Myanmar to grant visa-on-arrival to cross-border tourists from China


YANGON – Myanmar will grant visa-on-arrival for cross-border tourists entering by road from Teng Chong, southwestern Yunnan province of China, to travel deep into Myanmar’s tourist sites by air en route the border town of Myitkyina in the northernmost Kachin state, local media reported Thursday.

As part of its bid to promote cross-border tourism with China, Myanmar will also grant such visa on arrival for tourists arriving Myitkyina through chartered flights from Teng Chong international airport, as well as other international airports of China to travel far up to such tourist sites as Yangon, Mandalay, ancient city of Bagan and famous resort of Ngwe Saung, the Weekly Eleven News said.

Normally, cross-border tourists from China are allowed to travel up to Myitkyina only and formal visa is required for traveling deep into the country.

The introduction of the visa-on-arrival has removed difficulties for tourists to obtain Myanmar visa from the Myanmar consulate-general stationed in Kunming, the report said, setting that leaving Myanmar on return trip for those who travel by road from Teng Chong to Myitkyina shall take the original route of crossing back the border gate.

Myanmar’s move also came after the inauguration of the 96-kilometer Myitkyina-Kanpikete section in the Myanmar side in April 2007 and the Teng Chong International Airport on Feb. 16 this year.

The overall 224-kilometer Myanmar-China cross-border road extends as Myitkyina-Kanpikete-Teng Chong with the prior Myitkyina-Kanpikete section lying on the Myanmar side, while the latter standing as a cross-border section of Kanpikete-Teng Chong, which is a tunnel road.

The overall highway of Myitkyina-Teng Chong, which costs a total of 1.23 billion yuans, is regarded as a road of facilitating exchange and cooperation to link China with India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the Chinese tourism ministry formally opened up the border tourism line of Teng Chong-Myitkyina on Nov. 3, 2008.

According to the 7-Day News, the opening of the facilities have brought about 500 visitors per month and the number is expected to grow to 2,000 per month in the coming years.

Official statistics show that in the first nine months of 2008, a total of 188,931 world tourists visited Myanmar, the number of which dropped by 24.9 percent compared with the corresponding period of 2007.