Feb 15-17, 2020
Post-Umphang Mae Sot
Location : Sleep Nest Hostel, Mae Sot, Thailand
Mae Sot Stopover?
From Umphang, I was supposed to get my stuff from Sleep Nest Hostel in Mae Sot and head east for Tak. But the B47/night deal in Tak wasn't available anymore. More importantly, I like being in Mae Sot, hanging out at Sleep Nest Hostel. Pulling another ace off my sleeve, I offered to develop a customized Google Map for the hostel in exchange for 2 nights. The owner said yes! He also likes having me around, but it's still a business, so I have to offer something as a fair exchange. After my 2 nights though, as I would have checked-out (half-heartedly), he asked if I can teach his staff, English. Hey, the world works in wonderful ways. It all worked out. I got to stay longer, his staff learns English, and it also frees him up if his staff can interact with the guests. Moreover, it was low season, so I wasn't causing him revenue loss.
Sleep Nest Hostel
Life back at Sleep Nest Hostel is bliss. It's all about energy for me. I'm glad to be staying here a few more days. I hang-out with Nat and his 2 Karen Tribe staff, Milk and Arm. I learn about Thai and Karen culture/food from them. And just like my 'former' life managing Nawa Saraan Hotel in Chiang Mai, I spend most of the day hanging-out and talking to the hotel guests, who are mostly on a transition stop from Myanmar, or en route to Myanmar.
wall-art interaction at Sleep Nest Hostel
picture by Milk Suphakan
Extended Life in Mae Sot
I was quick to resettle into my usual routine - morning workout/pranayama/meditation, breakfast at Lucky Tea, rummaging the Burmese market, bike ride around town, updating my blog, etc. Of course, there are always hotel guests I can chill out with. Everything fits with the comfort of an old shoe. Let's just say I am always a happy camper at Sleep Nest Hostel.
A little known secret in Mae Sot is its temple sauna at Wat Manee Praison. It's within temple grounds, but not inside the actual temple. For only B20, you get to steam yourself in a no-frills sauna bath that is largely known only to locals. You have to wear trunks (unlike in Germany where sauna is strictly no-clothes only) The space can fit up to 8, but ideally for 6 pax. There is a separate section for women. You are provided a locker space with lock & key. There is even a basic weight training equipment.
After 5 nights, it felt time to leave and explore the other areas in the East - Tak, Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, etc. If and when I become an English teacher here in Mae Sot (this May), I will have to come back anyway and live here for at least a year. So for now, I might as well enjoy the freedom to travel while I still can.
Many many thanks to Nat for having me stay and enjoy the chill vibe at Sleep Nest Hostel! ❤🙂🙏
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Reader Comments:The NewYorker
(Feb 20, 2020) Just saw your blog. You and the Coronel look finger lickin' good ❤🙂
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Next stop: Teaching 'Marketing English' to Hotel Staff
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
This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.
- 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.
Book Train Tickets in Thailand
Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com
General Travel Tips
- arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
- put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
- 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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