I’ve always wanted to travel to Burma for the longest time and last April 2009, when I was in the North of Thailand, I thought that I would be able to do so. Burma seems to be fascinating and mysterious to me. I personally don’t know anyone who’s been there or at least expressed an intention to go there.
From Chiang Mai, I took a bus to Mae Sai. Mae Sai is the Northernmost part of Thailand bordering Tachilek of Burma. I remember the excitement when I got there. It’s a very small town with almost no tourist. I found my hostel a few meters away from the immigration exit point.
The hostel was nice, clean and cheap and the owners were really kind to me. The owner took me to a short tour near the riverside (for free). He was telling me that a few years back, he was standing on the same spot where we were standing and then a grenade was thrown at them. Luckily, they noticed it right away and ran for their lives.
A small river divides the territory of Thailand from Burma. The view is pretty awesome however, it could have been better if they would clean the river up. From where we were standing, you could see the Burmese people. They have white powder on their faces and most guys were still wearing a short sarong like cloth instead of the usual pants.
I was imagining what the Burmese people were thinking whenever they’re looking on the other side. Life’s so ironic that a small patch of stream defined what life would be like on two opposing sides. Life in Burma seems to be economically harsh and poor while life in Thailand is way better.
I asked the owner of the hostel some information about the border crossing. He told me that I could go only as far as two kilometers from the border and I would have to leave my passport to the immigration officers. The policy spoiled my plan. I was planning to enter Tachilek and go to the historic Bagan and then down to Yangon to enter Bangkok again. But the plan didn’t materialize.
He also told me that he had two foreign guests a few days before who entered Tachilek and after two days went back with a bad case of diarrhea.
A sudden change of plan does not aggravate me but rather excites my soul. I acknowledge the fact that I don’t know what’s ahead of me. The only thing I know is, I love to be on the road.