User profile: Asanee

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Forums > Travel Yunnan > Cross Border Travel

The Myanmar border is currently only open to Burmese and Chinese citizens on short term passes traveling no more than a few km inside each other's territory. There has been talk since 2013 of upgrading at least the main Ruili-Muse crossing to international status and allowing locals and foreigners through with appropriate visas.

Until the Burmese side sorts out the security situation, particularly in the Kutkai area (which is a village located on the highway a little south of Muse) then the border can't be upgraded.

For Laos, VOA is possible though some nationalities are visa exempt. Vietnam is visa exempt for 15 days for ASEAN nationals, Nordic nationals, UK, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Japanese nationals.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Things still cool in Yunnan?

Peter99, I remember engaging you in your threads about Myanmar a few years ago. What do you do and where do you live? By the sounds of it, not in China anymore anyway. But you definitely know your stuff regarding that country, as well as Laos.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Boten/Mohan border crossing closing times

Sorry I didn't update this post but it turns out that the later closing time is correct. Always seemed odd to me that this border crossing, the only one Yunnan shares with a neighboring country that freely allows private vehicles across would close so much earlier than others like the one in Muse, that isn't even open to foreigners without a permit.

They extended the opening hours to 9.30pm China time and last year I crossed at around 7.30pm China time (6.30pm Lao time) into China and confirmed the closing times with both China and Lao immigration.

Among the reasons for the extended opening hours is the construction of the China-Lao high-speed railway and the increase in traffic across that border. No longer is it an isolated little village in the middle of nowhere.

As for getting a ride to Kunming, I asked at the border and was offered 1000 rmb for a private transfer. Thought that was fairly reasonable. However, in the end my company's friend drove me to Jinghong for free, even paid for my accommodation and I caught a flight to Kunming the following day. Weather was perfect despite being July, supposedly the middle of the rainy season.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Boten/Mohan border crossing closing times

Does anyone know when the Mohan border crossing closes? Previously I heard it was 5.30pm but that seems exceptionally early considering that the Hekou border closes at 11pm and even the Muse/Ruili border, currently closed to foreigners closes that late. However, when I did a search someone claimed it now closes at 9.30pm China time. Not sure who's right though.

Also, how much would it cost to hire a car with driver from Mohan to Kunming? I presume it's rather expensive and flights from Jinghong are the way to go, but just wondering, especially if going in a group. If it's like 800 Kuai, I'd say it's OK, but if 1500 or more then definitely too expensive.

Forums > Travel Yunnan > Driving to Chiang Mai, Thailand

@tigertiger, yes that was one issue as well as lots of accidents too.

No problems hiring a Thai registered vehicle for driving in Thailand. However, they are starting to crack down on tourists hiring motorcycles without an appropriate licence (at least in Pattaya) and you'll want to be in possession of one especially in case of an accident (for insurance purposes).


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Geogramatt, eventually it may cross into Myanmar. However, given how it will only be finished as far as Ruili in 2022, there's still many years before it ever makes it into Myanmar. Hopefully that will be enough time for Myanmar to end it's wars in the northern part of the country but that's wishful thinking at this point. After all, the Kachin Independence Army or KIA broke a 17-year ceasefire back around 2011 and fighting has actually increased in the meantime.

Myanmar didn't only open up for tourism in 2011. It has been open for years just that not many westerners went prior to 2011, even though there was little stopping them. The only thing you couldn't do prior to 2013 was travel overland unless you had a permit. I first went to Myanmar on a day trip to Tachilek in 2001 and flew into Yangon in 2004 and 2005. It was just as easy to get a visa back then as it is today, except that there were more restricted areas than there are now. Also, getting to Mu-se on the Chinese border seems to be OK. I went there in February. The adjacent areas where the Kokang conflict erupted are of course out of bounds. Chinese citizens generally aren't allowed to travel across to the Burmese side overland either, except to Mu-se for up to 7 days but that isn't always allowed either. Burmese who travel to China illegally risk arrest and those that travel overland from Mu-se can only travel to Ruili. To enter China properly and travel wherever they want, they either need a permit or must fly in, just like other foreigners.

To further add to Tom69's comments, I have recently heard that the go-ahead has been given for a railway from Kunming to near the Lao border, but as for continuing into Laos and beyond to Thailand, this is uncertain at the moment. In any case, overly optimistic Chinese journalism should be dismissed as reliable news sources as they have many times mentioned things that have yet to materialize.

Anyway, to get back on track a little bit can anyone tell me if there are now more services out of Mengzi (and in the reverse direction) than the one lone train? If coming from Vietnam it would be impossible to make the 9.03am train, since a bus journey would take 2 hours and then you would need to consider that the border only opens at 8am Chinese time I think, so only by staying in Hekou itself could you make it to Mengzi (possibly) if you departed Hekou around 6am by the time the train departs.

@Peter99, as you say, it's up to the individual countries concerned, not China, to allow entry to Myanmar/Vietnam overland from China. If a bomb attack occurs in Myanmar near the Chinese border (where I've been to just like you have been), that's something that should concern China but isn't enough to prevent the Chinese authorities from allowing foreigners to cross as foreign citizens are not of concern to China when they exit Chinese territory. Having said that I keep reading that the official opening of the Ruili-Muse crossing to passport and visa holders of all nationalities is scheduled to proceed as planned this year, but an exact date is not yet known. 4 border crossings with Thailand opened last August and I have travelled overland into the interior of Myanmar to/from Thailand 3 times since that time.

As others have said, a number of these crossings have always been open so I don't know what the authorities mean about being recently "re-opened". The Lao Cai-Hekou crossing is open to all who have valid documents to cross between China and Vietnam there (some nationalities don't need a visa to enter Vietnam and as such can just cross through without a visa). Only cars generally can't cross the border here, one must be a pedestrian to cross and there are no cross border bus services either.

@LaoQingwa and laoshi19, I just arrived back in Kunming today. Today the weather was partly cloudy with plenty of sunshine and comfortably warm temperatures. I was told the past 2 days have been similar. It seems that the weather forecast is not very accurate - my hunch is on partly cloudy skies, with some possibility of overcast skies and light rain being more likely over the next few days but probably nothing like Kunming experienced last week (well, at least, hopefully not).

There is no evidence left of the flooding which affected Kunming mainly last Friday. I too was worried as evidenced by my earlier post, but it seems that even the most low lying areas around Beijing Lu, which were most flooded and the rest of downtown are back to normal - I drove through there from the airport today and everything is business as usual.


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