(Axel Boer) #1



If crossing the border into Thailand is an
option, you’ll fi nd the accommodation there
better in every respect. Hotels in Tachileik
prefer payment in Thai baht, but some plac-
es will accept US dollars.

River Side Hotel HOTEL $$
(%51161; r 600B; a) Located on the river less
than a block from the bridge that connects
Myanmar and Thailand, this hotel has clean
rooms with attached bathroom.
In Mae Sai, on the Thai side of the bor-
der, the Maesai Guest House on the river is

8Getting There & Away
Air Bagan (www.airbagan.com), owned by Tay
Za (see p 21 ), and Asian Wings (www.asianwings
airlines.com) fl y from Tachileik to Kengtung
($42, 25 minutes) – but not in the opposite
Buses depart from Tachileik’s bus station,
2km and a 10B truck ride or a K1500/40B mo-
torcycle taxi ride from the border, at 8am and
noon (K10,000, fi ve hours). Alternatively, you
can charter a taxi for 2500B or, if you’re willing
to wait, get a front/back seat in a share taxi for


Like Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Division in
the south, Kayah State (kyC" ̈p–'ny') is
yet another one of those uniquely Burmese
destinations that’s open to foreign tourists,
but not really open.
Wedged between Shan State to the north
and west, Kayin State to the west and south,
and Thailand to the east, tiny Kayah State is
home to a disproportionate number of trib-
al groups, including the Padaung, Yinbaw,
Bre, Kayin (Karen) and Karenni (Red Karen).
It is indeed possible to visit Kayah
State, but only with permission from the
government and only on a prearranged,
government-sanctioned package tour. The
norm is a fi ve-day trip that largely centres
in and around Loikaw (the state capital)
and terminates with a boat trip to Inle
Lake. Sounds fun, but it’s rather costly and
the feedback we’ve heard from the handful
of those who have done the trip wasn’t all
that inspiring. If you’re determined, at least
six weeks ahead of time, contact one of the
Yangon-based travel agents in this book (see
p 69 ), who will initiate the necessary per-
mits etc on your behalf.

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