We flew in to Yangon from Hong Kong and arrived at 23:30. I was surprised that the kids still had quite a bit of energy, but it would be noon time back home, so it was understood.
We had to run off the flight to get kids to the toilet, especially the younger one. Thankfully this is a smaller airport so we didn’t have to walk too far to get to the toilets which were just in front of the immigration area.
First obstacle in Myanmar–a squatty potty!! I actually didn’t witness this because Jacob took Kate to the bathroom since I was holding Lucy. I came to understand it wasn’t going well, when Reed runs out the bathroom asking for new clothes for Kate. ha ha. Yes, how do you tell a newly potty trained girl how to use a squatty potty and not get it all over her shorts if she doesn’t take them off beforehand!
The next step in the airport was immigration! Thankfully Yangon Airport doesn’t get tons of flights so the immigration lines only consisted of our flight of passengers. Even then, the personnel placed us in the Myanmar Nationals line since it was shorter because of our large family of kids. This is a usual occurrence in any immigration line OUTSIDE the United States; I don’t know if it is because they don’t want our kids screaming and crying in the line thus bothering everyone else, or because they do it for the parent’s sanity! Our kids are usually pretty well behaved in lines, but I really have to admit, that I love this perk.
We reached the immigration counter. I gave the clerk all 7 passports, all 7 e-visas, and the 7 immigration forms that I was given while on the flight. This was all the materials needed at the desk. On the e-visa it said that we should have evidence of our flights departing Myanmar and a bank statement; I brought these as well, but obviously, we didn’t need them. The immigration officer stamped all of our passports, and he even wrote our visa numbers on it (which you will need on the departure form when you are leaving Myanmar.)
Baggage claim was just beyond the immigration counters. We were able to quickly grab our luggage. We were actually surprised our luggage actually got to Yangon because the clerk in LA said that the clerk in SLC wasn’t suppose to check all our baggage through to Yangon. So THANK HEAVENS it did arrive!!
We put our bags on a trolley, walked through the declaration area, and then to the main area of the airport. A guy was holding up a placard with our names on it. Horray!! It is such a relief to finally meet the person who I have been emailing for months and already sent 80% of the money for our tour!! The guy holding up the sign was one of our tour guides for Yangon; his name is Andrew. He took us to where Dr. Zin (the person who organized our tour) was sitting, along with her daughter. We were greeted by them with a bouquet of red roses–that was unexpected, but such a kind gesture. Dr. Zin also had all of our papers, air tickets, etc., all neatly organized in a bag for me. She gave us a few instructions on how things were suppose to happen for the tour, and then let us get in to the van for our trip to our hotel since it was a bit past midnight.
Once we go in to our van, I was quite at ease with Yangon. I am very excited for our tour and I’m glad I chose Dr. Zin to organize it.
We are staying at the Kandawgyi Palace hotel. It took about 20 minutes to get to the hotel at that time of night since there was no traffic whatsoever.
At the moment, there are two terminals at the Yangon International Airport: domestic and international. Arrivals are on the bottom floor, and departures are on the second floor. All of the airline desks are on the second floor. Once you check in, you take the escalator to the third floor, go through security, then go to your gate. Terminal 1 (International) is much larger with many eating options and upscale shops. Terminal 2 (domestic) is smaller with a little shops and eating options. I was surprised by how new the airport was. We entered the country in Terminal 1, then left to Bagan in Terminal 2, and both times I felt like I could be in an airport in the US.