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Mae Sai

Travel Guide Asia Thailand North Thailand Chiang Rai Province Mae Sai

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Introduction

Mae Sai town, also the most northerly point of Thailand, is a bustling trade town where the official Thai/Myanmar border crossing is. There is a distinctly Burmese influence here, browse the markets brimmed with Chinese/Thai/Burmese produce such as tea, preserved fruit, snacks, cheap electronic and fake designer goods. You can go through the immigration checkpoint and cross the Friendship Bridge over to Burma for sightseeing. When you arrive on the Myanmar side at 'Tachileck', several tuktuk drivers offer sightseeing tours of the area, there are also local markets selling the same stuff as on the Thai side. For certain passport holders (ie: UK and US) Burmese immigration will grant you a 2-week stay.

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Sleep

Budget

  • Chad House - Tel: 053 732054, 60-250bt. Simple, clean rooms have shared hot water shower facilities. Cosy friendly atmosphere
  • Monkey Island Guesthouse - Tel: 053 734060, 100-400bt. A hang out place for travellers, has large rooms offering good value for money. Has a bar/restaurant, pool table and large terrace facing the Myanmar side
  • Mae Sai Guesthouse - Tel: 053 732021, 300-500bt. Has a range of 'A' frame bungalows, from simple cheap with shared bathroom to ones overlooking the river with private bathroom.
  • Mae Sai Riverside Resort - Tel: 053 732630, 350bt. Rather grand looking from the outside, but with old simple rooms on the inside. Has a good Thai restaurant though that overlooks the river.

Mid-Range

  • Top North Hotel - Tel: 53 731955, 400-900bt. Five minutes walk away from the Friendship Bridge, has large rooms and friendly staff.
  • S-House Hotel - Tel: 53 640670, 500-600bt.

Upscale

  • Piyaporn Place Hotel - Tel: 053 734511, 1,000-1,800bt. Has the usual 4/5 star amenities; small sofa, bath, cable TV, minibar. Good value for money.
  • Wang Thong Hotel - Tel: 053 733389. Has a pool, pub, disco and restaurant.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are countless internet bars across the country in big and small towns. Internet caf├ęs are widespread and most are inexpensive. Prices as low as 15 baht/hour are commonplace, and speed of connection is generally reasonable, but many cafes close at midnight. Higher prices prevail in major package-tourist destinations (60 baht/hour is typical, 120 baht/hour is not unusual). Keyloggers are all too often installed on the computers in cheap cafes, so be on your guard if using online banking, stock broking or even PayPal. Remember that in the smaller towns and more traditional areas the owners and staff of internet bars prefer if customers take off their shoes at the entrance and leave them outside. This might seem strange although this gesture goes a far way to make friends and give a positive image of foreigners to Thai people.

Outside the most competitive tourist areas, free Wi-Fi is not as common as in neighbouring countries in many budget hotels and guesthouses and they may charge small fee for Internet by LAN or Wi-Fi even if you bring your own laptop. Wi-Fi is commonly available in cafes and restaurants serving Westerners.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international code for Thailand is 66. 999 connects to all emergency services. Standard GSM emergency number 112 is supported in mobile networks. 911 for Tourist Police Department, English available.

For mobile phone users, Thailand has three GSM mobile service providers - AIS, DTAC and Truemove - which may be useful if you have a mobile phone that will work on either one or both of the GSM 900 or 1800 frequency bands (consult your phone's technical specifications). If you have one, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for any of the Thai carriers in any convenience store for as little as 50-200 baht and charge it up as you go. Using your own mobile phone while on holiday with a Thai pre-paid SIM card can save a lot of money and lets you give your number to family back home, so they can have an emergency contact number.

Post

Thailand Post is the Thai postal service that deals with all local and international mail in Thailand. The business is operated from local post offices. Post offices are easy to recognise with their red white and blue motifs and the words 'Thailand Post' in English and Thai above the entrance. They are open from Monday to Saturday, usually 8:30am to 4:30pm (main ones until around 8:00pm), though keeping shorter hours on Saturdays (usually until 1:00pm). They are generally closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. Each post office offers a comprehensive service which includes an Express Mail Service (EMS) and parcel post. They also have a price calculator for letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. They also have a track and trace system and money transfer services. If you want to send packages, it might be a good idea to check with private courier companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, as they are fast, reliable and generally quite competitively priced.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 20.440672
  • Longitude: 99.914851

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This is version 10. Last edited at 10:37 on Nov 5, 13 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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