Mae Sot Thailand
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Description: Open source travel guide to Mae Sot, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written by Wikitravellers from around the globe.
Mae Sot is in Tak Province. Thailand. It has an elevation of around 210 m, and in 2010, a population of around 36,000.
The distance from Tak is about 100 km along Highway 105 via Doi Musoe (870 m altitude) and Doi Son (784 m altitude). Tak is connected to regular bus services between Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
Frequent mini buses connect Mae Sot directly with Tak bus station starting at 05:30 and finishing around 19:00 and, in theory, departing every 30 min from the lower end of the Burmese Market. However, those buses that are already full can be expected to leave early, and those that are not will probably go late. The journey takes about 90 min and costs about 78 baht/person. The surcharge for putting a bicycle on the roof rack is 50 baht. There is a through bus from Mae Sot to Sukothai, via Tak.
There are buses in the early morning and late evening from Mo Chit Bus Station in Bangkok. VIP buses are approximately 613 baht per person. Try to get a spot on the top level of the bus (VIP) as you are not near the toilets at the bottom level, they stink! There are also cheaper first and second class buses, 394 baht and 306 baht respectively as of Feb 2011. The buses leave Mae Sot and Mo Chit early in the morning and throughout the evening (several around 08:00 and 21:00), day bus or night bus. After approximately 7-8 hr of travel time you reach your destination. Tickets on first class and VIP buses entitle you to a free light meal and/or drink when you stop half-way. There are motorbike and tuk-tuk taxis at Mae Sot Bus Station. It is best to have a map of your destination, with Thai directions, if possible. The average fare into town or to one of the guest houses listed here, is between 50-100 baht. Negotiate prior to embarking!
Tickets for the scheduled buses (ie not mini buses) to Chiang Mai can be purchased at the bus office on the Asian Highway or on the Green Bus website. A ticket to Bangkok can be purchased from the main bus station. Chiang Mai buses leave at 08:30 and 13:10 and are 319 baht each way.
Songthaews travel frequently to Mae Sariang (north) and Umphang (south). They leave from the market (ask for directions to the collection points) or you can flag them down en route, but beware, they are bone shakers and sometimes very full (spare seating on the roof).
From Mawlamyine you can get a shared taxi. If there is 4 of you, you will be charged 10.000 kyat each and the taxi driver will bring you to Myawaddy in just 5 hours. Then you just cross the bridge by foot and you are in Thailand. From the bridge you can get a tuk tuk to Mae Sot city center (10 bath). They are just building a new road (there is no asphalt yet so is very dusty) from Mawlamyine to Myawaddy so you basically skip the old super winding road.
Getting around town is pretty simple by foot but if you are looking for other forms of transport, bicycles (approximately 50 baht per day) and motor bikes (approximately 150 baht per day) can be rented by the day from one of the guest houses listed here, or from the lovely Thai Tiny Tim (speaks good English), on the left just past Mae Sot Hospital. You must wear a helmet (supplied) as the police do fine people (especially foreigners!). You have to leave your passport for bond and fill up with petrol when you return it. Cars and 4 wheel drives can be hired from several places around town (e.g. Well Driving, close to Casa Mia). Be careful as driving in Thailand can at best be described as unconventional and at worst, downright dangerous.
Taxis come in the form of motorbikes or tuk-tuks, usually found near the Burmese Market and outside Tesco (drivers sit around with special licenced number jackets). Obviously, prices depend on distance and passengers, but as a rough guide, 50-100 baht will get you to most places around the town.
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