Kawthaung Trip

Everyday about 200 people in southern Thailand take the bus or use a car to travel to Ranong and Kawthaung south Myanmar to extend the visa. There are several companies offering their trip services either by a minibus, fastest and most expensive, over Baht 1500,- or a normal tour bus, a bit cheaper and slower. Probably the best option is to take a regular bus, e.g. from the Phuket Town bus terminal at 5.30am and after 5 hours Ranong is reached round trip costs are Baht 700,- and it needs a little walk and a short ride with the pick up collection taxi. Another 50,- Baht is needed for the longtail boat ride directly from the pier at Ranong harbor to the pier at Kawthaung. The regular bus does one stop and has even free WIFI in the bus.

South Myanmar immigration

asks $ 10,- visa fee, but that must be new banknotes, they don’t take any banknote with the even the slightest damage or if anything is written on. If there is any of this problems it needs a walk to the honey bear hotel there are some money changer, needs tough bargaining.

By now means change the money with the guys hanging around at Ranong pier who try to change your money, they want about 50% over the normal rate. At Ranong is no bank which is willing to change at all, a somehow  similar situation is at Bangkok airport where the banks use their monopolistic position to give a much lower rate as in the city, they smile at you and try “to pull you over the table” the same time. It is necessary to be quick since a suitable bus leaves the bus station for Phuket at 3.30pm.

Here are some pics

from the trip to the city in south Myanmar which was known under the British as Victoria Point.

Coconut Monkey Behind Khao Lak
Coconut monkey behind Khao Lak. The routing is Phuket, Khao Lak, Takuapa, Ranong.
Regular Thailand Bus
Regular Thailand Bus for this routing with on board WiFi
Bus to Phuket
Ranong Harbor
Ranong harbor is a very busy fishery harbor, the biggest on Thailand’s west coast
Thailand Border Marker
Thailand Myanmar Border Marker
Trip into south Myanmar
Trip into south Myanmar, the white boat is from the casino
Close to Kawthaung
Close to Kawthaung is a small island with a pagoda and a small monastery

Kawthaung Seafront has not much changed in the lat few hundred years
Back in Phuket
Back in Phuket Kawthaung Ranong Ranong Phuket Phuket visa run