Myawaddy CasinoThe Myawaddy Casino
Wouldn't it be a surprise to see two contemporary casino buildings on the banks of the Moei River - also known as the Thaungyin River - in the Myawaddy of Karen State across from Mae Sot, Thailand? Las Vegas is a casino in Myanmar, where any kind of gaming is against the law.
Both of the cafeterias provide a breathtaking view of the Moei Rover and are selling alcohol, beers, smokes and perfumes duty-free, but not in Burma's Kyatas - only the Thai Buh. The casino entry is where a guard is looking for the guests. However, inside there are several hundred players who either play or wait, all with Thailand notes.
Canteens are open all evening and are run by Laotians, the players say.
The Myawaddy Myanmar - The ultimate travel guide
Mae Sot is a Thai city between Myanmar and Mae Sot and is a well-known stopover for those who make the cross. The majority of Myawaddy shoppers continue to Hpa-An, but if you spend the city' s nights, there are a few nice places to do so.
Southeast Asian frontier cities have little to offer, but Myawaddy is definitely a good place to stop if you want to interrupt a long trip before continuing to Thailand or Myanmar. Myanmar's wet seasons last from May to October and it is best not to be visited as there are floods this year.
October to December is generally considered one of the best months to visit Myanmar, as the climate is mild but not overheated. Myawaddy will not offer you a wide choice of accommodations and this is made even more difficult by the fact that guest houses must be licenced in Myanmar if you want to accommodate migrants.
The Myawaddy Hotell, which offers rooms between 20 and 30 US$ with breakfasts, is an opportunity for foreign visitors to Myawaddy. It is a little run-down, but it' s tidy and functional if you just want to spend a day or two. Ngwe Sekar, who has a room for 20 dollars, is another alternative, although it is a little away from the city center and the low prices are a reflection of this.
If you are on your way to or from Thailand, it makes more sense to stay the other side of the Thai frontier, as Mae Sot has a much better price-performance ratio and a wider selection. In Myawaddy you will certainly not go starving, although the cuisine here is not the best you will find in Myanmar either.
When you stay at the Myawaddy Hotel, you can dine in the local restaurants, which offer traditional meals for guests, among them some local food from the West and Thailand. But if you want to spoil yourself, you can try the Myawaddy Casino Complex with its own Steakhouse and a large pub with draught beer and shisha.
It also offers tasty Thai and traditional dishes, which are more costly and of higher quality than in the center of Myawaddy. It' certainly not the least costly option in the city, but there is also a nocturnal night gig to entertain you. The Myawaddy is not very big and most of the city lies on a major road leading from the Friendship Bridge.
So you can comfortably run through the city center and there are many bike trishows that can be hired if you want to see some of the Sightseeings. The majority of the population comes to Myawaddy from Mae Sot in neighboring Thailand. You can take a motorcycle taxicab from the city of Mae Sot to the boarder and then cross the river and take a trimshaw or motor dop on the Burmesian side.
You can take a coach from Myawaddy to Hpa-an or Myawlamyine. You can also rent a cheap vehicle between Myawaddy and Hpa-an if you are traveling in a large group. Myawaddy's a secure place? Burglary is a safer place to go and violence against aliens is very seldom.
However, one thing to watch out for is the number of tugboats at the frontier and on the major road through Myawaddy. In Myanmar there is both bengue and dergue fevers, so you should consult a doctor if you are taking anti-malaria herbs.
There' s a base clinic in Myawaddy and some small hospitals, but if you are seriously ill, it is best to return across the Thai frontier, where the general standards of health care are higher.