Thailand - May 2017
This is some kind of how to and an article about our experiences when doing a visa run for another 30 days in Thailand via Myanmar. We crossed the Thailand /Myanmar border in Ranong using a long tail boat. Special thanks to Rolling East (htto://www.rolling-east.com) for their guide. Consider to read there article as well - it's very helpful!
Notice: At least as a german you don't need a visa for this as you only stay at the region of the port. There may be nations having more trouble to do this process here.
Costs and time
In total we paid 640 THB (~17 USD) per person.
30 Baht - Taxi from and to the port
10 Baht - 2 passport copies
200 Baht - boat return trip
400 Baht - unmarked 10 USD bill
All in all it took us 3 hours including going from and back to our hostel (Madinah Hostel)
Go to Port
I guess it's way cheaper to take a shared taxi than ask your hostel, guesthous or hotel for a taxi service.
We followed Rolling-Easts advice to take a shared taxi for a fixed rate of 15 THB per person. The shared taxies are these little pickup trucks with 2 benches and a roof in the back. They have numbers like busses.
We went to the intersection near the Madinah Hostel (9.963644, 98.641688), just stopped one by waving and asked for "port, myanmar, pier". The driver somehow understood. We took the number 3. You may also download the picture below and show it to the driver. It shows the place where you want to exit.
You need a taxi going from east to west
Hop on and pay the 15 THB per person when you hop off.
Don't be confused when the taxi goes somewhere you don't expect. They just drive to different spots like the market to get some more passengers.
It took us about 15 minutes to get to the port from Madinah Hostel (6,5km).
Prepare your documents
You will exit at a petrol station with a 7 eleven on the right side. Some guys will instantly come to you and offer a boat trip.
We friendly said "slowly, slowly" and more or less ignored them. Now, afterwards I think you can easily say yes to them and bargain the price for a return trip (200 Baht per person seems to be a normal price). Then they will guide you to the a place where you can get the needed 2 copies of your passport and get your unmarked 10 USD bill. Or you just ask them where to get it.
You will need a shiny, unmarked 10 USD bill to pay the burmese guys at the border to get your stamp - at least this is what we where told. I am pretty sure they won't reject a good looking 100 USD bill for example as long as it has no crease or cracks.
The unmarked 10 USD bill is about 400 Baht. They asked for 500, but when we said "no, 400" it was OK also :)
It's a good idea to bring a A4 foil where you can put the passport copies and the dollars in as you will have to handle these papers on a boat and prevent them from getting wet.
The boat driver will show you where to go and you'll get your exit stamp. They will also ask you if you will come back today - no problem. Don't forget to fill out your thai departure form.
Take some water and sunscreen with you as you may have to wait some time in the boat while the driver is doing whatever he did during the 30 minutes we had to wait until we started to myanmar. Be careful in the boat, don't put your arm or fingers outside when other boats are near. At a certain point on the trip the driver told us to put on the provided life jackets. It was near some kind of police station on an island near the thai pier.
We payed 200 Baht per person for a return trip.
On the way to myanmar you'll stop after 5 minutes somewhere and have to hand out one of your passport copies to the driver. You can stay in the boat. He will also ask to pay the boat at this point. We had some problems here and had to "discuss" later as the driver hadn't enough change when we paid the 400 Baht with a 1000 Baht bill. He promised to give us the change in myanmar. But.there he said the trip was 300 per person, which wasn't the deal. So better you have the appropriate amount of Baht in your pocket.
In myanmar everything was fast and easy. The boat driver guides you to a little office, you just say that you only stay today, hand out your passport copy and the 10 USD, get your stamps and have some time to buy cheap cigarettes, alcohol and other stuff. We only tried some street food.
After 10 minutes we went back to the boat and had to wait another 30 minutes there before we started back to Thailand.
On the way back the driver asked for our passports to show them to an officer at the place we also stopped on the way to Myanmar.
We also stopped at the police island which we passed before and they checked t our passports and he luggage of the locals.
Once you left the boat everything is easy again. Don't forget to fill the immigration form (we just wrote Madinah Hostel Ranong as adress in Thailand) , go to the arrival and get your stamp.
Video: Visa Run Thailand/Ranong to Kawthaung/Myanmar
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