Myanmar in an hour
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.