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Mae Sai/Tachilek Border Info


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ThaiVisa isn't receiving enough 'live reports' from people actually using the Mae Sai/Tachileik border to assess what type of 'services' are currently working there.

If you don't want to risk being turned away then your next best option would be to use the Thai/Laos border at Chiang Khong/Huay Sai that does offer full services but is further away and much more expensive for someone only wanting to do a border run and garner another visa exempt entry or activate/refresh an existing Visa.

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Wel sed.

For the umpteenth time man, they're not called VOA, they're Visa Exemptions. VOA's are for the following countries: Bhutan China Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary India Kazakhstan Latvia

Anyone who goes up there but does not intend to cross or ask immigration about the VIP pass can ask the guy in the shop that does the photo copies, it's too the left of immigration looking towards the

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So the Chiang Kong option given you went there direct is still more expensive than the 1900 baht visa extension.

Laos VOA and return to Thailand for a 15/30 oops! 14/29 day VOA, oops again! visa exemption .

So to be clear which is the option given the current Thai position that is less expensive?

Addendum: At Mae Sai the Thai's won't let you leave with a VOA/visa exemption, will they allow you to enter again at Chiang Kong, as it is an open border and the Laos offer a VOA Thailand cannot refuse exit as at Mae Sai without a Burmese visa, so is it required to travel within Laos to a Thai Consulate and apply for a visa if you want to re-enter Thailand.

Forgive me, I am in SEA for 10 weeks, Thailand is my hub because I used Thai Airways no other reason, i'll reconsider my choice of airline in future given the how advice of change is with held.

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Thai006, I have no Idea what is going on with Thai Immigration and I don't think many Immigration Officers do either, that's the information of i wish clarification, my position is that of a legit tourist on a short holiday in the SEA area , but my queries have led to a much bigger puzzle picture that is missing a vital number of pieces, and the most of the feed back is useless toss, i can see from your posts this is a cause of concern for you, I've paid for my extension, no going back on that I will need to return to Thailand for my flight home post end of my extension, I am in Malaysia now, however will I be denied a VOA/visa exception when i return for my flight, that's how fecked up this story is as there is no information forthcoming, It is still posted on the Royal Thai Embassy in the UK that there is no change or advice of any change, how can anyone plan and work in a information vacuum!!!! I'm just totally fecked, I've spoken with a number of Thai's offering services in this business/industry they haven't a clue either. Hopefully the dust has settled before your deadline.

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TV is for bickering, comedy, both, and maybe some nice pictures and videos.

but certainly (except in the rarest of cases) NOT for useful information...

so let me tell you the facts: you pay the monkey (ling) 1000 baht, cut your passport in two, and sing "Eye of the Tiger" backwards. This should get you an additional 9 days.

and don't forget to throw 10,000 baht at the immigration officer and yell, OK I'll bribe you....

should be crackingly good advice....

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I don’t know about the rest of you but when I have a question about my visa I contact immigration. What some anonymous farang writes on the internet has never been my guide for something as important as my visa. Sadly some people take advantage of the system or act out and end up making it harder for everyone. In spite of this the immigration officials in Chiang Rai are remarkably patient and accommodating.

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Some people like VF seem to have relatively smooth sailing re; visa extensions. Others don't. This thread mostly addresses those who might have problems even when they're following the rules. I agree with VF that C.Rai Imm office is generally a bit easier to deal with than Mae Sai office. Though even in Mae Sai, they're ok (note: their morning staff is a bit easier to deal with than their afternoon staff). I found that out when I went in at 11 am, the lady was fine and easy-going and told me to get a bank letter and come back before noon to finish the application process. I got the bank letter but returned after 1 pm when the afternoon staff was in place. They told me to get an update on my bank passbook. I said, "I did, and you can see my letter telling my balance from 90 minutes ago." I dutifully went back to the bank. 3 assistant managers at the bank all looked at my data with puzzled faces, because they had updated my passbook 100 minutes before. I suggested one of them go with me to the Imm office. They declined, but instead issued me a new passbook. I returned to Thai Imm and got processed, ok. My little episode is near inconsequential, but is indicative of Imm rules being knotted up and misconstrued. There are hundreds of thousands of farang in Thailand - all of whom have to deal with Thai Imm authorities and their mutable rules. Some will ease through easily, like VF, others may have to try and negotiate a series of gordian knots - and some may be unfairly processed - even when they're sincerely trying to comply with the mutating laws.

....and the tighter restrictions on renters/owners/landlords of property could warrant a lot of discussion, but I'll leave it for another day.

Even when I eased through the maze easily in years past, I still felt compassion for those who might have a tough time of it.

