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Mae Sai/Tachilek Border Info


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Stupas in Burma (and elsewhere) are usually 8 sided, partly because it's easier to build an 8 sided structure than one with seven sides.

The big gold-colored Stupa on the hill north of Tachilek is 8-sided. A discerning person might ask, "If a stupa symbolizes seven days of the week, then why does it have eight sides?" What happens at the Tachilek stupa (and probably all the others in Burma) is; two of the sides represent Wednesday. One side for Wednesday day, and the adjoining side for Wednesday night. Conundrum solved.

What would be interesting would be construction of Asia's first seven-sided Stupa (I assume none exist). To do so, each angle would have to be 51.43 degrees. It wouldn't adhere to the classic model, but it would coincide with seven days of the week.

Towns everywhere are always looking for unique tourist attractions to attract more tourists = more money. Hey Tachilek city fathers: How about a 7-sided stupa ?!

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Wel sed.

For the umpteenth time man, they're not called VOA, they're Visa Exemptions. VOA's are for the following countries: Bhutan China Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary India Kazakhstan Latvia

Anyone who goes up there but does not intend to cross or ask immigration about the VIP pass can ask the guy in the shop that does the photo copies, it's too the left of immigration looking towards the

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Hello, i have a question regarding the bordercrossing at mae sai/tachilek. i got a 14 days thai visa and planed to cross the border to myanmar and spend a couple of days in kengtung. But since ive read all these comments about these visa problems im not sure if ill do it. do i get a 14 days visa for myanmar at the border that is valid for kengtung? (Without having to book a guide for 1000baht a day). Can i return to thailand after 3-4 days and getting a 14 days visa again? 

Thanks for help

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3 hours ago, Mahseer said:

Get an e visa for Myanmar which allows 30 day stay. Can't help on the guide issue.

 

Just to be clear above is valid from 01 September at Tachilek and 2 other land crossings.

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On 8/27/2016 at 9:16 PM, Doctor1 said:

Hello, i have a question regarding the bordercrossing at mae sai/tachilek. i got a 14 days thai visa and planed to cross the border to myanmar and spend a couple of days in kengtung. But since ive read all these comments about these visa problems im not sure if ill do it. do i get a 14 days visa for myanmar at the border that is valid for kengtung? (Without having to book a guide for 1000baht a day). Can i return to thailand after 3-4 days and getting a 14 days visa again? 

Thanks for help

 

E-visa won't help for Tachilek.  E-visa is only good if you fly in to Mandalay or Yangon.  You can, however get a Burmese visa at their consulate in Chiang Mai - and that would be useful at Tachilek.  You can also visit the cities north of Tachilek in Shan state with a regular visa-on-arrival you get when crossing the bridge.  Regardless, you must visit the tiny tourist office north of the immigration office on the Burmese side of the bridge.   If you don't, and you get the standard 'VIP pass' for Tachilek (without the notation allowing you to travel north), you won't legally be allowed to leave Tachilek.  Talk to them first.

 

As for guide:  I'm quite sure, that you can go to the northern cities without the required guide IF you have a proper visa.  With a regular visa-on-arrival, you are required to hire an officially sanctioned guide, and pay that person Bt.1,000/day, half of which goes to the Burmese Travel office.  I think you're also required to pay the guide's food and lodging, but not sure.   Hope that helps.

 

It may now be possible for a farang with proper visa to take a bus westward from Keng Tung.  If so, that's a new development.  A Burmese guide told me so, but you should get a 2nd opinion.

 

Thai Imm still won't issue VIP passes (day passes) for farang.  They issue for Chinese if in groups and with a guide, but not for regular farang like you and me.   It's a dumb-ass rule, and the only reason I can see for it is Thai officials want everyone to spend money in Mae Sai, and not go over and spend any money in Tachilek.  .....that was a reason mentioned by a Thai official at the border.   It's petty, to say the least.

 

 

Edited by boomerangutang
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Regarding Myanmar/evisa, I just got back yesterday from 4 days in Mandalay after flying from Chiang Mai.

Passed through immigration quickly and without problem, very little official interaction.

