Chiang Mai - Tachilek return

DavidFL

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A trip to Tachilek to suss out the real visa & temporary bike import situation.

The route
R118 Cnx - Chiang Rai
R1 - Mae Sai
Tachilek
Tachilek - Thoed Thai - Doi Mae Salong - Chiang Dao - Chiang Mai.

Nothing special, except the Tachilkek sojourn & related info.

I always enjoy the rides, scenery & socialising / networking / checking up on old friends.
But after 30 years riding these roads it sometimes aint easy to find something new to photograph.

A new highlight on R118

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Sweet Memory Coffee just across the road from Cabbages & Condoms near Wiang Pa Pao.

The 350 baht a night Sabai Inn was my preferred place of stay in CEI

I had a dinner date that I met at the King Mengrai statue at dusk

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she needed a fortune telling reading before going out??

The masterplan was to hit the Cabbages & Condoms aircon restaurant for dinner, but the walking street & no access / no parking killed that idea.
Next choice was the Moom Mai

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which I now think has the best food & romantic atmosphere in Chiang Rai.
Perfect for a charming date & some intelligent conversation.
My other preferred dining establishments in CEI are Cabbages & Condoms, plus the Siam Corner
& I now rate Moom Mai as# 1.

more to come...food first.
 

DavidFL

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Dinner was a beauty, it's a long time since I have good such good intelligent female company - a uni lecturer with a Masters Degree from Canada, now working for one of the biggest companies in the Kingdom & helping set up a new private university.
Her views on politics & economics & education in the country were refreshing.
Sadly she had to retire early to Mae Fah Luang uni & prepare for a special lecture the next day.

I retired to Paradise Bar for a night cap.
Of note in Paradise was the new liquor cabinets & reduced stock.
The new cabinet

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& the new liquor cabinets are firmly bottled to the wall.
Not long ago there was a significant earth tremor in Chiang Rai & the open shelves

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stacked with expensive top shelf booze & shaking violently caused some panic.

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The next day it was power on up the highway to Mae Sai.

Wat Pong O, south of Mae Chan

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The army getting in on the tourist km marker attraction.

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The Doi Nang Non viewpoint at Mae Chan

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only spoiled by the powerful stench of urine in the stairwell of the look out tower.
Totally disgusting & unnecessary with a public toilet just 20 meters away.
 

DavidFL

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Late afternoon views of Mae Sai & Tachilek

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photos taken from Wat Doi Wao.

You may often think that there's not much to Mae Sai & Tachilkek, but the views from Doi Wao certainly show that they are both sprawling towns, with lots of development going on.

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DavidFL

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In Mae Sai I found a new eating establishment.
The Green House
a place that I had been tipped off about by Seepaak my regular & favourite local restaurant in Mae Rim

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& the night time Pub & Restaurant was the Jaanpa

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For the night owls, there's plenty of good night life - "Pub & Restaurants" in Mae Sai out near the Mekong Delta Hotel (close to the bus station), plus along the "new" bypass road from Mae Sai - Golden Triangle.
 

DavidFL

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The next day power on across the bridge into Tachilek.
My "fixer" met me on the bridge & 40 minutes later I was in Tachilkek with the Versys.

Accommodation was the Riverside Hotel

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Air con hot water TV bright & clean

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700 baht a night

Undercover parking

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Then time for a cruise to see the sights of Tachilkek......

Just out of town the river was up

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I would have liked to seen where this river flowed into the Ruak, but no road, so I was told.

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Wat More Nyin

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the temple was badly damaged by the earthquake in 2011.

Repairs are underway & when mixing the sand for the cement, small sand chedis are made first, then blessed before going into the old cement mixer.

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DavidFL

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Next stop was Tachilek's Shwedagon temple

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A Tachilek view

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after all this fierce activity in the hot sun it was power nap time.

Then happy hour....the Regina Golf Course & Casino
& it definitely has a stunning view at happy hour

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The Terraze is the name of the happy hour spot

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& I would not mind going back again

Day 1 was almost done.

A Tachilek dinner

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blackb15

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Oct 11, 2009
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David
Great photos and interesting ,not a good bar to try and do the top shelf :)
Thanks
Safe riding
Paul
 

daewoo

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Dec 6, 2005
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Interesting - I wouldn't have thought that Tachilek was so ready for tourism after having only seen the markets -

How much is a Versys on that side of the border?

Cheers,
Daewoo
 

Moto-Rex

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Jan 5, 2008
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Nice ride report David.

Great photos of Mae Sai, which is in my opinion one of the best little towns in the North.
Also love all those bottles behind the bar in Chiang Rai..... Decisions Decisions Decisions.

Moto-Rex
 

DavidFL

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&the finale...

Where can you go..

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about 15 kms out & that's it.

My fixer

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Mr Slim, met on the bridge earlier this year.
Perfect polite English gained from working in agriculture with an Aussie company for 5 years, trying to grow potatoes. They got ripped off & failed.

Slim says he has helped several lots of bikers get in from Thailand & ride around the sights of Tachilek.
He meets you on the bridge & tells you where to go & helps with the paperwork entering Myanmar.
His fee 1,000 baht a day.

The only paperwork I got was a slip for insurance costing 100 baht.
No actual bike import papers & the visa process was exactly the same as normal.

So despite all the hype - still no real visa on arrival in Tachilek
You still just get a stamp in & immigration retain your passport at the bridge.
And you cant go anywhere - the travel restrictions for motorbikes are still the same.
Now if you get a visa from the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, then you can enter for a month & exit from another port.
But if you want to ride around on your own with your bike, you need a route & package via a Myanmar tour company, that has been approved in advance by the Hotels & Tourism Ministry in the capital Naypyidaw.

So is it worth riding around in Tachilek.
For me the jury is still out.
You really cant go anywhere.
The traffic is chaotic & the roads full of potholes= it is hardly enjoyable.
But I will probably do it one more time in the coming months.
But be prepared for the traffic on the bridge - dont go on a weekend or holiday & do it before tourist high season kicks in.

And you probably don't really need a fixer, but you might need someone to show you around in Tachilek.
Please yourself. I certainly did not begrudge paying Slim 1,000 baht.
 

yempaul

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Nov 15, 2007
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Davidfl;293049 wrote:
Now if you get a visa from the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, then you can enter for a month & exit from another port.
David

I entered Tachileik with a visa I got from Myanmar Embassy in Singapore. Still didn't work. They still kept my passport and issued a temporary.

Nice to see Slim there. His name is Saleem actually.
 

DavidFL

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yempaul;294308 wrote: David

I entered Tachileik with a visa I got from Myanmar Embassy in Singapore. Still didn't work. They still kept my passport and issued a temporary.

Nice to see Slim there. His name is Saleem actually.
Yempaul,
Thanks for the update, when did you do this?