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Mae Sot

Trip Planner Asia  /  Thailand  /  Tak Province  /  Mae Sot
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Mae Sot is a city in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west. It is notable as a trade hub and for its substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees. The city is part of Tak Province, 87 km from the city of Tak and 509 km from Bangkok. It is home to the district headquarters of Mae Sot District, and is the main gateway between Thailand and Burma. As a result, it has gained notoriety for its trade in gems and teak, as well as black market services such as people trafficking and drugs.Mae Sot is 492 km northwest of Bangkok.HistoryIn 1937 Mae Sot was a local administration, administered by a headman, usually called village headman or village chief, Its population at the time was approximately 12,000 people. On September 30, 1939 Mae Sot was established as a municipality and governed 27 villages. It was upgraded to a city municipality in 2010.GeographyNeighboring districts are Mae Pa tambon administrative organization (TAO) in the north; Mae Tao (TAO) to the south; Mae Pa and Phra That Pha Daeng (TAO) to the east; and Tha Sai Luat Subdistrict Municipality to the west.EconomyTrade with Burma constitutes the largest portion of Mae Sot's economy. It has an established market for commodities such as wholesale gems and teak. Most of the town's service industries are supported by Burmese migrants who work in sweat-shops and factories throughout the region. The town also suffers from a black market in illegal smuggling, people trafficking, and narcotics. The Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is the primary gateway for trade with Burma. The border region, several kilometres west from central Mae Sot, includes the Rim Moei Market that deals in imported goods and woodwork.
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