This district is 86 km from Amphoe Mueang Tak. It was declared as a district in 1898. Its former name is Phra No Ke. The district is located on the plain flanked by the ranges of mountains in Thailand and Myanmar. It covers an area of about 2,600 sq km; the population consists of hilltribes, migrants from Amphoe Mueang Tak, and some Burmese people who have a Thai family here.
The office that issue work permits for Myanmar/Burmese people who like to work in Thailand legally. The office is located about 500 m from Thai Border.
This shrine is located on a hill at the foot of Phawo Mountain, between Km 62 - 63 on the Tak - Mae Sot route. It gains respect from the people of Tak town and Mae Sot. The story has it that Chaopho Phawo was a Karen warrior who was appointed by King Taksin the Great as chief of the Mae23
Lamao border pass to protect the land from an intrusion of the enemy. In the beginning, the shrine was on the other side of the hill. Then, a new road was built and the shrine was moved. Some told the sacredness of the shrine that if anyone went hunting on Phawo Mountain, they usually encountered irregularities, such as car trouble, sickness, or became lost. Since Chaopho Phawo was a warrior, it was believed that he favoured the sound of a gun. Visitors, therefore, pay homage and shoot a gun, set off fire crackers, or blow their horn to show their respect.
This hill is located at around Km 68 on the Tak - Mae Sot route. Here, a car can be astonishingly seen going up the hill without switching on the engine. A scientist gave an explanation that it was an illusion. The height of the hill was measured to confirm that the way up the hill was lower than the way down. Hence, a car that is seen climbing the hill is really moving towards the lower place. However, no one can explain why such an illusion is seen.
Wat Phothikhun or Wat Huai Toei
This forest temple is located in Tambov Mae Pa on Highway No. 105 (Tak - Mae Sot route) at around Km 69. The interesting feature is the Ubosot (ordination hall) which was designed and built by Khun Somprasong Chaonarai who, denying any wage, devoted his whole life for 18 years to complete it. The boat-like Ubosot has three storeys. The ground storey has no decoration. Decorations were made to the walls, ceiling, and heads of the posts on the second storey. On the third storey where religious ceremonies are performed, it was finely decorated on the walls, posts, and ceiling, with the arts of bas-relief, painting, glass inlaying, and gilding. There is the large principal Buddha image inside the Ubosot. Fine, delicate and elaborate designs outside the Ubosot represent the lively recreation of a traditional art form based on the builder's imagination.
Wat Mani Phraison
This temple is located near Mae Sot Market. Within the compound, there is a unique building called "Chedi Wihan Samphutthe" which contains 512,028 Buddha images and has 223 tiny pagodas on its outer surface. The ancient Ubosot (ordination hall) is more than 200 years old. Its gable and roof are decorated with beautiful wood carvings. There are also pavilions and niches containing Buddha images in various attitudes: Luangpho Sangkatchai, stucco reclining Buddha image, etc.
Wat Chumphon Khiri
This temple is located in the Tambon Mae Sot Municipality. It is an ancient temple of more than 200 years old. A newly-built Chedi is an imitation of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar. The principal Buddha image in the Ubosot (ordination hall) is of the Mara-subduing attitude. An ancient drum of more than 200 years old is kept in the Wihan (image hall).
Namtok Mae Kasa
This large waterfall is located in Tambon Mae Kasa. There is a path leading the way up to a high mountain. A cave in front of the waterfall has a 5 m wide stream of water which serves as an entrance to the waterfall. To get there: Take the Mae Sot - Mae Ramat route (Highway No. 105), follow the sign to Ban Mae Kuet Sam Tha at around Km 13 - 14 for about 4 km, and take a lane off the road for about 1.5 km.
Mae Kasa Hot Spring
This hot well of 2 m wide is located in Tambon Mae Kasa, right in the village. Hot and cool streams flow to meet at this well. Visitors can smell sulphur throughout the village and see slight vapour just above the ground. At an edge of the well, the water is easily seen boiling and its temperature is fairly high. A private room for mineral bathing is available. The village is amidst the beauty of nature encompassed by a high mountain and farming land. To get there: Drive along the Mae Sot - Mae Ramat route, take a turn at around Km 13 - 14 to follow the same route to Namtok Mae Kasa for about 7 km and enter into the village towards the hot well.
