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Travel Guide > Asia > Burma/Myanmar > Shan > Tachileik

Tachileik Travel Guide

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Tachileik is in Shan State, Myanmar, on the border with Thailand.

Although just 5m across the river from Mae Sai, the most northern town in Thailand, Tachileik is in a whole different world. The happy outgoing atmosphere that you have been used to in 'the land of smiles' in Thailand evaporates instantly and is replaced by a tense and uncomfortable one. This is not to say that the Burmese people are not welcoming, indeed they love tourists and are very keen to sit down and talk (when they think they are not being watched), but do not expect to feel at ease here, and do not be surprised if you are followed by government people throughout the town. The main benefit of visiting here is the ability to go to Myanmar without the stress of getting a visa.

The town is a typical border trading town with a twist. The majority of people crossing over to Myanmar are Thais shopping for bootlegged Chinese goods in the market. Alternatively some Thais cross to play golf in the only course in the region so expect to see the very surreal site of large groups of people crossing the border carrying a set of clubs.

If you are expecting to see 'the real Myanmar' this is not the place to do it. If you are 'Stamp collecting' in your passport, want to see something a bit more visceral than what you find in Thailand or are at a loose end in Chiang Raifor the day then this is a good place to go.

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