is for locals only.

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.

Bridge to Burma, immigration is just on the other side.
The Indian immigration and customs on the top of the hill. Great for cyclists.

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.

Ben

Hi, my names Ben and I’m traveling around the world with my bike, my paraglider and my laptop. Along the way I’m sharing the highs and lows of the life on the road. And my picks of the best places to bikepack, enjoy freeflight and work as a digital nomad. Each week I share a new video update, city guide or live streams with other adventurers I’ve met along the way.
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