AT a pier in Northeastern border city of Nong Khai the atmosphere is really lively today (April 12) as both Thai and Laotian traders are in a big rush to send consumer goods across the border to meet the needs during the long Songkran holidays, Matichon daily newspaper said.
It is expected that more tourists will cross over to celebrate Songkran in Laos this year than in previous year.
Moreover the number of overseas Laotians returning home to celebrate the traditional New Year is soaring this year because the Thai government waived the 1,000 baht visa fees that workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar with non-citizen IDs (pink cards) usually pay during April 5-30, 2017.
As both Thai and Laotians are sending many times more goods across the border than usual for this long Songkran vacation, there are lots of trucks loading and unloading goods at Hai Sok pier today. Among the products crossing the border are spices, sweets, drinks, foam food boxes, tables, chairs and bedding.
Top: A heavily load ferry crossing the Mekong river from Nong Khai to Vientiane. Photo: Matichon
Inset: Goods being unloaded at Nong Khai’s Hai Sok pier today. Photo: Matichon