Thailand-Myanmar land border in Chiang Rai reopens after 3-year closure

The Thailand-Myanmar land border at the Maesai Border Checkpoint in the northern province of Chaing Rai reopened yesterday after being closed for three years due to Covid-19. Thais and foreigners who want to visit Myanmar need to show a vaccine certificate or Covid test.

Maesai Border Checkpoint and Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge 1, which connect Chiang Rai province in Thailand with Thachileik district in Myanmar, have been closed since March 23, 2020. Only Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge 2 was left open to transport products between the two countries.

The reopening ceremony yesterday at 7am was attended by the Chiang Rai Governor, Somwang Boonrayong, and the Thachileik Governor, U Min Nai.

Somwang stated that the border is currently being tested and is open for 12 hours per day, starting from 6.30am to 6.30pm. He anticipates that within a month, the opening time will be extended to 9pm. The authorities aim to evaluate the situation in Myanmar in order to ensure the safety of travellers before resuming normal operations at the checkpoint.

According to Somwang, the border closure had a negative impact on the economies of both Thailand and Myanmar, and its reopening is a positive indication of development for the economy as well as the friendship between the two countries.

The Maesai District Chief, Narongpon Kid-an, made it known to the public that Thai people or foreigners who want to visit Myanmar via the border must obtain a temporary border pass by visiting the Maesai District Office or submitting a passport at the Chiang Rai Immigration Office.

Visitors must submit a vaccine certificate or ATK test results from a hospital to gain permission and a border pass. The authorities from the Thachileik district emphasised that they would not receive any electronic documents. So, visitors must prepare the printed version of their vaccine certificate and Covid test result.

According to Thai officers, these rules and practices would be in effect for one month during the trial period. More meetings would be held to discuss the next steps.

Thailand-Myanmar land border in Chiang Rai reopens after 3-year closure | News by Thaiger

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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