Can you go to Thailand all on your own by taking your car? Do we have to cross more than one country? What about the travel time? What travel documents do we require?
If you are my type of adventure traveler, you would be interested to find the answers to the above questions. In addition, I am sure you won’t stop just by knowing the answers. You would seriously plan your road trip to Thailand from Chennai or Bangalore.
We once had a maid servant who lived with us. She used to narrate how her family members along with hundreds of others escaped from Burma and came to India by FOOT! I was only 7 years then when I listened to her. Of course I believed her fully as I was not at all skeptic then because I was only a kid.
Now, after 57 years, I happen to read a travelogue in which the author clearly and dramatically narrated his road journey to Thailand from Hyderabad via Burma that is now called Myanmar.
I suppose earlier refugees from Burma had left behind a distinct trail; we only have to retrace it.
I always firmly believed that the actual part of traveling is more thrilling than reaching the destination. It must be fun to travel on highways that connect countries and continents.
I read that in the year 2016, the highway connecting Manipur in India with Mae Sot in Thailand is a trilateral highway. For a man from Hyderabad, traveling to Manipur itself by car must have been tedious and exciting. The onward journey to Thailand via Burma should have thrown challenges to him.
How long is the travel time to Thailand?
About 7 to 8 days.
Distance between Moreh in Manipur, India and Mae Sot in Thailand is around 3200 KMs.
Travel Docs required:
Well, the usual papers that include the passport, driving license, and credit cards etc. Both Myanmar and Thailand offer VISA on arrivals to Indians. I wonder whether we can apply for VISA before to avoid unexpected delay at the Burma border. I guess the authorities in Thailand are more efficient in handling the tourists than their counterparts in Burma. There may be more formalities for car travelers at any international borders. Please check them out before you tell your friends about your impending trip.
Remember, you are traveling to two different countries though with somewhat similar culture. However, the political and religious stands can be very different. Don’t get into a cultural shock.
What to expect on the way to Thailand?
Depending upon your taste, you will experience excitement and boredom on your way. No long distance road journey can be full of fun-right?
After crossing several Hindu temples in Bishnupur, you finally pass through Chandel and Churachandpur before entering Burma. Chandel is said to be a beautiful place with scenic landscapes. You can also visit the Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary.
Churachandpur is a nature lover’s paradise surrounded by hills, waterfalls, and valleys; I remember the name Ngaloi Falls as the place to see on the way to Burma. The Tonglon Cave is mentioned in several travel online journals.
Though the travelogue author is all praise for Burma landscape, I have some misgivings from the narration heard from our servant maid 5 decades ago. However, I urge you to go there with an open mind and experience the untouched countryside.
Burma is full of Hindu temples like Thailand. Some of the places to see are:
- Nyaung U Market.
- Paunglaung mountain range
- Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay
- Shwedagon Pagoda
- Nagpali Beach
Thailand is a predominantly Hindu and Buddhist country and is said to be very affordable to middle class travelers.
Places to see in Mae Sot, Thailand.
- Phra Charoen Waterfall
- Pha Wo Shrine
- Ko Pha Ngan
- Doi Inthnan National Park
I did not intend this post to be a full tourist guide but just to make you aware that you can travel from any part of India to Thailand by road via Burma.