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How To Go From Mawlamyine To Sukhothai


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Claudelle Funderburk



Embarking on an adventure from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai is an experience that combines the charm of Myanmar and Thailand. Mawlamyine, a picturesque town situated on the scenic banks of the Thanlwin River, offers a unique blend of rich history, lush landscapes, and welcoming locals. The journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai takes you through diverse terrains, ancient ruins, and cultural wonders.


During your time in Mawlamyine, don’t miss the opportunity to explore its captivating attractions. Marvel at the iconic Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as the Golden Rock, perched on a cliff, seemingly defying gravity. Take a leisurely stroll along Strand Road, lined with beautiful colonial-era buildings, and soak in the town’s nostalgic atmosphere.


Once you’ve experienced the allure of Mawlamyine, it’s time to cross the border and venture into Thailand. The journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai is an adventure in itself, filled with stunning scenery and cultural delights. Sukhothai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its ancient temples and ruins, offering a glimpse into Thailand’s rich historical past.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of these two countries, this guide will provide you with insights and tips on how to make the journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai a memorable one.


Getting to Mawlamyine

Mawlamyine is well-connected to major cities in Myanmar, making it easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers. Here are some transportation options to consider when planning your trip to Mawlamyine:

  • By Air: The closest airport to Mawlamyine is Yangon International Airport, which serves numerous domestic and international flights. From Yangon, you can take a connecting flight to Mawlamyine Airport. The flight duration is approximately 30 minutes, offering a convenient and time-efficient way to reach your destination.
  • By Train: If you prefer a more scenic and leisurely journey, traveling by train is a great option. There are regular trains operating between Yangon and Mawlamyine, with a travel time of around 8 hours. Enjoy the picturesque views of Myanmar’s countryside as the train winds its way through lush landscapes, passing by villages and rice paddies.
  • By Bus: Buses are the most common and affordable mode of transportation in Myanmar. Multiple bus companies operate daily services between Yangon and Mawlamyine, offering a convenient and cost-effective way to travel. The journey typically takes around 6-7 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions.

Once you arrive in Mawlamyine, you can easily explore the town on foot or hire a trishaw, a traditional cycle rickshaw, to navigate the streets. Mawlamyine is a compact city, and most of its attractions are within walking distance of each other.


Now that you know how to get to Mawlamyine, let’s delve into the fascinating sights and experiences this charming town has to offer.


Exploring Mawlamyine

Mawlamyine is a captivating town that showcases the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Myanmar. Here are some must-visit attractions and experiences to explore during your time in Mawlamyine:

  • Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock): Located just outside of Mawlamyine, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is one of Myanmar’s most sacred sites. Perched precariously on a large boulder, the pagoda is believed to house a hair relic of the Buddha. Witness the breathtaking sight of the golden rock seemingly defying gravity and experience the spiritual atmosphere of this revered pilgrimage site.
  • Strand Road: Take a leisurely stroll along Strand Road, which runs parallel to the Thanlwin River. Admire the beautiful colonial-era buildings that line the street, showcasing Mawlamyine’s British colonial past. Stop by one of the local teashops to enjoy a cup of Myanmar’s famous sweet tea and soak in the nostalgic ambiance.
  • Seindon Mibaya Kyaung: Pay a visit to the Seindon Mibaya Kyaung, a famous Buddhist monastery known for its intricate woodcarvings. Explore the serene complex and learn about the monastic life that has been preserved for centuries. Take a moment to meditate and reflect in the peaceful surroundings.
  • Mahamuni Pagoda: This ancient pagoda houses a revered bronze Buddha statue believed to be over a thousand years old. Admire the intricate details of the statue and witness the locals offering devotions and prayers. The Mahamuni Pagoda is a significant religious site and offers a glimpse into Myanmar’s spiritual traditions.
  • Mon Bridge: Visit the iconic Mon Bridge, also known as U Bein Bridge of Mawlamyine. Spanning the Thanlwin River, this wooden bridge is considered one of the longest teakwood bridges in the world. Take a leisurely walk across the bridge and enjoy the scenic views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.

