Have you ever heard of Asian High Way (AH)? It is a road that sounds like Silk Road at modern times, and does connect Japan and Turkey!!! However AH doesn’t have a long history as Silk Road and was established recently for the surrounding countries to raise their brand as a tourist attraction and friendship among the members. We drove our motorcycles on AH in Thailand on the way from Bangkok to Mae Sot. On the travel ahead of us, we are going to enter Myanmar via Chang Mai and Mae Soi by our motorcycles too.
As you easily can imagine, driving in Bangkok was not very fun. The heavy traffic took too much our time to get us out of the city, and instead put us under the tropical shining sun for so long time that we needed to take water brake at least every hour.
As we were coming closer to Ayutthaya, where was our next stop after Bangkok, however, the traffic came to be much better. Sometimes you can see rice paddy and great scenery of rock mountains on the side rode. AH still continues to be a long straight plain road that might make you bored though, it can definitely be one of your exciting moments in Thailand.
Ayutthaya is a must go especially if you plan to travel slowly and drive from Bangkok toward north. You are going to see a spectacular old palace which was destroyed by a kingdom in Myanmar in the long history. You can also and have a relaxed time in the vast selections of cheap guesthouses and eat out delicious Thai food at a night market where both the locals and tourists enjoy. The area where has many Wats with lots of trees and sometime lakes and rivers is allows you to have a nice long walk in the quiet atmosphere.
After Ayuttaya, we stayed at Kakhon Sawan as a stopover simply becuase Ayuttaya and Mae Sot, our next destination was too far for us to drive in one day. Kakhon Sawan has got nothing much to see for tourists, but got a hospital, a domestic airport and cheap hotels for the local people.
The next town after Kakhon Sawa, Mae Sot gave us a huge day and headaches. The main reason for us to go there was; 1) to cross the border and enter Myanmar and start traveling Myanmar with our motorcycles; 2) and to get out of Thailand because our visa was about to expire.
The problem no.1: We couldn’t cross the border with our motorcycles! The custom on the Thai side said “carrying the motorcycles on a pickup truck is OK but not riding them”. The custom on the Myanmar side said “No bringing any motorcycle”. Since we were excited to travel Myanmar, it was a huge disappointment.
As I researched on the internet after coming back to a hotel, some said it is ok to cross the border from Mae Sot to the Myanmar if you have an official document which you received two weeks advance from the entering date. It seems like these guys did it by doing so.
Thread: Crossing Myanmar by motorcycle – now possible
The better news for us was that some Japanese guy crossed the border by riding our motorcycles from MAI SOI to Myanmar in Sep, 2013. He needed an official document here as well, however it seems like you can fill the forms out and get the permission in your hands right away at the border.
We decided not to enter Myanmar from where we were, but Mai Soi and just extend the Thai visa this time.
Many people from Myanmar come to Thailand illegally. They were literally crossing the river with a small boat in front of the immigration officers as if it is normal to do. Many motorcycles in Myanmar don’t have number plates at least where we were for a couple hours in the border town in Myanmar. Maybe we could try bring our motorcycles and drive them without the official registrations. However we never ever want to get in any trouble in a country like Myanmar where the police men and the military have strongest power.
So at some point, we were happy to just renew our Thai visitor visa for another 30 days by exiting Thailand, visiting Myanmar for a few hours by “Rental Visa” and reentering Thailand. It was a tough day but at least we renewed our Thai visa successfully. I will keep you posted how it will go on crossing the border at Mae Soi in the northern Thailand!
Thanks for reading.