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).
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.
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.
- Myawaddy in Myanmar: Accessed via the border bridge, for a small fee, with passport. Overnight stays are not permitted.
- Border market: Well worth a visit for a whole range of locally made and Chinese and Burmese imports - including bootleg viagra, 'knocked off' cigarettes, whiskey and designer goods, plus gems and plants.
- Town markets: The vibrant Burmese market in the centre of town represents an amazing cultural mix. There are Indo-burmese textiles, food and teak; as well as Karen, Mon, Hmong and other Burmese minority shops of all kinds. Turtles, eels and frogs all available at food stalls (mostly these are live) while of course more "western" meats such as pork, chicken, beef and lamb are sold. There are numerous gem and jade shops - but they are not for amateurs, you best be able to tell the difference between real and fake gems if you plan to buy. There is a small indoor (morning and evening) Thai market at Baan Nua - on the way towards Mae Sot villas with lovely fresh vegetables, meat and cooked take away meals.
- Wat Mani Temple : On the eastern side of town (near the Tesco Lotus) has a sauna, for about 20B.
- Thai massage: Most recommended is in the grounds of Mae Sot general hospital, rear entrance and the one on the Asian Highway on the left towards the river, just past the traffic lights to Mae Ramat.
- Temples: Many and varied, some Thai and some Burmese style. Try to get to the one down towards the border (last main road on the right) - reclining Buddha and other delights.
- Swimming pools: Delightful one in a private house in Mae Sot villas (follow the signs), plus a gym and pool at Centara Hotel (Asian Highway).
- Football: At the time of writing there is an NGO football evening on Fridays (ask for directions at Kung's Bar).
- Go to the Herbal Sauna at Wat Mani (in the east part of town). If you walk on the northern main road (in eastern direction) enter the temple complex at the sign Wat Mani, walk straight and turn right around the main building. The herbal sauna is at the back of the main temple. Bring your own towel and water bottle. Women should wear a sarong or loose cloth. There's a separate section for men and women. The steam room is tiny but this gives a good opportunity to mix up with locals. Open in the afternoon. GPS-coordinates: N 16° 43.019 E 98° 34.455
- The main market is a great place to purchace some Burmese goods. Wandering around it is easy to see the ethnic diversity in Mae Sot. Its is also a fantastic place to buy great fresh (often alive) food. Toad anyone?
- There are many gem stone and jewelery shops offering good bargains. Most of the trade is for wholesale however. As with anywhere in Thailand, although many sellers are reputable, be wary that if you look European, low quality stones might be sold for high prices. Do some research before you buy.
- For locally made ethnic handicrafts (Fair Trade / Social Enterprise) goods try WEAVE or Borderline shops (pretty much opposite each other) on Inthrakiree Road heading into town from the west. Borderline also has a local artists gallery and a coffee shop (with snacks) and free wifi out the back.
- There are a couple of treking/tour companies operating out of Mae Sot, with jungle trips, elephant rides (if you have to) and white water rafting. However, some routes are seasonal and cannot be accessed during the height of the rainy season (May - October).
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.
- Aiya is a Thai-Burmese restaurant on Intharakiree Road (heading east), across from Ban Thai. An expansive menu (in English). Friendly but slow service.
- Bai Fern Restaurant also on Intharakiree Road (virtually opposite Aiay. Comfortable with friendly staff, serves Thai and European food.
- Casa Mia offers Thai, Burmese and Western food. Friendly, English speaking staff, with home made bread, pasta and cakes. Left off Intharakiree Road (heading east from the bus station) at the western end of the town. Staff are friendly and food is consistently good.
- Hazel Cafe is on the right hand side of Intharakiree Road, just before the police station. Sleek decor with good coffee and delicious cakes and chocolates. Free wifi (with a/c).
- Janra Indian Restaurant on Inthrakiree Road (west side of town, and on the junction of Casa Mia turning). Vegetarian buffet on Friday nights (100 baht per person) but standards are not always consistant.
- Krua Canadian Cafe is in the centre of Mae Sot, opposite the police station on the western route of Inthrakiree Road. Extensive Eurpean, Mexican and Thai menu. Opens early for breakfast (7am) and Dave sells take-away bread, wine and Thai coffee.
- Cafe de Moei next to PTT, left hand side of Asian Highway on the way to Moei river, serving good Thai fusion cuisine.
- The Night Market is terrific for late diners as the open air shops stay open quite late. All Thai food with English menus. have English menu.
- T Corner on the west side of town is another Anglo-friendly place, best suited for breakfast and lunch. They provide free wifi but you're not allowed to charge your computer (only sit as long as your batteries last)!
- Opposite T Corner / affectionately known as 'Fishtank' (due to its location next to an aquarium shop) is a really good eating place serving Thai food. Don't be put off by the decor and TV soaps, as the food is all freshly cooked in front of you, while you wait, by a recently returned top Bangkok hotel chef.