Wat Thai Watthanaram
This temple was formerly called Wat Mae Tao Ngiao, or Wat Thai Yai. It is located at Mu 1, Tambon Tha Sai Luat, about 5 km from Mae Sot town. Take Highway No. 105 (Tak - Mae Sot route) to Rini Moei Market, to around Km 84 before reaching the Thai - Myanmar Friendship Bridge. This is a temple of the Mahayana Buddhism (Great Vehicle) of the Thai Yai people whose traditions, cultural arts and rituals are influences of the Union of Myanmar. It was built in 1857 by Mr. Mung, a Burmese villager in Shan State, whose family migrated to Mae Sot district. He was the first headman of Mae Tao village and later was named as Muen Atkhdmhaenghan. In 1957, the Ministry of Education declared it as a Buddhist temple attached to the Department of Religious Affairs. Inside the temple, there is Phra Phutthamahamuni, an imitation image of the sacred Buddha image in Mandalay, Union of Myanmar, which gains great respect from the people of Tak.
White Elephant Kraal
It is located at Ban Tha At, Tambon Tha Sai Luat. It was said that this kraal is a place of The White Elephant whose belonged to Phra Chao Fan Ruae, the ruler of Tak during Sukhothai period. Nowadays, the kraal itself is an earthern wall with bricks, I metre height, 25 metre width, and 80 metre length. To get there: Take Highway No. 105, 1 km. before reaching the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, turn right pass Wat Thai Watthanaram, go along for 2 kms. Then, the sign of White Elephant Kraal is on your left handside.
Thai - Myanmar Friendship Bridge
The bridge is located in Tambon Tha Sai Luat, across the Moei River between Tak's Mae Sot district and Myawadi in the Union of Myanmar. It is 420 m long and 13 m wide. Thai people and residents of Mae Sot district can travel or drive across the bridge. However, a border pass is required. The border pass service is available at the Mae Sot Immigration Checkpoint or the Mae Moei City Centre. Fees are charged on both the Thai and Burmese sides. Car insurance fees are also provided. Enquire about the information in detail before starting a trip since regulations may be changed. Contact the Mae Sot Immigration Checkpoint, Tel. 0 5556 3000, 0 5556 3002.
It is a community on the bank of the Moei River, opposite Myawadi of the Union of Myanmar. It is also a market of local products of Thailand and Myanmar, such as seafood, dried bamboo shoot, dried fish, "Hua Yung" sea fish (Hapardontidae), Shiitake mushroom, beans, leatherware, satin, etc., as well as a market of gemstones, such as jade, ruby, coloured gemstones, etc. from the Union of Myanmar. A daily bus service is available from Mae Sot Market to Rim Moei Market, dropping passengers at the Thai - Myanmar Friendship Bridge.
Phrathat Hin Kio
This Chedi is located in Ban Wang Takhian. It is a miracle of nature that a gigantic rock can stay on such a cliff. The rock is so slim at some point that it seems to be parted into two pieces. A Mon-styled Chedi was built on the exact width of the rock. Villagers call the rock "Chedi Hin Phra In Khwaen," which gains respect from the people of Tak and nearby provinces. Every year in February, a fair is held for worshippers to pay homage to it. Travel can be made by driving along Highway No. 105 via Ban Tha At and Ban Wang Takhian, and taking a right turn to follow a sign to the Chedi for 3 km.
The Moei River (aka Thaungyin in Myanmar)
This river is the borderline between Myanmar and Thailand. It is 327 km long, flowing towards the north unlike a river in general. The watershed is in Ban Mokoe, Tambov Phop Phra, Amphoe Phop Phra. The river flows to Mae Hong Son via Mae Sot, Mae Ramat, and Tha Song Yang, to merge into the Salween River in Myanmar before flowing into the Gulf of Martaban. To get there: Take Highway No. 105 from Mae Sot for around 10 km to the border.
How to get there
Access from Tak is along Highway #105 via Doi Musoe (870 m) and Doi Son (784 m).
Frequent minibuses connect Mae Sot directly with Tak bus station, starting at 5:30AM and finishing around 7PM, and in theory departing every 30 minutes - however those that are already full can be expected to leave early, and those that are not probably go late. The journey takes about 90 minutes and costs 50 baht/person. The surcharge for putting a bicycle on the roofrack is 50 baht.
There are buses throughout the day from Moh Chit Bus Station in Bangkok. VIP buses are 700 baht as of June 2008. Try to get a spot at the top level of the bus (VIP) as you are not near the toilets at the bottom. They stink! There are as well, 1st class buses, and other levels. When you get the bus it goes all night so you get there very early. Remember that your ticket (VIP) gives you a free meal or drink at the stop that the bus makes in the middle of the night. When you stop take your ticket and you get one meal (pretty average) or a drink/yoghurt drink. When you arrive at Mae Sot there are Tuk Tuks and motor bikes to take you to the hotels. They are nice people and will charge depending on how many people and where you want to go.
Mae Sot airport is about 2km west of the edge of town, and just 1km from the border. Airport is closed.
