More Retreat
Information

Sixty Day Retreat
Teachers
Style of Practice
  • The Eight Precepts
  • Satipatthana Meditation
Location
  • Accommodations & Meals
Daily Retreat Schedule
How to Apply
  • Cost
  • Dana
Online 60-day Retreat Form
Online Year-Round Retreat Form
Getting to Burma
  • Meditation Visas
  • Arrival Information
  • Accommodations
  • Expenses & Changing Money
Planning Your Trip
  • Climate
  • Electricity
  • Dress
  • What to Bring
Health
  • Pre-departure
  • First-Aid kit
  • Staying Healthy
  • Illness & Emergencies
  • Health Guidelines
Emergency Contact
in Burma

Practice at Tathagata, San Jose California
Shwedegon Pagoda

Getting to Burma

Visa Information

There are basically two visa options for people who want to enter Myanmar to meditate: a Religious (Meditation) Visa or a Tourist Visa.

A Religious Visa allows one to stay in Myanmar for up to seventy days.  You must apply specifically for a Seventy Day Religious Visa from the Myanmar embassy in your country and you will need a sponsorship letter provided by Panditarama. See How to Apply for information on obtaining the sponsorship letter from Panditarama.


A Tourist Visa is not ideal for yogis who plan to attend the sixty day retreat at the Panditarama Forest Meditation Center because this type of visa only allows a twenty-eight day visit and is not renewable.  If you have to overstay your visa (which is allowable for short periods of a month or so), you will be charged $3 US per day which you must pay at the airport before you leave Myanmar. This type of visa is available at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok and should also be available at the Myanmar Embassy in your country.

 

Where to Obtain a Visa

If there is a Myanmar Embassy in your home country, then apply there for your Meditation Visa (using the Sponsorship Letter issued by Panditarama). If there is not enough time to apply and receive your visa, then a good alternative is to go to Bangkok, Thailand, where yogis have been able to receive their meditation visas within 1-2 days.


Most embassies are now able to process meditation visas in 3 months or less. It varies according to the country where the embassy is located. Please consult the embassy where you plan to apply. Once you receive your visa, it is valid for entry within 3 months of the date stamped in the visa. After entry, your meditation visa is valid for 3 months. If afterwards, you plan to continue practicing at Panditarama, the visa can be renewed with the permission of your meditation teacher to stay.

For American Yogis
Go to www.mewashingtondc.com/visa_en.php to download the Religious Visa application form, or for shorter stays, the Tourist Visa (28 days) application form. You will need to send the completed application to the Myanmar Embassy.

Make sure your passport is current and will not expire while you are in Burma. It can be quite a hassle to renew it in Burma. Also bring extra passport photos (8-12). The Embassy will send your passport back to you with the Meditation Visa. Processing can take up to 2 months before you receive your visa.


Residents of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington State should send completed applications and sponsorship letters to Myanmar's west coast consulate:

Consulate General of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

3435 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1590
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: 213-387-0041, 213-387-0043
Fax: 213-387-0042


Residents of all other states should send send their applications to the Myanmar Embassy in Washington DC:


The Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S. Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20008 - 9044
Phone: (202) 332-9044

Alternatively, if you are in Thailand you may also obtain a Meditation Visa or a 28 day Tourist Visa from the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. It usually takes between 1-2 days. See above for more information on Tourist Visas.

If you have any question about this call or email Saddhamma Foundation for assistance:
Phone: 805-364-4840
email: retreat@saddhamma.org

Yangon Fruit Seller

Arrival Information and Accommodations

When you arrive at the Yangon airport, take a taxi (about $5-$7 US). Hotels have been experiencing an increase in occupancy so we suggest advance reservations or contact Panditarama about staying there before the retreat.

Recommended Hotels:
Yuzana Hotel
No. 130, Shwe Gon Dine Road
Bahan township, Yangon, Myanmar
Phone: 549600, 543367, 543370
Fax: (951) 543835, (951) 544998
E-mail: YUZANAHOTEL@mptmail.net.mm

Classique Inn
No. 53 B, Shwe Taung Kyar Street (Golden Valley Rd)
Bahan township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: (95-1) 525557, 505021, 524813, 503968
Fax: 0095 1 524813 
E-mail: classiqueinn@yangon.net.mm

Please contact us at:
retreat@saddhamma.org and com2panditarama@gmail.com
as soon as you have your arrival information and keep us informed if your itinerary changes.

Registration

Yogis need to come to the Panditarama city center office on either:

  • November 28th – between 1 – 4 PM
  • November 29th – between 8 – 10 AM
You can easily get a taxi outside the Yuzana Hotel; it is a 10 minute ride from the Yuzana to Panditarama.

Changing Money

In Burma, the local currency is called the Kyat (chut). The Kyat is used in all market transactions. However, hotels and airlines will not take Kyats as payment from foreigners. Therefore, you must have US dollars. (Travelers cheques are difficult to exchange.) The best rates are obtained with US dollars. Bring $100 and $50 bills that are as new as possible with no tears or markings. You can now exchange your foreign currency for Burmese Kyats in the airport at competitive rates.