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Into And Out Of Burma Via Motorcycle


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Hi. 20 years ago (time flies!) I rode a motorcycle up to 3 Pagoda Pass and went into Burma. There was a very small checkpoint and I think they might have charged a bit of money to enter, I don't remember. My friend and I rode into Burma for an hour or so and then turned around and came back into Thailand. It was really hassle free.

Now I am interested in doing the same trip. I have US passport. I read that they give a 24 hour visa at the border pass, so I can go and come back within 24 hours but longer than that is not allowed.

I would really like to enter Burma and stay for two or three days, but I wonder if it will be difficult to return back into Thailand overland. Perhaps I can get a visa at the Burmese embassy in Bangkok?

Another question: how easy is it to hop on a flight to Rangoon from Bangkok? Approx cost? Visa needed in advance of flight?

Thanks in advance for Burma travel info.

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I have only crossed at Mae Sai, Ranong and Mae Sot. At Mae Sai one can now obtain a visa on arrival (14 days and an ID card for checkpoints) for onward travel to Kengtung (quite scenice) and Mong La at the chinese border. From all accounts this is an interesting trip and the road has been improved in recent years from what I understand.

At Mae Sot, you cannot travel beyond west Mywaddy town limits and in fact the crossing was closed for for a few months in the 2nd half of last year. From what everyone says the same applies for the 3 Padogas Pass crossing where, as you say a day pass is available (I believe it is a day pass as opposed to a 24 hr pass but others can confirm) is available. At Ranong, you can cross on a boat across the 5km inlet to Victoria Point where if you have a Burmese visa you can obtain a 28 day entry. I cannot comment land travel from Victoria Point other than to say that there is a fair amount of traffic in the town.

Thus, in short your only easy option is to travel all the way to Mae Sai cross the border there and head up to Kengtung.

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I can say that the visa on arrival stopped last September and visa's are only available in person via the embassy in BKK costing 1,200 baht, if you arrive first thing (9am) you should be able to collect the same day. If you are thinking of another motorcycle trip, forget it motorcycles cannot enter the country (check out GT Rider site for more info), although you can take your car across the bridge at Mae Sai for example and so long as the car is in the owners name you pay 100 baht insurance and 100 baht for a pass.

Your normal walk over visa is valid for 14 days, but i understand you must stay within the region you crossed over. :jap:

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