The ultimate Road trip from India to Thailand on Asian Highway

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Photo of The ultimate Road trip from India to Thailand on Asian Highway by Amrita

Yes, the India-Thailand Road is open and you can take a road trip from India to Thailand while crossing over Myanmar. The India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral Highway makes this possible connecting Moreh in Manipur with Mae Sot in Thailand via the beautiful country of Myanmar. Just imagine the joy of driving across the jaded hills of Myanmar, experiencing its rich culture before you make your way to the sublime beauty of Thailand.

The Route

Imphal – Moreh – Kale – Mandalay – Naypyitaw – Yangon – Hpa-An – Tak – Bangkok

Imphal – Moreh – Kale (235 km)

Imphal should be your starting point of this epic road trip. From Imphal, drive to Moreh, the border town and then cross the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to Myanmar. India and Myanmar share a porous border across Moreh and Tamu on the respective sides. People from both the towns cross over the border for market and shopping, although there is a certain limit till which they can go.

For Visa and immigration formalities, you have to go to Moreh ICP and then cross the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Bridge. The Myanmar immigration Office is just beyond the Friendship Bridge. So after getting your passports and visas stamped, you are all ready to start this epic journey.

Photo of Moreh, Manipur, India by Amrita
Photo of Moreh, Manipur, India by Amrita
Photo of Moreh, Manipur, India by Amrita

If you can start early from Imphal, then you can proceed towards Kale, a small town in Myanmar.

The stretch from Tamu to Kale is in quite good condition. This has been built by Indian BRO as a part of the IMT Trilateral Asian Highway. Imphal to Moreh will take about 4 to 5 hours and Tamu to Kale another 4 to 5 hours.

Kale – Mandalay (360 km)

This is a long journey, albeit a beautiful one. You will be driving across the paddy fields and villages of Myanmar. But the road from Kalewa to Yargi section goes through the hilly terrain and has as many as 69 bridges. India has actually taken up the task of repairing the hilly portions from Kalewa to Yargi till Monywa. We heard that work has just only started and is expected to be completed within 2021. The road remains narrow until you reach the outskirts of Mandalay.

Tip: While driving to Mandalay, you can take a detour and visit the Thanboddhay Pagoda that is known to have 5 lakhs images of Buddha.

You need to have atleast 2 days at Mandalay to explore the city.

Mandalay – Naypyitaw (270 km)

Naypyitaw or Naypyidaw is the capital city of Myanmar. Often depicted as the ghost town, Nawpyitaw is a fully constructed city with houses, government offices, large buildings and shops, but having very few inhabitants. So you will get a pleasant surprise here. There are no chances of getting stuck at the traffic here. There are large highways and boulevards and extravagant roundabouts, but very less people. The Uppatasanti Pagoda is the most beautiful landmark of the city. Stop at Naypyitaw before heading over to the more crowded and busy Yangon.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita
Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita
Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita
Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita
Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita
Photo of Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) by Amrita

Naypyitaw – Yangon (370 km)

The new capital of Myanmar is connected with the older one by a 4-lane expressway, which is mostly devoid of any heavy traffic. The journey is perhaps the fastest and the best.

You will definitely feel the difference between the two cities once you are at Yangon. This is a busy city bustling with life and people.

Yangon is the home to a large number of colonial style buildings and architecture and has a distinct old world charm to it. The Downtown is the busiest part of the city and the best part of the city for tourists.

If you want to explore Yangon, you can keep 2 days at hand.

Yangon – Hpa-An (270 km)

Start from Yangon and drive through the roads of Myanmar to Hpa-An, the capital of Karen district. On the way, you can visit Bago known for its reclining Buddha statue and the museum at Kanbawzathadi Palace. Hpa-An is a picturesque town with a backpacker feel located on the eastern bank of the Thanlwin (Salween) river. Enjoy the mountainous scenery and the unique landscape of the place.

Hpa-An to Tak (245 km)

This day you will be crossing the border over to Thailand. From Hpa-An drive through the hilly roads towards Myawaddy. The roads are a bit rough with potholes here and there. Just like Moreh and Tamu, Myawaddy and Mae-Sot are the two towns on the borders of Myanmar and Thailand respectively. The two towns are connected by the Myanmar Thailand Friendship Bridge which is built over the Moei River.

Once you are at the Thailand side, you will see a difference in the road conditions with Thailand having great roads. Remember that in Myanmar, you drive on the right unlike in Thailand. So the car has to switch the sides of the road. Before entering Thailand, you also have to clear the custom formalities that would not take much time. From Mae-Sot, the bordet town, Tak is about 100 km and would take about 2 hours to reach.

Tak – Bangkok (430 km)

Drive on the smooth roads of Thailand till you reach the Thai capital, Bangkok. But remain cautious of the infamous traffic at Bangkok. This journey is long and would take about 6 to 7 hours. If you do not want to drive for so long, you can stop at Chai Nat on the way.

Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita
Photo of Tak, Thailand by Amrita

Well, this was the route for the epic road trip from India to Thailand. You can self-drive with your own car, but there are many rules and regulations to follow for that. An International Drivers’ Permit is recommended if you are planning to self-drive.

For visa, you can get quick e-visa for Myanmar here.

Thailand offers visa-on-arrival for Indians.

If you do not want to self-drive or take your own car, then you can take a car for every country. In that way, the expenses will also be lesser. After you reach Bangkok, you can take a flight back to India.

Travelling from India to Thailand by road promises to be one of the most exhilarating experiences ever. So plan this trip and enjoy the time on road.

3 Comment(s)
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Which is the best time for this road trip?? Also can we go on bullet
Sun 12 30 18, 23:05 · Reply · Report
Public transport avalible in this route...
Sat 12 29 18, 21:53 · Reply · Report
Sounds exciting and one time experience in life time what is approx cost through this route ?
Sat 12 29 18, 00:57 · Reply · Report
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