Press Trip to Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao and Mae Ai
CityNews – Chiang Mai Provincial Office of Tourism and Sports invited media to explore travelling tracks along borders in Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao and Mae Ai district.
The five-day trip from 14th to 18th June was arranged to promote new potential tourist destinations in the Chiang Mai – Myanmar border areas and strengthen relationships with neighbouring countries, promoting the opportunity of new cross-border trading routes and investments following AEC involvement. The media tour included trips to Baan Lak Tang border, Kew Pha Wok border and Ban San Ton Du border.
According to Wiang Haeng District Chief Officer on 14th June, Wiang Haeng border is advantageous to create a new border crossing as it is the nearest border location to Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s current capital city. This border will also benefit anyone that travels to the Tachileik which is only 20 km away from Wiang Haeng. Currently, people must travel all the way to Mae Sai to cross the border. However, he admitted that winding mountain road to Wiang Haeng is difficult to traverse.
The visit to Kew Pha Wok border on 15th June was lively with local vendors, villagers and travellers expecting the border would open. However, on that day, border did not open on the Myanmar side with no official reason. According to Chiang Dao District Chief Officer, the district has been pushing to open the border for over 2 years since it has been closed down in 2011 and has temporarily opened 4 to 5 times. The most recent successful push was on 14th February. He claimed that there were over a hundred vendors in Thailand were opened and people constantly crossed the border and purchased goods.
The last border visited was at Ban San Ton Du, Mae Ai district on 17th June. The border was located even further up in the mountain made accessible via a recently constructed concrete road. This border has been closed since 1999 due to the issue with Wa tribes. Looking over the border from the base camp on the Thai side, it was easy to see the Wa tribe’s frontier on the other side, adjacent to a Myanmar military base.