Doi Tung and Mae Sai
Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
261Trip End Ongoing
Unfortunately, we picked a bad time of year for the latter
What's cool about Thais traveling so much is that even tourist traps can't be that expensive, because they're not solely for foreign tourists. So tickets to the retreat were a couple of bucks, as were our lunches. We then, against the advice of the woman at the tourist information center, took a back way down into Mae Sai. The road is paved, but smaller than 1 lane, and it hugs the Thai-Burmese border. Armed Thai soldiers were posted at several checks along the road, but they were all smiles and quite helpful. One of guards was actually so nice that while his buddies were checking our passports, he offered to take our picture in front of a sign that designates that we're standing on the edge of Burma.
The road is only 20 km, but its all turns and we never went faster than 15 miles per hour or so. We actually had the engine off for much of the ride and just coasted out of the mountains.
We made it to Mae Sai in mid-afternoon, parked our bike near the border, and crossed over to Burma. They stamped us, took our 500 baht visa fee, and let us immediately return to Thailand. Last time we did a border run in Mae Sot, we spent several hours in Burma, but that particular border town seemed shady and reminded me unsettlingly of some seedier locales in Latin America. But we didn't have time to wander around Burma this time anyway. We wanted to get back to Chiang Rai by sunset, so we set off. I really like riding motorbikes, but the highway isn't my favorite spot. But we got some cool views even from there, and we made it back safely.