Scea admitted he did multiple visa-renewal runs (oops, am not supposed to use the word 'visa'). We probably all did in the past. I sure did. On a side note, I'd (we'd) like to hear when Scea most recently did the VIP pass to Tachilek. The reason: some posters suggested I was being alarmist or telling lies about VIP passes not being allowed recently, and they used Scea's VIP pass as proof. If it was recent, then I may have been wrong - but I suspect it was at least 10 or more days ago. 'Fess up.

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There is a lot written on this subject in the news and visa sections. http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/855966-thai-immigration-launches-new-crackdown-on-visa-runners/

Thai Immigration launches 'new' crackdown on visa runners

BANGKOK:-- Thaivisa.com understands that Immigration officials at land border crossings will no longer allow foreigners to complete an ‘Out/In’ visa run.
Reports of a ‘crackdown’ on border runners along the Thai/Cambodian border first started surfacing over the weekend when several Thaivisa members posted about not being allowed to re-enter Thailand on visa-exempt entries.
On Monday evening, Thaivisa spoke to an Immigration officer based at Chaeng Wattana who confirmed that renewals of 15/30 day visa exempt entries are not allowed.
The source, who did not want to be named, also said that this apparent ‘crackdown’ is actually nothing new and stressed that foreigners are not permitted to stay in Thailand on renewed 15/30 day visa-exempt entries.
Instead, any foreigner wishing to stay in Thailand beyond 30 days should ensure they have the correct documentation, such as a valid tourist visa, Non-Immigration or extension of stay based on marriage, work, education, retirement etc.
This latest news does not affect those people with valid tourist visas or those who are on multiple entry Non-O, Non-B.
This ‘crackdown’ only applies to those people who stay in Thailand on visa exempt entries, without valid visas, and therefore have to complete a border run every 15 or 30 days.
Thaivisa understands that because Thailand is currently in a state of heightened security following the Bangkok bombings, government officials have informed all Immigration offices and border checkpoints nationwide to carry out rigorous checks on foreigners trying to enter the Kingdom and ensure that all foreigners do so with the correct visa documentation.
Foreigners entering Thailand can also be expected to provide information on where they will be staying in the Kingdom, as well as items such as a valid travel itinerary, if requested to do so by Immigration officials.
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Here is the date and post for Scea's VIP crossing. It was in July and in response to Boomer's declaration that VIP passes were no longer available at that time. I commend Scea's effort and can understand why he no longer feels inclined to run up to the border and get a VIP pass everytime Boomer makes one of his wild accusations about Thai authorities.

Crossed the bridge on a VIP pass today; polite service, smiles all round.

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Here is the date and post for Scea's VIP crossing. It was in July and in response to Boomer's declaration that VIP passes were no longer available at that time. I commend Scea's effort and can understand why he no longer feels inclined to run up to the border and get a VIP pass everytime Boomer makes one of his wild accusations about Thai authorities.

Crossed the bridge on a VIP pass today; polite service, smiles all round.

Thanks VF. Scea's VIP pass 3+ months ago is not relevant to the issue being discussed. I will continue to make my 'wild accusations' as long as it may help even one person to avoid undue hassles and unnecessary expense. Thus far, neither you nor Scea nor the other poster has shown my assertions as wrong. Just a lot of accusations from you'all based on false assumptions (that I'm wrong, or anti-Thai, or quick-to-anger, or whatever). Just because a piece of news is something you don't want to hear, doesn't make it wrong.

I don't like to hear about ISIS beheadings, but that doesn't make such reports inaccurate. And I don't attack the messenger who publishes the news.

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Here is the date and post for Scea's VIP crossing. It was in July and in response to Boomer's declaration that VIP passes were no longer available at that time. I commend Scea's effort and can understand why he no longer feels inclined to run up to the border and get a VIP pass everytime Boomer makes one of his wild accusations about Thai authorities.

Crossed the bridge on a VIP pass today; polite service, smiles all round.

Sorry to post so often, but I just re-read VF's post, above: "......Boomer's declaration that VIP passes were no longer available at that time (July)."

I never wrote anything about July. I only referred to recent events. Maybe that can be VF's excuse for being off-base; that he mis-read or misunderstood the topic being discussed.

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You may think disparaging remarks about all things Thai are helpful but I don’t. The putdowns and bizarre analyses really aren’t helpful or informative and don’t help your case at all. I am very glad I don’t live in your world.

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You have claimed on several occasions there are no more VIP passes. I am inclined to be skeptical of anything you write but others are free to believe you if they wish.

Tachilek no longer does VIP passes (or, as farang would call them; 'Day Passes').

