Remembering the Kochi – Muziris Biennale 2012

The second Kochi – Muziris Biennale, the contemporary art festival, has been kick started recently in Kochi, Kerala, India. The festival runs from December 12, 2014 to March 29, 2015. Spread across 8 venues in Fort Kochi, this year’s festival will feature 94 artists from 30 different countries. Themed Whorled Explorations, the biennale will “bring together sensory and conceptual propositions that map our world referencing history, geography, cosmology, time, space, dreams and myths.” according to its website.

I attended the first biennale held in 2012 at the same venues and came back with some interesting images for a post. But I did not have a blog back then and posting these in Facebook seemed like a disservice to these complex renditions. Here are a few of these images since I think blogs elicit a bit more discerning audience.

‘Ways of Seeing’ by Vivek Vilasini

Vivek Vilasini’s works (and their titles, more so) seem pretty self-explanatory without a synopsis. Here, the artist explores the duality of perception through these images.

Ways of seeking - Vivek Vilasini

Ways of seeking – Vivek Vilasini

‘The Last Supper – Gaza’ by Vivek Vilasini

Yet another work that depicts the famous Last Supper painting but in an extremely unlikely setting.

The last supper gaza by Vivek Vilasini

The last supper gaza by Vivek Vilasini

‘Veni, vidi, vici – I came, I saw, I conquered’ by L.N. Tallur

Synopsis: Conquest is a basic human characteristic. At a macro level, history of mankind is full of conquering of the land, its being and its possessors. At a micro level, it is an attempt of conquer death, hunger and ageing. Hatha Yoga is the Yoga (union) of Ham (vital life force) and Tham (mental force). Hatha Yoga teaches how to conquer hunger, thirst, and sleep; how to overcome the effects of heat and cold; how to gain perfect health and cure disease without using drugs; how to arrest the untimely decay of the body resulting from the waste of vital energy; how to preserve youth even at an age of one hundred…

Vedi Vidi Vinci - L N Tallur

Vedi Vidi Vinci – L N Tallur

Vedi Vidi Vinci - L N Tallur

Vedi Vidi Vinci – L N Tallur

Vedi Vidi Vinci - L N Tallur

Vedi Vidi Vinci – L N Tallur

‘Untitled’ by Sun Xun

The Malayalam phrase reads ‘sathyathinu tolvi matram’ – loosely translated as ‘truth only loses.’

Untitled by Sun Xun

Untitled by Sun Xun

‘Untitled’ by Subodh Gupta

Synopsis: The boat suggests notions of migration and survival, experienced most acutely by the deprived masses of the society, which feature prominently in several past works of the artist. When the familiar world and home ceases to be what we know it to be, then the natural instinct of man compels him to convert that piece of boat into his home.

Untitled by Subodh Gupta

Untitled by Subodh Gupta

‘Untitled’ by M.I.A

Yes, she is a rockstar artist. True to her personality, this installation consisted of ‘ten brightly colored, 8 foot long print collages, framed with custom-built mirror mosaics. Built up of layers of saturated, digital colors and reflective, light-catching surfaces, the works feature 3D images of parrots, jungle foliage and gemstones, layered with photographs of crowds, children and cars.’ Totally multi-colored, totally M.I.A.

Untitled by M.I.A

Untitled by M.I.A

Untitled by M.I.A

Untitled by M.I.A

‘Tug of War’ by Jalaja

Duality in human identity. In Jalaja’s words: “Singly, person gains vitality; his emotions and aspirations become central to us all. When we look at him in a wider context, he is just part of a queue, a mob.”

Tug of war by Jalaja

Tug of war by Jalaja

‘The Sovereign Forest by Amar Kanwar’

Synopsis: The Sovereign Forest attempts to reopen discussion and initiate a creative response to our understanding of crime, politics, human rights and ecology. The installation seeks help from film, books and multiple media of various dimensions.

The sovereign forest by Amar Kanwar

The sovereign forest by Amar Kanwarf

 

‘The Ship of Tarshish’ by Prasad Raghavan

Synopsis: The Ship of Tarshish, while a Biblical reference, illustrates the essential deceptiveness and darkness of man’s heart. It is evil and self-seeking and in its wake are conflict and slavery. They (the British) came bearing their spiritual greatness and left bearing the wealth of the conquered.

