Mae Sai Travel Guide

The small border town of Mae Sai is located in Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand, 61kms north of Chiang Rai. It is a main border crossing and a steady stream of non-Burmese and commuters walk across the bridge over the Mae Sai River to Myanmar every day.

Entry permits valid for 14 days are issued at the Burmese immigration in Tachileik, your passport is held and you receive a temporary travel permit, which is exchanged again for your passport upon returning to Thailand. Particularly at weekends and on national holidays, hordes of Thai people from as far as Bangkok come to Mae Sai for inexpensive shopping.

The huge market in Tachileik sells everything from VCD players to Burmese handicrafts. Young Burmese men with hawker’s trays try to offer you all kinds of things here; however, it is recommended only to purchase goods in the numerous stores. After coming back to Mae Sai, you may carry on shopping, but only purchase gemstones if you are an expert since they might emerge as glass stones.

Mae Sai is furthermore the most northern spot of Thailand and the sign next to the bridge that states this fact is regularly beleaguered by tourists taking photographs. The town is also a hub for jade trading and it is possible to visit some of the workshops and learn about the methods used to process raw jade.

Getting There & Away

Buses depart frequently to Mae Sai from Chiang Mai (4 hours, 30 minutes) and Chiang Rai (1 hour), and there are daytrips taking tourists to the town and the Golden Triangle. Chiang Rai Airport is a 1-hour, 30-minute flight from Bangkok.

Things to Do

Mae Sai Attractions


Mae sai is a stepping stone for trips to myanmar.


Inexpensive shopping is mae sai’s main draw.