Sangkhla Buri hails tourist crowds

Sangkhla Buri hails tourist crowds

Visitors generating B10m a day in Kanchanaburi district, with rooms all booked to New Year

Visitors throng Saphan Mon, the country’s longest wooden bridge, in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi on Saturday. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)
Visitors throng Saphan Mon, the country’s longest wooden bridge, in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi on Saturday. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)

KANCHANABURI: Tourists have flocked to Sangkhla Buri district for the long holiday weekend, with hotels and resorts fully booked until New Year amid measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The atmosphere at the Uttamanusorn Bridge, known locally as Saphan Mon, was lively on Saturday as visitors thronged the country’s longest wooden bridge spanning the Song Kalia River. All of them had to pass a Covid-19 screening checkpoint manned by heath officials and volunteers. All were asked to wear face masks.

Business was also brisk at the Three Pagodas Pass, or Phra Chedi Sam Ong border checkpoint with Myanmar, despite the surge in Covid-19 cases in the neighbouring country. Tourists cannot cross the border to Payathonzu, so they linger on the Thai side, to the delight of local vendors of goods and souvenirs.

Authorities say holidaymakers are cooperating fully with health volunteers who set up screening checkpoints to check their temperatures. Face masks and hand sanitiser gel are also being handed out.

During the long holiday, at least 3,000 visitors have been entering Sangkhla Buri district each day, generating about 10 million baht a day for local businesses. Rooms at hotels and resorts in the westernmost district of Kanchanaburi were fully booked, said a tourism source.

Visitors said they were confident visiting the border district as local authorities had put in place measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.

That contrasts with the sombre atmosphere in another border district, Mae Sai in Chiang Rai, after some Thais who contracted the virus in neighbouring Tachilek crossed back illegally, some of them infecting others. A total of 49 cases had been linked to the Myanmar town at last count.

A health worker squirts hand sanitiser on the hand of a visitor at a screening checkpoint in Sangkhla Buri on Saturday. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)

Saphan Mon spans the Song Kalia River in Sangkhla Buri. (Photo by Piyarat Chongcharoen)

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