After our higher-perspective at Khao Chong Krachok hill in Prachuap Khiri Khan city, we set our bearings southwest, to the Thailand-Myanmar border checkpoint of Singkhon, a small border crossing, also known as the Singkhon Pass (Daan Singkorn ด่านสิงขร in Thai)
A strategic and historical smuggling, migration, military mobilization transit point between the two nations over the centuries, Daan Singkorn had only recently opened up officially as part of bilateral agreements.
On the Thai side, there’s a market with various shops tended by Thais, Nepalese and Myanmar merchants selling cheap clothes, gems, jewels, and furniture. As expected, the main clientale were domestic Thai tourists – government officials and weekenders from Bangkok – in addition to Burmese stocking up on goods to bring back to their side of the border.
By the time we arrived, it was about noonish, later than we’d initially planned, but then again we missed the crowd, which according to what the missus read from her phone, peak at about 8-9 am.
There were still a handful of Thais wondering the allies, and taking selfies in front of the big white gateway, but none of them seemed to be crossing over and in to the other side; only trucks, rot saleng and motorbikes driven by Burmese merchants were crossing, at a rate of abou 2-3 vehicles per minute.
We learned that the crossing is still not open for international tourists, but Thais can get a temporary pass simply by submitting their ID and paying a nominal fee. The question that didn’t seem to have a readily googlable answer, though, was what exactly we would be crossing into? Google maps confirmed there was some kind of Burmese village called Mawdaung not so far from the border.
We’d come this far, and my goal was to bring the family to Myanmar, even if only for lunch.
Border police pointed us up to a room where we could apply for a temporary pass.
There we scouted our options and confirmed that there was indeed a Burmese village about 2-3 kilometres west of the border, and yes, over the pass in Myanmar would be some options for us to grab lunch.
A Thai-speaking Burmese motorbike driver was called over and quoted us 400 baht to bring us up and over the pass and to the village Mawdaung, and back.
While I don’t endorse my family getting on the back of motorbikes (RIP K, Spencer, Emily, Dan, Ex, Tol, and others) this was our only practical option to get to Myanmar.
We weren’t going to walk to 2-3 kilometres over the pass and to the village, and though there was a van option, that would have apparently cost us more than a 1,000 for such a trip.
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