Tachileik MyanmarMyanmar Tachileik
The next stop is the Maha Muni Pongo, a beautiful example of Burma's characteristic architectural style. On to Tachileik's reproduction of the Shwedagon Pongo - a famed gold-plated stone statue in Yangon, Myanmar. Inside the sanctuary there are fabulous creature sculpture, Buddha student sculpture that flank a large gold Buddha, and breathtaking vistas of the nearby mountain range.
Afterwards you will go to a small town of the Long-neck Karen Hill Tribe. Take a midday rest at a nearby eatery where your tour leader will help you choose tasty meals from Burma. Following luncheon, rummage through the markets for a range of goods (at your own expense), from contemporary clothes and DVD's to handicrafts and danaka - a yellow face cream often used as make-up by female and male make-up artists in Burma. Return to Thailand and take a picturesque ride to the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos mingle.
Formerly the world's leading manufacturer of opioid, this area is now known for its teas. Find out more about the intriguing story of the Golden Triangle as you tour the Hall of Olympus, an outstanding collection of stories about the trading of Olympus. Mondays the hall is shut; in this case you go to another local opioid collection and take a cruise on the Mekong.
Following your all-day personal Tachileik and Golden Triangle trip, your travel leader will take you back to your Chiang Rai resort in the early hours of the morning.
Having a dual Thailand visas means that I could remain here for 60 nights, prolong it for another 30 nights at the Department of Migration, then get out of the county and come back immediately (also known as a visa).
Having a dual Thailand visas means that I could remain here for 60 nights, prolong it for another 30 nights at the Department of Migration, then get out of the county and come back immediately (also known as a visa). As I was in Chiang Mai, the simplest way to do this was by taking the coach to Mae Sai, near the Myanmar Burma-borders.
Well, I suppose you need to keep contact with the friars outside the church, too. Arriving at the Maei Sai terminal, I had to take a 15 minutes ride on a singthaew in Thai to the frontier. Buying a can of Coca-Cola and putting it in my rucksack, I had no clue if they were selling something ordinary across the frontier.
This strange looking winning street with gold bows and sword adorned bars was the major street to the frontier. Eventually, when I reached the frontier, I got a little tension. With 99% of aliens travelling to Mae Sai for visas going back to Thailand immediately after 5 seconds in Myanmar, I thought it would be great to spend at least a whole week and see what was going on.
Travelling in Thailand gets kind of dull because it's so comfy. So I went to Myanmar, a (former) Nazi regime that was still quite insecure for migrants. Tachileik was the name of the frontier city I wanted to go to in order to apply for my visum and, above all, it was quite perilous. Tachileik was on a very energetic seismic line.
Which made me a little safer, was the intensive politically and economically commitment of America with the opening of Myanmar in the last years. It' obviously why Tachileik is a hotspot for trade and contraband, it lies between Thailand, Laos and relatively near China and even Vietnam. It was a big deal to cross the frontier.
So I went to the crossroads, the Thai guy punched my pass and I went to the side of Burma. As I wasn't really out for a little chitchat and I was about to go into Myanmar, I said to him that I wasn't interested. Said he worked for the Myanmar secret police and was my escort and ordered me to go after him.
The atmosphere in the skies was already very strong and the escort by the clandestine policemen did not help a little. As I continue to the frontier post, I am struck by a sudden, gigantic blast behind me, and I see everyone diving around me, even the intelligence. Coca-Cola I can smell when it strikes my mouth; I've been able to get a can of hyper-pressurized Coca-Cola to Myanmar, drop it out of my pocket and let it blow up when it strikes the tarmac.
There was a little Coke spray on me, but when I turned to my right I could see my boyfriend, a female intelligence officer, being swamped with all his uniforms. And my intelligence buddy was calm and repeating "no problem." Thank you USA for your commitment, I'm sure if it wasn't for you, the Burmese would have beat me up.
Not only did the agents speak astonishing English (for Asiatic standards), much better than any Thai frontier official. Being my own private escort, I definitely got privileged status as a westerner, which felt strange as all the other travellers (Thai, Myanmar and Laotian) had to work. They took my pass and in its place I was given a provisional pass.
As they asked when I would return to Thailand today, I said I would like to spend at least one full or two days in Myanmar. Seems that everyone in the bureau was bewildered that someone, let alone a westerner, wanted to remain here. I could see a boiling luck in their sight for a minute that I might have been one of the first new tourist in Myanmar's frontier city of Tachileik.
When we went to Tachileik, the people of Burma sat by the side of the street and watched everyone who came in. Since I am used to smile at everyone I see in Thailand, my smile was not reciprocated by a soul. Not in Tachileik. Going on, I reached a big traffic circle. Just a stuffy street with strange Myanmar businesses.
Backed up if I couldn't find accommodation, which was a screenshots of WikiTravel's Tachileik page: Eventually I found a place and found some genuine Myanmar citizens. You were probably as amazed as I was why a Western man of all men wanted to remain in Tachileik.
All of them seemed to look amazing, as if their faces look totally different than Thai or anything I have seen in Asia. There was also nothing of the everyday luxury Thailand had. Here in Tachileik, there was nothing at all. and the more I went into the countryside, the less there was.
No wonder this is the heaven of a drugs trafficker, because it felt like a savage western city. After staying one overnight I went back to Thailand. At the end I really liked it here, it was really cool to be in a totally untouristic and strange place. That was as strange as you could possibly get.
Tachileik was definitely the one. Grateful for the brief adventures I had here, I was happy to go back to the Thai frontier town. Before me stood a 60 year old pensioner who lived in Thailand and here on a Thai passport. A Thai officer said that his papers were not in order.
It lacked the seal showing that it had arrived in Myanmar. If he wanted to go back to Thailand, I said he should actually go to Myanmar, if only for a few seconds, to cancel his pass. Shocked by my testimony and stared at me and the Thai frontier officer with his broad open-eyed, scared sight, he screamed in a thick English accent, "Bloody hell I'm not getin' in there, anything could happen to ya mate, it's a fucking no man in' country out there!