The ship of Tarshish by Prasad Raghavan

The ship of Tarshish by Prasad Raghavan

‘Fado music in reverse’ by Robert Montgomery

“The strange new music of the crying songs of the people we left behind mixing as your boat touches stone here as my new bones touch your bones.” This poem, composed by Robert himself, is about “exile in light on the sea-facing facade of Aspinwall House.”

Fado music in reverse by Robert Montgomery

Fado music in reverse by Robert Montgomery

‘Erase’ by Srinivas Prasad

Synopsis: At the end of the viewing period the cocoon is set ablaze at night in a ritual that destroys the structure along with the thoughts, memories and confessions uttered within. All remnants of the construction are destroyed leaving nothing behind except sand.

Erase by Srinivas Prasad

Erase by Srinivas Prasad

‘Cloud for Kochi’ by Alfredo Jaar

Synopsis: The texts are written in reverse making them unreadable but poetic signs. By looking at their reflection in the water, they become readable. A fragment from one of the most beautiful poems ever written in any language: Kalidasa’s Cloud Messenger, choosing the segments related to water and clouds, and ideally locate these texts on the wall in the shape of a cloud. On one side, the text is in Sanskrit. On the other side in English.

Cloud for Kochi by Alfredo Jaar

Cloud for Kochi by Alfredo Jaar

‘Celebration in the Laboratory’ by Atul Dodiya

Synopsis: The photo installation Celebration in the Laboratory celebrates some of the contributors who have made Indian modern and contemporary art significant.

Celebration in the laboratory by Atul Dodiya

Celebration in the laboratory by Atul Dodiya

Celebration in the laboratory by Atul Dodiya

Celebration in the laboratory by Atul Dodiya

’72 Privileges’ by Joseph Semah

Synopsis: The story of the copper plates tells us about the 72 privileges that were granted to the Jewish and Christian communities by the last king of the Chera dynasty, Cheraman Perumal.

72 Privileges by Joseph Semah

72 Privileges by Joseph Semah

Miscellaneous Wall Arts

A wall art

A wall art

Another wall art

Another wall art

Are you going to the Biennale being held this year in Kochi? Leave a comment.

Chasing the Northern Lights – Part II – Guest Post

This is the second (and final) part of the guest post by my friend Sownak Roy from http://doesnotxsist.blogspot.in/. You can read the first part of the post here.

I woke up to a new day, well, actually a Polar Night. Being inside the Arctic Circle in December means that the dawn is at 10 a.m. and it remains like that till 3 p.m. The sun is not visible, and it is not complete darkness as many of us tend to believe. The skies were clearer today, which meant that the temperature would be getting subzero even during the day.

After a breakfast of coffee and soupy noodles and a hot bath, I was ready with my 5 layers of clothing and the synthetic fur hat. The outside door handle had ice on the inside, which is a common sign that the temperatures were far below zero during the night.

First stop was the Arctic Cathedral/ Ishavskatedralen. Unfortunately it was closed due to Christmas preparations, but I was happy taking a few shots around the Church, for myself as well as for the other tourists. The walk back over the Tromsø Bridge was challenging. The ice and the slope of the bridge was quite a challenge to handle.

Back in the island of Tromsøya, lunch was at the northernmost Burger King. It wasn’t anything special, but they do have good free Wi-Fi. The next interesting building was the public library/bibliotek. It was good to be inside; when the temperatures are sub-zero, there is a limit to how long you can stay outside even if you are wearing the best clothes.

I was back to the apartment to get my camera gear as well as add a few more clothing on me. The aurora forecast was good, and I hoped with all my heart that the skies are clear.

As suggested by my host, I headed to the south of the island, where the beach area of Folkeparken provides a nice place to view the Lights as it is completely dark. It was a long walk in the cold, but I reached the place and was happy to find a wooden picnic table; happy because it means I would not have to sit on the frozen ground. It was 6 p.m. already. The best time to catch the Lights is between 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. when the sky is the darkest in this part of the World.

The two hours wait in the cold was worth it. Though I had some whiskey to keep me warm, nothing was more welcome than the first sight of a green band across the sky. It was not noticeable much at first, and looked like a faint cloud coloured by the light pollution, but once the realization set in, I was the happiest man on the earth, or at least in the whole of Folkeparken.

