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Home Thailand Maesai ⇒ Road to China

Maesai: Thailand’s Northern Gate

2The Road to China

Nearly all new, Maesai has grown rapidly in recent years serving the increasingly important border. As security in this region has improved, the opportunities for trade with China, just a few miles away to the north have also grown. There is a road route through Myanmar to China via Kengtung once part of the kingdom of Lanna. In the future this is expected to be a major trade route directly connecting the southern Chinese province of Yunnan to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and giving China a route to the Indian Ocean.

The new Thai border post.
The new Thai border post in Maesai.

A new customs and immigration post straddles the road at the Thai side of the bridge, the end of a highway that stretches 1500 miles from Singapore via KL and Bangkok. Although it was only completed in 2000, it now serves local traffic and the hordes of tourists crossing for a few hours shopping in the markets or gambling in the local casino. There is an even newer bridge and custom’s post a few miles east of Maesai for heavier goods traffic.

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