Mae Sot BorderSot Mae border
For this reason the city was often called'Little Burma'. In the last 20 years of Myanmar's tumultuous past, many different minority groups had been suffering the oppression of the Myanmar state. Oppression and violent acts led to a massive influx of refugees into Thailand as refugees escaped across the border in quest of security and a better world.
According to estimates, up to 200,000 people still live in Mae Sot today. Although the migrants have been residing in Thailand for many years, there is still a fight against the Thailand authorities to obtain full Thailand nationality. Thailand still does not recognize the idea of migrants.
As you walk the roads and market, you will see a mixture of ethnic groups in Burma (which are said to be around 135) that will give you a feeling of the complexities of Burma's nationhood. Several of the men are wearing the Thai cortex on their cheek and the men are wearing the burmesian traditionally worn longysi (wrap skirt).
Because of the large refugee population, the city was also a basis for NGOs working in many different areas, from health care to schooling. In spite of the shortage of'tourist attractions' in Mae Sot, the city is a captivating place, just for what the city represents in relation to its interesting relation to Burma.
The city has an atmosphere that is typical of border cities, especially border cities that have a border with a land that has been so disputed, secretive and largely unfamiliar to the West over the years. The accomodation in Mae Sot is very inexpensive and there are a few inexpensive pensions near the capital.
Our favorite is the Ban Thai Guesthouse, which is 400 Bahts for a twin room, a very neat, en-suite bath and free WIFI. It' more like a Western Hotel than Ban Thai (just in case you're not so into wood). Borderline is a café, a galleries, a store and a restuary on the high street in Mae Sot that has helped the refugees in Thailand over the years.
Borderline and Weave both offer fairly traded handicrafts made by border crossingers. The UN-led Mae La is one of the largest centres for displaced persons in the region and is home to an estimated 45,000 population. Even though the Mae La fugitives are happy that they are no longer struggling for their life in war-torn Burma, the post is marked by dullness and self-satisfaction.
It will be on sale at places in Mae Sot like Borderline and Weave. Dr. Cynthia was borne in Burma and is known and inspiring in the Burmese people' s work. 1989 she escaped from her home town in Karen state Burma with some health care goods and founded a small hospital on the Thai border.
On a daily basis, the hospital is full of patients who urgently need free healthcare and essential medical care, some of them live and work in the city of Mae Sot, others have traveled for even longer periods of time through the thick, malaria-infested jungles to see the hospital.
Our hospital deals with all complaints of persons with anemia, HIV, cancers, landmine casualties and postabortion illness. Dr. Cynthia also educates "backpack doctors" sent across the border to deal with those Myanmar citizens who are living in remote areas or who are too vulnerable to go to the hospital themselves to get health services.
Mae Sot and Myawaddy are separated by the Thai-Burmese border on the Moie riverbank. It is 6 km from the capital and can be reached in about half an hours. Small-sized ships that smuggle goods and humans drive back and across the riverbank every few hours, and Myanmar immigrants are selling smuggled tobacco, liquor, sextoys and other goods to borderers.
Click here to find out more about the Mae Sot/Myawaddy border crossroad. Myanmar cooking is different from any other kitchen in Southeast Asia; a mixture of Thai, Indian, Bangladeshi, Malayan and many other styles. This includes tealeaf lettuce, gingerbread lettuce, shan rices, Burma gourdcecurry, lentils and chickpeas curries and a wide range of aromatic saps.
If you' re tired of Burma cuisine, you' ll want to stop by Casa Mia, the only city in Italy to offer tasty and homemade home-made pastas and pizzas, prepared by an ltalian cook and Mae Sot expats. There was also great good local cooking at the Bismillah Restaurant. Wonderful owner, with great meals at an unbelievable low cost.
The busy square of Mae Sot is a great place to get a feeling for the city' s multiculturalism. Trade for a variety of low-cost goods, from Thanaka powders to low-cost fashion jewelry to Myanmar Longyi. The unbelievable 50 meter long, 97-storey cascade, about an hour's car ride from Mae Sot (33 km), is definitely a worthwhile trip.
Later in the morning you can take the standard busses to Tak City, which take about 4 hrs, then take a minibus from Tak, which will take another 2h. In Mae Sot, the border was opened in 2013, which means that many travellers are now taking border crossings into the Myawaddy city of Burma.
Crossing the border here for one full working full working week, they return to Thailand to get their visa for 15 working nights. The first stop you will come across when crossing the Myanmar border is Hpa An. It is a grubby little city with an unbelievable landscape, the fantastic Zwegabin mountain and some huge burrow.
Thailand/ Chiang Mai: Thailand's European City of Culture is a good starting point to discover the north of Thailand. My name is Mae Hong Son, Thailand: