how to go from mawlamyine to sukhothai

How to Go from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai [Myanmar to Thailand]

It’s the end of our travels around Myanmar and we have loved the country and the people. Our travels have taken in bicycles, trekking, buses, cars and oh, the trains. We’ve travelled just as far from side to side on the trains as we have forward (and backwards!).   We’ll be taking a shared taxi (there’s no appropriate buses here) from Mawlamyine to the Thai border town of Mae Sot. And then from Mae Sot there’s a bus to Sukhothai. This is our journey from Mawlamyine to Sukthothai.

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This is an easy trip, albeit a long day. You (still) can’t book all of it online, you’ll need to get to the Thai border town of Mae Sot to get the bus to Sukthothai, but here are the details.

Going from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai

The journey splits into three main parts. The first is going from Mawlamyine to the border. Then its about crossing the border and finally there’s a bus from Mae Sot (the border town in Thailand) to Sukhothai. Ready?

Mawlamyine to Myawaddy (aka the Border with Thailand)

We start from Mawlamyine, where a 15,000 kyat each shared taxi (there’s one other person and he gets the front seat) picks us up at 07:35 and we head east. The road is pretty, but our driver isn’t stopping for photos.

Scenery on the way from Mawlamyine to Myawaddy
Scenery on the way from Mawlamyine to Myawaddy

We get a 10 minute break that turns into 20 at 10:25, when our driver and our Burmese travel mate have an early lunch, or a late breakfast at what passes for a truck stop here, and then we’re off again.

Rest stop on way to Thai border from Mawlamyine
Rest stop on way to Thai border from Mawlamyine

After that the roads become increasingly pot holed and bumpy and definitely not wide enough for the trucks that hurtle towards us.

Busy road Mawlamyine to Myawaddy
Busy road Mawlamyine to Myawaddy

Suddenly the back seat seems like a much better if not particularly comfortable option. Mind you at least we’re not walking or on a bike, but they seem fearless, so good on them.

There used to be a single track road here to cross the “mountain” and depending on the day (even or odd) you could only go in one direction, so you had to plan your border crossing carefully! Now there’s a marvelous new road that opened and traffic can flow in both directions every day.

Arriving in Myawaddy, Myanmar

We arrive in Myawaddy, the Burmese border town just before noon and change all our remaining kyat into dollars – as the only options are Singaporean dollars or Euros, not Thai Baht.

Immigration at Myawaddy - Mae Sot border
Immigration at Myawaddy – Mae Sot border

Myawaddy to Mae Sot

We walk across another border and another Friendship Bridge, clearing immigration easily into Thailand.

Friendship Bridge at Myawaddy-Mae Sot border
Friendship Bridge at Myawaddy-Mae Sot border

Then, after crossing into Thailand we find the songthaews that will take us to the bus station here in Mae Sot. It’s 20 THB in the songthaew which fills quickly, or 60 THB each to take a motorbike taxi. There’s more on transport in Thailand in my guide here. There’s food here and bottled water, although our filter water bottles allow us to drink tap water too.

Mae Sot Bus Station

Our transport stops on a dual carriageway and points to the bus station on the other side, and so we arrive in time to miss the 13:30 bus, which is already full, but we can still catch the last bus to Sukhothai, so have time for some spicy Thai food, which we’ve missed. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve enjoyed the Burmese food, but there’s just something about Thai food!

You can book this bus, to be sure of a seat. It’s bookable via 12goAsia and details are here.

Waiting for our but at Mae Sot Bus Station
Waiting for our but at Mae Sot Bus Station

It’s good to be back!

Travel Tips for Exploring Thailand

Final Words on Going from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai

This is a pretty easy journey. You’ll need to take a shared or private transfer to the Myanmar border town of Myawaddy, then you walk across the border. Don’t forget to change any left over Burmese currency before you leave the country. Once you’re across the border you’ll need to catch a songthaew to the town of Mae Sot, then you can take the bus to Sukhothai. Easy!

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