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Mae Sai/Tachilek Border Info


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Your bike will be safe, it's not Bangkok but expect hundreds of admiring people when you come back to it

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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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If anyone hears whether 'VIP pass' (day pass) gets reinstated, let us know.  It's been several years now that it's been stopped for farang, except for Chinese groups with licensed guides.

 

 

 

 

Edited by boomerangutang
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/7/2017 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:

Retrospective reentry permit ,that's as lucky as it gets

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On 5/15/2017 at 9:24 AM, jollyhangmon said:

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. 

Is there a duty-free on the Thai side

And if so where might it be?

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On 3/8/2017 at 9:36 AM, 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.   

 

 

Yes they have no concept of noise pollution,

I asked my Thai wife why Thai people like noise so much

she said

it is a sign of life

To which I replied

a sign of stupid life

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On 3/8/2017 at 9:45 AM, jollyhangmon said:

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 ... 

Same in my Village

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On 7/16/2017 at 0:45 PM, KC 71 said:


There is a duty free across the road from the Burma passport office on the bridge-

So it is only on the Burma side ?

we have to officially exit Thailand ?

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Coming from Thailand, is it on the left or right? I have always left my passport and went to the market instead, somehow I missed the shop on the bridge multiple times.

 

Also, if I buy a bottle of wine/Black Label, what are the odds of it being real?

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When you go into the Myanmar immigration office on your right, it's almost directly opposite.

 

You would have no problems with false labeling there, the best wine is kept in a temperature controlled room, hardly the action of dodgy plonk makers.

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21 hours ago, KC 71 said:


Have to go to go ouside of Thailand

Okay so that's 1,000 baht for the reentry permit

do we also have to pay the entry fee into Burma?

Or is that some kind of no man's land?

Even with the 1000, seems to defeat any positive of the duty free

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No you have to get an entry stamp, 500B.

 

It's handy if you have to cross, a visa run or showing visitors around, but as you say, you'd need to buy a lot of grog to make up the 1500baht in costs.

 

I've not seen it enforced personally but there's a 1 liter limit on what you can bring back as well.

 

There are restrictions on the amounts of alcohol and tobacco products; only the following amounts may be transported into Thailand under duty free regulations:

    * 250 grams of cigars or smoking tobacco, or 200 cigarettes
    * 1 liter of wine or liquor.

 

https://www.tourismthailand.org/About-Thailand/Custom-Immigration

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2 hours ago, YetAnother said:

Okay so that's 1,000 baht for the reentry permit

do we also have to pay the entry fee into Burma?

Or is that some kind of no man's land?

Even with the 1000, seems to defeat any positive of the duty free

Yes, but those people on M/E Non-immi O visas, have to leave the country every 90 days anyway.

 

I wouldn't make a trip up there just for the shopping, but it's good to look around whilst you're there.

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                         I spoke with 3 Indian men who tried crossing last week into Tachilek.  They weren't allowed to leave Thailand.  Apparently their visas allowed them to leave Thailand only once (to return to India).  The officers at the border were rude about it.  At the Imm office, 1 Km south, the office was closed, but there was one female officer.  She was also a brick wall about it.  Not one Thai official offered one scintilla of options to remedy the situation.  All they could say repeatedly was 'mai dai' 'mai dai' 'mai dai'  P.s. the Indians weren't hippies.  They were executives with Toyota.

 

                   Other changes in Tachilek:   lots more boutique coffee houses and eat places.  motocy taxis are still very reasonably priced.  Speaking of them, I found it costs about $2,000 to be able to be a motocy taxi driver and wear the green vest.   The guys have to buy their own bikes.  Some corner stalls (for waiting for customers) are costlier than other corners - the difference between Bt.20k for an out-of-the-way place or Bt.60k for being allowed to park at the circle at the end of the bridge.    I wonder who rakes in the big bucks for that?  It smells like mafia.

 

                           There's one place for swimming.  It's at Tachilek Hotel - tucked away on the left as you're going up the hill to the golf course building. There are 2 large pools there, incl. water slides.  You can rent bathing trunks and towel there.

 

                                   Behind the Golf Course building (sorry, I don't know its real name) are dozens of acres of mud.  Subdivisions are being built, and entire hills are being flattened.  There's one  house in the middle of 10 acres of mud.  It looks rather like a survivalist's fortress, with (armed?) towers at each corner.  All very primitive, and not one green leaf within two hundred meters.

 

                           Even with its quirks and faults, I still like Tachilek and its surrounding region more than I like Thailand.  There's noise pollution galore, and barking dogs, but neither are as bad as one finds in Thailand.   I spent one night in Mae Sai, and the next night in Tachilek.  To me, the biggest difference was:  Mae Sai at night was almost a ghost town, with few people around.  Tachilek at night had people everywhere; talking, laughing, gossiping, joking.  

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, sceadugenga said:

How did you cross, on a multiple entry visa?

Yes.  I go often.  I call it 'my 24 hour vacation.'   I stay at the Erewan Hotel.  It's middle-quality, inexpensive, friendly staff.   Probably my fave thing about Erewan is it has large windows which cover nearly the entire ext. wall.  Much of the window open, with screens - which enables fresh air.   Most 5-star hotels (in big cities) costing 20 times as much don't have fresh air option.  Instead, all interior air is processed, along with carpets which harbor all sorts of fungi and bacteria.

 

To get to the Erewan:  go right on the main road from the circle at the entry bridge... one long block. Take left.  Erewan is 20 meters on left.  I think 'erewan' is another word for elephant.

 

More popular is a new place called The Nich Hotel.  It's also low cost.   It's 130 meters east (right) from the bridge.  You get to it by walking through the Tourist Market.   It's the only place in town with Bangkok Post, though they're 2+ days old.

 

p.s. I like to tip clean-up crew at hotels.  Try leaving some snacks (yogurt, chocolate, etc) or clothes (t-shirt, blouse, whatever).   A little gifting goes a long way.  Plus, smile, and tell them they're doing a fine job.  That's another reason I like Tachilek;  little acts of kindness always get genuine smiles in return.  I go there so often that even taxi drivers smile and wave when they see me.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, sceadugenga said:

Thanks for the info.

 

They used to do the Thais but I never saw a farang bag searched or scanned, but it's a while since I crossed.

Me the same ,last time about 9 months ago .No interest in scanning my bag .The same on the green bus .No interest both ways in checking my Passport or bag ,but they did check Asians  on the bus .

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