The Thai government has given approval to the upgrade of the Ban Huak temporary border crossing in Phu Sang district, Phayao into a permanent crossing.
The decision, first mooted in January, will see the development of customs and immigration facilities allowing tourism and commercial crossings between Phu Sang and Khop district in Sayaboury province, Laos.
Locals are reported to be pleased by the news as it will lead to the further development of trade, transport, investment and culture across the border.
A time frame was not given for the construction work but when open it has the potential to become a popular destination for foreigners who either are looking to visit Laos or to undertake a border run for visa purposes.
The Ban Huak border crossing is ~240 kilometers or a four-hour drive from Chiang Mai whereas the next closest crossing, in Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai is ~280 km and a 4 hour, 45-minute drive. The crossing in Mae Sai district into Myanmar, long the most popular crossing in the north for foreigners seeking extended stays, is about the same distance from Chiang Mai as Ban Huak coming in at 4 hours.