- Mai Thai is a lovely place to eat and drink (yes, you guessed, on Inthrakiree Road on the right before Aunites and after Aiya). The Thai owner and chef cooks each dish to order according to her northern Thai roots. Open early for 'after work' drinks and late for live sports.
- SP Kitchenserves delicious Burmese, Thai and Western food - on the left of the Asian Highway heading towards the border with Burma.
* 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.
- Oasis Coffee Shop is a regular meeting place for foreigners in Mae Sot. In addition to coffee, cakes, and sandwiches, there are meeting rooms available with the purchase of a cup of coffee, free up-to-date maps, internet and Wi-Fi, Thai and Burmese lessons, and an English language Church Service on Saturday night. It is also a great source for information especially if you are new in town. All are welcome. It is on the street opposite the entrance to the Mae Sot street market (2/2 Soi Watchumpon; Ph. 055-533047; Monday-Saturday 8-6).The money goes towards the Home Of Hope Orphanage, and the Elpis school for refugees.
- Kung's Bar On the left hand side of the one way system heading east (towards Tak!), just after the Borderline shop and opposite WEAVE local handicrafts. Good range of local and international drinks, including the finest cocktails at reasonable prices. Outside seating, indoor pool and footie, fantatic music and generally, a hip place to be. The Thai owner "Kung" is an original born Mae Sotian - a welcoming host with loads of local information (from fishing to frogs) and a great sense of humour. Mr K also owns a traditionally, renovated Thai style wooden guest house, which could also fit into the 'boutigue' hotel category (see details in relevant section).
- Y2K A local Thai night club. Entrance is 70 baht, with a free small Leo beer. The interior is "table style" where everyone has their own group and table (few dance outside of their own table). On Friday and Saturday nights host a large number of ladyboys with live music.
- Auntie's Coffee Shop  489 Intharakiree Road, Mae Sot, 63110 is a popular place with both Thais and foreigners - on the right before Wat Chumpon. Specialties include coffee from Vietnam Coffee and fruit smoothies. Free wifi and little souvenirs for sale. Antie also has a homestay place north of Mae Sot on the way to Mae Sariang. http//auntiescoffeemaesot.shutterfly.com
- Sweet Harmony Coffee Shop and Bakery 2/3 Sripanich Road, Mae Sot, 055-544810 or 0819711731. Pleasant atmostphere in a bustling down town location with good snacks and drinks.
- Mai Thai welcomes drinkers as well as eaters, screens live sports games and has a menu stuffed with traditional northern Thai fare.
There are many hotels and guest houses in Mae Sot.
- @ Baan Tung Guest House is a boutique style mid range place to stay. Rates based on 350 - 500 baht per room per night are negotiable for longer stays. Quiet location, close to the town, markets, eating places and en route from the bus station (see website map: http://baantungguesthouse.com/?page_id=5. Large, clean and very comfortable en suite (with hot water) double rooms with locally crafted furniture and seating area have a fridge, cable TV and free wifi. Enjoy fresh coffee on the balcony or terrace and obtain excellent information (places to see, places to eat, places to drink) from the Thai owner (Kung of Kung's Bar) or his friendly staff who speak Thai, English and Burmese. Reservations can be emailed to email@example.com or telephone 085 985 1979.
- Green Guest House, a clean and affordable converted set of homes. There are private and shared bath rooms available. Television is also included. If you stay more than one night a towel and toilet paper are included.
- First Hotelhas invested it's time and energy in its interior, leaving the exterior to be remarkable only for the difference. Air con rooms with double beds are available, as are other variations.
- Bai Fern has wifi, mostly unremarkable rooms, and some have a/c. It is conveniently located in the middle of town between the Bai Fern restaurant, Aiya, and Kung's Bar - all popular western NGO hang-outs.
- Lusy's Home Guesthouse offers cheap rooms (200B per night, cheaper if you stay for a longer period) with tv, hot shower, fan and a water bottle. GPS-coordinates: N 16° 43.012 E 98° 33.882
- Ban Thai, down a soft gravel alley, with a very peaceful atmosphere. Rooms are clean, but Air Con does not seem available. The Manager, Thant is a good source of information about the local schools (of which there are over 50) that work with Burmese refugee children. Do NOT leave tips for maids with Thant; he will keep the money for himself; the maids Never receive your tip. Thant is not the kind man he pretends to be.
- Smile Guest House cheap and basic rooms, some with a/c.
- No. 4 Guest House appears to be a haven for trekkers, and has clean comparable rooms.
- DK Guest House is also a well used tourist hang out with mostly older NGO people, missionaries and the like. About 400b per night tiled BIG rooms with TV, western toilet, cable TV and a balcony. Don't get the rooms at either end (next to the road or at the opposite end) as the noise can be a bit mich from chickens and cars very early in the morning. The staff are nice and internet is available in the lobby. All Burmese staff (except counter staff).
- The Porn Thep Hotel is by, comparison to all other similarly priced accomodation, sub-standard; with musty rooms, broken TVs and torn curtains.
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).
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.
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
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