Thai and Myanmar officials have agreed to extend the operating hours of the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, which connects Myawady in Myanmar to Mae Sot in Thailand, on January 1, leading to an increase in border trade and the volume of travellers between countries.
The operating hours of the Friendship Bridge were increased from 6am-6pm to 5am-8pm (Myanmar Time) on January 5.
Despite the slump in truck trade around the New Year holidays, workers and buyers and sellers of commodities have found it easier to go to Mae Sot in morning and return in evening.
“The number of travellers has increased. Those who want to enter Thailand with a visa and passport are permitted until the bridge is closed. But there hasn’t been any significant change in the number of trade trucks yet since this is holiday season in Thailand,” said one Myawady resident.
“Previously, we couldn’t come back when we worked overtime hours. We had to use boats,” said Mee Mee, a worker from Ward No 3, who works at a factory located on the other side of the Thaungyin River.
“Now, since the bridge closes at 8pm, we can come back to Myawady every day after work.”