I did the Ranong visa run today without paying a tour agency and figured I would share the step by step process to help other people out.
First, there are two different options at two different piers. There is the "Andaman Club" pier on the NW side of town where you take a A/C boat to the Andaman Club resort and casino where you can do the visa run as well as gamble. Then there is the pier on the SW side of town where the visa run is done by longtail boat and is a little more adventurous. I did the longtail option, so that is what this post will be about.
Step by step:
1) I went to KTB Bank and exchanged 300 baht for a crisp new $10 USD Bill. (Make sure it is perfect and keep it flat, or you may have issues in Burma).
2) I took a songthaew from downtown Ranong to the main pier in Saphan Pla (it cost 15 baht and I took a #4 songthaew but I think #3 goes there too). The pier is kind of hidden behind a large gas station/7-11. The gas station is about 50 meters past the pier for Koh Phayam/Koh Chang on the right side of the road. DO NOT go to the Thailand Immigration facility that is about 800 meters before the pier. That is not the place to stamp out your passport! (I found this out the hard way).
3) I went to the Thai immigration checkpoint that is in the pier and got my exit stamp. (No cost)
4) I started looking for a boat and was approached by and older Thai guy who was dressed nicely and had white hair. He asked if I needed a boat and offered a 200 baht fare round trip. This was a great price (I hear it is normally 300+ baht) so I went for it. He had rounded up a few other foreigners and after about 10 minutes we got escorted to a longtail boat.
5) The boat ride to Burma tool about 30 minutes. We stopped at two checkpoints along the way. Once we arrived, we were escorted to Burmese immigration office.
6) At the Burmese office I forked over my $10 bill and they processe my passport (but I don't think they stamped it there). I was then asked if I needed time to shop for cigarettes, booze, etc before going back to Thailand. I said no.
7) After about 20 minutes in Burma, I got back on the boat and headed back to Thailand. On the way we stopped at three checkpoints (one Burmese where I think they stamped out my passport and two Thai where they inspected the boat for smuggle goods). After 30 minutes on the water we got back to the pier where I started.
8) I went to the same Thai immigration checkpoint where I got stamped out and got my new 15 day entry stamp (free).
9) I walked out to the main road and caught a songthaew back to downtown Ranong (15 baht).
Total cost: 230 baht + $10 bill for Burma = 530 baht for everything.
I am pretty sure this is about as cheap as the Ranong visa run could possiby cost. I talked to other foreigners on the boat and they paid anywhere from 700 to 1200 baht for their organised visa runs.
I recommend starting early to beat the crowds and the heat.
The people on the boat take your passport a number of times.. Don't worry about it, this is normal.
Thats all I can think of for now. I hope this is helpful to someone! :)
PS - I wrote this on my iPhone so I applogize for any mispellings, etc