Visa trip to Burma 2011
All travel reports are translated electronically although minor improvements are sometimes made.
Visa trip to Burma 2011 – travel report
(A comprehensive report from my trip to Burma is here).
What’s the point to organize visa trips
Visa is an old and proven way to extend your stay in Thailand. If we are in central or southern Thailand, the most popular countries are Laos and Malaysia. However, when we are in the north, in the vicinity of the Golden Triangle and we end up with a Thai visa, then a reliable country is Myanmar. For example, for extending a Thai visa to an immigration office in Thailand you have to pay as much as 1900 bhat. Depending on the route of our trip it is not always worth it because the Burmese government on the Tachileik pass gets only 500 bhat and back to Thailand for a new, biased visa in this case is free.
I am always planning my long trips in such a way as to use the local system and not overpay for visas and transportation without the need.
Tachileik town (Shan state)
(Detailed description of the town, temples, contacts with people and prices)
I have been traveling all over Thailand for 60 days and I realized that I would need at least another week. At that time, I was just in the Golden Triangle and reached the border town called Mae Sai where the border with Burma is located. It was the most convenient and cheapest way to extend a Thai visa.
In Tachileik I got a permit to stay only in this one Burmese town for only 500 bhat. Two months ago I had been traveling to Burma for less than a month but never felt that I had enough of this country. Although Burma knows better than most Burmans, Tachileik was a slightly different experience for me. After entering Myanmar I first went to the right side of the street and then there was a huge difference between me and Burma. A roundabout with the inscription “Tachileik, Golden Triangle City” was a view of very poor, dirty houses, street traffic consisting of tragic cars and rickshaws and fruit stalls. I would like to say that the streets were holes but in Tachileik it is something more. Here the parts of the asphalt were pulled out of the street. To compensate for this was the flood, so the lower part of the city just near the border was flooded. I admit that for me it was “the everyday bread of my expedition” but my traveling companion needed more time to adapt and was a little nervous. Also, after the crossing of the border, we stopped by robberies and autographs, who for 500 bhat wanted to show us the temples. We however went to search for a hotel and after a short time we got to the cheapest in the area ie the Erewan hotel for 300 bhat per night. Unfortunately Tachileik though is in Burma, the prices are Thai and for everything you have to pay in Thai bhat which is very tourist disadvantage. Our road to the hotel was short but heavy as the heat, the noise of the vehicles and the penetrating syrup from the street gave a good deal in the bone. I also noticed that people were staring at us because they did not often walk alone. Usually they just cross the border and the sight of misery makes them so scared that they immediately return to Thailand. But not me because Tachileik in Burma was my adventure.
After accommodation we went out to see the main attractions and look around the town. First we went through the side streets, where in one of the barracks there was a hairdressing salon and another tea room. After a while we came to the Mahabodi temple, which proved to be another good experience. Out of the banana trees and palms, a golden and red, pointed roof, similar to the architecture I saw two months earlier in Mandalay, emerged. In the middle, there was a Buddha image and some paintings which are typical of the temples in Burma. Next to it was a nice house surrounded by greenery where monks lived and a school for young monks. We stayed here for about two hours because it was quiet and peaceful and brought us fruit. Mahabodi Temple is a very relaxing, beautiful place among greenery where you can relax and escape from the heat while sitting under palm trees.
Then we went to the Shwedagon temple, which is undoubtedly the biggest attraction of Tachileik. This temple is not as huge and richly decorated as the Shwedagon in Yangon but it is also a very pleasant place. Passing through the entrance “guarded” by colorful stone lions, we headed to the square on which stood a huge gold pagoda. At the entrance we got a great umbrella so we could hide from the sun and then walked around the piazza. On the way we saw, among other things, a bell with funny sculptures of two thick figures and a chapel with a lying Buddha. Next to it was a bazaar where for a penny I bought a fan of sandalwood for mom and coral for a friend. We also bought postcards but unfortunately we could not send them from Burma because the post was flooded, so we sent them a few days later from Thailand. The Swedagon Pagoda also offers panoramic views.
Then we went for a meal and once again appreciated the Burmese service. For only 40 baht I got a large plate of fried rice with vegetables and chicken and green tea for free. In Thailand the meals are small and each one has its price. We walked around Tachileik all day and noticed that here we had a much better interaction with people than in Thailand. This is because there are a lot of White people in Thailand and they do not care about them, and they only do business with them, while in Burma I felt that people were still smiling at me and not just my money. For the rest of the day we walked on the dirty, punctured streets, always making good contact with the Burmese, and in the evening we sat in the tea room on the small chairs and watched the game.
The next day we ate breakfast near the border where people poured tea with milk and watched American wrestling. Life was calm and beautiful, because Myanmar once again in my travel career turned out to be a wonderful country. Later we just returned to Thailand to get a new 2 week visa.