 

About the only problem we had was that we arrived with no local money, the exchange (at 5pm with an international flight arriving) was closed and both airport ATMs were off line.

Taxis would only accept kyat or USD and when we got to the hotel on promise of payment on arrival the hotel reception would only change USD or Euros.

Fortunately there was an operating ATM in the street by the hotel that produced kyats but I hate to think of the rate we would have got.

 

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On 09/09/2016 at 3:58 PM, Mahseer said:

 

Incorrect. As I stated in #1114 above as of 01 September e visa are good for 3 land border crossing including Tachilek.

 

http://www.evisa.moip.gov.mm

 

 

even if you dont have a thai visa in your passport for back there ?  because last time the police officer  try to found a visa inside  unfortunately  i dont have and he say go to chong khong for make visa run 

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On 9/15/2016 at 6:46 AM, sceadugenga said:

Regarding Myanmar/evisa, I just got back yesterday from 4 days in Mandalay after flying from Chiang Mai.

Passed through immigration quickly and without problem, very little official interaction.

 

About the only problem we had was that we arrived with no local money, the exchange (at 5pm with an international flight arriving) was closed and both airport ATMs were off line.

Taxis would only accept kyat or USD and when we got to the hotel on promise of payment on arrival the hotel reception would only change USD or Euros.

Fortunately there was an operating ATM in the street by the hotel that produced kyats but I hate to think of the rate we would have got.

 

 

The good news is: you were an instant millionaire .....with kyat.

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US friend recently went to Tchlk border with me.  On Thai side, officials wouldn't let him leave Thailand.  He was 28th day in 30 day visa-on-arrival (from Suwanboom, no prior extentions).  He couldn't accompany me to the Tchlk market to shop for stuff.  Instead, he had to return to C.Rai and got hit with Bt.1,900 for a 30-day extension.   Great way for Thai gov't to make money.  For something that used to be free for decades (border crossings), now they get Bt.1,900 a pop.  ....and day-passes are still not possible except for Chinese in groups.   The only reason I can find is (as told to me by a Thai border official); "Why you go Burma spend money? You can buy same same in Mae Sai."

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6 hours ago, boomerangutang said:

 

The good news is: you were an instant millionaire .....with kyat.

No, I had already paid for the hotel online so 200,000 was sufficient for the four days I was there.

My traveling companions spent more but their liquid refreshments tended to be more expensive. :rolleyes:

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  • 3 months later...

Folks, Chiang Rai immigration office just told me Maesai/Tachilek crossing would accept (returns on) visa-exempt again with the general limit of 2 per year but 30 days also for those passport-holders again who only got 15 days via land-crossing for the last couple of years.

 

Now, i'm aware of the general 2-per-year limit as well as the return of the 30 days duration but can anyone already confirm that for Maesai particularly as they seem to always come up with their own specific 'rules'?

Thanks! 

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On 11.1.2017 at 9:18 PM, jollyhangmon said:

Folks, Chiang Rai immigration office just told me Maesai/Tachilek crossing would accept (returns on) visa-exempt again with the general limit of 2 per year but 30 days also for those passport-holders again who only got 15 days via land-crossing for the last couple of years.

 

Now, i'm aware of the general 2-per-year limit as well as the return of the 30 days duration but can anyone already confirm that for Maesai particularly as they seem to always come up with their own specific 'rules'?

Thanks! 

 

... well, check the following thread:  http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/963875-mae-sai-visa-runs-again/ 

 

 

 

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went with a friend recently. He forgot to bring his exit card.  Imm official wouldn't let him cross the bridge.  I went across the road, on the Thai side, to get a blank card for him to fill out.  Two Imm officers individually questioned me and didn't want me to do what I was doing, but each relented and let me pass.  Friend filled out the exit card.  We all knew it might not work because of not having an official exit stamp. After a few tense minutes, it worked.  

 

Moral to this story (and other similar glitches, where Imm authorities first say "no can go" or "no can do" and within minutes, relent) is this:

 

Don't be too easily thwarted by Imm officials.  Just because they order something, doesn't always mean it's carved in stone.  Sometimes, some perserverance will win the day.

