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Mae Sai/Tachilek Border Info

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The guys in Maesai Immigration have a very difficult time dealing with allsorts of nationality on a daily basis. I've been going there for 6 years or more and have received the best of attention always. This year has been tricky with my marriage type visa but having spent time there today I gained an insight to the difficulty they have. For one the new regulations give them more headaches than we suffer, so much so that form filling on their side is done via a typewriter rather than a computer. They ask a question such as what is your fathers' name and if your response is 'well he died 40 years ago what the heck do you wanna know for', you are not going to get very far. Best just to answer politely and let them do the work.

I remember slipping a couple of thousand in my passport on my first visit there, thinking it was the way to do things, and it was handed back immediately.

The paperwork I gave them today ( 2 copies signed) was kept to a minimum, which they appreciate. What they do appreciate even more is to have most every document translated into Thai...marriage cert, proof of income,etc. They can read English but reading Thai doesn't give them a headache.

The single most important part of our lives here in Thailand is having the ability and permission to stay here, and I think we should be thankful to Maesai Immigration for making it possible in a very pleasant way.

If you don't believe me, go to Suan Plu Bkk.

We are very fortunate indeed up here in the north.

you are spot on with your observation regaring these folks up there John . I`m glad you had no probs getting your visa renewed,and you know I mean that. But, just out of curiousity, would you have posted as you did if you hadn`t been granted your brand new 1 year visa?

You have the floor: :o

P.S. see you in 2 weeks mate

Edited by chang35baht

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The truth is I haven't actually got it yet, so your question is answered. I have spent probably 40 - 50K since March trying to get a visa and I appreciate how they have bent over backwards trying to help me. It is not their fault if I am again refused.

I've been to Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Vientiane and Maesai( many times ) chasing this visa.

ps. hope u saw the funny side of my email re Santi members' day, or perhaps better still, u didn't receive it - hee hee

Edited by OneeyedJohn

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Visited MaeSai yesterday and it was quite normal except for the remnants of mud from

must have been a large flood.

The place where I usually park my car, left of the border crossing, was inacessable due to mud.

Plenty of c.ds inside, though its funny the way the way they sell them, through half opened shutters as if they are waiting for a raid.

The prices are lower than I have ever seen them. I bought many dvds for 40 baht and my son bought some

packs, Lost, Friday 13th and a couple more for 200 baht each.

I didn't want to give Burmeese immigration any baht( 500 baht or 10 dollars) and had to go to a gold shop to change money.

Thai immigration were speedy and courtious as usual.

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Just got back from Tachilek today. The river is at normal level but large quantities of silt lay in the lower lying areas.

There were plenty of shops open including DVD but Farangs were few and far between, I counted about 30 passports waiting to be picked up at immigration.

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Mods please move this post to the current Tachilek/Mae Sai thread.

I was a little worn today when I got back and never noticed it.

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We're getting a lot of inquiries from various other community forums, particularly CM, regarding the status of the Mae Sai/Tachilek border crossing.

A lot of folks need this border for their 90 day exit on Non-Imm Category "O" visas, as well as the occasional "Visa Exempt" (30 day tourist) who want to extend their stay easily. As a lot of these people are being referred to this forum for current info, I am going to pin this thread to the top of the page.

Feel free to post any current info you have on the border crossing status, OR post any questions you have regarding same. Hope this helps!

McG

PS We just changed our page format, as might be noted. A lot more space on the front page view for pinned topics, as well as current threads....

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An interesting experience yesterday.

Anyone who has taken this route knows of the two permanent check points between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. I must have driven through them... three years of visa runs, a few trips showing tourist friends around, I've lost count.

I've been stopped often and then waved on, my wife says the police don't like to question Farangs as they can't speak a lot of English.

This day I picked a mate up from the Airport, he had standard luggage, case and carry on bag and we put them in the back and drove straight through to Mae Sai. Coming back we were pulled up at the first check point, asked to drive over to the search area and the car and baggage thoroughly searched.

The only reason I can put to it is that the police saw the bags in the back and as we were coming from the Myanmar border decided to have a look.

Edited by sceadugenga

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A rental agreement, with full address , details and signature of owner should suffice.

If you havn't had a previous Thai driving licence you will only get a one year licence to begin with.

Thanks for the info.

I've now got the rental agreement - duly signed/stamped etc. The landlord has also handed me a document in Thai which apparently I must submit to Immigration - the doc is apparently a required notification of rental to a foreighner. I'll be taking both docs to Mae Sae after the weekend and hope to get the necessary proof of address letter.

I do have the (now expired) one year license.

Has anyone had occasion to use Mae Sae Immig for the purposes of getting a proof of address letter (as a document necessary for the 5-year driving license)?

I've just taken a rental in Chiang Rai and will soon have a rental agreement. Was wondering if this will be suffcient for them to give me the letter.

I've got one on two occasions, they're known as "bai rabrong tin tee yu". (My spelling)

They were obtained quickly and easily at Mae Sai. They have to be used within a month of issue. I used mine to register my car and at the time had no visa, only a 30 day exemption. I took a native Thai speaker with me when I applied.

I'll PM you a photo of my document, it's a bit blurry though I just made it for my own files.

Thank you - and for the photocopy of the doc.

This will be my first visit to tghe Mae Sai office - do they have all the ancillary services available nearby - photos, if necessary, photocopying, etc?

Am hoping to get it all done and back to Chiang Rai quickly - in time to get the driving license done the same day here.

