Kengtung - permit & hotels
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Apr 26, 2013 6:32 PM Last Post By: naugastyle
Mar 16, 2013 1:02 AM
Kengtung - permit & hotelsWe are going to Kengtung in early April, coming from Mae Sai.
1. Agents contacted for the visa/permit, still refer to permit to be required 1 month in advance, while I read on TT that permit can be obtained on the spot at the border and that guide may even not be required anymore. An update is welcome.
2. If we need a guide from the border, is that the guide that may take us to hilltribe villages or is it for the road to Kengtung only? Do we need to pay for the guide's costs (hotel, transport, etc.)?
3. We are travelling with 3 kids (between 9 and 5); which villages would you recommend the most assuming we spend 1 day in Kengtung itself and 2 days in villages around?
4. Finally I cannot find the way to contact hotels in Kengtung directly. Would anyone have contact (e-mail) of hotels in Kengtung, like the Sam Yweat GH.
Thanks in advance!
Mar 16, 2013 5:04 AM
1 - if you are just travelling to Kengtung and back to Mae Sai you just have to pay for the temp $10 or $15 permit to do that....you can do it on the spot when you are at the border. If you want to then fly into central Myanmar from Kengtung then you need (as well as your Myanmar Visa) the special MTT permit which takes MINIMUM 2 weeks to obtain...so to do that you would have to contact MTT via email.
2 - no, you do not need to take a guide from the border...there are guides at the MTT office at Taichileik but you don't have to use them to get to Kengtung...you can take the bus yourself from Taichileik to Kengtung.
The MTT people at Taichileik might try and 'insist' you use their guide...but no need....or you could just use that guide to get to Kengtung only and then arrange a local guide for visiting villages...??
3 - up to you...the guides in Kengtung all pretty well take people to the most of the same villages...
4 - no need to book rooms in Kengtung....just show up (best way to contact is by phoning rather than email)
Note: when I was at Taichileik MTT in early Feb they told me they would be trialling removal of the permit requirement soon...they said March/April...? If you provide an email address I can email you contact details for a Kengtung guide who could have current info...
Mar 16, 2013 5:47 AM
Apr 5, 2013 6:48 AM
Thank for the info, it's a bit inconsistant with what I am dealing w in Tachilek right now. From everyone I have spoken with (sometimes brokenly but my Thai isn't bad and of course English is good) they say I have to get a permit (and guide) to goto Kengtung. Yet you have stated there is no need and to just take a bus. There are check points no? Also note that I am on a 14 day visa.
Here is my email, email@example.com. Would greatly appreciate any other help in this matter and even a contact to a guide. The current price they are quoting just to goto Kengtung is outlandish in my opinion. I could understand if you wanted to get to hill tribes but to a major town?
Apr 6, 2013 5:21 PM
4J...who is telling you that...people on the Thai aside....??
Go to the MTT office and ask them...they might also tell you the same thing so they can make more $$ from you...and if they do then you don't really have much choice...as far as I know you likely still need the $10 temp permit to go to Kengtung, but that might have been lifted by now...?? (In early Feb the guy at the Taichileik MTT office told me they were looking at removing permit requirements in March/April).
When I travelled form Kengtung to Taichileik in early Feb the bus company took copies of my passport and Visa to the Immigration office there and got a one page sheet from them.....just before I entered Taichileik the bus stopped at a Immigration office there and they stamped that sheet.
Trouble with doing it in the other direction is that they can tell you anything, and if you don't pay then they dont let you in.
What sort of price are they quoting you...?
At best you could just hire their guide for 1 day for the bus trip to Kengtung, but maybe they want you to pay for hired vehicle and driver also, or even to fly....if so then there aint much you can do apart from trying to argue the point..
Apr 6, 2013 10:39 PM
As I said in Tachilek now. Been for a few days, and everyone here states that I need to talk with MTT about hiring a guide to get to Kengtung (THE TOWN). They quoted me a price of 1000 Baht per day and paying for transportation. That is why I asked if you knew a licensed guide in Tachilek you could refer me to. 1000 Baht per day (plus paying for guides transport), just to get to Kengtung and back seems real steep to me.
I thought from reading your posts that you had gone to Kentung and not had to pay for any kind of guide. What I mistaken by this?
I guess I could make a three day trip and swallow that cost but really don't want to have to go through all that. Want to try and negotiate the price as well thus asking if you knew a guide in Tachilek.
Apr 6, 2013 10:45 PM
6Just to so you know where I am coming from in asking you, this was in your first response:
"The MTT people at Taichileik might try and 'insist' you use their guide...but no need."