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11 hours ago, boomerangutang said:

went with a friend recently. He forgot to bring his exit card.  Imm official wouldn't let him cross the bridge.  I went across the road, on the Thai side, to get a blank card for him to fill out.  Two Imm officers individually questioned me and didn't want me to do what I was doing, but each relented and let me pass.  Friend filled out the exit card.  We all knew it might not work because of not having an official exit stamp. After a few tense minutes, it worked.  

 

Moral to this story (and other similar glitches, where Imm authorities first say "no can go" or "no can do" and within minutes, relent) is this:

 

Don't be too easily thwarted by Imm officials.  Just because they order something, doesn't always mean it's carved in stone.  Sometimes, some perserverance will win the day.

Yes, second that!
I could tell you about an immi-office that - just after being operational for 6 weeks or so (!) - tried to convince me to contribute to their 'widows & orphans fund' by discretely placing their so dedicated plastic-box in my view while they had to 'consider' my application as they said. Nothing new there but still pretty disgusting.

 

Now, that was for a simple extension of tourist-visa (issued in Europe) which at 1900.- THB for 30 days is more than expensive enough already in comparison. Immediately pissed into red-alert i told them where to stick it and that - with a good week of stay left - i would just go and get 2 months (new visa) for the same money - not exactly true in my case (due to costs of transport mainly) but certainly not at all more expensive 'per month'.

All of a sudden they had no problem with my official 1900.- and i had my extension within 10 minutes.

 

Not much more to add there, really ... 

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... before i forget, as for Maesai, crossing on visa-exempts, also according to the main-man ubonjoe:

 

'There have been some reports of people getting visa exempt entries at Mae Sai. Enough that I can say it is possible now.' 

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Talking to a friend in the Coffee shop yesterday who had just come back from Tachilek, he had been declined a pass so crossed on his Non-imm, forgetting that it was single entry.

 

On returning and finding his error, they gave hm a retrospective reentry permit.

Still cost him the 1000B but I thought it was rather understanding of them.

 

I wouldn't rely on it though.  :cool:

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I was in Tachilek several days ago.  the entire top of a small apartment building was burning.  Lots of black smoke.  What were they storing in there - bales of hay?  It seemed like half the town was watching it, early morning, as I was also.  about 30 to 40 minutes later, Thai fire-fighting trucks came over the bridge from Mae Sai (to join Burmese trucks already there), but it was mostly for show, as the fire was smoldering by that time. Still, nice to know neighbors are willing to help each other.

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On 7.2.2017 at 10:15 AM, sceadugenga said:

Talking to a friend in the Coffee shop yesterday who had just come back from Tachilek, he had been declined a pass so crossed on his Non-imm, forgetting that it was single entry.

 

On returning and finding his error, they gave hm a retrospective reentry permit.

Still cost him the 1000B but I thought it was rather understanding of them.

 

I wouldn't rely on it though.  :cool:

 

On 7.2.2017 at 7:14 PM, boomerangutang said:

I was in Tachilek several days ago.  the entire top of a small apartment building was burning.  Lots of black smoke.  What were they storing in there - bales of hay?  It seemed like half the town was watching it, early morning, as I was also.  about 30 to 40 minutes later, Thai fire-fighting trucks came over the bridge from Mae Sai (to join Burmese trucks already there), but it was mostly for show, as the fire was smoldering by that time. Still, nice to know neighbors are willing to help each other.

 

Hi folks,

I have seen a 'day-pass' or 'border-pass' mentioned several times before one here. Now - while it seems to be a dead fish in the water for quite some time now anyway - i never found out what exactly that was/is.

Just a cheaper (?) way to do some shopping or so over there without spoiling a current 'permission of stay'? 

