Map of Route to Ranong

A visa run from Phuket to Kawthaung, Myanmar involves a road trip to Ranong, Thailand where you check out with Thai customs and immigration. Then a boat trip across to Kawthaung to get your passport stamped by Myanmar, and a return trip to Thailand. There is an entire industry set up to provide this service, including special buses, water taxis and cross boarder duty free shops. The bus ride is about four hours each way so it is an all day affair and boring after you have done it a few times, but for the first timers it is interesting as it takes you along the scenic Andaman Sea coast of Thailand.

The morning market near Boat Lagoon

By 06:30 the street in front of Boat Lagoon Marina,where we caught the bus, is already a bee hive of activity with food stalls selling workers their breakfast before going to work and lunch to take with them to work.

Water front house in Ranong

Many of the villagers in Ranong live on the water and earn their living there.

People going to market in a long tail boat

The family car in Ranong is a long tail boat.

Thai boarder station

The Thai boarder station on the water frontier with Myanmar. Everyone going or coming must stop for clearance.

Getting passports stamped in Myanmar

A cottage industry also thrives on the Myanmar side of the boarder selling duty free cigarettes and liquor. Neither of these products were of much interest to us.

Golden statue of Buddha at the Thai boarder

A golden Buddha stands at the boarder to welcome visitors to the Kingdom of Thailand. Now for a long bus ride back to Phuket.