Myeik — Many Thai people are visiting the Singkhon special border checkpoint after Thailand upgraded the border checkpoint in Prachaup Khiri Khan on May 23.
Thailand allows a two-day one-night stay for Myanmar citizens while Thai citizens are allowed to stay in Myeik in Myanmar for 14 days.
Than Win Zaw, head of Mawtaung border region immigration department said: “The region sees arrivals of more travellers after opening of the Singkhon special border checkpoint. From June 1 to 14, a total of 614 Thai citizens — 55 with border pass and 559 with temporary border pass— visited Myanmar. In May, the number reached 1,243 — 22 with border pass and 1,221 with temporary border pass.”
Many Thai people visited Myeik for commercial purpose while Myanmar citizens toured Thailand for sightseeing.
A local from Mawtaung Region said: “Thai citizens can stay in Myanmar for 14 days but Myanmar citizens can stay in Thailand only for two days. Thai people can make a long stay in Myanmar as Myanmar’s border gates always open. There are not many tourist destinations in Myeik to visit. There will be a decline in the number of visitors as Myanmar doesn’t allow the tour to Myeik archipelago.”
The coming months are likely to see a drop in the number of visitors as the rainy season has set in. At the Singkhon-Mawtaung border, Myanmar side collects Ks 1,000 while Thailand side collects 30 baht.
The number of Myanmar visitors has increased sharply since the border checkpoint upgrade. From June 1 to 14, a total of 2,261 Myanmar citizens—1,093 with border pass and 1,168 with temporary border pass— visited Thailand. In May, the number of Myanmar citizens reached 4,127 — 1,552 with border pass and 2,575 with temporary border pass.”