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5 Cities in Asia Hope to be Linked under a Single Visa
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5 Cities in Asia Hope to be Linked under a Single Visa

Thai government and private agencies in Chiang Rai are considering linking five cities in Thailand, Myanmar, China, and Laos under a single visa.

Planning for the user-friendly travel scheme started about two decades ago with aims to encourage travelers to cross over to these cities in the Mekong region, spurring tourism among the four countries.

Chiang Rai, Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is a sleepy but pleasant provincial town near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. Image: Shutterstock
Chiang Rai, Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai is a sleepy but pleasant provincial town near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. Image: Shutterstock

Dubbed the “five Chiang cities”, it comprises of Thailand’s Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces, Myanmar’s Chiang Tung (Keng Tung), China’s Chiang Rung (Jinghong), and Laos’ Chiang Thong (Xieng Thong) aka Luang Prabang.

A blissfully calm land of misty mountains and colorful hill tribes, Chiang Mai is an absolute delight for adventurers and paradise for laidback travelers. Image: Shutterstock
A blissfully calm land of misty mountains and colorful hill tribes, Chiang Mai is an absolute delight for adventurers and paradise for laidback travelers. Image: Shutterstock

Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar are closer to reaching an agreement on a single visa option, but for China to come on board, more considerably lengthy talks will be required.

Thailand is hoping to add more quality tourists to its Chiang provinces.

Set against a picturesque mountainous backdrop, Chiang Tung is home to colonial buildings from the British Empire and beautiful sacred temples.  It boasts both Chinese and Thai influences as it was once at the crossroads of trade between China and the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). Image: Shutterstock
Set against a picturesque mountainous backdrop, Chiang Tung is home to colonial buildings from the British Empire and beautiful sacred temples. It was once at the crossroads of trade between China and the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). Image: Shutterstock

The Association of Northern Tourism Federations president Kitti Tissakul said Thailand would reap the rewards from the scheme because Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai can benefit from the flow of Chinese tourists who are visiting the other cities.

Tucked away in the far south of China’s Yunnan province is Chiang Rung, the historic capital of the former Dai kingdom of Sipsongpanna. Image: Shutterstock
Tucked away in the far south of China’s Yunnan province is Chiang Rung, the historic capital of the former Dai kingdom of Sipsongpanna. Image: Shutterstock

“It will add approximately 10 percent or more than two million tourists annually,” Bangkok Post quoted Kitti as saying.

Should the plan follow through, the provinces will see an influx of South Korean, Japanese, and French tourists who visit Luang Prabang as well.

Situated in northern Laos, the ancient town of Chiang Thong (Xieng Thong) aka Luang Prabang was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995. Image: Shutterstock
Situated in northern Laos, the ancient town of Chiang Thong (Xieng Thong) aka Luang Prabang was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995. Image: Shutterstock

About 14 million foreign tourists visit Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai each year. Increasing the number in the “five Chiang cities” is within reach, according to Kitti.

Source : Bangkok Post | Travel Wire Asia

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