3. Visa Run – Chiang Mai – Mae Sai with motorcycle

Another three months passed and the process of doing Visa Run came. Normally we took the bus of the Green bus company from Chiang Mai to Mae Sai. Then, the Songtaew from Mae Sai Bus Station to the Border – then vice versa. This time it was a bit different. We drove to Mae Sai by ourselves.

We did a big cycle as we had German friends visiting us and we went first to Doi Angkhang, then to Mae Sai, then back to Chiang Mai with our 125 cc motorcycle. I definitely recommend to do so as well. The view and landscape is amazing!

This is my blog about Doi Ang Khang. After having spent time about two nights there we got going. The road has a lot of curves and it is downhill (see the picture and video below).

img_20160926_091537

We passed many villages, filled our fuel contained in an alcohol bottle. 🙂

We did two stops. First we stopped at a temple called: วัดท่าตอน พระอารามหลวง (Wat Thaton Phra Aram Luang). The temple is several hundreds years old. It has several buildings that are divided into nine steps. At step 8 you can take pictures and have a high view to the river and to the villages.

Then we stopped at an orange plantation. Of cause we drank fresh pressed orange juice!

It took us about four hours to arrive at Mae Sai. To enter Myanmar for a Thai person, I needed to pickup a border crossing card from ที่ว่าการอำเภอ, pay 30 bahts. As easy it was, I left Thailand, entered Myanmar, stayed there for 2 hours.

We had a Burmese lunch. It was not my favorite but it tasted quite good!

About at 4 pm we left Mae Sai. 250 kilometers was waiting for us. We did one stop as my butt hurt like hell. About 100 kilometers we were again going out of fuel. It was about 7 pm, it was raining, the road was slippery, I was scared so much that we could not make it. The landscape around were only trees and mountains. There was no one at the check points so that we could ask for help. There was only us and cars passing by.

maesai-cm.png

Then, it came a village located near Chiang Mai about 70 km. There was an old fuel station. We filled up our fuel for 50 baht so that we could arrive in Chiang Mai.

At last we made it. Then 5 minutes after we arrived it started storming… I was glad we arrived home safely. I would recommend if you want to do the same, please leave Mae Sai earlier. You can then enjoy the view and the road.

 

Advertisements

2. Visa Run: Mae Sai – Golden Triangle – Chiang Mai

Six months have gone by and Simon needed to go out of Thailand for a visa run. This time we decided to go to Mae Sai border again. The difference from the last time was we will go to “Golden Triangle” (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand) as well.

Early morning of 4. July, we left Chiang Mai by bus (Greenbus company). We arrived at Mae Sai at about 10.30 am. Then, we went to the border and Simon did the routine tasks (leave Thailand, enter Burma (pay 10 USD), enter Thailand).

IMG_20160704_114441

on the bus to Chiang Khong

I did some research how to go to Golden Triangle from Mae Sai. But it was wrong. At the end of the trip we figured out that the Blue Songtaew from Mae Sai to Golden Triangle leaves very near the Border to Tachilek. The trip would take normally 30 minutes and cost 50 baht pp.

We thought we had to take the the Songtaew from Mae Sai bus station. We went there and got told that we had to take a bus to “Mae Rim” and then take another bus to “Chiang Khong” and then take Songtaew to “Golden Triangle”. We did this trip and it took about 2.30 hours and cost 120 baht pp! But the scenery was incredible and the experience of sitting in old buses was new to Simon 😀

“Chian Khong” provides some places to visit as well. We passed by an old temple and drove along Mae Khong river.

We arrived the Golden Triangle around 3 p.m. We stayed in a bungalow on the hill and paid 500 baht per night.

We visited the temple “Wat Phrathat Phu Khao“, did some pictures, had dinner near the river. But we did not do the boat trip.

Next morning we went to “Hall of Opium” or หอฝิ่น. For me, this is the best museum in Thailand. Our “Somdet Ya”  (the Royal Grandmother) initiated this museum. We learned a lot about history of Opium. How Opium has almost ruined the world. China was one of the countries that had millions of people addicted to Opium and traded with England. England brought Opium from India and sold Opium in many places in Asia. I cannot tell all the story here. But all this has been presented in many interesting ways. You have to visit this museum!