The airport is still definitely closed. Getting around town is pretty simple by foot but if you are looking for other forms of transport... Push bike - These can be rented from most guest houses but in the high season they are almost totally booked out. Motor bike - you can hire motor bikes from most places that sell motor bikes (easy to find!). They cost around 160b per day. You must wear a helmet (supplied) as the police do fine people (even foreigners!). You have to leave your passport for bond and fill up with petrol when you return it. The shop on the corner just up from the Mosque is very good and has good bikes with good service.
To hire cars is a hassle and expensive - stick to motor bikes or rent a taxi. Motor bike taxi can be had anywhere you see a bunch of guys sitting around with a colored jacket over their shirts with a number on the back. Prices depend on how far you go. You can also get a form of transport similar to a tuk tuk. You get them from the bus station to town for about 50 b again depending on how far you are going. If you need to go to the bus station and there are a few of you the guest house can get you one.
Myawaddy in Myanmar (overnight stays not permitted)
The municipal market in town is quite vibrant and represents an amazing cultural mix. There are Indo-burmese textiles, food and teak; as well as Karen, Mon, Hmong and other Burmese minority shops of all kinds. Turtles, eels and frogs all available at food stalls (mostly these are live) while of course more "western" meats such as pork, chicken, beef and lamb. Beef and lamb are much harder to come by. Gem and Jade shop abound in Mae Sot as well - but they are not for amateurs, you best be able to tell the difference between real and fake gems if you plan to buy.
The Wat (temple) on the eastern side of town (near the Tesco Lotus) has a sauna, for about 20B.
What to Buy
The main market is a great place to purchase some Burmese goods. Wandering around it is easy to see the ethnic diversity in Mae Sot. Its is also a fantastic place to buy great fresh (often alive) food. Toad anyone?
There are many Gems stone and jewelery shops offering good bargains. Most of the trade is for wholesale however. As with anywhere in Thailand,although many sellers are reputable, be wary that if you look European, low quality stones might be sold for high prices. Do some research before you buy.
What to Eat
It appears that most places in Mae Sot have English menus available; so if you know Thai, ask for the Thai menus, as they tend to have many more options.
Aiya is a Thai-Burmese restaurant on the western Intharakhiri road, across from Ban Thai. A favorite among westerners. An expansive menu, and the staff has decent english.
Bai Fern Restaurant is a Thai - Fusion decent food on the Western Intharakhiri Rd. If you found Aiya, Bai Fern is just on the opposite side of the road.
Casa Mia offers Thai as well as good Italian food. The staff is friendly, and it is on a street off of the main (Intharakhiri) road. The sign should be visible from the street and it is also west of town (further west than Ban Thai guest house)
Krua Canadian Cafe is quite central down the block immediately south of the Police Station (center of Mae Sot). The menu is quite large and a hive of western info, english papers and cuisine.The new Mexican Menu is a sure lure for the travelers tired of rice. It also has Wine by the glass.It has the largest selection for breakfast in town and open at 7:00AM sharp
The Night Market is terrific for dinner for the undecisive. With at least half a dozen different restaurants that stay open much later than the rest of Mae Sot, it's a good option for great Thai. Every shop here will have an English menu.
Hazel Cafe is just east of the Police Station and is the most "Western-looking" place in Mae Sot. It's "Ikea-sleek" decor may be out of place, but it's free wifi, Air Con, comfortable couches and delightful baked goods are hard to resist.
T Corner on the west side of town is another Anglo-friendly place, best suited for Lunch. They provide free wifi but you're not allowed to plug your computer. So you can only sit as long as your batteries last.
Janra Indian Restaurant is opposite Casa Mia and serves good Indian food. It has a vegetarian buffet on Friday evenings and bookings are advisable.
Countless Thai restaurants line the streets of Mae Sot. Be adventurous. You needn't ever eat at the same place twice here, so long as you don't stay for more than a year.
Where to stay
There are many hotels and guest houses in Mae Sot. Centrally, you can stay at Green Guest House, a clean and affordable converted set of homes. There are private and shared bath rooms available. Television is also included. If you stay more than one night a towel and toilet paper are included. First Hotel has invested it's time and energy in its interior, leaving the exterior to be remarkable only for the difference. Air con rooms with double beds are available, as are other variations.
