SHAN STATE - Millitary Post

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ChiangMaiDiver, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Yesterday I went from Tom Lod (Pang Mapha) up and offroad, through a few villages, and to Mae Lan up there North of Mae Hong Song. From Mae Lan I hoped offroad and up to the boarder of the Shan state and crossed into the Military headquarters of the Shan Army.

    Was escorted to a house and later met the owner who was the "foreign relations" officer. He made me lunch and talked about the Shan history and what they are doing at the headquarters and how they are fighting for freedom.

    Definitely one of the best experiences I've had in Thailand and wondering if anyone else has been up there.... Was also given an email and told the "proper procedure" of emailing first, sending a copy of passport, and then having full access. Where I simply just drove in and waved high to the soldiers, and later was scolded a bit by the Thai soldiers that I can't just go into the Shan state and back.

    "The other interesting part is being told that if the soldiers saw my GPS I could be arrested and supposedly mortar fire can be targeted in on an active GPS. Won't express my thoughts there, either way I respected their wishes and turned it off and hid it in my bag."

    Just wondering others experience up there and should have a video, some photos, and the contact info up end of next week or there after should anyone want to head over.

    In Pie now and off Sunday up and North along the boarder to Fang and then Chiang Rai...

    I'm seeing that someone could basically go from the boarder there north-east of Fang all the way along the boarder to the Shan post there in the North-West corner of Thailand... would have to sleep in a village, but would be interesting to complete.
  2. Sounds like you want to get locked up somewhere along the way. You've got both Wa & Burmese controlled areas along the border there, & if it is the Burmese, you will more than likely have your bike seized, you be arrested, taken to Yangon & charged there. It's happened before 15? years ago - Dirk the (ex?) owner of Chiang Mai Speedway, crossed over somewhere where you went with 2 other guys on bikes & were picked up by the Burmese. I seem to think that it took about 2 weeks for them to be released & it cost them several thousand US$ by the time it was over. It made a good story in the Bangkok Post too. So it is generally NOT RECOMMENDED crossing international borders illegally, as you please. Whilst it might seem like a fun game to play & get away with, there can be very serious consequences.

    Many many years ago I (& a mate Armin) had written permission, just like they issue now if they know you, (fax in or post your info to a mail box in MHS for a Shan visa) to go into Khun Sa's camp near where you went. But on the night before we were scheduled to leave Cnx for MHS we got a phone call - NO MOTORBIKES. Come in a jeep if you want, but NO MOTORBIKES. We never went, as we only wanted to ride into Khun Sa's camp for the "glory." Looking back, that is something that both Armin & I regret never doing, we should have taken the jeep option. :cry:

    Take CARE out there & don't do anything stupid.
  3. Thanks Dave...

    I haven't gone more then 100 meters in Burma and don't think I would especially hearing your story of the guys being locked up. As for the Shan camp the guy at the gate let me right in; no question asked (says something about their security). About another 100 meters where some soldiers who I talk too and kind of got permission to hang out or I would have gone back... I was having an itch to trek into Burma a bit but then thinking about it that would just be stupid... Will have to let that one go.
  4. On our trip from Sangkhlaburi to Umphang we crossed in Burma and actually spent the night there, about 300 meters inside Burma. I was pretty nervous about it, but Rob seemed to pay it no mind, so I stopped worrying about it. We were pretty much in the middle of the Karen "state", and Jack our Karen friend reassured us several times, "no Burma soldiers here..." We went about 1 km into Burma to the Suriya River crossing and then the trail headed back in Thailand (thankfully).

    Glad we didn't get stopped. I would not want to spend the time and cash trying to get out of detention in Rangoon. Seems like if the Shan let you in though, you ought to be all right while there. But going off exploring deeper into Burma, without an escort, however tempting, might have to wait for the next generation... :)

    The ride along the border that you mention sounds pretty cool JD, would like to hear more about that.

