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Immigration officials relax restrictions for tourists travelling overland

Foreigners entering Burma through three major border checkpoints along the Thai border can now travel inland and will not be required to exit the country through the same portal, in accordance with a new regulation passed by Burmese immigration authorities.

According to the new rule, foreign travellers who pass through border checkpoints at Shan state’s Tachilek, Karen state’s Myawaddy and Tenasserim division’s Kawthaung towns will be able to travel inland freely, except in restricted areas, and leave from their desired point of departure.

During a press conference at the immigration office in Kawthaung last Thursday, government officials met with representatives from tourism companies and businesspersons to expound on the parameters of the new regulation, said Moe Ei, a reporter from Tenasserim Weekly News Journal who attended the meeting.

“The town’s immigration director San Lwin explained that under the new regulation, foreigners who come in from the three main checkpoints will be allowed to leave from anywhere,” said Moe Ei.

The immigration director also discussed a future plan to expand tourism in the border town, which included opening more hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, souvenir shops, and provide training to tour companies in order to meet the demands of travellers visiting the country.

With the area limitation removed, tourists who enter through the Kawthaung crossing can now visit the area’s renowned hot springs, which was previously off limits due to its distance from the border.

Border crossing and visa fees at the respective checkpoints will remain the same despite the change in regulations. A foreigner who through enters Burma through the three major Thai-border crossings must pay US$10 for a week’s stay in the country.


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