How is it, that they insist yet there is no need? Can I just hop a bus?... because it sure doesn't seem like it.
Edited by: jonconstant
Apr 7, 2013 2:02 AM
7have you tried just hoping on the to Kengtung....??
Likely the bus company staff wouldn't let you on without that piece of paper...and if the bus then stopped in the same Immigration office just out of town then the staff there probably wouldn't let you continue...
Put it this way...you DO NOT need to use any guide to travel by bus from Kengtung to Taichileik, so why should you in the other direction..other than the MTT office staff at Taichileik 'insisting' you pay for one of their guides to travel wth you.
As I said above...the most that should entail is them taking the bus with you as far as Kengtung....tell them you already have a guide lined up in Kengtung when you get there to visit the tribal villages.
Apr 7, 2013 9:04 PM
Apr 15, 2013 12:24 AM
9I was in Kengtung last week and tried to enter without guide as per the advice above, but to no avail. THe MTT/immigration officers were simply not issuing the entry permits without a guide. after 3 hours in their offices, we surrendered.
Guide costs THB 1000 per day.
We changed guide in Kentung and I warmly recommend our guide: David, mobile # 09-5252858 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Friendly, knowledgeable, discreet, and with a good feeling of how to assist without being directive. We were travelling with kids and he was fantastic with them.
Stayed at Sam Yweat GH, a good mid range option (better and half price compared to Princess) opposite the bus stop. But noisy at night.
Apr 18, 2013 2:54 AM
10rivaltribal, when I went to Kyaingtong last year the 1000/baht per day rule was still in effect when crossing from Thailand (so I chose to fly to Yangon instead, as I wanted to travel around more than just Kyaingtong anyway). I thought I'd heard it was going to be dropped, and somehow you didn't pay, but I'm confused why other people are still being forced to.
Apr 21, 2013 5:52 PM
11#10...people entering from Thailand at Taichileik and then travelling to Kengtung are being charged various rates to get there. Likely Taichileik MTT would try and make as much $$ as possible and demand you use their guide and travel to Kengtung by hired vehicle...then to take that further it is likely they would demand you use their guide the whole time you are in Kengtung.
You should only need to use their guide for the one day travel from Taichiliek to Kengtung, and should be able to do that by bus...BUT....reality can be different as they can demand whatever they like.
Coming from internal Myanmar to Kengtung you DO NOT need to use a MTT guide while you are there, nor to travel from Kengtung down to Taichileik. You can fly to Kengtung and arrange your own guide (when you get there, or prior) to visit villages.
In early Feb the guy at Taichiliek MTT told me the permit requirements was going to be removed for a trial period...likely March / April....but it sounds like that hasn't happened yet...??
Apr 22, 2013 9:38 PM
12Don't know. I remember at some point before I went--either in early 2012 or late 2011--someone had posted a photo of a document stating that the guide was mandatory and would accompany the visitor throughout the stay in Kyaingtong. When I was there, my guide confirmed that it was true--that he had taken tourists trekking while they were forced to pay for a separate "guide" to do nothing but hang out in the hotel. 1000 baht per day, I believe with 600 going to the non-guiding guide.
Apr 24, 2013 2:59 PM
13Nauga...yeah, I think the problem is with the Taichileik MTT office and what they demand / ask for...when I was there early Feb this year I met a European guy who was visiting villages with a guide he had travelled up from Taichileik with...likely a MTT guide...no idea what he was paying. He then went back down to Taichileik with that gudie (he was on the short permit to come in from Thailand)
But...when flying into Kengtung from Mandalay then exiting via land into Thailand there was no requirement for a mandatory guide while in Kengtung (hired a local guide to visit some tribal villages) nor to take the bus down to Taichileik.
Still needed to pay for the $70 MTT permit to exit via land that way, but no mandatory guide needed.....that was arranged thru Mandalay MTT. When I had earlier asked at Yangon MTT they demanded I book my flights with them, but was no mention of a mandatory guide either.
Apr 26, 2013 6:32 PM
14Oh, I misunderstood how you had gotten to Kyaingtong...the OP wants enter from and exit to Thailand which isn't the same as what you did. This is the only case when the 1000-baht-per-day mandatory guide comes up. Those guides are all based in Tachileik, so they definitely wouldn't randomly join you in Kyaingtong for the bus ride.
Now that I'm re-reading your earlier post, I just want to clarify that no tourists need a special permit to fly from Mandalay to Kyaingtong! Only needed to continue on to exit into Mae Sai from there.
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