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realthaideal

Next Week's Border Run Mae Sai

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Hey all.

I'm due for the 90 day run next week or so. I'm already wondering what the climate will be like in Tachilek given the protests that are happening everywhere in Myanmar. Assuming the border's unaffected, I'd like to do a little dvd shopping. Last I heard there was a crackdown on the Shan, and all the movie n music shops were boarded up and emptied out - that was about 3-4 weeks ago. Anybody have a more recent report on the scene up there with regards to shopping?

Shopping's about the only highlight of a long day riding busses to jump thru a hoop, if you know what I mean.

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A buddy went about 2 days ago and said that everything was back to normal. One shop had closed, but the rest were selling at the same price as before.

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The way things are shaping up in downtown Yangon I'd be looking at an alternative right now. At the first sign of trouble, the Burmese government tend to close all borders, and worry about it later. Huay Xai is great this time of year :o

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If there is major trouble today or tomorrow, and I pray there will not be, expect a closure of all borders with Thailand.....

Burma showdown: Rifles vs robes

Rangoon - At least 12 truckloads, each of about 40 police and soldiers, were dispatched Tuesday night to City Hall after tens of thousands of monks defied a government order to end their protest marches and return to their temples.

Hundreds of riot police and soldiers were stationed Wednesday at Rangoon City Hall, prepared for what is likely to be a crackdown on a monk-led rebellion that has seized the city for the last week.

City Hall is near the Sule Pagoda in the centre of downtown Rangoon, where the monks have congregated, joined by thousands of laymen, over the last four days in a show of defiance against the Burmese ruling junta.

The marching monks appeared determined to take to the streets again Wednesday, despite signs that a confrontation is looming. As on past days, they are to first meet about noon at the Shwedagon Pagoda and then march on Sule Pagoda.

"Most monks will march," one Rangoon temple abbot told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "We are even ready to die."

Rangoon's barefoot rebellion that started September 18 drew up to 100,000 followers Monday and Tuesday, without reprisals from the regime.

Now, the signs are looming that the junta is ready to spill blood, as they did in September 1988 when the army unleashed its fury on pro-democracy mass demonstrations, killing up to 3,000 people including hundreds of protesting monks.

Around midnight, the government announced via public loudspeakers that a curfew had been imposed in the city from 9 pm to 5 am, until the situation returned to normal.

Rangoon General Hospital has been instructed to clear wards in preparation for an influx of patients, hospital sources said.

In 1988, Burma was rocked by nationwide rallies against the military regime's incompetent rule, which had dragged the country down from one of the wealthiest in Asia prior to World War II to an economic basket case by 1987.

Economic hardships are partly behind the latest protests.

Without warning or consultations, the government more than doubled fuel prices on August 15, exacerbating overnight the plight of impoverished Burmese. The country has suffered double-digit inflation since 2006.

Anti-inflation protests started building on August 19 in Rangoon, led by former student activists and opposition politicians. Earlier this month, the movement was taken up by the monks.

Burma's 400,000-member Buddhist monkhood has a long history of political activism in Burma, having played a pivotal role in the independence struggle against Great Britain in 1947 and the anti- military demonstrations of 1988, which ended in bloodshed.

Observers have been amazed that the Burmese military rulers have waited so long to suppress the monks' rebellion and attribute it to China's influence on the pariah state.

"I can see no other explantion for their restraint," one European diplomat said. "They've shot monks in the past." (dpa)

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CNN on the tube is now reporting that warning shots have been fired and batons are a'swingin near the central Pagoda in Yangon; one of their correspondents is also reporting from an undisclosed location (for security reasons) at the Thai-Burma border.... reckon that's Mae Sai?

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CNN on the tube is now reporting that warning shots have been fired and batons are a'swingin near the central Pagoda in Yangon; one of their correspondents is also reporting from an undisclosed location (for security reasons) at the Thai-Burma border.... reckon that's Mae Sai?

a blog with pictures and videos.

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The way things are shaping up in downtown Yangon I'd be looking at an alternative right now. At the first sign of trouble, the Burmese government tend to close all borders, and worry about it later. Huay Xai is great this time of year :o

Almost all the advice from almost all you lot is great, but I have to beg to differ re Huay Xai unless the OP is 1,000% confident of his status.

A low budget French expat here left Thailand via the Huay Xai route a few months back and the following day was refused re-entry due to lack of proof of cash in Thailand PLUS lack of an air ticket to fly away. No discussion. He had to take a 25 hour bus journey to Vientiane and the Friendship Bridge, where he was re-admitted to Thailand without a murmur!

His story (reported accurately in the CM Mail) was followed up by letters from 2 genuine S.Korean tourists. Despite the facts that they had identical tourist visas and were doing their first and only re-entry, one was forced back into Laos to spend a second night there on the whim of the All Powerful Uniformed One on the Thai side of the river.

A pleasant tour into Vientiane from Nong Khai, or Cambodia via Poi Pet could be nice at this time of year.......

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Hi, Ulysses or anyone. I have to go to Mae Sai on Sat or Sunday for a border run. Is it still farily easy to get out and in, or are they requiring air tickets and money to show or is it sort of hit and miss still?? Wondering in Chiang Mai.

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Hi, Ulysses or anyone. I have to go to Mae Sai on Sat or Sunday for a border run. Is it still farily easy to get out and in, or are they requiring air tickets and money to show or is it sort of hit and miss still?? Wondering in Chiang Mai.

I was there on the two weeks ago and wasn't required to show money or air ticket. I am on a non-imm O (spouse) visa. YMMV.

As you can tell from this thread, though, it seems the big problem may be a possible border closure.

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Almost all the advice from almost all you lot is great, but I have to beg to differ re Huay Xai unless the OP is 1,000% confident of his status.

A low budget French expat here left Thailand via the Huay Xai route a few months back and the following day was refused re-entry due to lack of proof of cash in Thailand PLUS lack of an air ticket to fly away.

I think you said it all in that one sentence :o Who, but a complete idiot would cross an international border without being full prepared?

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Every once in a while they close the Mai Sai border for short periods or long ones and it is usually Burma that does it, not Thailand, so the rules that you are concerned about probably would not change from any other time.

The main concern is getting stuck in Burma with no exit allowed until Burmese authorities decide to do so, which could be days or month from now.

I'm not sure if I would chance it, or not, but as MM said, the SMART thing to do is go across the Laos border instead. Just make sure that you have enough money and an on-going air ticket with you. :o

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