There is no bus connection to get you from Mawlamyine to Bangkok in Thailand, so all the journey from Mawlamyine to Mae Sot, the border with Thailand, is done in a shared taxi. The distance between the two places is about 130 km, however, it takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
That sound insane and it’s hard to imagine why the journey takes so long to do such a short distance. Well, when I say that the streets in Myanmar are very bad, this is the type of situation when you can actually realize that they are bad. For several kilometers, we can’t go faster than 20Km/h because the street is so bumpy. Only getting closer to Thailand the streets are getting good. I was enjoying the wind on my face a lot until the street is under construction and full of dust, so we need to keep our windows closed.
This sounds like a comfortable journey as you are on a taxi, but it actually wasn’t that way. We get on a “Burmese typical bus” from the Hotel to a place where the driver took us to get on the taxi. It was very fast to find a car that was heading the same direction, but it already has 3 passengers, and we are two girls plus the driver, this makes 6 people, but there is one lady laying on the car bag. It’s a very skinny old lady with the full car bag just for her and her radio. She is wearing a comb on her hair. She looks gentle and cute.
We are feeling bad for her being on the car bag as it will be a long journey, but a few minutes after our journey begins, things change.
We are stopping in what it seems to be a warehouse. Weird… We are there waiting several minutes for our driver until he parks the car inside the warehouse, tells the lady to get off the car bag and loads the car with two massive car engines. Each car engine had 150kg, so we immediately feel the car lowing with the weight. We are wondering how the hell this car will handle the whole weight through the whole journey and where the hell this lady will be sitting now. Yes, you can imagine, we were four in the back seats. We can’t believe we will have to go the full journey squeezed like that. At least we should have paid less for one extra person baaa.
The men take a while to load the engines as the merchandise is heavy. After it, we proceed as the old lady joins us with her radio on. Haha, it was so funny. After a while, she turns it off as the driver turns on some heavy metal Burmese music, which was also fun.
We were squeezing for almost 4 hours but it wasn’t so bad as our ride partners were very skinny people. We stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere to have lunch, as our driver naps for a while. People here are very nice as I’m sure they don’t see many foreigners in this area. The price of the journey is about 11.000 Kyats (6,50€)
To go from Mawlamyine to Bangkok, you need to cross the Mae Sot border. Getting to Mae Sot, we need to cross the border on foot, or in my case with the Ympek bicycle. Crossing the border is easy, just need to fill in some papers and that’s it. It didn’t take long too. However, some curious situation was going on as the police officer at the border was saying that I’m not the person of the Visa picture hahaha. My hair was shorter and I wasn’t wearing eyeglasses, but after a few minutes and some laughs, he believed me.
Once in Thailand, we pay 20 bahts for an open truck ride until the bus station where the buses depart to Bangkok. We need to wait on this bus until it is full to proceed the journey. We waited for about 15 minutes, not so bad. We were kind of rushing because we don’t have the tickets and we need to get to Bangkok this night. We had no Bahts with us and my friend was stating that she only found one bus available with two seats so we started to panic. And those tickets were way more expensive than we were expecting. Luckily, I have my Ympek bicycle to ride fast until town and get some money out the ATM machine cause the one in the bus station only accepts credit cards.
So there I go rushing to Mae Sot city center to get money to buy these tickets. Once I reach my friend at the bus station, it looks like she has a new friend that just bought cheaper tickets on another balcony. Advice: please check all the counters for prices and tickets, cause she didn’t. So, after all, we got a cheaper price and didn’t need to rush so much about buying these tickets as there were more available.
People find weird that I am with a bicycle, so I got many looks at me. The lady on the ticket balcony was very confused and had no idea what to charge me for the bicycle, so she asked me for almost the same price as the bus ticket. My reaction is laughing like “what the hell”. Is she seriously asking me to pay the same for the bike as per the journey from Mae Sot to Bangkok? I explained to her how much I’m used to paying in Myanmar for this extra luggage and she agreed on a way cheaper price. I guess she just said a number to see if I will be stupid enough to accept it.
The bus stops very far away from the airport, but I have plenty of time. The journey from the station to the airport costs about 350 Baht but I split the bill with another girl I met on the bus that luckily was heading to the airport too. Her flight was much earlier than mine, so I just slept for hours and hours at the airport while waiting for my flight to Ho Chi Minh.
You can also go from Yangon to Bangkok through Hpa-An, like most part of the people do. However, this journey from Mawlamyine to Bangkok was kind of fun, and I enjoyed spending the last hours of my stay in Myanmar with this friend.