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Mae Sai/Tachilek Border Info

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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

My post was probably relevant to the original thread, but I'm not digging back that far to look, but with the combination of threads for the "pinning" process it lost it's meaning.

I weakened and did look; it was relevant, the original discussion was on possible border closures due to the Junta's suppression of protesters.

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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.

Having an ID card is not enough - if u look suspicious they make u sing the national anthem.

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The river at Mae Sai is high here, taken last week, but note the mud in the carpark on the Burma side. (Right).

post-38081-1192500616_thumb.jpg

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Just got back from Mae Sai today, Non-O 90 day border hop.

Stopped twice on route from CR to MS. Both times guys in brown just checked my passport, no hastles. Mae Sai itself was prety quiet. DVD shops are back to normal usual stock etc. but the place was dead, every tout and his family were following me round - whats new though.

On the way back a young Candian couple were asked to produce money for thier tourist visa. When I got to first in line I was stamped in, no request to see cash or bank books.

On way back from MS to CR was stopped again at the first check-point. This time they wanted to see in the boot(trunk). Fair enough. Stopped again at the second check-point. Wife asked the guy what was going on and he said that they were looking for a Farang driving a black car.

All in all the usual breeze. No major issues.

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Just got back from Mae Sai today, Non-O 90 day border hop.

Stopped twice on route from CR to MS. Both times guys in brown just checked my passport, no hastles. Mae Sai itself was prety quiet. DVD shops are back to normal usual stock etc. but the place was dead, every tout and his family were following me round - whats new though.

On the way back a young Candian couple were asked to produce money for thier tourist visa. When I got to first in line I was stamped in, no request to see cash or bank books.

On way back from MS to CR was stopped again at the first check-point. This time they wanted to see in the boot(trunk). Fair enough. Stopped again at the second check-point. Wife asked the guy what was going on and he said that they were looking for a Farang driving a black car.

All in all the usual breeze. No major issues.

As I said earlier, I don't think that these security checks are unreasonable given the sensitivity of the area. With Burma in turmoil they'd be getting a lot of activity with illegals I'd imagine.

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Hi all up there.

Is the MaeSai / Tachilek border open as per usual (after all this nonsense in Rangoon)? If so, what is needed (ie passport photos or passport photocopies etc or $USD) for an extra 90 days on a Non O (Multi entry)?

Thanks

Big A

Edited by Crow Boy
Moved to Tachilek/Mai Sai thread

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If the borders open, and I've heard nothing to say it's closed, all you need to renew your Non O is the Myanmar immigration fee, US$10, or 500B. Thai immigration requires no fee or photos.

Unless, of course, your non O has expired; then you must journey to an Embassy or consulate outside the country.

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A straight forward visa visit was made to the Mai Sai/Tachilek border crossing today.

It was extremely busy with hundreds of Thais queuing for border passes while I was there between 11am and 1pm.

Parking was difficult and the carparks have raised their prices to 40B.

The selection of the entertainment media that shall not be discussed was poor and no late releases could be seen in any of the shops.

The Boys in Brown were numerous and busy at the permanent road blocks.

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Now for some REAL news: the big shop on the bridge that sells alcohol (across from the Burmese immigration office) has cans of Guiness for sale. It's from Malaysia, 65B/can, and 8%. Delicious and strength inducing!

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Now for some REAL news: the big shop on the bridge that sells alcohol (across from the Burmese immigration office) has cans of Guiness for sale. It's from Malaysia, 65B/can, and 8%. Delicious and strength inducing!

That shop is always worth a look. Last year they had a whole range of 500ml cans of European beers at 30B a can as well as Murphy's Stout.

I got a bottle of Glen's West Indian Rum there for 150B this month, haven't sampled it yet though.

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I want to write a bit on my blog/newsnet site about Mae Sai immigration but I would like a bit more info if anyone can provide it.

Do they do all the same procedures as they do in Chiang Mai? When I was in Phayao I didn't even know Mae Sai immigration existed, maybe I didn't get out enough.. :o Any other info or insight that anyone can add to the info here already would be helpful.

Thanks

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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.

This is the best post I've seen in the Chiang Rai forum for a long time.

Sad :o

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Almost as sad, I suppose, as the boredom and loneliness that keeps you reading posts four months old. :o

Edited by sceadugenga

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