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pj123

Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Mawlamyine Road Still Closed to Tourists?

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I need to make a business trip to Mawlamyine over the next two weeks. I read elsewhere on this forum (posted July) that the road is currently closed to tourists due to security problems. is this still the case?

I was planning to drive to Mae Sot and travel by taxi to Mawlamyine.

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I think it was closed a few months ago - - a few weeks ago I met someone who entered Mae Sot from the Burmese side, no problems on same road… I would imagine the situation could change but other than calling Immigration at Mae Sot, I am not sure how else you might get info...

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Visa available online-$50usd

The online visa cant be used at border entry. Can it?

No only at airports. For land border you need a vsa from the Embassy.

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Visa available online-$50usd

online pre approved voa is NOT valid for land borders

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Since posting, my contacts in Myanmar offered to send a car to collect me from Myawaddy which was very kind of them. BUT, they have now been advised that, due to security concerns arising the election on 8 November, it would be better if I fly to Yangon and travel with them to Mawlamyine. By road or air, I am not sure.

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Nah...I'm in Myawady now and will be going to Hpa-an later today. I was the one who posted about the temporary closure of the road. It was only closed for about a week in July, from roughly July 2nd to July 9th. Since the official opening of the new road on AUg 30, all the insurgents have been flushed out and travel is now safe again.

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On the new Myawady-Kawkareik bypass road there is now one BGF (Myanmar government allied Border Guard Force) unit controlled checkpoint. They inspect all vehicles, might ask a few questions and request some kind of "toll" and then let you go. It's definitely a change from the recent past when there were at least 3 DKBA rebel checkpoints that used to extort money from all passing vehicles, which prompted the whole security situation back in July when the Myanmar army forced them out.

Another positive change is the number of signposts, all in English and ONLY in English with town names, "city limit reduce speed" signs etc. most just erected since the new road officially opened on August 30.

Once the next section from Kawkareik to Hpa-an is improved, it will be a breeze to travel the 125km distance between Myawady and Hpa-an in just 2 hours or less, down from the current 3 hours, or 5 hours on the old road.

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As a bit of a thread bump are there any updates on this crossing, visa rules (online or still need embassy visit) and whether we can take vehicles across.

 

It seems easier  (and safer!) to park on the Thai side and get a taxi. I want to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery there at some point to complete some research. 

 

As an aside I went as far as Mae Sot a couple of months ago and the road from Tak is progressing very well. I was amazed at the size of Mae Sot- I had always pictured it as a sleepy little border town. Amazing when you think that everything for Robinsons, etc gets trucked over the hills.

 

A second ring road is currently under construction as well.

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On 10/23/2015 at 4:20 AM, gregk0543 said:

The online visa cant be used at border entry. Can it?

https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

YES IT CAN 

3 land entry points

https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/visafees.aspx

 

Cant take an Vehicles across unless on tour OR paying huge sums of $$ and advance permission.

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On 8/21/2017 at 7:45 PM, Psimbo said:

As a bit of a thread bump are there any updates on this crossing, visa rules (online or still need embassy visit) and whether we can take vehicles across.

 

It seems easier  (and safer!) to park on the Thai side and get a taxi. I want to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery there at some point to complete some research. 

 

As an aside I went as far as Mae Sot a couple of months ago and the road from Tak is progressing very well. I was amazed at the size of Mae Sot- I had always pictured it as a sleepy little border town. Amazing when you think that everything for Robinsons, etc gets trucked over the hills.

 

A second ring road is currently under construction as well.

Vehicles (except motorcycles) can be brought across only for the day, for travel in and around town.

 

If you want to do a proper tour, you'll have to request permits and register your intentions through a travel agency instead. Thai based agents offer relatively cheap tours (aka caravans or convoys) with other participants, otherwise you can go through a Burmese based agency which is more expensive.

 

Even if you don't want to drive further than the border town, parking on the Myanmar side is not allowed since vehicles only have permission to cross for the day at that crossing. Much better to park on the Thai side of the border (there is one long term parking lot right next to the bridge) and get a Myanmar vehicle to pick you up on the Thai side or you can catch a ride/walk across the bridge and find a driver to take you where you need to go there. I've done it at least a dozen times now since 2013.

 

To cross here, an e-visa is all you need. The tourist version costs US$50 and is usually issued within as little as 20 minutes to as long as a few hours (except weekends and holidays). No visa sticker is placed in your passport. Leaving through one of the other 3 Thai land border checkpoints or one of the 3 airports is also possible.

 

A bus service connecting Bangkok with Yangon through Mae Sot is being planned, as is a Mae Sot to Myawady service (with others possibly in the pipeline too) but due to stalling on the Myanmar side, these are unlikely to start until 2019 or later. All these services will go through the second Friendship Bridge, which is currently close to being finished as is much of the Mae Sot bypass road you mentioned. It won't be until sometime late next year (or so) that the new bridge will open for passengers and vehicles though.

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Do you mean the war cemetery at Thanbyuzayat? I've been there. Surprisingly, my group were the only foreigners there at that time, despite the historical importance of the events that occurred in Myanmar during WW2 and of course the nearby death railway museum, located about 3-4km from the cemetery, where our group were again the only foreigners there (something which definitely surprised me - yet there were dozens of foreign tourists in nearby Mawlamyine).

 

Thanbyuzayat is around 60km south of Mawlamyaing. There are even a couple of hotels there or if you like the beach, head straight for Setse beach, around 16km away, where the ambience is very nice and there are usually 0 foreign tourists. Setse makes a good base for the 20-25 minute drive to these two historical sites in Thanbyuzayat. Away from the crowds of locals (usually only during weekends) the beach is very clean, though the water can be a bit muddy but no worse than say Cha-am if you've ever been there.

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