The northernmost destination in all of Thailand is Mae Sai. The town is used as a stepping stone for those interested in visiting Myanmar, but it also boasts a lot to do in its own right. The Wat Phra That Wai Dao, a stunning temple, is open to the public, and a smaller Burmese temple stands to one side.
You also won’t want to miss the giant scorpion statue, with its claws outstretched toward Myanmar, which is a show of the Thai people’s strength and past prowess in war. Mae Sai is a great place to go shopping at the local markets, and some of the most popular souvenirs to pick up include jewels imported from Myanmar and items carved from local sandalwood.
Because occasional fighting within Myanmar or disputes between the Thai and Myanmar governments can lead to the border being closed temporarily, it’s always a good idea to check the current situation before travelling to Mae Sai.
Maesai has a pronounced wet season during which it is likely to experience flooding 2 or 3 times. The Ruak River rises quickly and falls almost as quickly. It is not uncommon for there to be some flooding in the centre of town, but not the border crossing itself. On 5th September 2014 there was a heavy overnight storm which caused an exceptionally high river flow and flooding and the river flowed over the border bridge (in the picture). Some of the market areas are especially low lying and suffered worst.