During our trip to Chiang Rai one of the most exciting activities available is to walk into Burma, for a few hours only. Driving one hour from our resort in Chiang Saen (already one hour north of Chiang Rai), we arrive in the Mae Sai checkpoint where it is possible to cross the border and enter Myanmar at Tachileik.
This in the Shan State; Tachileik boasts 50000 inhabitants.
Crossing the border is allowed provided that you leave your passport at the border and pay a nominal fee. Overnight stay is not permitted and I read that guesthouses in the border areas of Myanmar are not allowed to host foreign tourists.
The area close to the checkpoint has a busy market where Thai and Chinese tourists like to shop, for cheap counterweight of handbags, watches and so on. We rode a tuck tuck outside of this area in a more rural side of the city with its food market.
Aside from the usual colorful street life, a nearby covered market, shows more food stalls.
But also some fashion shops; tailors, housewares,…
A few streets from there, a Buddhist monastery, hosts young and old monks who were having their lunch when we arrived. There we could witness the ceremonial of meals, who its first, who last who eats what is not eaten by the others.
The main attraction in Tachileik may well be the replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Situated on a small hill. There are a few tourist / devotee stalls outside and food stalls on the parking.
One of the food stalls around the pagoda.
I tried one of these sweet pancakes, delicious. Grilled for you on the spot on the ground of the parking.
Our guide was very knowledgeable or the area and spoke fluent Burmese which made the experience very enjoyable.
3 hours in Myanmar, a new Stamp on our passports, time to head back in Thailand.
All shots with Leica M262 and Summicron 28mmF2.