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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Gazza's Avatar
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    Kanchanaburi - Phu Nam Ron border run.

    Not much recent info around about runs to this place so I thought I'd just do an update.

    June 1st Thursday.
    Got to the Rangsit mini-van terminal directly opposite Future Park at 7.30am.
    Vans leave on the hour between 6am and 6pm.
    Went to desk/counter No.25 and received a laminated card marked No 2 on it and sat in a designated seating area.
    Note: You cannot buy tickets a day or two in advance.

    The van departed at 8.00am and I was dropped off at 10.00am on a main road in front of a 7-11 at the corner of a soi that leads to Kanchanaburi bus station only 100 yards away. The fare was 130baht and was told at Rangsit that you pay the driver when you arrive at your destination.

    At KCB bus station a farang Tourist Volunteer approached me and asked where I was going. He took me to one counter and we were told a bus leaves at 2pm.
    Went to another counter and told there was a bus leaving at 12pm. I don't particularly like long waits hanging around bus stations or airports so I asked the guy if there were any other buses. He took out a notebook and began scouring pages of scribbled notes while telling me that it was hard keeping up with the changing of bus services to Phu Nam Ron.
    While he was checking his notes I looked at a blue and white bus parked in a bay just 20 yards away. Above the bus there was a destination placard. But without my glasses it was a bit blurry to make out but, I could see that it was three words with three letters each. I pointed it out to him and we both went over and spoke to the driver. Yes, the sign did read 'Phu Nam Ron' and he'd be leaving in 5 mins (10.30am).
    I climbed aboard the 30-40 seater bus with the antiquated oscillating air-distribution system (fans) and exterior wind flow management apertures (closable windows) and took a seat. Only me and 10 other passengers. The driver collected the fares, mine was 70baht which wasn't bad for a 70km approx journey, and then we were off on the dot.

    After a couple of stops here and there for the driver to make a few deliveries at shops enroute and ocassionally cutting off the main road and having to navigate some very narrow village lanes to drop off some passengers outside their village houses because they were too bloody bone-idle to walk 100 yards from the main road to their door-steps carrying a 1kg bag of rambutans, I arrived at Phu Nam Ron. It was approx 12.15pm.

    At the immigration departure booth I asked the officer about transport across to the Burmese side. He said there was a shop just behind 'here' that has a service and he stamped me out.
    Sure enough, there was what used to be a restaurant/cafe but is now just a waiting area with chairs and a little glass-walled booth. This is where I handed in my passport and where they did the paperwork of filling in a Thai arrival card, made a few photocopies of my passport photo page and collected the fee of 960baht. I was told to wait 20 minutes.

    After roughly 20-30mins waiting and having observed 4 others handing over their passports, we were told to get into a 'space cab' pick up truck. Me and two guys seated in the back and 2 girls sharing the front passenger seat.

    The road in no-mans land was nicely paved, at least the Thai part was anyway. When it suddenly turned to compacted dirt I safely assumed I was then in the Burmese part. The dirt road that was soon taking us downhill to a small hamlet of newly constructed tin huts must surely be a bitch to drive or ride up and down when it rained heavily. It was already heavily rutted and had fairly sizable potholes. Nearby was an area of land that looked like it was being leveled, possibly for a new road I wondered.

    The truck parked behind a few tin shacks and we were told we could get out while the passports were being done. The nearby shops hardly had anything in the way of stock except for one selling duty free stuff. I had a peek but from what I saw it was just Burmese ciggies and booze.

    After what seemed like only 10-15mins and having received my passport back we made the 4 km trip back to the Thai immigration arrival booth.
    Once back on the Thai side and having got stamped in, I walked about 50yards and parked on the left-hand side of the road there was a mini-van waiting to leave at 2pm. It was parked in front of a duck noodle restaurant, so with it being about 1.15pm I decided to kill a bit of time and stuffed my face.

    The mini van left shortly after 2pm with me and only 3 other passengers. This meant the driver had to drive very slowly and sound his horn at the sight of anyone by the side of the road and when going through any roadside villages trying to boost his pax load. He picked a few up here and there and it wasn't too long before he started to apply a little more pressure to the accelerator.

