Thailand 2015: Mae Sot


Mae Sot is a very interesting place in Thailand as it shares a border with Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and the people staying there are culturally diverse. Why? Because Mae Sot found at the province of Tak doesn't only have Thai nationals. Since it's sharing a border with Myanmar, there are an unknown number of refugees from Myanmar. There are Burmese, Karen, Thai, and NGOs from different parts of the world. 



My father once lived in Mae Sot and volunteered as a teacher for the Burmese people. And it's also the main reason why we went to Mae Sot.. so he can show me the places he's staying in, the school he's teaching to, and of course basically experience the province part of Thailand.

Mae Sot from Bangkok is a 6 to 8 hour drive. We departed the Mo Chit bus station at around 10 PM if my memory serves me right. It was a night bus so we slept while on our way to Mae Sot and by 6 AM, we arrived to our destination. We still have to ride a Tuktuk (our tricycle counterpart here in Manila) to the place we're staying in. 



There are no hotels around the area so the only choice you have are guesthouses. My father used to stay in this guesthouse called Phannu House and so that's where we'll be staying in for the night as well. The place is okay. The rooms are clean and you have a choice to book for a fan room or an air conditioned room. The air conditioned room costs 500 baht (roughly 1000 pesos) which I think is already sulit and affordable.


Upon checking in to our room, we rest for awhile and went to see the Thai-Myanmar friendship bridge. This is basically the border between Thailand and Myanmar. The bridge is crossing the Moei River and is the linking connection between the two countries. There's also a market near the river where you can shop for some Burmese products. I actually wanted to cross the bridge but that would cost us another bahts and my father said that there's nothing special on the other end of the bridge, unless of course if you would tour around Myanmar. But well you see, it's about the stamp on my passport! HAHA sayang tatak guys!




What I noticed about the streets of Mae Sot is that since there are no malls, most of the stores close very early. Like around 4 or 5 maybe? And my father also told me that food vendors are only open in a  short period of time. If they're serving breakfast, they'll be open during the breakfast hours only! And if you're that unlucky, the food might just be sold out already before you can even come to the store. This is happening most especially to the stores that are quite famous around the area. One of my personal favorite from the food we ate in Mae Sot is the Hainanese chicken. I don't know how the locals call it, but it looks and tastes like a hainanese chicken to me. Lol. I don't eat rice but I was forced to eat rice during our stay there because most of the foods being sold are "set meals" meaning it already has rice, veggies, and soup on the side. 



As for dinner, we meet with some of my father's friends in the area and had dinner with them at the night market. BTW, spicy Thai food are really spicy! One reason I was able to drink 4 bottles of water. But! Don't get me wrong, the food are glorious, I especially liked the steamed fish we had. 





One of the Burmese dishes I liked and wished we can have it here in Manila is the Tea Leaf salad that has tea leaves and nuts. It's very yummy! Partnered with lemongrass tea. We had this at Borderline Cafe while chilling around. Lol. Good thing about this cafe is it isn't just a cafe that serves food and drinks, they also sell Burmese goods and products to help those who are living in the Thai-Burma border.


The next day we rent a bicycle at the place we're staying in (yes they are renting bicycles) and after we had breakfast, we went to the school where my father used to teach. The place is not used for teaching anymore. It was already a residential area but we're lucky enough to still roam around the area and look at the place.



It was fun to roam around Mae Sot too especially when you're riding a bike. Just be cautious with the stray dogs though. If you happen to pass by a stray dog, just walk your bike instead of riding it because these dogs will come after you if you don't walk. 


This part of Thailand too has colorful temples. Dress codes are strict as well. 


After 2 full days around Mae Sot, we went to Tak bus station and departed for Chiang Mai. Mae Sot is very different from Bangkok and most espcially Chiang Mai. Mae Sot is very quiet. Very rural. There are no commercial buildings too. It's like seeing a different face of Thailand.




You might want to check out my other Thailand travel diary:
BANGKOK     CHIANG MAI     AYUTTHAYA

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