The Aurora Borealis is caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere. The solar wind which reached today to earth’s atmosphere actually left the sun about 3 days ago. These winds consist of free ions, which get attracted by earth’s magnetic field, and collide with the atmospheric gases, mostly oxygen and nitrogen and alter their atoms. But these altered atoms are unstable and then they regain the original atomic mass, they release the energy through light and sound. The sound does not reach us (sometimes they do) as it gets heavily diffused by the atmosphere, but the light reaches us as light travels much faster than sound and so diffusion is less. And that is how we see the Northern Lights. The green light is because of higher oxygen atoms at lower atmosphere.

There aren’t words to describe the feeling of watching the Aurora dancing in the sky with your own eyes. But one thing is for sure, you will undoubtedly have the feeling that your own life and problems are so small, that we as human beings are so small, in this huge astronomical environment. The photos here should speak for themselves.

Dance of the green lights

Dance of the green lights

Northern Lights against the ink blue sky

Northern Lights against the ink blue sky

The Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis

The green light is because of higher oxygen atoms at lower atmosphere

The green light is because of higher oxygen atoms at lower atmosphere

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

The sky painted green - Northern LIghts

The sky painted green – Northern LIghts

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

At the end of it, the feeling was so content, so peaceful, so satisfying. I felt that I was the luckiest person; lucky to watch the most extravagant natural activity, to be able to feel the enormity of the Universe (or Multiverse) and to witness this phenomenon which has happened even before any life existed on earth, and will keep on happening even after all life is extinct from earth.

Photography Tips:

  • Tripod is a must.
  • Highest ISO setting, use RAW mode so that noise can be adjusted later.
  • Wide angle lens (you would not want to miss the environment).
  • Lowest aperture (you want the images to be sharp).
  • Shutter Time should be 20-25 seconds (Can be less if you have very bright lights).
  • Remote shutter control is optional, though it gives you more control.
  • No light from anywhere near (do not check your mobile).

Basically it is same as shooting fireworks or lightning.

Dressing Tips:

  • Head: Furry hat (a woolen hat which covers ears should do).
  • Upper body: full sleeve Cotswool undershirt, full sleeve shirt, woolen jumper, air-jacket. (the outer jacket should be as fluffy as possible, the more air, the more warm; woolen jumper is a must, acrylics don’t work)
  • Lower body: Cotswool long john, thickest jeans, Quechua ski trousers. (Any good quality ski trousers will work; this keeps you safe from the snow).
  • Feet: Cotton socks, woolen socks, 200g thinsulate snow boots (first layer cotton keeps the feet from smelling; you may add spikes, but it is difficult to walk with spikes when there is no ice).

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights phenomenon? Leave a comment and let me know.

Walking in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Leaving the precincts of Kuala Lumpur and its haze, high-rises, malls and traffic seemed like a release of sorts from the quagmires of urban life. Now don’t get me wrong. I liked KL and its veritable array of cultural and gastronomical experiences but I prefer a small town to a big city any given day. And I wasn’t going to exclude Penang, the northwestern coast of Malaysia, from my plans. So I boarded a bus and rode on it for six hours.

The pleasures of arriving in Penang is only multiplied by the beautiful visual scenery enroute – the gargantuan mountains, vistas of the ocean, greenery and the tree rich landscape that is a relief from the landscape dominated by palm trees in KL. I arrived in the charming seaside town and its unhurried people to be welcomed by my host Mr. Henry. After a tiny tour of the neighborhood, Henry left me to my devices. Help was at hand, however. An architect friend Sanjay, took over from Henry but by then I had found a hawker stall, ordered the best Tomyom soup I had in my entire life and finished slurping it. I felt welcomed.

The World Heritage Site title was awarded to the George Town area in Penang Island in 2008 by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The architecture of buildings in George Town infuse elements from the architecture of Europe, China and India. George Town was once a British trade post and hence colonial architecture is predominant. The rich cultural influences brought in by immigrants from India and China have also contributed to the city’s landscape and food.

The Street Art of George Town

The streets of Penang depict a curious array of art – iron rod sculptures on the theme ‘voices from the people’ and mural paintings on the walls by renowned artist Ernest Zacharevic. There are a total of 52 such iron rod sculptures present in almost every street of George Town. While there are about 18 street murals by Zacharevic. There are maps available if you want to take a walking tour of these. A few pictures:

a wall art

                                                                              a wall art

street murals of George Town

street murals of George Town

a street mural, up close

Temples of George Town

George Town hosts numerous ancient temples / churches – the oldest Anglican Church in all of South East Asia, the Maha Mariamman Temple from the 1790s, Chinese temples, Kapitan Keling mosque from the 1803 to name a few.

