The Mae Sot (Thailand) - Myawaddy border crossing is the main overland entry point for foreigners wishing to get from Bangkok to Yangon or Thailand to Myanmar in general, and vice-versa. Also it is a moderately popular destination for tourists and expats in Thailand who want to make a "visa run", i.e. get a new Thai entry permit stamp by making a short visit to another country. Many western foreigners receive a 30-day entry permit when re-entering Thailand. Other nationalities even receive 90 days. However, be aware that for western foreigners no visa-on-arrival is available on the Myanmar side.
Until recently, access for foreigners was only possible from Mae Sot, and foreigners were not allowed to travel further overland into Myanmar from Myawaddy or stay overnight, but that is no longer true.
The time in Myanmar is 30 minutes earlier than in Thailand, and the traffic drives on the right.
From the Thai town of Mae Sot, take a songthaew or other transport to the border crossing at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge over the Moei River; Myawaddy is immediately on the other side of the bridge. The ride from Mae Sot is between 20 bby Songthaew.
Foreigners must have a visa for Myanmar prior to entry. It can be obtained in Bangkok within a day when applying in the morning, or simply online. The border opens between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.. The border crossing is hassle free: remember the name of the city you are going to and the name of an adress you will stay in, so the crossing may be a bit faster.
Shwe Muay Wan (the Golden Pagoda)Very picturesque site with several big Buddha images enshrined on its grounds, one of which is a replica of the golden Buddha image of Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay. Locals claim that this pagoda is more than 1,000 years old.
Myikyaungon Temple (the Crocodile Temple)Very unusual temple on the back of a gigantic crocodile statue. There is also a library on top, but women do not have access. An anti-clockwise series of pictures explains the life of Buddha.
Giant Standing BuddhaThis complex houses a 20 m high standing Buddha and a large golden bell shared tower.
Kyan Khinn Monestry
There are more temples with big pagodas a bit away from the town centre and in neighbouring villages. With decent transport the following are accessible:
Pagoda & field of statusBuddha images more than a hundred similar sitting behind this sight.
Hill pagodaThis temple is situated on a hill 200 m walk from the previous one. It also has a big pagoda and gives a good view of the surrounding area.
MarketExplore this single street market of 2 km length and its side roads for an authentic Myanmar.
address: Chit Kyi Yay Lane
Myawaddy Hotelphone: +95 58 50519, +95 9 252 636527address: Chit kyi yay RoadRooms are clean and reasonable. Including breakfast and a restaurant.
- You can cross the border to Mae Sot in Thailand.
- There are several buses daily from Myawaddy to Hpa-an (Pa-an) and Mawlamyine (Moulmein) for about 5,000 kyat. Depending on when you arrive, it will be easier or necessary to take a private taxi (for about 10,000 kyat). After passing the customs office, you will be approached by taxi drivers or their friends who speak English. Depending on the route, the ride will take about 3-5 hours including stops. A proper road is under construction.
- The bus to Yangon leaves at 08:00, 09:00 and 10:00, takes 12 h and costs about 13,000 kyat.