There are four Thailand-Myanmar border points that are open to visitors.
In December 2015, John and I crossed from Mae Sai, Thailand into Tachileik, Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Mae Sai is the northernmost city of Thailand and the border crossing is it’s biggest attraction.
The process of crossing the Thailand-Myanmar border is pretty straightforward. Simply follow the signs to immigration and present your passport.
Once they stamped your passport, walk across the flag-lined bridge.
You’ll then pass through the entrance with the sign “The Republic of the Union of Myanmar”.
Again, follow the signs to immigration and hand your passport to the Myanmar Immigration officers.
You will need a Visa to enter Myanmar which is available upon arrival. The cost is 500 baht/person.**
When you leave the immigration office you’ll enter the Myanmar town of Tachileik.
1) Please check the current Visa requirements prior to your trip. The requirements and cost can change at anytime.
2) When you cross back to Thailand you will be stamped with a 15 day Visa only. Please ensure that 15 days is enough to cover the rest of your holiday plans in Thailand.
3) Visitors can travel as far as Kyaing Tong in Myanmar. If you wish to travel further than this by land, you will need a permit.
Tachileik’s economy is based on cross-border trade and tourism:
Thai baht is the main currency at the market (not Myanmar kyat) so be sure to visit the bustling market if for nothing else but the experience.
You’ll find a little bit of everything there including tuk-tuk drivers hoping to take you somewhere.
Our guide negotiated a price and off we went!
The first stop was Phra Jow La Keng Temple, a Buddhist Temple:
Despite the close proximity to the border, we were the only tourists there.
Our next stop was Tachileik Shwedagon Pagoda:
It was built to resemble the Shwedagon Pagoda in the city of Yangon, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar.
Tachileik Shwedagon Pagoda was built high on a hill so it can be seen from all over the city.
It also offers beautiful views of the city:
We met a few friends while we were there:
Including this sweet girl who followed me around while holding an umbrella over my head hoping to protect me from the sun and heat.
She also hoped to earn a few baht for her efforts, and she did.
Before leaving the pagoda, we spent some time talking with her and her family and then purchased a few of their souvenirs.
Our final stop was another Buddhist Temple, Township Dhammayon Tachileik.
There are several paintings on the wall inside the temple with teachings of Buddha and Buddhism.
Although our visit to Myanmar was short, I really enjoyed seeing the highlights of the border town, as well as the people of Tachileik from the tuk-tuk.
Crossing back into Thailand is just as straightforward as crossing into Myanmar.
Remember: when you go back to Thailand you will be stamped with a 15 day Visa only. Before crossing to Myanmar make sure 15 days is enough time to cover the rest of your trip in Thailand.
Our adventure across the Thailand-Myanmar border was part of a full-day tour we went on with Travel Hub Chiangmai.
Their full-day tour to the Chiang Rai province offered a lot of flexibility based on the things we wanted to do and see.
Until next time, Myanmar!