Travel from India to Thailand

#1 Aug 8th, 2005, 01:22
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  • treksNthesiddhis is offline
#1
Hello All! What an informative and diverse forum you have here! I have found so many answers to so many questions i was afraid would never be answered just by browsing and searching! Thanks so much for all the info!

I am planing a trip to India and Thailand and will be departing around the middle of december. I am traveling light (a shoulder bag and a small over the shoulder duffle) and am very much just the "wondering traveler" type. I plan on staying in hostels or with friendly people i meet, and am traveling on a limited budget. I am doing it for the experience, not to party or shop so i don't plan on spending very much money at all.

My question for you is the following:

I plan on staying in India for 3 months and Thailand for 4 months. I plan on traveling all over india, and up into Nepal for a few weeks towards the end of my trip for some sight seeing and hiking. Will it be cheaper (or even possible) to catch a train through burma into thailand from north east india or would i be better off trying to find a cheap flight Into Bangkok from a major Indian city. My final destination is a Muay Thai camp in Phuket. If i can get to bangkok from India (via train or plane) my trainer can book a bus to phuket for me. If it is possible i would rather take a train so i can see some of burma as well (at least in passing through), and i have no problem with roughing it if the train service is less than ideal through these parts.

Let me know what you think, or if this is even possible. Also, i am assuming i will need a visa for passing through burma. Are these difficult to attain?

I know this was a long post, so to summerize my questions...

1. Can i get passage via Rail through burma into thailand from northeast india?

2. Will this be less expensive than a plane ticket?

3. Will i need to contact the burmese to attain a visa so that i can travel through burma?

Thanks!
#2 Aug 8th, 2005, 01:34
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  • AvidTrekker is offline
#2

Question India to Burma not possible

AFAIK, the land crossing between India to Burma is not allowed; even to Indian citizens. As a foreigner, even getting a permit to visit NE India will be a very "restrictive" affair. You cannot visit ALL of NE India, most certainly... and you cannot cross over the India Burma border by land.

Possibility.....

It may be possible to cross over to Bangladesh; then into Burma.... but I know nothing about this. I'll leave it to other IM'ers to answer this.
The Universe is an ellipsoid?... or a Spheroid?? If the sphere smiles... it becomes an ellipse. This IS Creation.
#3 Aug 8th, 2005, 02:04
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  • machadinha is offline
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Originally Posted by treksNthesiddhis 1. Can i get passage via Rail through burma into thailand from northeast india?
See above. I don't think it's possible from Bangladesh either. See http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinat..._asia/myanmar/ and http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinat...ladesh/get.htm for some of the basics. Myanmar to Thailand overland may be theoretically possible although according to the LP site it seems not to be at this moment. NE India to Bangladesh should be theoretically possible but can be tricky for the abovementioned reasons & can change at a moment's notice or according to the customer's whims of the day I hear. You'd also have quite some distance left to cover in Bangladesh then, an adventure in itself I'm sure. The whole NE area is sensitive due to local unrest, immigration trouble and past conflicts with China. Crossing from Kolkata to Dhaka should be no problem but unless you intend to see Bangladesh there's little point.

Myanmar as far as I know has a whole array of visa requirements and daily cash exchange and yadida. Look into it. Oh according to LP the compulsory exchange has been abolished. It used to be difficult to travel there independent of state-controlled arrangements but maybe they've eased up on this as well. Try also http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ca...s.cfm?catid=24 for the latest scoops. IM forum leader Shimla is stationed there I realize now so he'll probably be around to give you the lowdown.

If you're just looking for a cheap flight to Bangkok Kolkata is probably your best bet. If you insist on including Myanmar then flying in and out of there may well be the only way.

Good luck with your Muay Thai camp btw, sounds like a nice final destination! btw

Quote:
I plan on staying in hostels or with friendly people i meet
Don't count on the latter happening too often.
Last edited by machadinha; Aug 8th, 2005 at 08:40..
#4 Aug 8th, 2005, 05:54
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  • treksNthesiddhis is offline
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Originally Posted by machadinha
Don't count on the latter happening too often.
Sound advice... i do have plenty of money set aside to cover my stay at hostels or even hotels along the way, but i always prefer to meet up with people and offer to share expenses when i travel. (fellow travelers... i have no illusions of showing up at a random house and asking for lodging )

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I had no idea NE india was such an unstable region. Obviously i have alot of research left to do. Seeing as how no one likes us americans these days, I'll have to be extra careful how i present myself. being an american overseas these days is like walking around with a bullseye on your back... for good reason unfortunately. Oh well.

Thanks again.
#5 Aug 8th, 2005, 06:12
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  • GoanCanuck is offline
#5
>> Can i get passage via Rail through burma into thailand from northeast india? <<


That is not possible. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain places in the North East are very difficult to get a permit for.
#6 Aug 8th, 2005, 06:34
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  • machadinha is offline
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Originally Posted by treksNthesiddhis Obviously i have alot of research left to do. Seeing as how no one likes us americans these days, I'll have to be extra careful how i present myself. being an american overseas these days is like walking around with a bullseye on your back... for good reason unfortunately. Oh well.
I don't really think you'll have so much to worry about in this field, being American that is. My feeling was you should read up a bit on India's North-East, recent developments in Nepal, the post-colonial history of Myanmar etc. yes. Dec. is not so far away. For NE India there are reports here of people getting around alright but that was mostly Assam which is generally more accessible, although even going past Guwahati it can get tougher I hear. I've looked into it several times in the past and only came to the conclusion that all advice including consular advice basically means nothing, you can get a permit in your home country but be refused at the state border all the same. Conversely I've spoken to people who had a wonderful time there and no trouble at all, also in the more far-off regions. I've also had trouble so far finding out what the best time to visit would be actually, some of those states are ranked as the wettest in the world and the mountain areas will obviously get cold in winter. I used to have some links for Assam news but most of them have gone dead, try http://www.assam.org/ , if it's a little heavy on the terrorist news that doesn't mean there's an assassin waiting around every corner looking for Americans btw. These are mostly local struggles.

But do inform yourself yes please by all means. Could be a wonderful trip really if you plan it well, I've thought about (mostly) overland trips in that general area often in the past which is why I'm replying. Any professional travel bookshop in your wider area should have good material on it.

As for the sharing rooms with fellow travellers this is usually more economical yes, single rooms are usually relatively (and only relatively) expensive. After a couple of experiences with people not sharing your nighttime rhythm or filling up the place with dope paraphernalia within 10 seconds upon arrival you may soon decide that being alone is worth the extra buck though, I'm speaking from experience.

btw My experience is with Thailand and India, not the other places. Travelling around Bangladesh is certainly on my to-do list, Myanmar is not mostly because of political objections, I'm sure it's a wonderful place and the Burmese I met in Thailand were certainly first-class people. Many of them in a terrible situation there too btw because of their semi-legal status and yadida, man it's a complicated and multifaceted story.
Last edited by machadinha; Aug 8th, 2005 at 08:43..

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