BootsnAll Travel Network

Burma Visa Run

We got a room in Ranong for like 300 baht or something. It is just a small little town, with the regular markets and all. We went to “Pon’s Place,” a travel agency listed in the guidebook, to arrange the visa run. It wouldn’t be too tough to do it ourselves, but we didn’t want the hassle.

So the next day, we woke up early and Pon drove us to the Immigration Office, where we got a stamp to exit Thailand. Then he drove us to the bustling pier, where we got on a longtail boat and boated to Burma. The ride itself was fascinating… we passed by houses on long stilts, people going by on boats, and gorgeous mountains rising in the distance.

Pic: Our boat boy

“Gorgeous Mountains in the Distance”

We passed a little island with a Thai flag and some military offices standing there. Finally we got to a tiny office and went in, where we paid our $5 US “visa fee” (really just $5 that goes straight to the evil military regime, I guess) and they stamped us to enter Burma.

Burmese Immigration Office

Then we got on the boat again for a few minutes and got off at a dock actually in Burma (taa daa!) and two boys there started talking to us, asking us where we were from, etc etc. We went into yet ANOTHER office and got a stamp to LEAVE Burma. One of the boys said to Jim, “NBA good, no?” And I thought it was the craziest thing that kids from Burma know the NBA, and it was one of the first things they know, since they asked about it. As we walked back to the boat, one of them gave Jim a small Burmese currency, “as a souvenir.” Burmese writing is SO strange, it just looks like a series of “o” and “c.” Like cccoocoooc but with a few more lines thrown in.

So we boated BACK and then drove to the first immigration office and got another stamp to enter Thailand. It sounds hard and complicated, but it only took about 1 1/2 hours and was pretty fun.

As soon as we got back, we went to the train station and got on a train for Chumpon, a town from which we could get to Ko Tao and Ko Phan-Ngan. The Full Moon Party is on the 6th, so we have to decide if we will even go to Ko Samui, and which days we will be where in order to be on the middle island by the 6th and be there a few days early to get a hotel room, since everyone and their brother will we trying to get one!


4 responses to “Burma Visa Run”

  1. Claire says:

    Keep the stories coming — love hearing them. Wish I could join you snorkling. I’ve seem “Nemo” a hundred times so I know what you are seeing.

  2. Carl says:

    The rightful president/prime minister of Burma, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, has politely asked all tourists to stay OUT of Burma, since so much of the revenues from tourists go into the hands of the military regime.

    The National League for Democracy party (NLD), that Aung Sun Suu Kyi represents, won the 1990 election overwhelmingly, but since then she has been imprisoned and put in house arrest by the military regime. The result of the election has never been honored.

    Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 (while under house arrest). She’s truly an inspirational person *and she seems super sweet too*
    or (search for “suu kyi”).

  3. Carl says:

    One more thing: for those who thought MTV JUST stood for trash… 🙂 …their “Free Your Mind” Award suggests otherwise. The 2003 winner was Aung Sun Suu Kyi:

  4. kelly says:

    Yikes!! Thanks for the info Carl. THat is prettty bad. Jim and I were even saying how we totally know nothing about Burma.. I mean, absoutely nothing.