Faces of Asia | Tachileik, Myanmar
I was visiting family in the north of Thailand and we decided to cross the Thai border for a day. From Mae Sai, it is very easy to get to the border of Birma, Myanmar. You will get a day visa on arrival at the Mae Sai – Tachileik border. It’s nothing like you have seen before. When you cross the border, you can either take a car or go by foot. We decided to walk to the other side of the border, which is a short but interesting walk.
You will enter a totally different world. Myanmar is not as peaceful ass you would think, there is still political unrest, from the still ongoing Post-Cold War conflict (civil war). And the government can decide to close the border at any time. So be prepared for that.
But when it’s a good day you will be allowed to pass. On the side of Myanmar, you will take place in a very narrow room that is filled with a big buddha, colorful Christmas lights and a man in a US Army suit. We answered some questions, had to wait a little while for our approval and passport stamp. But then it was finally time to leave our passports behind and cross the border on the side of Birma (or Myanmar, what you prefer to call it).
Myanmar is slightly different comparing the country to Thailand. You can really tell that the county and the people that live in it are poor. They do try to speak English and they are working hard to make some money out of the tourists that cross the border. It’s a hard life. But a very unique sight as well. They are still trying to make it work. And you’ll be able to see the country before mass tourism sets foot on the ground.