  5. If the area is controlled by the Shan & the political situation is favourable, then it is usually ok with permission in advance. But if it aint the Shan (or the Karen further South), then anything is possible & most of it would mean trouble in a very significant way. If you were nabbed by the Burmese or whoever, no matter how many metres inside "their country" the Thai military patrolling the area would also be in the deep shit = heads would roll, why it was so easy for you to illegally depart & re-enter the country. So please be careful out there. You could get locked up on the Thai side too. Journos Terence White & Edith Carver were made scapegoats for a press conference held in Khun Sa's camp years ago, picked up when they came back into Thailand, locked up in MHS for a week & deported. Unbelievably Rhodie over to see Khun Sa a week later see prince-of-death-road-trip-khun-sa-memorial-t3096.html#p16559

    I think that Dirk & Co were only a few hundred metres inside Burma too, but it was not a Shan area & the Burmese soldiers must have been rubbing their hands with glee for the plum prize they were getting.

    Up around Hua Mae Kham on the big mountain straddling the border, there are supposedly Shan, Wa & Burmese army camps on the Burmese side of the mountain, plus Thais on the Thai side. Not knowing who was who & where they all are, you could easily make a mistake & end up on the wrong track "in the hands of the enemy."
    You should link up with the guys at Little Home Guesthouse ... guesthouse
    in Doi Mae Salong for some serious trail riding & they can take you into remote camps right on the border in that area.

    It can be a bit of a jungle out there, so take care when you go snooping in places you know that are sensitive.
  6. where's the fotos?
  7. Part of ChiangMaiDivers friendly welcome may have something to do with this announcement in the Nation newspaper. Same area...........

  8. Airikki and guys....

    Working on the video. Should have it uploaded by tonight or tomorrow in a separate post. Got back from being out and about for about 8 days and have put off the hours of cutting video for the past week... Though should be up by tomorrow.

    SilverHawk... Yup, that article says it pretty basic. Road is a wide dirt road up from Mae Lang and the Thai soldiers were very welcoming. Though it states that you can get a "view" of the Shan camp (which you can from the Wat on the Thai side), but it doesn't talk about crossing into the Shan camp. Though I have the email and info which the Shan foreign affairs officer explained the policy to cross over and back which is legal and allowed. He speaks good English and welcomes visitors which you can sign a sort of visitor book that also showed about 30 other foreigners and Thai's that have been to the camp in the past 4 months.

    Will post the info by tomorrow with the video.
  9. Just to reconfirm...

    6 August 2010

    Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province together with cooperation of Thai Army based along the Thai-Burma border has opened Doi Tai Leng, a base camp located on the Thai side of the border near to the headquarters of anti-Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’. Doi Tai Leng offers tourists a chance to experience Thai’s self-reliant life as well as the natural beauty of the environment there, according to Thai media Kom Chad Luek. ... Itemid=291

    Doi Tai Leng, is over 1,000 meters above sea level and located in Thailand’s Pang Ma Pha district's Tambon Mae Lana, 56 kilometers from downtown which is a boundary with the Shan State Army base led by Lt.Gen Yawd Serk. (Loi is Shan corruption of Doi, which means ‘mountain.’)
    [Loitaileing Base]

    According to Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit, the Thai side is ready to welcome tourists to enjoy the beauty of the environment there and learn about the livelihood of the Shan people.

    Besides enjoying the life of local people there, visitors could catch a glimpse of the Shan State Army across the border with Burma, he said.

    The climate there is cool the whole year around and the mountain boasts beautiful and pristine natural scenery.

    He said viewing from Doi Tai Leng on the Thai side, people can see the beauty of mountains.

    Col Uthai Chaichana, Commander of Task Force 7 of Mae Hong Son province said that it would be safe for tourists to visit, with the authorities saying that they will provide security and will help and manage the accommodation of the visitors, so that the area can welcome travelers at anytime.

    “It might be more difficult in the rainy season but then, people can go by four wheels,” the governor said.

    The area can accommodate in excess of 300 tents and food and other supplies can be bought from nearby shops, he added.

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