The Khoo Kongsi temple

The Khoo Kongsi temple

a chinese mazu idol

a chinese mazu idol

Kapitan Keling mosque

Kapitan Keling mosque

a smug buddha

a smug buddha

prayer lamps at the thai buddhist temple

a burmese buddhist temple

a burmese buddhist temple

Culture of George Town

Walk the streets of George Town and you are likely to find more than a handful of art galleries, art studios, puppet theatres and workshops, gold and blacksmiths who use ancient methods, Chinese coffin makers, book binders, perfumers and other quirks.

a chinese doll collection in a store

a chinese doll collection in a store

a chinese puppet in a souvenir store

a chinese puppet in a souvenir store

a souvenir

a souvenir

a chinese coffin design

a chinese coffin design

Architecture of George Town

The architectural treasures including the shop houses, colonial era buildings, chinese clan houses are bunched together as a cultural enclave in the town. These buildings define the rich history of George Town and its cultural past.

the famed blue mansion

the famed blue mansion

an ornate chinese door

an ornate chinese door

streets of penang at night

streets of penang at night

penang skyline

penang skyline

Food of George Town

The coming together of various cultures has ensured a delicious variety of street food sold in the hawker markets of George Town, Penang. Taste the super pungent Assam Laksa, Mee Robus, Mee Rojak, Char Kway Teow and Fried Oyster and get introduced to flavors that you didn’t know existed. night time food scene

assam laksa

assam laksa

a funny sign board

a funny sign board

5 initial impressions about KL – Malaysia

If you were blind folded and taken around in the cities of KL and Singapore, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. Granted the food is much diverse in the former and the attractions are much better in the latter. However, these two cities have much more than weather in common. Be that as it may. These are my 5 initial impressions about the city of KL – Malaysia.

1) The Street Food is Phenomenal

Pardon my cliche but Malaysia is indeed a melting pot of cuisines. The Indian and Chinese influences found in the food in Malaysia has made eating out fun and much more economical. Every street and every mall is brimming with street food from different regions. And Malaysians seem to love their fat. So much so that they have dishes named after fat – Nasi Lemak (rice with fat).

street food in Malaysia

street food in Malaysia

street food in Malaysia

street food in Malaysia

2) Roads are great but traffic is a nightmare. So is parking.

KL has huge, broad roads and the infrastructure is in place. However, the growing number of vehicles seems to constrict the roads and peak hour traffics are legendary and nightmarish.

friday night traffic in Malacca

friday night traffic in Malacca

3) Selfie poles are quite the rage now

No tourist attraction in the city is complete without selfie pole wielding youngsters and even families taking pictures of themselves in front of monuments. Like this couple in front of a graffiti wall in Malacca.

selfie pole

selfie pole

4) The city has an impossible number of high-rises

And twin towers is one of them. Like any other south east asian / middle eastern developed countries, Malaysia has its share of high rises too. The central business district is filled with them and the hop-on / hop-off tour covers a mighty lot.

The twin towers of KL

The twin towers of KL

The high rises of KL

The high rises of KL

5) There is a dearth of dairy but fresh soya milk is sold on the streets

Malaysia is not a dairy producing country but fresh soya milk is available for consumption, sold by hawkers. The powdery, earthy taste of soya milk can be off-putting at first but it is much better than condensed milk (which has no dairy and is used even in coffee as well).

soya milk in the background

soya milk in the background

Have you been to KL? What are your impressions? Leave a comment.

Contest alert: Win a souvenir from Myanmar!

Have you been enjoying the blog? If only you guys talked (or left a comment, as it were), but it’s okay. I might have something to start the conversation. Or at least show some activity on these pages. I am travelling to Malaysia and Myanmar starting Oct 15th and I thought I would bring a souvenir for you. You like?

Myanmar countryside - pic: backroads.com

Myanmar countryside – pic: backroads.com

Here is what you need to do:

All you have to do to win this souvenir is very simple. Go and ‘like’ The Sunlit Window’s page on Facebook. Leave a comment here saying so. I will randomly select one winner and announce it on these pages.

You’re nice and you already like my page. Now what? Share it on your wall and let me know in the comment section here.

I will bring you the souvenir when I get back from my travels in the last week of November. Sounds good?

