We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Washington, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Thought I'd post a TR on this trip I did back in September shortly after the restrictions on travel into Myanmar via Myawaddy were lifted.

I do recommend this trip as an alternative to flying into Myanmar - very easy to self-organise or through an agency, affordable and scenic!

Crossed over early, around 7am, from Mae Sot to Myawaddy. Immigration was smooth and painless. The money changes were closed by a 24 hour KBZ ATM is on the left hand side down the road after you clear the Myawaddy immigration so it's easy to access local currency.

If you haven't already organised transport (and my understanding is it's cheaper going from Myawaddy to Yangon than the other way around), you'll get plenty of offers for transport, with different vehicle types, quality and prices. A negotiated 20,000 kyat price got me a nice car on a trip to Hpa-An, with a driver who spoke decent English, air-conditioning and two Burmese passengers in the back who slept most of the way! Just check when the car is actually due to depart, otherwise you may be waiting around for a while as they try and get more passengers for the journey. I didn't enquire as to how much a total journey to Yangon would cost, but remember the driver will have to overnight in either of Hpa-An or Yangon and return, which must be factored into pricing, plus fuel costs.

Traffic on the Myawaddy-Kawkareik road (which winds through the mountains and is a beautiful but rough and bumpy ride) goes in different directions on alternate days, which you need to factor in when planning your trip! I do recommend a nice comfortable car for this part of the trip; a friend took a bus and it apparently was not the most pleasant journey he's ever had! But you are very high up with spectacular views and pass villages and monasteries on the way, and is an experience to be done at least once.

There also seemed to be restrictions in place on where you can stop - I wasn't allowed out of the car except at checkpoints (of which there were a few on the way) and a specific teashop in Kawkareik.

In all it took around 5-6 hours from Myawaddy to Hpa-An, stopping at Kawkareik for lunch. My original plan was to spend a few days in Hpa-An, but the weather wasn't ideal so I ended up taking an overnight bus to Yangon, which was typically cold, long and tiring - it's 4 hours direct by car and 7+ by bus. In Hpa-An I was offered 10,000 kyat for a seat in a car with 4 others (inc. driver) back up to Myawaddy. Shows the variation in prices but it'd be a cramped ride!

When you're in Hpa-An, check out the Kaw Ka Thaung caves (accessible via a road that takes you past hundreds of monk statues in a very long line), and most importantly the stunningly beautiful lake area behind it; it's breathtakingly beautiful. Mount Zwekabin was out, as it was too cloudy. But it's on my list for next time, hopefully before the cable car is built!

Washington, United...
Level Contributor
8 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Oh forgot to add, other trip reports I've read or been relayed have reported differing 'encounters' and charges with the KNLA and maybe other parties. I didn't encounter anything whatsoever beyond the immigration or police checkpoints, but at one checkpoint just after the mountain road before Kawkareik my driver was hit with a 5,000 kyat vehicle registration charge, which the onus is on him to pay, although others reported no such charge. YMMV, as they say.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
1 post
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Hi Francis,

Thank you for the helpful message (one of the most helpful one on overland crossing) We are now in Mae Sot, but there is no information on which days the buses go into Yangon from Myawaddy. Do you happen to know how to find this out ? Thanks!

Mae Sot, Thailand
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

I am in Mae Sot at the moment and on even days for example today 14th February, the road is open for all the traffic from Yangon to Mae sot. Tomorrow The 15th. I will cross the border and take a minibus or car from Myawaddy to Yangon or hopefully direct to Kalaw! Will be continued :)

Beijing, China
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

so 25th or 27th Feb is odd day the road open for Myawaddy to Yongon, am I right?

Edited: 20 February 2014, 18:41
St Albans, United...
2 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Hi all,

I made this trip in March and wrote a blog to document it as finding information on the internet was difficult.

ramherkanaidu.livejournal.com/5429.html

hopefully it will help others planning to make the same amazing trip!

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
Level Contributor
15,184 posts
368 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Excellent blog with lots of detail,including what to do,where to stay and what eat in Yangon supported by some good photography.

thanks

SS

St Albans, United...
2 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Thanks SS, that's nice to hear :)

I did try to make the blog as helpful as possible

cheers

ram

Manila, Philippines
9 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Hi does anyone have any updates on the travel direction from Myawaddy to Yangon as of the moment? The posts on this forum say that odd days travel out of Myawaddy to Yangon, but the wikitravel and this blogger (http://redandgreenadventures.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/myanmar-border-crossing-mai-sod-myawaddy-followed-by-bus-to-yangon/ dated May 2014) crossed the border on an even day.

I'm traveling to southeast Asia next month and I'm running on a tight itinerary, so I don't know which day I should arrive in Mae Sot/Myawaddy.

Thanks for all the help!

Berkshire
Level Contributor
446 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

Here's local information on some of the things going on in the area which might affect your choices...

irrawaddy.org/burma/multimedia-burma/four-ci…

irrawaddy.org/burma/fighting-karen-state-for…

Manila, Philippines
9 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Mae Sot/Myawaddy to Yangon

oh wow. I hope everything resolves peacefully there. Thank you for the info!