Mae Sai Things to Do Tips by BorderHopper Top 5 Page for this destination
Mae Sai Things to Do: 27 reviews and 43 photos
Me & Ron in front of a Burmese pagoda
Just across the border from Mae Sai, Thailand (a short hike) there is a golden spired pagoda on top of a hill which over looks the town of Tachilek, Myanmar and Mae Sai, Thailand.
Directions: A short walk from Mae Sai into Tachilek, Myanmar.
My son Mac looking for a sip of Beer Lao
The motorbike ride out to Sop Ruak from Mae Sai was a lot of fun, but tiring, so by the time we crossed the Mekong for our visit to Don Sao, Laos I was ready for a cold Beer Lao. It reminded me of my time in Luang Prabang, Laos a few years earlier since its not often I come across Beer Lao (one of my favorite Asian beers).
My son Mac in Bokkeo Province, Laos
If your using Mae Sai as a base to explore the Golden Triangle region you should take a trip out to the Mekong River. We drove about an hour through beautiful countryside to get from Mae Sai to the small town of Sop Ruak, home of the Opium Museum, where we spent the afternoon around the Mekong. Down at the docks we hired a fast boat that took us across the river to a small isalnd, in Laos's Bokkeo Province, called Don Sao Lao. This is more of a tourist village that sells Lao handicrafts but it still makes for an interesting visit and at the very least you are on Lao territory. If you don't have a visa for Laos you won't need one to visit this island. The Lao immigration post charges a small 40 baht fee and stamps a piece of paper which allows you entry onto the island. The boat drivers wait at the dock while you explore the shops or treat your self to some Beer Lao. I was lucky enough to have some Lao locals invite me to the back of their residence for a round of rice whiskey shots. It's a fun place to bring the family. If you want a truly authentic Lao experience get a visa and cross further south at the official border crossing to Huy Xai.
Directions: Across the Mekong River from Sop Ruak, Thailand. Getting here takes about an hour from Mae Sai.
Fast boat on the Mekong in the Golden Triangle
The mighty Mekong River is only a short drive away from Mae Sai. We rented motorbikes from the Honda dealer in Mae Sai and headed down to the river. We hired a fast boat for about 350 baht which takes you on a tour of the Mekong, passing Myanmar, and crossing over to an island on the Laotian side of the Mekong. It's a lot of fun & a great oppurtunity for photos. You can rent the boats in the town of Sop Ruak. Follow the road signs from Mae Sai to Chiang Saen and Sop Ruak.
Our friends in Sop Ruak, Thailand
In Mae Sai you can rent a Honda 125 cc motorbike at the Honda dealership in Mae Sai. From here you can set out for what proved to be one of our favorite excursions in north Thailand...a trip to Sop Ruak, and a brief visit to Bokkeo Province, Laos. It's possible to step in 3 countries in two hours. If you start your morning off exploring the town of Tachilek in Myanmar, cross back into Mae Sai and follow your Mae Sai regional map to the town of Sop Ruak, Thailand you can then hire a fast boat to take you across the Mekong river to Don Sao Island which is located in Bokkeo Province, Laos. In a matter of 2 hours you'll have been in 3 countries...Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.
Directions: The Honda dealership, where you can rent your motorbike for a few dollars, will provide you with a map that details how to get to Sop Ruak town on the Mekong River. This is where you can cross into Laos
My son & I at the Myanmar border crossing
Mae Sai is the northern most city in Thailand and is located on the southern bank of the Sai River across from the Burmese town of Tachilek. If you have a valid Thai visa and you've brought along your passport then you can easily cross the border into Myanmar for the day. On the Thai side of the border you must get your passport stamped by the Thai authorities at a kiosk just before the bridge. There is a small fee of about 250 baht. Once you've done this you will proceed through the immigration checkpoint on the Thai side of the bridge and walk across the Sai river into Myanmar. You'll then have to leave your passport and a $5 fee with the Myanmar immigration officer who will then provide you with a reciept. You'll will be given until 5 pm to explore the town of Tachilek before you must return to the border, claim your passport, and re-enter Thailand. Your Thai visa will have been cancelled upon your exit from Thailand but you will be issued a new one month visa for Thailand upon your re-entry. You can arrange longer visits into Myanmar with agencies on the Burmese side of the border. They can provide you with a car and driver to take you all the up to the Chinese border and back on a 3 day trip.
Directions: Cross the border bridge from Mae Sai, Thailand to Tachilek, Myanmar.
Looking out from the bowels of Tham Luang Cave
There are several significant caves in the region around Mae Sai....Tham Luang being the main one of interest. The hilltribes include the Shan, Akha, and Lahu villages in the area around Doi Tung and all can be reached by motorbike or hiking. For another kind of adventure try crossing into Tachilek, Burma.
Address: South of Mae Sai off of Route 10
Directions: Tham Luang Cave is located several miles out of town off of Route 110. A large sign directing you down several gravel roads will point you in the right direction.
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