Tachileik in Myanmar (also spelled Tachilek) is a border town in the Shan State in the east of the country. It is also the most populated city in the eastern Shan State. For tourism, if asking for a gateway to the famous Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, then it is Tachileik.
Tachileik is situated on the crossing borders between Myanmar and Thailand in the east of Shan State, which functions as the getaway to the center of the infamous Golden Triangle. The available Friendship Bridge across the little Mae Sai Stream connects the remote town of Tachileik with the border town of Mae Sai in the northern Thailand. Nowadays, the tourists can take the direct flights from Yangon to Tachileik in 1 hour, which makes Tachileik the new destination to be explored. This site is famous for the golden stupas or monasteries that attract both domestic and oversea pilgrims. Please note that the Burmese authorities do apply some restrictions for the foreign tourists when they visit the off-the-beaten-track places. In particular, trekking in Tachileik is not allowed yet, even though this town possesses lots of hills and minority villages. Since Tachileik in Myanmar covers a modest area filled with lots of trishaws for rent, the activity of trishaw day tour interests many vacationers. Besides, motorbike taxis are the great means of transport to move in a short distance. If going in a group, then shared taxi would be the better option.
History of Tachileik Myanmar
Briefly speaking, Tachileik was the border town functioned in the opium trade from the infamous Golden Triangle. It was also the place where the drug lord KhunSa lived. About the big disasters occurred in Tachileik, they must include the terrible earthquake and the bomb. That said, on March 24th, 2011, the horrible earthquake with the magnitude of 6.8 hit the region very close to the town of Tachileik, which resulted in the huge damage. Then, on March 24th, 2012, there was a boom attack that wounded 2 people in the Regina Hotel Golf Course. An hour later, the second boom was exploded which destroyed some buildings there. Overcoming the hard past, this frontier city becomes a tourist site today.
What to See and Do in Tachileik
The Sample of “Shwedagon Pagoda”
People know about Myanmar with the iconic golden site of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, with the height of 98m and the gold-plated surface impressively. It is very exciting to know that the land of the remote Tachileik owns a sample “New Shwedagon” which might not be as large and impressive as the real Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, but it is still attractive enough to amaze the visitors. The sample pagoda is erected on the high hill, from which you enjoy the bewitching view of the whole Tachileik town as well as the fascinating lands of Thailand or Laos. In reality, the presence of the “New Shwedagon do interest many guests who appreciate its imitative architecture, the revered spirit, and the incredible views.
As Tachileik is not the touristy or famous destination in Myanmar, the title might sound unfamiliar to most holidaymakers. But if you come there, expect to the fascinating Chinese Monastery which is said to be the largest and most beautiful religious construction in Tachileik. The monastery was built in the Chinese architectural style in the year of 1999. Its location is about 2km from the border between Myanmar and Thailand. In fact, this is the favorite address for the pilgrims to gather, especially the Chinese ones, whenever they arrive in Tachileik.
Ho Nam Monastery
Ho Nam Monastery gains fame for the relics of Buddha and the very impressive Buddha image. It attracts the Buddhists all over the world to come to pay homage to the holy Buddha. The first time you enter the monastery, please remember to do the respectful silence and greet the large Buddha image! Like many other monasteries in Myanmar, Ho Nam Monastery is revered and appreciated by the Burmese people; therefore, every guest is recommended to follow the local rules and belief.
Lang Tuang Pagoda
Around 60km from Tachileik is the attractive Lang Tuang Pagoda. This construction reflects the Myanmar-Thailand architecture that interests almost any individual. The magnificent Buddha statue inside is revered while the architecture of the pagoda has lots of exceptional traits to learn and capture.
Morning Market in Tachileik
If you can wake up in the early morning when staying Tachileik, don’t miss a chance to explore the local morning market situated half km from the border checkpoint of Myanmar-Thailand! Please note that the operational time of the market is from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM. In fact, the Tachileik morning market is the finest tourist attraction in this off-the-beaten-track destination, aside from the age-old monasteries. During hours roaming around the market, you might meet lots of hill tribes who dressed the Burmese traditional costumes. Such clothes make the market colorful and eye-catching positively. As you are in the market, don’t be reluctant to purchase the preferred items! However, be aware that the alcohol and cigarette there might be the pirated goods and not authentically what said on the boxes! While some are fond of the Burmese souvenirs, the others even cannot stop tasting the Burmese snacks or street food. Whatever trait you love about the market, the experience is worthwhile.
Regina Tachileik Casino
Playing at Regina Casino is what people love to do in Tachileik. Only the short tuk-tuk will take you to the great recreational establishment where to test your luck with various games. The casino belongs to the complex of Regina Hotel and Golf Club in Tachileik, Myanmar, which entertains every soul. From the Thailand-Myanmar border, you find a casino minibus that drives you to Regina Casino and vice versa.
How to Get to Tachileik in Myanmar
Flight to Tachileik
It is possible to have the direct flight to Tachileik from Yangon in an hour. Besides, know that the Tachileik Airport has connections to the three cities of Myanmar namely Yangon, Mandalay, and Keng Tung. This means the travelers can take it easy to travel between Tachileik and any of the three big Burmese cities at any time of the year.
Tachileik Border Crossing
If traveling to Tachileik by road, know that Tachileik is linked to Keng Tung via the Asian Highway Route AH2. Also, the city of Tachileik can be reached from the Mae Sai town of Thailand via the Friendship Bridge across the little Mae Sai River. People are always welcomed to take advantage of the bridge used for border crossings between Mae Sai and Tachilek. It might be very exciting for the tourists to ride a bicycle across the bridge. In fact, the Burmese merchants could cross over and trade in Mae Sai for several days. The convenient road connection between Myanmar and Thailand in this way makes the trip to Tachileik special and memorable. The Tachileik – Mae Sai bordercrossing is famous. Provided that you come to Tachileik from Thailand, there are some options at the borders: you can choose to across the border for the quick visit and then come back to Thailand, travel to Keng Tung, or head toward the Airport and fly to the other destinations in Myanmar.
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