I'm having a hard time figuring out what documents I need to provide when I show up at the Burmese border to do a Thai visa run.

According to http://www.mip.gov.mm/portfolio/the-required-terms-and-conditions-for-visa-on-arrival/ there's a ton of requirements, but maybe only some of them will apply to me.

My plan is to hop up to Mae Sai, get my passport stamped and then re-enter Thailand (I have a double-entry tourist visa for Thailand, so I'm not worried about that part).

What documents do I need to satisfy entry requirements at the Burmese border? Also, is there a fee that I will need to pay? Can I pay the fee in Baht, or do I need to acquire Kyat/Dollars?

I am a US citizen, if that is important.

  • Pardon the ignorance, but what is a 'visa run'?
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:10
  • @CGCampbell A visa run is a very short and inexpensive international trip – usually less than 24 hours – where you leave the country where you are visiting and then return right away, renewing your tourist visa in the process. It can only be done in a few places due to cost and regulations. Thailand is famous for them, and I've heard of people doing visa runs in Chile as well (although usually you can only do a few of them before immigration starts to hassle you).
    – user82
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:42
  • So, theoretically, you can stay in Thailand permanently, because they'll accept you leaving and returning? I assume they (the gov't) would rather have the income and look at the gained individuals as a net plus to the population?
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:45
  • Theoretically, you could stay indefinitely, although governments tend not to like it very much. I know a couple of people who did visa runs in Chile, and immigration started giving them trouble after a few runs. Thailand, meanwhile, has been cracking down on visa runs lately. After your third time, you will probably be denied entry. Of course, crafty travelers will simply find new workarounds, but in the meantime, visa runs are a viable – if complicated and potentially only short-term – way to "extend" your tourist visa.
    – user82
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


The Myanmar entry permits granted at Mae Sai/Tachileik are not full-fledged visas: they're only good for 14 days and do not allow travel elsewhere in Myanmar, and this is enforced by them keeping your passport! On the upside, they're granted to anybody with a crisp 10-spot and a pulse, and I suspect that second requirement is optional. Details at Wikivoyage.

And it's a good thing you do have that Thai double-entry visa, since Immigration has recently (May 2014) been clamping down pretty hard on visa runs. Obviously this only applies to people abusing visas on arrival though, and I'm kind of curious about what they can realistically do to a busted visa runner returning from Tachileik, as there's literally no other way out than through Thailand -- probably a toss between a short this-is-your-final-entry stamp, or a spell in Immigration detention before they deport you through Bangkok.

  • 2
    I found a local service provider and here's what they have to say about denied VoA on their website: "Please also note that you will not be stranded in Burma if you are turned down at the border as the immigration officers on duty will simply refuse to let you leave the country in Mae Sai. You will then have to come back to Chiang Mai to find an alternative solution if you wish to extend your stay in Thailand."
    – user82
    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:28
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    Nice research -- and that actually makes sense! Jul 7, 2014 at 11:08

There are no documentation requirements to cross into Myanmar for the day from Mae Sai. It costs US$10 or 500 baht (better value in $). The signs say baht, but if you ask the $10 option is available.

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    I guess they only accept crisp US$, worth mentioning
    – greg121
    Jul 7, 2014 at 7:08