Feb 5, 2020
Full-Body Ocular by the Immigration Officer in Mae Sot, Thailand
Location: Immigration Office, Mae Sot, Thailand
Lining-up in Window 9 at the Immigration section of Mae Sot upon crossing the Friendship Bridge from Myanmar, a late-thirty-ish Immigration officer smiled at me as I walked up to her window. I handed her my passport and she started flipping the pages. After a while, she put my passport down and looked at me in a funny way. She was scrutinizing me with a suspicious look. She wasn't smiling anymore. Then she asked:
Immigration Officer: How old are you?
TheLoneRider: [I gave her my age, as stated in my passport]
Immigration Officer: [She looks at me again and this time, she stepped-out of her office and came out to get a better look at me from head to foot.]
You can't be that old.
TheLoneRider: I do yoga. I'm a yoga teacher. With yoga, you won't get sick, you become strong and you won't get old...or the ageing is slow. That's why I look and feel young.
Immigration Officer: I'm fat and old already. It's too late.
[She was just in her late 30s or early 40s. She wasn't old and she wasn't fat. Also, while we were talking, there were already other people lining-up behind me and they were looking at us.]
TheLoneRider: You can start yoga at any age. It's never too late. And you are not fat. Let me show you one thing you can do.
[I leaned my back on a wall while my legs were on a 45° bend, like I was sitting on a chair]
While doing this, breathe slow, deep and steady. Put your mind into what you are doing. As you maintain this pose, it will become increasingly difficult. Observe that difficulty with a relaxed mind. Do not react. Hold it until you cannot.
[She followed my instruction very briefly, while the people lining up were also curious and attentive]
Ah...I can't. It's too hard.
TheLoneRider: it's always hard in the beginning but it gets easier. Keep doing this every morning and you will notice some improvement after a few weeks.
[She returned to her office, stamps my passport with a 30-day stay, and smiled]
Thank you for sharing what you know.
Hmmm....I didn't see that coming. That was both flattering and validating.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
(Feb 7, 2020) Awesome story! I loved it. I could imagine seeing you getting all into it with the immigration officer and having a awesom time. Sweet, buddy!
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Next stop: Time on my Hands in Mae Sot
Mae Sot Travel Information / Tips
Chiang Mai to Mae Sot by bus
There is a Green Bus line that departs from the Bus Arcade and drops you off at the Mae Sot bus terminal. Departure: 08:30 and 13:10. Return schedule (Mae Sot to Chiang Mai): 6:15am and 10:00am. Duration: 6 hours/30 mins. Cost: wide seats B490, regular seats B315(agencies or hotels may charge a small commission)
Mae Sot Attractions
- markets - Saturday Street Market, Burmese morning market, Border Market, gem market, night bazaar
- waterfalls - Tararak Waterfall (the nearest at 25 km), PA Wai Waterfall, Namtok Pha Charoen National Park, Khunpawor Waterfall, Phueng Luang Waterfall
- elephant camp tours - Retro Elephant Camp & Good Morning Maesot (only 3 km away)
- Burmese food exploration - mostly at the Burmese Market (Mae Sot Divisional Market)
- temple tours - Wat Manee Praison (temple sauna), Wat Chumpol Khiri, Wat Aranyakhet, Mae Soon Chuen Thai, Wat Mae Sot Na Dan (Wat Ngiao Luang)
Mae Sot Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Teaching 'Marketing English' to Hotel Staff Feb 17-19, 2020
- Post-Umphang Mae Sot Feb 15-20, 2020
- Time on my Hands in Mae Sot Feb 5-10, 2020
- Full-Body Ocular by the Immigration Officer in Mae Sot, Thailand Feb 5, 2020
- Mae Sot (Thailand) - Myawaddy (Myanmar) Border Crossing Jan 23, 2020
- Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
Travel Tips for Thailand
How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days
- Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
b) flight booking to Thailand
c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
d) filled-in tourist visa form
e) 2 passport pictures
f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
g) passport with at least 6 months validity
- After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
- NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.
60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.
- bring the following to the Immigration Office:
a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
b) Baht 1900
c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
- submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
- when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
- when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
- when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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