Three Pagodas Pass upgrade sought

The head of the Immigration Bureau will propose that the government upgrade the Three Pagodas Pass in Kanchanaburi from a temporary border crossing to a permanent one to facilitate rapidly growing tourism and trade with Myanmar.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoontorn made the comment during a visit to the border pass in Sangkhla Buri district on Saturday. He said the crossing had become more important because the value of border trade with Phaya Tong Su in Myanmar through the area was increasing steadily.

A large number of Thai and foreign tourists also like to cross the border to tour Phaya Tong Su, with Myanmar residents as their guides to attractions including local temples and markets, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said.

As well, he said, more people from Myanmar were entering Thailand for work through the border crossing because it was a shorter journey than other routes.

However, the border crossing is only open from 8am to 6pm, which limits tourist travel to short day trips. As well, shipments of goods must be diverted via other permanent checkpoints, increasing costs to businesses and ultimately consumers.

Thailand currently has 37 permanent border checkpoints and 47 temporary ones. Three Pagodas is one of five crossings that the Thai Chamber of Commerce has identified as the prioroity for upgrades.

Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn also noted that the railway station at Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar way just 100 kilometres from the border pass and the rail network provided convenient links with major cities including Mawlamyine, Mudon and Yangon.

Source: Bangkok Post

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