Aside from the main attractions, exploring the local markets and trying traditional Myanmar cuisine is a must. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local markets, where you can find fresh produce, traditional crafts, and delicious street food. Don’t hesitate to try local delicacies such as mohinga (a popular rice noodle dish with fish soup) or pick up some unique handicrafts as souvenirs.


Exploring Mawlamyine’s rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant culture will leave you with lasting memories of this enchanting Myanmar town.


Crossing the Border

Once you’ve explored the wonders of Mawlamyine, it’s time to cross the border into Thailand and continue your journey to Sukhothai. Here’s what you need to know about crossing the border:

  • Mae Sot-Myawaddy Border Crossing: The most common and convenient border crossing point between Myanmar and Thailand for travelers heading from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai is the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border. From Mawlamyine, you can take a bus or private car to Myawaddy, the border town on the Myanmar side. Once you reach Myawaddy, you will need to go through immigration and cross the Friendship Bridge to enter Thailand.
  • Border Formalities: Make sure to carry all necessary travel documents, including your passport with at least six months validity and a valid visa for Thailand. Visa requirements may vary depending on your nationality, so it’s essential to check the latest regulations and obtain the appropriate visa in advance. At the border, you will need to go through immigration procedures and complete the necessary paperwork.
  • Transportation from the Border: After crossing the border, you will need to arrange transportation to reach Sukhothai. There are several options available, including buses, taxis, and private cars. It’s advisable to pre-book your transportation in advance to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any uncertainties.

The journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai via the Mae Sot-Myawaddy border is an exciting adventure that allows you to witness the seamless transition from one country to another and experience the cultural diversity of Southeast Asia.


Transportation Options

When traveling from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai, you have several transportation options to choose from. Here are some popular ways to make the journey:

  • Bus: Taking a bus is a common and convenient option for traveling between cities in Myanmar and Thailand. From Myawaddy, the border town, you can catch a bus to Mae Sot, the nearest town on the Thai side. The bus journey typically takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. Once you reach Mae Sot, you can transfer to another bus that will take you to Sukhothai.
  • Taxi: If you prefer more flexibility and comfort, hiring a taxi is a suitable option. You can arrange for a taxi to pick you up from Myawaddy and drive you directly to Sukhothai. This option is more expensive compared to a bus, but it provides convenience and allows you to travel at your own pace. Make sure to negotiate the price with the taxi driver beforehand.
  • Private Car: For those who prefer the ultimate convenience and flexibility, hiring a private car is an excellent choice. You can rent a car with a driver to take you from Myawaddy to Sukhothai, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free journey. This option allows you to customize your itinerary and make stops along the way to explore other attractions or take in the scenic views.

Regardless of the transportation option you choose, it’s recommended to plan and book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred mode of transport and ensure a smooth journey.


Now that you know your transportation choices, it’s time to discover the enchanting sights and experiences that await you in Sukhothai.


Sightseeing in Sukhothai

Sukhothai, known as the “Dawn of Happiness,” is a historical city in Thailand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is renowned for its ancient ruins, stunning temples, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some must-visit sights in Sukhothai:

  • Sukhothai Historical Park: The main highlight of Sukhothai is the Historical Park, a vast complex that showcases the remains of the ancient city. Explore the well-preserved ruins, including the iconic Wat Mahathat, with its serene Buddha statues and beautiful lotus-bud-shaped chedis. Rent a bicycle or join a guided tour to fully immerse yourself in the history and atmosphere of this UNESCO site.
  • Wat Si Chum: Visit Wat Si Chum, famous for its magnificent seated Buddha image. The statue, known as Phra Achana, is enclosed within a small chapel, and it is a sight to behold. Marvel at the intricacy of the statue and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the temple grounds.
  • Ramkhamhaeng National Museum: Gain further insights into the history and culture of Sukhothai by exploring the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, sculptures, and ancient relics, providing a deeper understanding of the region’s past. Learn about the influential King Ramkhamhaeng and his contributions to Thai civilization.
  • Old Town Market: Stroll through the vibrant Old Town Market, located within the historical park. Indulge in the local flavors and immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere as you sample traditional Thai street food and browse through various handicrafts, souvenirs, and local products.
  • Wat Trapang Ngoen: Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Wat Trapang Ngoen, a hidden gem located just outside the main historical park. This unique temple features a stunning Buddha statue perched on a lotus flower, surrounded by a picturesque pond. The serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.