IMG_20160705_095049

After visiting the museum we had to take a Songtaew back to Mae Sai as our Greenbus leaving from Mae Sai. BUT… the Songtaew run until 11.30 am. We were told that it will run until 1 pm. So we left the museum at 11.35 and could see the last Songtaew just in front of us passing by…

IMG_20160705_130705

We had some hopes and waited until 1 pm. The bus in Mae Sai will leave at 3.30 pm. We only had 2 hours left to go to Mae Sai (30 km.). We could order a taxi but it would cost 500 baht. So we hitchhiked. It took us about 20 minutes that a car stopped. This car brought us 5 km further. We got out at a junction. Luckily, another car let us in and brought us to Mae Sai. They were really kind and could speak English 🙂

We had a lot of fun and excitements on the 5. July that is our 8 years anniversary. We will exactly remember this day!

 

1. Visa run : Chiang Mai – Mae Sai

It has been almost 3 months since we arrived in Thailand. My husband’s visa is about to expire. So we need to extend the visa. First, we have planned to apply for ‘Immigrant O’ visa type. But this needs many documents and my husband needs to report himself every 3 months. So we decided to do a visa run so we can also travel to the places we have not been.

There are several places that we can do a visa run. For this time we decided to go to ‘Mae Sai’. The city is located in the Chiang Rai province and bordered to Myanmar. We took a bus service from the ‘Green bus company‘. We bought the tickets online.

We took a second class bus at 6 am. We wanted to arrive Mae Sai at 10 am (per schedule). And then we want to take a bus to ‘Golden Triangle’.

We came by motorcycle to the bus station and parked with the parking service for 10 baht/day. The platform is located at Chiang Mai Bus Station 2 (new) near the super highway road and central festival shopping mall.

The bus left almost on time and was full with Thais and some Burmese. Along the way, the bus stopped around 5 times so that the polices can come and check if anyone was travelling illegally (I think). One Burmese girl did not pass the control. So, it took almost 5 hours to arrive at Mae Sai bus station. Then, we took a Songtaew to the border. Songtaew costs 15 baht/person.

For Thais, we have to get a ‘หนังสือผ่านแดนชั่วคราวแม่สาย-ท่าขี้เหล็ก’. We can use this document to pass the border to Myanmar for 1 time only. This costs 30 baht and is issued at ที่ว่าการอำเภอแม่สาย. So we have to stop at the municipal at first.

At the border, my husband needed to fill in kind of the departure card. When we left the border we had to cross the bridge and go to the Burmese immigrant office. It costs 10 USD to get a Burmese visa. The process took around 5 minutes. The officers were really friendly and even joked around.

After leaving the office we were so hungry at that time and we wanted to eat Burmese food. We went up right and found a restaurant. We took a Burmese dish for 100 baht. The food contained rice and different small dishes. The food reminded me of Srilankan food somehow. The food was good and there were some Burmese people in the restaurant too.

IMG_0603

Burmese food

It was about 1 pm so we decided not to go to the golden triangle anymore. So we went around but it was so hot that we went to an ices cream shop. The shop owner could speak pretty good Thai. Around afternoon, some students came to the shop. They could speak Thai, Burmese and Chinese. It was really impressive!

We wanted to do some shopping so we came back to Thailand as I thought, the prices in Thailand were cheaper. My husband again filled in an arrival card and got a visa for another 3 months!

I didn’t see many travelers there. Many of them were coming with a tour. There were Chinese, Korean, and German tours.

Then, we went home. It got dark after a while and there I saw them for the first time – the burning fields. Around this time of the year, the farmers burn their fields to prepare for the upcoming season. It looks really scary and there were some fire fighter buses on the way.

IMG_0619.JPG

At the northern most of Thailand

We arrived home safely and we now are excited where do we’re gonna go for the visa run next time!

P.S. Thanks to our German friend who took many photos!