Mae Sot’s tiny airport is located a few kilometres west of downtown off the Asia Highway on the way to the border. Only Nok Air operates daily flights between here and Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport using propeller planes. Taxis charge 100 to 200 baht for a ride into town. Ask at the rental car desks if there are no taxis and someone will give you a ride.
The main bus terminal is located just east of the airport off the south side of Asia Highway, a few kilometres west of downtown. Only motorbike taxis were available when we arrived. Fares include:
Aranyaprathet (Cambodia border): A first-class bus departs at 19:00 and stops in Kamphaeng Phet and northern Bangkok, arriving within a few kilometres of the border after around 13 hours.
Bangkok (Morchit): Second-class buses depart at 10:00, 19:00, 20:00 and 20:30 for 290 baht; first-class buses with toilets depart at 08:00, 18:40 and four times from 21:00 to 21:30 for 373 baht; VIP buses depart three times from 21:15 to 21:45 for 590 baht. The trip takes around 13 hours and most buses stop in Tak town and Kamphaeng Phet.
Chiang Mai: First-class buses depart at 06:00, 07:00 and 10:00 for 178 baht and take around six hours. Take a minibus to Tak town and make a transfer if you miss the last bus from Mae Sot.
Kamphaeng Phet: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 15:00 for 140 baht and take around three hours.
Mae Sai: A first-class bus departs at 08:00 and stops in Lampang, Phayao and Chiang Rai, arriving in Mae Sai after around nine hours. Take a minibus to Tak and make a transfer if you miss this bus.
Mae Sariang: Departs every 20 minutes from 06:00 to 12:20 for 200 baht and takes more than four hours. Transfer here if heading to Mae Hong Son.
Mukdahan: First-class buses depart at 17:00 and 18:00 and stop in Phitsanulok and Khon Kaen, arriving in Mukdhahan after around 13 hours.
Phitsanulok: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 15:00 for 172 baht and take around four hours.
Sukhothai: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 15:00 for 130 baht and take around three hours.
Tak town: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 15:00 for 78 baht and take around two hours. Minibuses to Tak can also be caught at the old downtown bus station (see below). Bangkok-bound buses also stop in Tak.
Trat: A first-class bus departs at 17:30 and stops in Bangkok, Pattaya, Rayong and Chanthaburi, arriving in Trat town after around 12 hours.
Umphang: Dark-blue songthaews depart hourly from 07:00 to 14:00 for 130 baht and take around five hours.
In addition, the old downtown bus station (Bor Kor Sao Gao) still offers transport to a handful of regional destinations. Walk north on the unmarked road that shoots north off Intarakiree Road along the west side of the central police station complex, cross the canal bridge and you’ll see the songthaews and vans to the right. Fares include:
Mae Ramat: Songthaews depart every 20 minutes from 07:00 to 18:00 for 40 baht, take an hour and also service Mae Kasa.
Tak town: Minibuses depart every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00 for 78 baht and take around two hours.
Dark-blue songthaews to the border and Rim Moei Market depart frequently from morning to late afternoon from a stop on Chid Lom Road, a smidge west of the main street that runs through the Municipal Market area -- walk south under the blue gate from Prasatwithi Road and you’ll get here after a few hundred metres. These songthaews can also be flagged down along Intarakiree Road and the Asia Highway further west in town.
Motorbike taxi drivers hang around key places like the bus stations and markets but aren’t easy to find elsewhere in town. Most of the tuk tuks seem to be employed by vendors to cart produce around town, but you might be able to flag one down for a ride. Regular taxis are usually only seen at the airport, though you can have your guesthouse arrange for a pick you or call the company at T: (055) 030 357 or (098) 101 9345.
Bicycles can be rented at most guesthouses and hotels for 50 baht, or you could grab one at Famous Ray’s Bicycle Shop on Intarakiree Road. Located next to the DK Hotel on Intarakiree, a sales shop called Mr Park rents out motorbikes for 250 baht a day, but is closed on Sundays. Motorbikes can also be arranged at some guesthouses, including Phannu and Baifern. Hertz, Avis and Thai have rental car booths at the airport.
Mae Sot is a fun town to walk around but it’s easy to get lost thanks to the cramped streets that are often not signposted.