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To enter Myanmar, you’ll require a printed copy of your approval letter, and a photocopy of your passport. If you don’t have these documents printed, they will turn you around at the border: trust me I know from experience…
There are four land-crossings between Myanmar and Thailand, however only three of them are accessible if you’re entering on a Tourist Visa. The rules and regulations regarding tourism are forever changing, so check the current land-crossing available here.
The Tachileik land crossing is located near Chiang Rai, in the north of Thailand. It’s a popular Thai border run for travelers, as you don’t need a visa to cross into Myanmar if you enter back into Thailand on the same day.
If you’re hoping to use this crossing as your gateway into Myanmar, you may encounter some difficulties, as you’ll need a government permit and guide to travel onwards though the restricted areas.
I tried to exit through this crossing, and it wasn’t possible unless I flew into Kawthaung.
If you want to cross into Myanmar by land, I’d recommend using either the Myawaddy/Mae Sot or Ranong/Kawthaung border crossings. Click here to see Myanmar’s current permitted areas.
The Myawaddy/Mae Sot border crossing is located in central Myanmar, and is by far the most chaotic land crossing. The road traffic into Myanmar stretches for kilometers, however you can take a songthaew to Friendship Bridge without having to wait in traffic, and walk across the border.
The bridge is pure mayhem! Traffic changes lanes from left to the right hand side of the road, halfway across the bridge! Once you have your visa, travel onwards along the new highway to Mawlamyine or Hpa An.
The Kawthaung/Ranong land crossing is located in the south of Myanmar, separated by a river. Before departing Thailand, head to the immigration office on the pier in Ranong, before boarding your long tail boat to Kawthaung. The boat ride should take 45 minutes and cost 50 baht – plus a tip for your driver, who shows your passport at various checkpoints along the way.
Once you arrive in Kawthaung, walk to the immigration office located along the promenade to obtain your Myanmar tourist visa. If you’re traveling in high season, you have the option to travel onwards by either boat or bus.
Boats are not available in wet season, but buses run year-round, and are the cheaper option. Just be prepared for a long bumpy ride – the roads in Myanmar aren’t too crash hot.
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Find out why you should hold back on those haggling skills, taste the wonders of Burmese cuisine, and watch out for late night curfews in Myanmar before you go.
Don’t get caught off guard by rough roads and challenges navigating your way around Myanmar. Plan ahead to make getting from A to B easy with these tips.
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Is their an error in This article ?
Isn't it Mae Sai/Tachileik ?
Letter of approval? Can you please explain to me as I am planning to go to kawthaung and dont want to mess up with Myanmar and er being detained.
Im kind of baffled with myanmar visa regulation. People said you have to get evisa before entering Myanmar. So is it okay for me to go there via Ranong to Kawthoung and just pay USD10 to enter Myanmar for at least day trip without applying for Evisa?
The first one should be Mae Sai/Tacheileik, not Mae Sai/Khawthaung
Hi, thanks for the article!
Question: once passed the Ranong/Kawthaung border, it is possible to get to Myawaddy by bus to pass the border the other way around, even if it must take a long time (im in no hurry)? Thanks!
Thanks for letting us know about the error! We have updated the border crossing title to read: Mae Sai/Tachileik.
Axel, try reaching out to our community of travellers, here: https://answers.worldnomads.com/
Great guide to visit Thailand's Golden Triangle. Is that safer to have an agency processed my Myanmar Visa?
Hey, great article. I did exactly that and had no issue with a single entry visa. I would also recommend taking a guide at the border and then head together to the city of Kengtung. Thats a century back from Thailand and definitely shouldn't be missed.
I wrote about it here: https://tripcrafting.com/7-cool-places-to-visit-in-northern-thailand/
Take a look if you like
I am planning to go to Chiang Rai from Mandalay through the Mae Sai border. Do you think it’s possible? I got that it’s impossible to enter Myanmar from Mae Sai, but how about the opposite?
Hi! I found your article really useful, but I have one extra question. So if I cross the border from Ranong (by boat), does that mean that I will only need:
1. to go to immigration office on the pier in Ranong before getting on the boat
2. to check I get a stamp on my passport once I'm in Myanmar
3. and check again that I have a stamp once I'm out of Myanmar.
In other words, does this work like a visa on arrival thing?
This is quite an interesting and helpful post for me. You come up with the best post and I really like it. I really appreciate your thoughts and wonderfully, you have created it. Keep it up…
A full visa from the Burmese Embassy in Mayfair London gives you all options of entry and exit into Myanmar.We did the land crossing(Hard graft for 4 hours) from Phunamron to Htkee and finally Dawei.Also it helps when crossing state to state within Myanmar.The crossing is not for the weak or faint hearted but no crowds-or buses-full of '' independent travellers''.