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Mae Sot

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Mae Sot is in Tak Province, Thailand. It has an elevation of around 210 metres.

Get in

By road

Access from Tak is about 100km along Highway #105 via Doi Musoe (870 m altitude) and Doi Son (784 m altitude). Tak is connected to regular bus services between Chaing Mai and Bangkok.

Frequent mini buses connect Mae Sot directly with Tak bus station, starting at 5:30AM and finishing around 7PM, and in theory departing every 30 minutes (lower end of Burmese market). However those that are already full can be expected to leave early, and those that are not will probably go late. The journey takes about 90 minutes and costs 50 baht/person. The surcharge for putting a bicycle on the roofrack is 50 baht. There is a through bus from Mae Sot to Sukothai, via Tak.

There are buses throughout the day from Moh Chit Bus Station in Bangkok. VIP buses are approximately 700 baht (single) 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. The buses leave Mae Sot and Mo Chit early in the morning and throughout the evening (several around 8am and 9pm) - day bus or night bus. This means that after approximatgely 7 hours of travel time you reach your destination very early - around 5pm depending on the bus you take. A VIP ticket entitles you to a free light meal and drink when you stop half way. There are motor bike 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 (i.e. not mini bus)to Chaing Mai can be purchased at the bus office on the Asian Highway, whilst a ticket to Bangkok can be purchased from the main bus station.

Line cars 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 on route, but beware, they are bone shakers and sometimes very full (spare seating on the roof).

By air

Mae Sot airport is about 2km west of the edge of town, and just 1km from the border. There are a couple of Solar Air flights per week to and from Bangkok (old airport) with a journey time of approximately 2.5 hours. Single fare is approximately 2,500 baht.

Get around

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 general hospital. You must wear a helmet (supplied) as the police do fine people (even 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 very careful as the driving in Thailand can at best be described as unconventional and at worst, downright dangerous.

Taxis come in the form of motor bike or tuk tuk, 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.

See

Do

Buy

Eat

Mae Sot is fast becoming known as a gourmet town, catering for travellers, NGO workers, business visitors, and of course, local residents. Most of the places below have English speaking staff.

* There are many, many restaurants and good street food sellers in Mae Sot. You won't have to eat at the same place twice here, so long as you don't stay for more than a year! Somtam on the street heading east from Tesco towards the temple, Pad Thai on the left just before the traffic lights on the road towards Mae Sot villas, fish on the right (also on the road to Mae Sot villas, (just before the Giggahertz shop), Vietnamese on the left heading towards the bus station, fish opposite the junction to Casa Mia, Burmese chicken curry at Mandalay (second turning left after Mae Sot general hospital), a lovely atmostpheric Thai diner just off the main road to Tak (turn right at the top of the first mountain) and the up market place a couple of kilometers on the left on the road north towards Mae Ramat. However, really good Vegetarian food is limited: there is one good restaurant on the left hand side of the road heading out towards Mae Sot villas (just before the traffic lights and close to the Pad Thai place) and a small, very reasonably priced cafe off the main road leading towards Mae Sot general hospital. Incidentally, the turning left to this place is just after a good curry cafe opposite the main town mosque.

Drink

Sleep

There are many hotels and guest houses in Mae Sot.

Central...

Get out

In addition to the Mae Sot to Mo Chit route Bangkok), buses also travel directly to Mae Sai, via Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Departure times from Mae Sot are 6am and 8am from the main bus terminal. Tickets can usually be purchased without problems at the station on the morning of departure. Ask your guesthouse to arrange an early morning tuk tuk to the station. The ticket booth opens at 5:30 am. The Green Bus (direct route to Chaing Mai) has moved its ticket office to a building on the Asia Highway close to town, open during the afternoon and evening hours.

There are two classes of buses, but both are very clean and spacious and also include a free or 10bt lunch voucher. Total travel time to Chiang Mai is about 6 hours; Chiang Rai, 9 hours. Tickets are 250/350bt and 350/500bt, respectively, and depending on the bus class. Green Bus buses from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot depart daily at 11:45 (2nd class) and 13:10 (1st class).

As of early 2009, bus lines have also opened for daily travel to Laem Ngop (Ko Chang) and Mukdahan. The company who runs this service is Phetprasert.

The Laem Ngop bus travels south towards Bangkok, veering east before entering the city, and then traveling along the coast via Chonburi and Rayong. The travel time from Mae Sot to the ferry departure point for Koh Chang is around 16 hours and the ticket costs 750 bt.

The Mukdahan bus makes station-only stops, including Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, and Khon Kaen. The company claims that total travel time is 12-14 hours.

Another way to leave Mae Sot is to catch the minibus to Tak to connect to onward buses. These leave throughout the day around every 40 minutes from the old market area which is over the bridge from Green Guesthouse. The trip to Tak takes around one and a half hours and costs 56 bt

Related Information




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