    The van rolled into KCB station at 3.30pm-ish and I paid the driver 80baht. Bought a mini-van ticket to Morchit BTS for 120baht that was leaving at 3.50pm so I headed for a nearby 7-11 for a drink and a Mars bar.

    The mini van to Morchit put me in at around 6.30pm and I arrived back home at 7.30pm after calling in at a local market for some nibbly-dibblies for when I get the midnight munchies.

    Afterthoughts.
    After 12 hours of buses, vans and motorbike taxis I felt, and I really, really did feel as though it was too much sitting in or on transportation. But strangely I still enjoyed the day.
    I'm planning the next trip out there to be a little different. Seeing as I'm not a 'getting-up-early-in-the-morning-kind-of guy', I figured I'll set out around midday and spend a night in KCB. There's a few places I want to visit and re-visit while there and I want to check out hiring a motorbike for the trip to and from the border, but only for the dry season.
    Last edited by Gazza; 03-06-2017 at 09:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza
    But strangely I still enjoyed the day.
    A mini adventure. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    Dillinger's Avatar
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    Great info mate, cheers

    That peaked my interest, so found this; a few years old. Is it possible to stay overnight still.

    I wouldnt mind doing this in November-

    Once you did this border crossing you are in a part of the world which up to 2014 is mentioned in hardly any travel guidebook – not even the Lonely Planet.
    Trip Report Phu Nam Ron - Visa run only 200km from Bangkok

    Click here to add your reply

    Posted by relaxedTrev on 19/1/2014 at 22:12

    Trip report from Phu Nam Ron, closest border to Bangkok for Visa extensions being only 200km via Kanchanaburi and or quickest overland route to Myanmar.
    I left Bangkok in the morning taking the shuttle bus which leaves throughout the day at 20-40 minute intervals. The minibus cost $110 Bhat, but equally I could have bused or the train. The mini van dropped me at the Kanchanaburi bus station.
    From there we then caught the 11:30am (also 10:30 & 12:30) bus from Kanchanaburi to Phu Nam Ron, note this is the blue bus which costs 70 Bhat, not the red one which goes to a similar named town. The bus arrived a little after 1pm. For those driving you need to take the AH 123 / 3512 which is a new road all the way. In Phu Nam Ron there is a cosy café right next to the immigration office which does good coffee and lunches.


    The Thai immigration is small but well setup to stamp and process, being a new border gate the crowds are still minimal, no chaos like other crossings. You travel into Myanmar where the goad turns to gravel in the some untouched jungle at which point the Visa runner’s return to Thailand. While we got our Myanmar Visas stamped by Myanmar immigration and continued through to Dawei and Maung Ma Kan Beach approximately 150km on the Myanmar side of the border. Amazing place much more like Thailands beaches 20 odd years ago.


    The full blog and info on the Myanmar side can be found on my blog

    Phu Nam Ron Border Crossing Blog | Southern Myanmar
    His blog mentions this old update, what's the crack now Gazza? And do they use a whole page for a visa?

    Update for Thai Visa Runners.
    As of the 8th of July 2014 you now must be in possession of a Myanmar Visa before arriving at Phu Nam Ron Border if you wish to use this gate, Myanmar Visa’s can be obtained at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. For more uptodate info please phone Three Dawei Visa Service on 08 21 922 488
    Last edited by Dillinger; 03-06-2017 at 10:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    Some newer info and a nice 4 step guide


    https://myohmyanmar.wordpress.com/20...ur-step-guide/

  5. #5
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    Excellent report, mate. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Gazza's Avatar
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    Is it possible to stay overnight still.
    At the border? I read somewhere that someone got stranded there because they arrived too late to continue on to Dawei and had to stay in a nearby resort in PNR.

    And do they use a whole page for a visa?
    Same as at Mae Sot. One small entry stamp and one small exit stamp. Allows only one day visit.

    Update for Thai Visa Runners.
    As of the 8th of July 2014 you now must be in possession of a Myanmar Visa before arriving at Phu Nam Ron Border if you wish to use this gate, Myanmar Visa’s can be obtained at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok. For more uptodate info please phone Three Dawei Visa Service on 08 21 922 488
    I think the visa is only if you're heading for Dawei.
    Last edited by Gazza; 04-06-2017 at 12:31 AM.

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