Thai cabinet extend temporary visit passes for Myanmar citizens

A Thai cabinet meeting will decide this month whether to allow Myanmar citizens to visit Thailand for three nights and four days at a time via the Mawtaung border area.

If the proposal is approved, Myanmar citizens will be able to cross into Prachuab Khiri Khan Province, Thailand, via Mawtaung, located in the Thein Khun Village Group, Myeik District, Taninthayi Region.

Currently, Thai citizens are allowed to visit Myanmar via Mawtaung border for 13 nights and 14 days, while Myanmar citizens get only one-night-two-day pass to visit Prachuab Khiri Khan Province.

“Myanmar citizens will get passes for three nights and four days in Prachuab Khiri Khan. This will be decided by the cabinet meeting in December. Tourism sector development will be implemented,” said Mr Wira Sari Wattana Tarakun, chairperson of Prachuab Khiri Khan-Myeik Investment Development.

The Thai government has stated that Myanmar citizens can only spend one night at a time in Prachuab Khiri Khan because Thailand’s Sinkhun border gate is a temporary one. Mawtaung, on the other hand, is a permanent border gate, allowing Thai citizens to spend more time in Myanmar.

“In February 2016, Thai citizens will visit Myeik with over 100 cars via Mawtaung. Caravan tours are a kind of tourism business which have drawn attention in Thailand. Later, excursions and business travel to Dawei District will be included in our trials,” said Mr Wira Sari Wattana Tarakun.

Though overland visits by Myanmar citizens were once limited to Huahin, Prachuab Khiri Khan Province, where the summer palace of the King of Thailand is located, they can now tour the area more freely, a traveler said.

Myanmar citizens can cross into Thailand from Mawtaung for Ks 1,000 per person, and Thai citizens can cross at the Sinkhun Gate for 30 baht (Ks 1,076) per person.

Source: ELEVEN

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