Hotels in Amphoe Mae Sot
Ban Chao Doi
44/13 Sawanwithi Road Bangkok (contact via Family Camping Tour Tel: 0 2246 4399 Fax: 0 2641 8746) 13 houses: 900 baht/person/day (breakfast and dinner are included)
Ban Mai Resort
100/6 Asia Road, Tambon Mae Sot (Tel: 0 5554 6428-9, 08 1890 9269, Bangkok Tel: 0 2392 2888) 39 rooms: 800-2,000 baht
Ban Rim Doi Resort
249 Mu 7,Tambon Maepa (Tel: 0 5554 6942, 08 9268 9641)
Centara Mae Sot Hill
100 Asia Road (Tel: 0 5553 2601-8 Fax: 0 5553 2600), www.centarahotelsresorts.com, 114 rooms: 1,300-3,410 baht
298 Intarakiri Road, Tambon Mae Sot (Tel: 0 5554 2648-9 Fax: 0 5553 1103) 50 rooms: 350-500 baht
444 Intarakiri Road (Tel: 0 5553 1233, 0 5554 6409, 0 5554 6150) 30 rooms: 200-450 baht
390 Mu 1 Soi Chai Sombun 4, Mae Sot-Mae Ramat Road, Tambon Maepa (Tel: 08 1674 7897)
Huai Hin Phon Hut
96 Mu 6, Tambon Maepa (Tel: 0 5553 1772,08 1461 3303) 7 rooms: 500-1,200 baht
Kao Kao Resort
374 Mu 7, TakMaesot Road, Tambon Mae Pa (Tel: 0 5553 5145, 08 6203 4430)
86/8 Tambon Maepa, Mae Sot-Mae Ramat Road (Tel: 08 9269 7283) 8 rooms: 250350 baht
321 Intarakiri Road, Tambon Mae Sot (Tel: 0 5553 1162, 0 5553 1214) 24 rooms: 100-150 baht
453 Mu 2, Mae Sot-Mae Ramat Road (Tel: 0 5553 1553,0 5554 6396) 22 rooms: 250-900 baht
25/4 Soi Srimueang, Prasatwithi Road (Tel: 0 5553 2590-4,0 5553 2595 Fax: 0 5553 2596) 160 rooms: 700-1,500 baht (Umphang Tour services)
9 Mu 7, Tambon Maepa (Tel: 0 5553 6101-3,0 5553 5199) 45 rooms: 300-1,200 baht
31 Mae Sot-Mae Ramat Road (Tel: 0 5555 4270, 0 5555 4276) 19 rooms: 1,000-2,000 baht
Sarakan Ritthiron Resort
29 Mu 6 Ban Huai Hin Phon, Tambon Maepa (Tel: 0 5550 0066, 0 5553 1596) 45 rooms: 500-1,500 baht/person (2 meals are included)
185 Prasatwithi Road (Tel: 0 5553 1176, 0 5553 1763 Fax: 0 5553 1974) 85 rooms: 350-750 baht
Suan Hin Moutain Lodge
130 Mu 6, Tambon Maepa (Tel: 08 1888 2404, 08 1366 5882) 7 rooms: 300-1,000 baht
1 Soi Wat Luang (Tel: 0 5553 1162) 24 rooms: 100-200 baht
457 Intarakiri Road, Tak-Mae Sot Route km.7 the way to Amphoe Mae Sot (Tel: 0 5553 1287) 39 houses : 300-3,200 baht
Wattana Village Resort
73 Mu 2, Tambon Phrathat Phadaeng (Tel: 0 5553 3468-70 Fax: 0 5553 3469) 25 houses, 60 rooms: 250-1,500 baht
Guesthouses in Amphoe Mae Sot
Ban Thai Guesthouse
40 Intarakiri Road (Tel: 0 5553 1590) 9 rooms: 100-350 baht
92/2-3 Prasatwithi Road 9
(Tel: 0 5554 4463-4) 6 rooms: 350 baht
DK Guest House
It is also a well used tourist hang out with mostly older NGO people, Christians and the like. About 400b per night tiled BIG rooms with TV, western toilet, cable TV and a balcony. Don't get the rooms at either end (next to the road or at the opposite end) as the noise can be a bit mich from chickens and cars very early in the morning. The staff are nice and Internet is available in the lobby. All Burmese staff (except counter staff) with good security at night with guard and counter staff on the ball.
208/4 Intarakiri Road (Tel: 0 5553 2745,08 1937 4011) 12 rooms: 150-300 baht
Intarakiri Road (Tel: 0 5554 4976, 08 1785 2095) 5 rooms: 80-150 baht
P K Guesthouse
842 Mu 9, MaesotMae Ramat Road (Tel: 0 5554 7349,0 5553 2744) 19 rooms: 350 baht
3/8 Bua Khun Road (Tel: 0 5554 4969) 10 rooms: 350-450 baht
S P Guesthouse
59/9 Asia Road (Tel: 0 5553 1596) 15 rooms: 120-250 baht