Ranong – Thailand
March 13, 2012
After leaving Koh Lak we had been in Thailand for almost 4 weeks and had to get a visa extension.
Our original plan was to travel around Asia a little more but we got stuck in Thailand, as so many do.
So we read a fairly easy and cost-effective way to do this was to go to Ranong and do a little mini trip to Myanmar – Burma.
We were a little worried about doing so, not because of our own safety but because of the moral implications of giving money to the government there, you can read more about the situation here, but in the end we had little choice as this was the closet and cheapest option.
We decided to stay in Ranong, which is where the boats go from for just one night as when we were looking for accommodation I found nothing but very tired hotels and the cheapest backpacker accommodation ever.
We chose the latter and regretted it finding an amazing hotel with a rooftop pool for £20 a night after we arrived. Always the way.
This is where we spent the late afternoon…
And the early evening… watching the sun go down.
It was such an amazing sunset I literally took over 100 photographs.
I’ll spare you though and show you only a few.
I think I should sell this photo to the hotel for their publicity!
This is the b, where we should have stayed, it is brand new so I didn’t see it on the internet. We paid a few pounds for fluffy towels and access to the pool for the day.
It was the saviour after a rough day and a real Thai town without much to do.
After walking around in the day and eating rubbish food in a market (I think the only bad food we ate) we felt a little flat about the town, but it did come alive that night and there were a few more eating and drinking options than we saw in the day.
We drank many cheap cocktails at a bar on the main street.
The next day we headed to Myanmar. It was simple enough, we arranged with a taxi the previous day to pick us up early, and take us to the border, there he hooked us up with a boat which took us out of Thailand and to a port in Myanmar. Both the Thai and Myamar officials seem to be more than used to people popping out and in again.
One tip! Wear modest clothing, I wore shorts and a vest and for my photograph when re-entering Thailand was told to put a t-shirt on. Only one official seemed to care but it’s not worth the risk.
It was a beautiful day for a journey, and since we were on simple fishing boats with a few others (1 tourist and 2 Burmese who work in Thailand) we were very glad it was.
We even got some glimpses of some golden Buddhas in Myanmar.
I wouldn’t recommend Ranong if you are taking a holiday but as part of our long trip in Thailand it was one of the more interesting places we visited, especially because of our little trip to Myanmar.
You literally land on a small island, that is Burmese but not the mainland, and the general tourist cannot even enter the mainland this way. You are not even allowed to go beyond 3 miles from the border on your 48 hour visa they give you when you arrive.
We had to go straight back and it was a shame we couldn’t stay and look around a little, but we learnt a lot about the way these countries sit together on this day. It was very interesting and I know very little about the situation there so intend to find out more now I am home.