Crowds of eager Laotian tourists are flocking to Thailand now that Thailand and Laos have eased travel restrictions this month. Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said yesterday that the checkpoint in Nong Khai, which borders Laos in Northeastern Thailand, is now the fourth most popular entry point into Thailand. The top 3 most popular entry points are Suvarnabhumi and Phuket airports, and the crossing in Sadao, in southern Songkhla, which borders Malaysia.
Laotian tourists are largely arriving in the Kingdom for shopping and travel, especially in the north-eastern Nong Khai province. Thailand and Laos have been working to repair economic activities along the border, and checkpoints have also been reopened to promote tourism and trade in these spots: the fourth Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge in Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai, the third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge as well as the municipality pier in Nakhon Phanom, and in Ubon Ratchathani’s Sirindhorn district.
Thailand’s commerce minister has also asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to propose to Laos that another five checkpoints be reopened in Chiang Rai. Rachada said that many checkpoints opened are crowded with people and cars.
Although Laotians are currently frolicking in Thailand for shopping and fun, it was reported earlier this month that many Laotians were also coming to Thailand due to the country having cheaper fuel prices than Laos at this time. While many Laotians come to Thailand for business, the Bangkok Post reported that many cars from Laos had visited petrol stations in Nong Khai to fill their tanks before heading back to Vientiane.
Cross-border buses are operating four trips a day departing from the Thai side at 8:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 4:30pm with a fare of 70 baht per person. Travellers must carry their passports, follow health measures and have vaccine certificates. They can board at the bus terminal in Muang district, as well as at the third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
Note: Unvaccinated travellers require a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before travelling.
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