I recently did a visa run to Kawthoung, Myanmar. This is an island next to Ranong which is a small town in Southern Thailand . It is about five hours from Phuket. I actually live in Ranong so this visa run was very convenient for me. This was actually the easiest, most pleasant and stress free visa run I’ve ever done. I also have to admit that this visa run might be easier for me because I didn’t have to use a visa run company or any kind of taxi service. My Thai fiance’ went with me.
In the morning we drove to the Ranong long boat pier. This is where you catch the boat to get to Kawthoung. First we went through border control and immigration. When I walked into the building their was a desk on the right. I paid 500 baht here, the Myanmar visa and boat ride to and from is included. After that I crossed the room and Thai immigration stamped me out of Thailand. When I finished I walked down the pier and waited for the long tail boat to go to Kawthoung. It was a short ride, about 30 minutes.
After we got to Kawthoung we choose to check out the island out since neither one of us had ever been there. They had tours for 500 baht which was the only way we could see anything. The part of the island they take you to is basically just a resort. We went back to the pier and took another boat to a different part of the island and then got into a van. Our tour guide took us all over the place. We were both pleasantly surprised with the tour and with Kawthoung. Our guide was great. Not only was he a very informative tour guide but he spoke English and Thai as well as the Myanmar language. We saw some great views of the ocean and city, temples, landmarks and the most surprising part at the end we were invited into a Myanmar wedding party. We tried saying now but they made us come in and eat with them. Neither one of us know any Myanmar so we couldn’t communicate with words with anyone there. Everyone was so friendly and it was just an unforgettable experience. After we left the wedding we headed back into town. After we got back to the Andoman Club we took a long tail boat back to Ranong.
When we got back to Ranong I went back to the same Thai immigration window as before and they stamped my passport with a 30 day tourist visa. This immigration office was so friendly and easy going. It was a nice change to some other border patrol places I’ve been to. Overall this was a great visa run and I definitely want to go to Myanmar again.
How to get to The Ranong long tail boat pier.
Take the overnight bus from the southern terminal. You may arrive quite early so try to take the latest bus you can the night before. After you arrive in Ranong tell a motorbike taxi to take you to the long tail boat pier or Andaman Club. Most of the taxi’s don’t speak any English so you need to tell them in Thai or show them on Google maps in Thai. If you arrive to Ranong early their is a coffee shop/tourist shop down the street on the right you can wait at.