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Myanmar in an hour

Tachileik, Myanmar, 2016.

Tachileik, Myanmar, 2016.

In January this year I took a trip to Southeast Asia. At first I planned (roughly with only air tickets and hostels booked) to go to northern Thailand (Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) and the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. However I ended up visiting three countries, in which the bonus is Myanmar.

Chiang Rai is the northernmost part of Thailand which is also the border crossing Myanmar and Laos. Before the trip, I didn’t expect myself to visit (one of) them until I googled the relevant information in hostel. It’s easy to reach the border in Mae Sai by taking a bus with a songthaew shuttle. You don’t have to prepare anything but to pay 500 Bahts to the immigration office of Myanmar for a ‘24-hour visa’.

The border town of Myanmar is called Tachileik. As I would return on the same day I just wandered the area around the border but always disturbed by the tuk tuk drivers who wanted to show me around the town. There is a big market selling daily necessities, snacks and videos (which are all illegally copied). Outside the market is the busy streets, but I didn’t walk too far away from the border. I just bought the local newspaper from a grocery store with 40 Bahts which was really expensive. This was what I did within an hour and time to say bye to the country.

Since then, I put Myanmar in my travel wish list. I hope I will understand the country more in the future trip!

Crossing the border between Mae Sai and Tachileik is a bit like that between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, since they both have their own rivers separating places. The bridge on Mae Sai River is not long. It is okay to stop to take photos and hawkers can sell food there, while it’s not allowed to do in Lo Wu, one of the borders in my hometown.

今年一月去了東南亞旅行,起初只想到去泰國北部(清邁和清萊)跟馬來西亞首都吉隆坡,但沒想到最後還去了緬甸。

清萊位於泰國最北部,也接壤老撾和緬甸。在清萊上網才得悉可以前往。我選擇去後者,只要乘搭巴士和雙條到美塞即可,在邊境付500泰銖予緬甸的海關,24小時內須離開該國家。

大其力鎮(Tachileik)是接壤泰國的那個緬甸邊境。由於我必須同日內離開,就只有在邊境附近逛逛,不過很多tuk tuk司機都希望我乘他們的車遊覽市鎮。在邊境旁的是市集,有日用品、小吃和翻版電影光碟。市集外是繁忙街道,可是我沒有走太遠,最後在士多用40泰銖買了一份當年報章(可能被看待成遊客所以很昂貴吧)。一小時後,回到泰國土地上。

就這樣,緬甸成為我日後旅行的清單,希望在將來的行程中,能對這個國家了解多一點。

從泰國到緬甸過關,有點像從香港經羅湖橋去深圳,因為彼此都以河分隔,以橋連接。去緬甸的橋不長,人們可以隨意停下來拍照,小販也可以賣小吃。相比之下,這在羅湖橋是不行的。

 

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