Exploring the ruins of Sukhothai is like stepping back in time, allowing you to appreciate the grandeur and architectural marvels of this ancient city. Take your time to wander through the historical park, learn about the captivating history, and revel in the tranquil beauty of Sukhothai.


Returning from Sukhothai

After experiencing the historical wonders of Sukhothai, it’s time to plan your return journey. Here are some transportation options to consider:

  • Bus: Buses are a popular mode of transportation in Thailand, and you can easily find buses departing from Sukhothai to various destinations. There are direct buses from Sukhothai to major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Ayutthaya. Check the bus schedules and book your tickets in advance to secure your preferred departure time.
  • Train: If you prefer a scenic journey and want to experience Thailand’s charming train travel, you can take a train from Phitsanulok, which is the nearest train station to Sukhothai. From Phitsanulok, there are regular train services to different parts of the country, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
  • Taxi or Private Car: For a more convenient and comfortable journey, you can hire a taxi or rent a private car for your return trip. This option allows you to have more flexibility with your schedule and make stops along the way to explore other attractions. It’s advisable to negotiate the price with the driver in advance and ensure a reliable mode of transportation.

Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, always plan your return journey in advance and allow for some extra time, especially during peak travel seasons. It’s also recommended to check the latest travel advisories and any COVID-19 guidelines or restrictions that may be in place.


Reflect on the beauty and memories of Sukhothai as you make your way back from this ancient city to your next destination.


Tips for a Smooth Journey

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan and Book in Advance: It’s recommended to plan your trip well in advance and book your accommodation, transportation, and tickets ahead of time. This will help you secure the best options and avoid last-minute hassles.
  • Check Visa Requirements: Make sure to check the visa requirements for both Myanmar and Thailand, and obtain the necessary visas in advance if required. Ensure that your passport has at least six months of validity remaining.
  • Research Transportation Options: Familiarize yourself with the transportation options available, such as flights, trains, buses, and taxis. Research their schedules, prices, and durations to choose the option that best suits your preferences and budget.
  • Pack Essentials: Pack essentials such as comfortable clothing, necessary travel documents, medications, and personal care items. Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle, insect repellent, and a power adapter for your electronic devices.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Local: Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your journey. Explore the local cuisine and enjoy authentic flavors by trying local street food and traditional dishes. However, be cautious of the hygiene and cleanliness of the establishments you choose.
  • Respect Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with the local customs, traditions, and cultural practices of both Myanmar and Thailand. Be respectful to locals, dress appropriately, and adhere to any religious or cultural etiquette at temples or sacred sites.
  • Stay Safe and Well-Informed: Prioritize your safety by staying informed about the current situation, following any travel advisories or guidelines, and taking necessary precautions. Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Embrace the Journey: Finally, embrace the journey and immerse yourself in the unique experiences, sights, and sounds along the way. Be open to new cultures, connect with the locals, and create lasting memories.

By following these tips, you can have a smooth and memorable journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai, and fully enjoy the beauty and cultural richness of these two captivating destinations.



Embarking on a journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai offers a unique blend of Myanmar’s charm and Thailand’s historical wonders. From the bustling streets of Mawlamyine to the ancient ruins of Sukhothai, this adventure takes you through rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultures.


In Mawlamyine, immerse yourself in the colonial architecture, explore sacred pagodas like the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, and savor the local cuisine. A visit to Sukhothai will transport you back in time as you wander through the ancient ruins of the Sukhothai Historical Park and discover the intricate temples that depict the region’s historical and cultural significance.


Crossing the border from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai can be a seamless process when you plan ahead and ensure you have the required travel documents. Transportation options such as buses, trains, taxis, or private cars offer flexibility and convenience throughout your journey.


To make the most of your trip, remember to book your accommodations and transportation in advance, pack essential items, and respect the local customs and traditions. Stay hydrated, indulge in local flavors, and prioritize your safety by staying informed and taking necessary precautions.


As you reflect on your journey from Mawlamyine to Sukhothai, you’ll cherish the memories of exploring ancient temples, capturing stunning landscapes, and connecting with the warm and welcoming people along the way. This adventure will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the rich history, diverse cultures, and natural splendors of Myanmar and Thailand.