They wouldn't say why or when/if VIP passes would be re-instated.

update: apparently, no 'VIP passes' from the Thai side - or what we'd call 'day passes.'
I say 'apparently' because it's not always clear what officials on the Thai side are conveying. Sometimes even they don't know policy.

border open until 9 pm. I got that from a Thai cop at an 'information booth' located 20 meters from the border crossing.

Now MS/Tachilek border is closed for day pass (VIP pass) again. No explanation. The official just grinned and said 'Bangkok.' I honestly can't think of any reason why they would want to keep tourists from visiting the market on the Burmese side. Oh, now I remember. An American friend of mine was refused last summer and the reason from Thai Imm official (after she said she didn't know), was, "Why you spend money in Burma? You can spend money in Thailand." I guess that's about as good as we can expect from Thai officialdom.

Also: Thai Imm sages in Bangkok have constricted the # of days allowed on re-entry. It was 30 days visa-on-arrival for members of G8 countries (and a few other countries, depending on the whim of the officer at the desk). Now it's 15 days for everyone. However, coming in by plane on a prior visa-on-arrival is 30 days, as best as I can tell.

Stay tuned. The regulations change hourly - all on the whims of the wise men in Bangkok and their underlings in the provinces, some of whom got their positions via the Ministry of Inactive Posts.

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I report things as they happen (as I observe them first-hand, or as they're mentioned to me). The conclusion therefore, from my posts, is the day-pass / VIP-pass option is weeks on & weeks off. Currently it's off. If anyone has supporting or contrary info, let's hear it. First-hand experience is best, tho this blog accepts all sorts of opinion.

Alternatively, if anyone wants to make judgments on my character (whether I'm hot headed, on an 'enemy-list', a Thai-basher, or whatever), then they're free to do that also - tho I may respond. However, character issues are more plausible if based on knowledge rather than vacuous suppositions. Sorry, I don't always have documentation from Bangkok (signed, sealed, or certified) to back up the info I convey on this blog.

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Is there anything you can get on the Burmese side of the border that you can't get on the Thai side? Both markets seem to be full of cheap Chinese crap that really doesn't warrant a trip up there. I guess there are those guys who try and sell you Viagra as soon as you get into Tachilek laugh.png

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If you need Vitamin V (or C), go past the touts and head directly down the steps and continue straight on.

When you come to the larger street at the end turn left and there's a couple of shops on your right that have small pharmaceutical counters as you head towards the main street. (North).

Tachilek used to be popular with DVD buyers but as we got better internet most of what they sell is now only a mouse click away from home.

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If you need Vitamin V (or C), go past the touts and head directly down the steps and continue straight on.

When you come to the larger street at the end turn left and there's a couple of shops on your right that have small pharmaceutical counters as you head towards the main street. (North).

Tachilek used to be popular with DVD buyers but as we got better internet most of what they sell is now only a mouse click away from home.

i have seen my thai friend he go to buy some belgian beer for 40b 1 can , bavaria , hoogarden , really cheap there

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The duty free shop opposite the immigration office has a good section of wines and spirits and often carries imported beers.

Keep in mind that Thai immigration only allows one liter of alcoholic beverages to be brought back, having said that, in the past I carried considerable more than that over the border without comment.

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The duty free shop opposite the immigration office has a good section of wines and spirits and often carries imported beers.

Keep in mind that Thai immigration only allows one liter of alcoholic beverages to be brought back, having said that, in the past I carried considerable more than that over the border without comment.

I know it's a litre of spirits but all of the duty free shops I've been to say, you're allowed to take

12 cans of beer back.

I've had the bag searched with 12 stubbies and didn't have a problem.

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I've never had my bags searched not even that very manly looking shoulder bag I carry my iPad etc in.

I just walk past them with a friendly nod.

I suppose it's all about having an honest face. thumbsup.gif

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Is there anything you can get on the Burmese side of the border that you can't get on the Thai side? Both markets seem to be full of cheap Chinese crap that really doesn't warrant a trip up there. I guess there are those guys who try and sell you Viagra as soon as you get into Tachilek laugh.png

Simple answer: yes. Too many items to list here. There's also the vibe of being in Burma, even though it's right along the border with Thailand. For me, it's a pleasant relief. There's more to experience there than the tourist market. There are the people, the rhythm of things over there which are a bit different than in Thailand. Less overt vanity. More chatter/interaction on the streets, particularly at dusk. More variety of characters. Dogs bark less over there (I've put in hundreds of miles bicycling, and rarely been hassled by dogs). Maybe it's because Burmese know to control their dogs, whereas Thais seem to be ok with dogs barking incessantly. Thais are trying mightily to be modern like their impression of farang countries: malls, whitening cream, etc. Burmese are somewhat like that also, but are generally more comfortable in who they are.

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