205 Kms from Lamphun
Next morning, we took a bus from Sukothai directly to the small border town of Mae Sot. It's a minivan and not very comfortable but the only option available. You can take a tuk tuk directly to the border crossing. Border crossing is smooth. There is no visa on arrival at the border crossing so make sure you have it beforehand. (if needed)
225 Kms from Lamphun
We really only stopped here because we got on a train from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai that had no air, just windows and people walking up and down the aisles selling hot food the ENTIRE time. Still being incredibly jetlagged, we needed a break from the train. We got off at Phitsanulok and quickly realized that we were the ONLY foreigners. Nobody could help us, there was no english written anywhere, and we couldn't find a guest house. After one sweet young boy trying to help us, we finally stumbled upon maybe the only guest house there. The next morning before boarding the train to continue heading north, we walked around the morning market which I am still impressed by when I think back on it. Phitsanulok was probably the least-touristy spot I have ever been to in my life, and I'm so happy that we stopped there.
210 Kms from Lamphun
Being a country that has so recently opened its borders so recently, there can be a frustrating lack of information about the land border crossings. So when we did cross over into Myanmar from the Mae Sot-Myawaddy check post, we were feeling particularly triumphant about it all going through so smoothly. ... Until we found out that the single-lane highway that connects Myawaddy to the rest of the country runs in opposite directions on subsequent days: odd days East and even days West. Effectively reducing your chances of getting out on the same day by a dramatic 50%! It was something we hadn't even remotely conceived of, and we paid for our lack of creative imagination by having to be stuck in a dusty, sleepy border town with nothing to do for a whole day. Lesson learnt.
266 Kms from Lamphun
The one thing I remember clearly when talking about Pak Beng is the warning in the Lonely PLanet that Pak Beng is mostly famous for the fact that bags get stolen out of the hotelrooms…. Stuff like that always makes me nervous. Carrying a lot of camera gear around is not always good for your sanity and/or your back.. ;) If you take the slow boat from Chiang Khong (Thailand) to Luang Prabang you’re most likely to have a stop over in Pak Beng. It’s an uneventful little town, with a few guesthouses and a few restaurants and that’s about it. Good enough for one night but not something you want to stay any longer!