THAILAND TO MYANMAR, CROSSING THE BORDER BY LAND

I was in Chiang Mai when I decided to cross the borders and travel to Thailands neighbor country Myanmar. I wasn’t prepared at all so I had to find as much informations about the border crossing as possible in only a few days. I had a hard time to actually find information about the land crossing from Thailand to Myanmar. It turned out that it isn’t that easy to get information, because of the rules and regulations that are constantly changing about the border crossings.

It soon turned out that the land crossing in Mae Sot / Myawaddy is not the closest but a safe and practical Crossing in terms of my destinations I wanted to visit in Myanmar.

What you should know before you enter Myanmar

I read dozens of different Blogs about Money Exchange and the border Crossing but it turned out completely different then I expected. First of all: The Border Crossing in Mae Sot / Myawaddy went way smoother than many other border crossings I had in Asia so far.

Visa: Check what kind of E Visa your Country needs to enter Myanmar. I did my E-Visa about 7 Days in advance on the Official Government E Visa Website website. I actually received the E-Visa only 24 hours later but if you are in a hurry, then book the express version. For the right picture size: I took a Selfie and Printscreened it to lower the Size of the Pic which worked well.

Money: Everywhere was written that people use US dollars in Myanmar, so I exchanged Money in Thailand half Burmese Kyat and half US Dollars. It turned out, that I never in my whole trip actually could use US Dollar. And also, as soon as you cross the border in Myawaddy you have the chance to easily exchange your Money into Burmese Kyat. BUT: Only flawless Money will be except in Myanmar (this applies for exchanging money and for cash payment). As soon as the worth is over 10’000 Kyat the note can’t have any scratches. If it’s US Dollar to exchange the money has to be completely flawless.

Mae Sot / Myawaddy Land Crossing

in my Hostel Stamps in Chiang Mai I booked a Bus to Mae Sot where I arrived at around 8pm which was too late to cross the borders on the same day. So I booked a night at the Guesthouse T.House in Mae Sot. The next morning a Taxi brought me to the Border Crossing Myawaddy.

The Crossing is very busy, especially cars stay in line for hours. A traveler like me is lucky, we get priority and go to two different counters where the officers want to see my printed E-Visa and let me through without hesitating. I read before that I need about 30 Dollars to enter, but I actually never had to pay but just in case: bring it, you never know.

The entire border crossing took about 15 minutes and a 5 minutes walk over the bridge from Thailand to Myanmar. It was way easier than I expected. Walking over the bridge, I was a bit shocked at first. Children and families beg for money, food and even water. But that changes quickly, as soon as you move away from the border the begging will not be that bad for the rest of your trip in Myanamar.

Arriving in Myanmar

As soon as you crossed the bridge, many Taxi Drivers want your attention. I chose a Minivan I shared with five other Tourists from Myawaddy to Hpa An. Hpa An is the first stop for most of the travelers. It is a nice city with many Pagodas and Monasteries to see. For the 2.5 hours drive each of us paid 10 dollars (or 15’000 Kyat). Also I was reading on other Blogs, that the street would only be open one way. That wasn’t true. Again, everything went smooth but be prepared: the streets in Myanmar are very bumpy and I can’t recommend sitting in the car with a full stomach. 😉

The Minivan from Myawaddy to Hpa An was way to small with out any leg-space so we had to be creative.


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