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BANGKOK 24 April 2019 19:33
Lysdexic

Bringing a Thai registered car into Myanmar

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My wife is a Myanmar citizen, holds a Myanmar passport, from Shan State. She and her mother want to drive to Muang Nai in Shan State. Our car is registered in Thailand (we live in Chiang Mai).
Is this possible, and what documents does she need to do this? I am not going so no worries about where Farang are permitted to roam. Can she buy adequate insurance in Myanamar?
Any advice?

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I've taken my car to Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia and would love to take it to Myanmar.

 

According to my research, the answer is 'not at this time'.

 

The only Thai cars I've seen go across are those immediately at the border (but no further than the city limits of the border town). There is also no insurance available (and most Myanmar cars are uninsured anyway).

 

The other way is to join a 'caravan' - basically Thai tourists going on offically sponsored road trip. These happen, but are expensive and not exactly what you are looking for, I suspect.

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Same as for motorcycle, need permits, guides hotel bookings etc.

or can go on a tour with others.

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Depends how far away from the border this place is. Many Thai cars roam quite freely in border areas of Myanmar under the control of ethnic armies like the Karen/Kayin (DKBA and KNU) and the Shan State armies. Knowing a local can also help. I have a good Thai friend, he has connections and has driven to Dawei and to Loikaw through the local border crossing in Mae Hong Son province, without needing to go on any tour. He just goes with his contact who gets him through any checkpoints. Many Burmese living in border areas like Htee Khee (next to the Kanchanaburi checkpoint), Phayathonzu (Three Pagodas Pass) and all over Shan state (except at official checkpoints like Tachilek) own Thai registered cars that they keep within Myanmar most of the time.

 

I recently drove the short-cut between Umphang and Waley in a Thai registered car. This road is mostly used by locals (Thais that is) Burmese aren't allowed to cut through this way as their cars aren't allowed very far inside Thailand.

 

If she is allowed to take the car across by the Thai army (customs is not relevant here), no documents will be required nor will insurance be possible. Driving is on the right hand side of the road with a very small number of exceptions nearest the border (I was told driving is on the left in the tiny village in Shan state called Meng Kong Keng opposite Ban Rak Thai in Mae Hong Son, which I also visited).

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