Mae Sot–Thai/Burmese Border
October 2019 –Mae Sot, on the Thai/Burmese border, makes for an interesting adventure. I stayed at a fairly typically Thai, family-owned hotel called the Irawadee resort, though it was more of a guest house in town than any sort of a resort.
The main reason I was in town was to look for old beads and any other antique or curiosities that might have drifted across the order. Alongside Mae Nam Moei River on the Thai side of the border is an expansive market that sells a mixture of imports from Burma, black-market clothes, cheap Chinese electronics and food, carved wood, gems and jewelry. It’s located 5km west of Mae Sot;
There’s a funky little local village right on the river bank, and a few boats to ferry people back and forth across the river.
Next to a cement walkway, on the river side of the covered market, are many crude stalls selling black market cigarettes, liquor and dried fish.
On the outside of the covered market I finally located the antique stores I was looking for.
They were sitting, cheek by jowl, with a number of wood carving and furniture shops.
Though the ‘antique’ stone beads were mostly of recent manufacture, I did see a number of strands of old Indo-Pacific glass trade beads, and even bought a few strands, since they date back 2,000 years.
The rest of these photos were taken at random near the border town and at random on a stroll around the city of Mae Sot.
After two days on the border I returned to Bangkok, where I now live.