How to cross the border from Thailand to Myanmar by land? Mae Sot


February 10, 2022

If you are travelling through Thailand and want to cross into Myanmar, a very cheap way to do it is by land. We crossed at the MAE SOT-MYAWADDY border. The crossing was very easy and we had no problems at all. It is also possible to use the E-Visa through this border crossing and it is an ideal place to start your route through Myanmar.

How to get to Mae Sot?

Mae Sot is very accessible if you are coming from Chiang Mai or Bangkok.

From Chiang Mai

We went by bus from Chiang Mai. There is only one company that makes this trip, twice a day, called GREEN BUS. One at 8am and one at 1pm. You can buy the ticker through or any tour company. The ticket cost us 300 BATHS (10 USD). The trip takes 6 hours. We left at 8am and arrived around 2:30pm.

The bus drops you off at a station 3km from the border so if you don't want to walk you can take a tuk tuk. We shared with some guys who came with us on the bus and they charged us 20baths per person (less than 1USD).

Crossing borders

The border is a very simple procedure, first you have to get your passport stamped on the Thai side of the border to prove that you are leaving the country. Once you have your passport stamped, you have to cross the friendship bridge that separates Myanmar from Thailand. On the Myanmar side they will check your printed visa, you will have to fill out an immigration paper, they will stamp your passport and that's it. You are now in Myanmar.

How to get from Myawaddy to Hpa An?

As soon as you get out of the immigration checkpoint you will be approached by the man who manages all the taxis. He is the only one who speaks English and he will help you. We know that in the southeast we are very suspicious, but this man is the one who manages everything, so you better negotiate with him.

We arranged a shared taxi to HPA AN for 250 baths each, usually he wants to charge you 300 baths (10USD). As we were not going back to Thailand, he helped us to change the Baths we had left over into Kyats (the Myanmar currency).

The taxi to HPA AN takes about 5 hours. We left at about 15:30 and arrived at 20:30. It's a long way and the route has some disastrous parts, dirt roads full of potholes and detours. It is best not to do it at night as we did, as the roads are quite dangerous.

If you arrive at the border at night, we recommend sleeping on the Thai side of the border, as there are many more hotels to choose from, and crossing the border in the morning.

Important: Not so long ago the Myawaddy to Hpa An route was not available every day, because on even days the route went in one direction and on odd days in the other. This is no longer the case.


In Myanmar there is no visa on arrival, you need to get it in advance. It allows you to stay in the country for 28 days. There are two ways:

Visa at embassy: You can get a visa at a Myanmar embassy. The price depends on how fast you want it but it varies between 50-80 USD. This way of getting a visa was very common when the E-VISA was not yet available.

e-Visa: The easiest way to do it. You can get it from the official website of migrations:  

It costs 50 USD and it takes approximately 3 working days to get it to you. To apply you will have to enter the border you plan to enter through, upload a passport photo into the system (it can be a photo you take with your mobile phone on a white background) and pay. Don't print it out as you will be asked for it at the border.

The E-Visa is valid for entry through the three international airports, and the following land crossings:

  • Mae Sot / Myawaddy (Thailand)
  • Mae Soi/ Tachilik(Thailand)
  • Ranong /Kawathaung (Thailand)
  • Moreh/Tamu (India)
  • Zokhawthar / Rih khaw dar (India)