Ancient temple ruins in Myanmar - Pic: backroads.com

Ancient temple ruins in Myanmar – Pic: backroads.com

Watch out for the updates about Malaysia and Myanmar until then.

Why freelance? A personal essay.

As days drew nearer to my month-long trip to a village called Kalap in the Himalayas, my feelings about quitting my desk job grew stronger. I had been contemplating it for a while but did not yet take any serious steps towards leaving the job. Liberal work-from-home policies at my workplace ensured freedom but on the days I had to go to the office, I could not but feel being constricted inside the cubicle. If I did leave my job, I would have no backup plan on the monthly mortgage payment for the house that would tie me down for ten years. I had only finished one year of the mortgage and nine remained.

Just one day short of my trip, my brother called me with news that my father had fallen sick. He had had a surgery to remove his infected kidney a year ago and now he was experiencing pain in his abdomen. Pain so aggressive that he could not walk straight. He was to be taken to the doctor. And I’d be high in the Himalayas with no access to phone nor internet for a month.

Those were the circumstances in which I boarded the bus to Kalap – a tiny settlement in Garhwal Himalayas. Anand Sankar, who has a responsible tourism initiative in Kalap, agreed to host me for a month. Having my basic cold protection gear covered, I still had to buy a sleeping bag which I did at a store called Cliffhangers located in the narrow side streets of Dehradun. I explored the streets of the town that was known as the boarding school capital of India and home to hundreds of schools. The Doon valley, Dehradun, surrounded by hills, was experiencing unseasonal rains in March.

Uneasy Contemplation.

Uneasy Contemplation.

The rain delayed my trip from Dehradun to Kalap but when I eventually left in a rickety bus early in the morning, for a five hour journey, there were no signs of rain. The bus crawled through the windy mountain roads flirting dangerously close with the gorges. I met Guddu, my minder in the village for the duration of my stay, at a dusty mountain town called Netwar. With his incandescent smile and hair curls bleached golden by the mountain sun, the amiable Guddu immediately inspired confidence in me about the trip. I was practically a stranger, but that evening, over home-cooked meals and the drone of his children studying, we got to know each other slightly better. Guddu’s children, like children in other mountain villages in the vicinity, went to school in Netwar – the only school available for miles in any direction.

The next day, we began a 5-hour trek to reach his village high up in the mountains. The trek, through an unpaved, boulder strewn, steep mountain path made me thirsty while the sun beat down heavily. The weight of my backpack pressed me down and threatened to crush me but I persevered and arrived at the village to the curious glances of village kids who, upon sighting me, a stranger, joined their hands in respect and said ‘namaste’ as a welcome gesture.

After reaching Guddu’s house and getting acquainted with it, I quickly fell into a routine. I spent my days reading and writing on the sun deck of Guddu’s wooden house overlooking the valley. I accompanied him to his field along with his horse to spread manure before the onset of the sowing season. I took long walks and tried to identify the plants and bird life around the village. On these trips, I mostly stood glued to the grand vista of the mountains, its terrace fields, while the deafening roar of the Supin River way down in the valley played backdrop to this setting.

I met strangers in the village and accepted invitations to visit their homes. Sometimes, I was taken to their kitchens, dining rooms, or halls and fed sweet, milky tea and whatever else happened to be on their menus.

I became the official photographer for the village’s Holi festival and, by the end of it, although I survived without being doused in color powder, my camera bore the brunt. I helped make Gujjia – a Holi special that’s like a sweet calzone. Its deep fried packets of dough are filled with a roasted mixture of semolina, desiccated coconut, jaggery (a traditional sugar) and raisins. By the end of it, Guddu’s wife, Pathuli – meaning butterfly in the local language – had thawed towards me after witnessing my able handedness at rolling and sealing the Gujjias. I asked extensive questions about what grew in Kalap and what didn’t, what kind of fruits could be cultivated, and compared their food with that from the plains. I also became accustomed to Guddu, Pathuli, and the other villagers switching to the local language in the middle of a conversation, unmindful or uncaring of my presence.

Lead by the master.

Lead by the master.

In all this, I forgot that I had an alternate existence – an existence that is punctuated by staring at different screens for ego-inflating status updates in social media outlets, a liberal dosage of pop culture consumption, and I also forgot about my sick father.