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                Yesterday:  the hotel in Tachilek where I usually stay was full, so I went to another.  It was along the border river facing Mae Sai.  Only one problem.  Early morning, very loud sounds of a man's voice blasted into my hotel room.  VERY LOUD. DRONING, ....went on for about 35 minutes.  Anyone reading this who has resided in Thailand knows what I mean.   Every few syllables were tagged with the word 'kap.'   I don't speak much Thai, but the voice kept mentioning 3-digit numbers.  Was he a soothsayer suggesting lottery numbers?   It was awful.   Can such men, shouting into microphones which go through amplifiers (500 watt?) turned up to 10 .....can they find a way to speak with nice voices?   .....instead of authoritative drone voices?  In some ways, Thailand is fine.   In other ways, it's a big open sewer.   

 

 

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3 minutes ago, boomerangutang said:

                Yesterday:  the hotel in Tachilek where I usually stay was full, so I went to another.  It was along the border river facing Mae Sai.  Only one problem.  Early morning, very loud sounds of a man's voice blasted into my hotel room.  VERY LOUD. DRONING, ....went on for about 35 minutes.  Anyone reading this who has resided in Thailand knows what I mean.   Every few syllables were tagged with the word 'kap.'   I don't speak much Thai, but the voice kept mentioning 3-digit numbers.  Was he a soothsayer suggesting lottery numbers?   It was awful.   Can such men, shouting into microphones which go through amplifiers (500 watt?) turned up to 10 .....can they find a way to speak with nice voices?   .....instead of authoritative drone voices?  In some ways, Thailand is fine.   In other ways, it's a big open sewer.   

 

 

Morning sir!

At a similar occasion years ago i was told the monks were rattling 'thanks' for received donations, adding amount and name of the deceived sorry, the donor.

Not only to 'thank' of course but also to shame others into 'donating' too ... 

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re; the post above;  I've heard those sorts of endlessly droning messages from wat P.A. systems.  However, those drone on with numbers like 100 or 200 baht, for about 30 to 40 minutes, while mentioning names alongside the numbers.   

 

As a clarification:  I don't know if the extremely annoying and v. loud broadcast from Mae Sai (heard in many parts of Tachilek) were from a Thai wat or from the governor's office or pu yai ban in Mae Sai.    

 

Yet, In contrast to numbers of 100 or 200 baht, the numbers shouted to Myanmar from Thailand were like;  548, 632, 961, 376, etc.   All were 3-digit numbers.  I also heard words like 'nor sor' which, I believe, relate to categories of real estate properties.   I really don't care about the topics.  I'm more concerned about the early-morning noise assault on people from 2 countries.   

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10 minutes ago, harry68 said:

Could anyone tell me if there is any secure parking at Mae Sai border I will be riding a harley from udon and need safe parking while i do a quick visa run
thanks in advance

Yes, there are several guarded places on both sides of the main road slightly back of it, some of them signed out.  

Some belong to hotels but you can still park there for 20.-, maybe 30.- THB now.

Have a nice & safe trip! 

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1 hour ago, harry68 said:

Thanks for the info and quick reply
any good farang bars i can enjoy a few beers doesn't need to have girls?

You're welcome.
Well, it's years since i stayed there overnight so maybe someone else can contribute here with more recent info but i don't think it's changed much. As busy as Mae Sai is during the day as quiet it is/used to be in the evening. You certainly won't have any problem getting good chow & a few beers but i don't think they're catering much to western foreigners specifically, always has been more about the Chinese.
Karaoke for sure which i use to avoid personally, some 'better' restaurants/bars connected to hotels.

 

As for the border-hop. Did my last about 2 weeks ago out/in in less than 10 mins at around 9 in the morning, not one other westerner to be seen. But there was a huge Chinese crowd - like 2 busloads ? - just gathering on our side to cross over so basically i was lucky. If you can bring a nice crisp 10.- USD bill for the Burmese side, otherwise it's 500.- THB. 
Don't know if you're interested to go into Tachileik at all, if you just turn around so they don't have to issue their ID (and keep you PP instead) you won't have any problem with USD being accepted, tell them so & they'll stamp you in (right side after the bridge), cross the road with you & your PP and stamp you out again.

Right there is a duty-free complex which you still can use, some booze, small choice of smokes and rather expensive, not all too many other things i think.

 

Any potential shopping can be done at our side anyway, the (real) market is back of left side of main road when approaching, ascending uphill. 

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