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Published: March 24th 2006
Ranong PierNOTE: This blog I wrote is from March 2006. The information may not be accurate! It is YOUR responsibility to get the most up-to-date information. I cannot and will not be responsible for your mistakes. This blog is likely outdated and remains on this site to give you an insight into my experience.
Here is where you get your longboat, unless you secure one at the immigration office by the locals in the parking lot
Many of you have visited my blog regarding the visa run from Ranong, Thailand to Victoria Point, Burma (Myranmar). The process once you get there will last about 3 hours not including travel time to Rangong. Below is a step-by-step guide to getting your run completed. I know its not the most detailed, but it will give you some insight into what you should expect. Email me if you have questions or concernes, or I have said something that differs from your experience. I want to be as accurate as possible, with the exclusions of my opinions and advice, as those are how I feel about the plight of the Burmese. Enjoy your trip and would love to know about your travels there!
Here's the scoop:
You can't use your own $5 bill. You will find someone selling crisp $5 bills outside the immigration office. Buy
Longtail Boat From Ranong
Here's what you will look like when you are on the boat...but not as ugly as me!
one...they cost 300 baht..and no bargaining. Don't wrinkle the bill, they won't take it. Its so they know it was the one they sold and it gets resold again and again. A real scam. Don't pay more than 300 baht for to/from Burma if you take a longtail by yourself. If you are with someone, then pay no more than 200. If you are with a group, then pay only 100...no more. You will get it for that price if you hold firm. Never pay before you leave, only when you return on a two-way trip. I suggest you get the same boat for both ways. Sometimes if there is a group, he will wait for you for an hour or so before heading back giving you time to venture into town.
Go to the Immigration Office in Ranong...follow the signs. As you head west on the main downtown road, you will see it on your right side, you'll have to make a U-turn. You might see tour buses parked on the street in from of it. Look for the flags.
Go inside and get your exit visa. No fees. I suggest you also
You will make a quick stop here. Give your passport to the driver, but not your $5.
get a fresh re-entry card and fill it out before you return after your Burma trip. Saves time and if there is a long line, you may not find a pen.
Take a taxi or drive to the pier. Often times someone at the immigration parking lot will ask you if you need a longtail. If you agree on the price beforehand, and you should, then follow him to the pier. Hold firm on your price!!
Take the 45 minute ride to Burma. (incuding required stops along the way)
You will stop at two places before Burma 1)Thai office on waterfront for verification you have exit visa and 2) stop at a building on shoreline near Burma to pay the 5 dollars and for them to verify you have a exit visa from Thailand. Give the longtail driver you passport with the $5 bill and stay on the boat. He will take care of everything. Its the way its done.
Get to Burma pier or shoreline (depends on driver, but ask for pier). Exit boat. Go to small dirty, disgusting office at end of pier as you enter
Burma's Pre-Check In
Stay on boat, give passport and $5 to driver. No photos!! They're like the Gestapo!
Burma and get your passport visa to Burma. You only get a two-day visa. Walk around the town if you want unless you and the group want to return immediately. Ignore the tour guys in brown pants when you arrive. They are looking for money. Most $$ you spend in Burma helps fund the military regime. Keep your money in your pocket...my opinion, and I've researched it well. I suggest you research the corruption in Burma, too.
Get back on longtail to Ranong. No stops going back.
Go back to immigration office. If there's a long line, but sure they are exiting, and bypass them to the front and get into the entry line. Get new Thai visa.
Wha-lah. You're done. Go have fun in Thailand again.
Don't take photos of government officials, policemen or openly of the poverty. Be discreet if you need to take photos. They could take your camera and your passport. Don't openly give money to the children or beggars. The government does not want their people to be more empowered and if they witness you giving money, they could be aggressive with you.
Arrive in Burma Pier
Arrival in Burma. Ask the boat to wait for an hour if you want so you can walk around. He will wait.
Water there is horrible, drink bottled only. Wash your hands as soon as you leave...or you may get something to take home other than a souvenir. Be friendly and respect the people of Burma. They live a hard and oppressed life. Instead of giving money, perhaps buy trinkets or other items. If you eat there, beware...have your Cipro handy!
Things You Might Want To Bring:
2. Bottled Water
6. Umbrella for sun shade on boat or rain
7. A big smile
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