I watched myself in the mirror, the magnificent hills framed behind the reflection of my overgrown facial hair, gaunt face, sunken eyes, tanning skin, and cracked lips that needed moisturizing. In the cold, I rationed my shower to once in two days. My toiletries bag sat untouched, unused. I went to bed and woke up based on the sheer diktats of my body clock. The hand-drawn calendar I brought from the plains to keep tab of time, like all gadgets up here, also sat next to my bed, abandoned.

Most of the time the loud conversation of the villagers – which sounded like yelling at each other to my untrained ears – interrupted my silence. Even so, the rhyming dialect of Uttranchali was oddly comforting to my senses. It characterized the mountain to me – its cadence like the deep blue expanse of its skies, the whooshing of wind through its cedar trees and the chirp of the birds.

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

I tried to make Rotis, the Indian flatbread, without a rolling pin in Guddu’s kitchen, learning the tricks of it from Pathuli.  She said, by way of instruction: take a bit of dough, roll it by hand and flatten it, pinch it round with the thumb and slap with both the palms to stretch the dough into a perfect round shaped roti. At best, I could only make ragged edged Rotis.

At night when the sky was clear, I sometimes stepped out. The gazillion stars in the sky resembled a crowded Indian railway station with numerous tiny stars and constellations jostling for space with each other.

Sometimes I saw raging forest fires in the night – bright orange and red flames spreading across the forest at a distance. But the icy cold night extinguished the fire, no matter how widespread, and normality returned in the morning.

The unpredictable weather in the mountains ensured drastically different days. One day the sky was clear blue with sunshine, while on the other, streaks of dark clouds obstruct the sun throwing out only weak sunlight. Some days thick grey clouds billowed past and a blanket of cold rain came down with occasional hail or snow falls.

All this notwithstanding, the predictability of my life remained the same. My dad’s illness did not vanish as I did momentarily from their lives. He was now prescribed to undergo two surgeries – one to fix the hernia and the other to remove his stone-infested gall bladder. Both keyhole, albeit. The world has been just as I left it. But I have changed a bit – adapting a bit of the matter of fact, yet laid-back, attitude of the hill people.

I knew this couldn’t last forever. Oases do not a desert make. While Guddu and Pathuli secretly longed for a life in the plains, I longed for more time in the mountains.

When I rejoined work, a month later, I felt something inside me was bottled up. Where before I negotiated craggy, bridled, forest path, I now climbed concrete stairs. Where I’d lifted my eyes for tumbling vistas against the backdrop of deep blue sky, I now lifted my eyes to see cubicles and torsos hunched over laptops. I sent my resignation in less than a week of my return. I traded a reasonable paycheck for wide open spaces, fresh air, opportunities, and a financially dicey, extremely uncertain career of freelance writing. Wherever I go in this new phase, at least I will be certain that I wanted this.

A version of this appeared in the last edition of the Outside In Literary Travel Magazine and can be accessed here.

Myanmar visa for Indians – online, in three simple steps!

With the end of military rule, Myanmar is opening up for tourists. Myanmar visa for Indians has become simplified (unless you are using the Stillwell Road located in India’s Northeast to travel into the country). I was offered different opinions about obtaining a visa for Myanmar and predominant of them was to approach a travel agent. However, a friend suggested that starting September, Myanmar has introduced an evisa system. I googled up and landed in the Myanmar ministry of immigration and population page and applied online. In less than a week, I received an email with the pre-approval letter. That’s how simple it is to obtain Myanmar visa for Indians (although I am sure this applies to all nationalities too).

Here’s how I did it.

Step 1) Go to http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/ and click the ‘Apply for EVISA NOW’ link.

Login page

Login page

Step 2): Fill in the form. There is a fee of USD50 for tourist visa. Right now the only port of entry is Yangon. You cannot fly directly to Yangon from Indian cities. You will have to fly via KL or Bangkok.

Step 2: Fill in the details

Step 2: Fill in the details

As soon as your application process is over, you will be sent the confirmation and reference number. You can track your status online.

Step 3): Wait for the visa pre-approval letter.

Myanmar visa pre-approval letter

Myanmar visa pre-approval letter

Ta-da.

Bagan, Central Myanmar - Pic: musatc.org

Bagan, Central Myanmar – Pic: musatc.org

Are you travelling to Myanmar anytime soon? I am. Tell me what shouldn’t I miss in Myanmar. It’d be nice to hear from you, oh elusive reader :)