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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Feb. 1, 2008-Visa Run To Myanmar

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Vegetable Sellers in Myanmar

We are staying in Thailand on tourist visas and it means we only get to stay 30 days at a time. When your 30 days is up you have to get out of the country so you take a “visa run” over the border somewhere and then come right back in and restart the 30 day clock. Myanmar is close so we went to Myanmar.

We left the boat in Phuket and rented a Toyota and drove 150 miles up the coast to Ranong right across the boarder from Kawthaung, Myanmar. A short boat trip to Kawthaung check in, have lunch, check out and you’re done. There seemed to be a convergence of a great number of other expats, backpackers, tourists, and locals, all queuing their way through the systems on both sides of departure and arrival cards, passport stamping, photo copying, fees payments and penalties. And there is also an office on the side where they take you for questioning if your paperwork isn’t exactly straight. We saw an older white man and a young Thai woman sitting there across from an immigration officer and the question and answer session seemed to be going on a long time. Don’t know what their problem was but we had none even though we had overstayed our previous visa by a day. Just pay 500THB and you’re good to go.

After our short stay and tea shop lunch in Kawthaung we returned to Thailand, checked back in, and drove down the coast road back to Phuket.

The Myanmar visa run was a new experience for us, but all in a typical day for a couple of cruisers.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket Thailand

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