Travel from Bangkok to BurmaTrip from Bangkok to Burma
Shortly after dawn we passed the river and although this is nothing out of the ordinary, the lovely dawn made this place almost magic.
Formerly a planned voyage, the Bangkok-Yangon crossing is now a question of organizing an e-visa and showing up at the frontier. Mae Sot is the quickest and most comfortable way to get there by public transport. You can take a local coach from the Mo Chit station in Bangkok.
The price of a train fare is between 350 and 700 bahts, but the 350 version also proved to be one of the most advanced and convenient busses I had ever taken in Thailand. After leaving Bangkok at 22:20, one of the newest busses arrives at the train terminal of Mae Sot 6h later.
It' simple to capture a 50 -foot truck (pickup truck with rear seats) directly to the Thai side of the Thai frontier from here. Within 10 minutes we were sailing through Thai migration procedures and crossed the Thai-Myanmar Friend Transit, which links Mae Sot with Myawaddy on Myanmar's side.
Shortly after dawn we passed the river and although this is nothing out of the ordinary, the lovely dawn made this place almost magic. On the other side, we were welcomed with real kindness and hospitableness, which cannot be said for most checkpoints in Southeast Asia.
Somebody put our name in a big book and we were taken to a store near by to make copies of our passes and fill out the 20 Balt. He was back through the small door and in a small room where two officers were working on our documents.
Mostly Myawaddy is a frontier city, which has not much to see except for a temporary one. We' ve chosen to exchange some currency and get additional funds from the ATM in front of a store on the right side of the street. Along the highway there are small stands that sell bus, minivan and collective taxi passes to Hpa-An, Mawlamyine and, to our convenience, directly to Yangon.
It was 15000 kyats per passenger for the 9:30 a. m. public transport. Since it was still 8 o'clock in the morning, which was already the 30 minute delay behind Thailand, we used our free hours to buy Telenor-Simcards with 1 GB for 7500 Karat and another one with 2 GB for 11500 Karat and had a plain buffet with roasted brownish rice and sunside balls in a nearby place.
It was shocking how inexpensive our food was after we paid 1500 kyats for two meals, a glass of coffee and a cup of herbs. At about 9:15 am our trader picked us up and took us first to a store to make free copies of our passes and set us down at the new, roomy tourer in front of the offices of the buspany.
I' ve been reading many tales about the state of the street between Myawaddy and Hpa-An, which used to be a very complicated task, where you could only drive in one way according to the weekday. Around 11:30 a.m. our coach pulled over for a short midday stop, which gave us the chance to taste some really tasty regional food, which again proved to be much less expensive than we had foreseen.
I' ve overslept most of the journey and have woken up to admire unspoilt scenery from afar. Driving through major cities such as Hpa-An and Thaton, where we got a little insight into Myanmar as we did in Thailand 30 years ago, we took 10 hrs of coach travel for 12 hrs when we eventually reached the Aung Mingalar terminal in Yangon at 9 pm there.
When we were three persons, we agreed to the 15,000 Kyoto tariffs, which we knew were more than they should be.