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The guys in Maesai Immigration have a very difficult time dealing with allsorts of nationality on a daily basis. I've been going there for 6 years or more and have received the best of attention always. This year has been tricky with my marriage type visa but having spent time there today I gained an insight to the difficulty they have. For one the new regulations give them more headaches than we suffer, so much so that form filling on their side is done via a typewriter rather than a computer. They ask a question such as what is your fathers' name and if your response is 'well he died 40 years ago what the heck do you wanna know for', you are not going to get very far. Best just to answer politely and let them do the work.

I remember slipping a couple of thousand in my passport on my first visit there, thinking it was the way to do things, and it was handed back immediately.

The paperwork I gave them today ( 2 copies signed) was kept to a minimum, which they appreciate. What they do appreciate even more is to have most every document translated into Thai...marriage cert, proof of income,etc. They can read English but reading Thai doesn't give them a headache.

The single most important part of our lives here in Thailand is having the ability and permission to stay here, and I think we should be thankful to Maesai Immigration for making it possible in a very pleasant way.

If you don't believe me, go to Suan Plu Bkk.

We are very fortunate indeed up here in the north.

I agree! More success with a polite behaviour, but that seems (very) difficult for many farang......

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An interesting experience yesterday.

Anyone who has taken this route knows of the two permanent check points between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. I must have driven through them... three years of visa runs, a few trips showing tourist friends around, I've lost count.

I've been stopped often and then waved on, my wife says the police don't like to question Farangs as they can't speak a lot of English.

This day I picked a mate up from the Airport, he had standard luggage, case and carry on bag and we put them in the back and drove straight through to Mae Sai. Coming back we were pulled up at the first check point, asked to drive over to the search area and the car and baggage thoroughly searched.

The only reason I can put to it is that the police saw the bags in the back and as we were coming from the Myanmar border decided to have a look.

When I used to do monthly visa runs I normally just rode my bike from CM to the border and back. In the entire time I either was waved on or given a cursory check of the passport. I did the run a couple of times on the bus and we were stopped both times and everyone showing their passport or ID card. On the only occasion I did it in a private car with three other farung - we were stopped and the vehicle thoroughly searched. We emptied out our pockets and our bags (daypacks) checked for contraband. One of the guys on the run has a medical condition and the police very carefully checked his medication. He carries a certificate in English and a prescription renewal with him all the time but the drugs were in a dispenser not their issue bottle or packet. The police were very polite and good about it but they wanted to make sure.

Personally I am happy that they do the checks and am surprised we aren't stopped more often.

CB

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An interesting experience yesterday.

Anyone who has taken this route knows of the two permanent check points between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. I must have driven through them... three years of visa runs, a few trips showing tourist friends around, I've lost count.

I've been stopped often and then waved on, my wife says the police don't like to question Farangs as they can't speak a lot of English.

This day I picked a mate up from the Airport, he had standard luggage, case and carry on bag and we put them in the back and drove straight through to Mae Sai. Coming back we were pulled up at the first check point, asked to drive over to the search area and the car and baggage thoroughly searched.

The only reason I can put to it is that the police saw the bags in the back and as we were coming from the Myanmar border decided to have a look.

When I used to do monthly visa runs I normally just rode my bike from CM to the border and back. In the entire time I either was waved on or given a cursory check of the passport. I did the run a couple of times on the bus and we were stopped both times and everyone showing their passport or ID card. On the only occasion I did it in a private car with three other farung - we were stopped and the vehicle thoroughly searched. We emptied out our pockets and our bags (daypacks) checked for contraband. One of the guys on the run has a medical condition and the police very carefully checked his medication. He carries a certificate in English and a prescription renewal with him all the time but the drugs were in a dispenser not their issue bottle or packet. The police were very polite and good about it but they wanted to make sure.

Personally I am happy that they do the checks and am surprised we aren't stopped more often.

CB

Sure, it's part and parcel of living next to a very porous and sensitive border.

My wife and I always joke that if we ever do want to do a big smuggling run we'd come through the check points between Noon and 1pm while the boys are all asleep after lunch.

I think we were only searched because of the bags, I've seen entire buses turned out and every passenger's luggage being searched. Last year we took some of the family kids (teenagers) for shopping in Mae Sai and the Mrs lined them up before we left home and inspected ID cards. One of the older girls had forgotten hers and was sent running home for it. "You have a Burmese face!" said the Mrs, so obviously illegal immigrants are on the check point roster as well.

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Indeed, porous borders have lots of checkpoints. South Texas, southern Mexico, northern Thailand, etc. Looking for drugs, contraband, illegal aliens, politically active aliens, terrorists. I nearly got deported once near the Guatemalan border, at midnight, because my passport looked dodgy. I rode my bike twice to Mae Sai and back, and only one checkpoint wanted to look at my bike for maybe 5 seconds.

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I wonder if the Americans brought an aircraft carrier over from the Gulf into the Andaman Sea and ran along the Myanmar coast a couple of times whether the Generals would crap themselves and head for Switzerland without a shot being fired. Gunboat diplomacy reinvented.

Be fun to see the sort of hissy fit the Chinese would throw anyway.

I've been advocating that same concept since the recent crackdown in Rangoon. A carrier group parked as close as reasonably possible to the coast. ...then drop leaflets on all the military compounds telling soldiers af options. It may not enable the full desired effect of regime change - but it's better than standing in the distance wringing hands and moping.

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Well...ermm...all fine and nice, and no disagreement here.

But let's try to keep this thread on posts regarding the crossing between Mae Sai and Tachilek, for people who need current updates on the border status.

See our new SE Asia thread for discussion on the political situation in Burma here.

Thanks!

McG

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