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Myanmar–Thailand border

Map of the Myanmar-Thailand border

The Myanmar–Thailand border is the international border between the territory of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand. The border is 2,416 km (1,501 mi) in length and runs from the tripoint with Laos in the north to the Andaman Sea coast in the south.[1]


The border starts in the north at the tripoint with Laos at the confluence of the Kok and Mekong Rivers and, after briefly following the Kok and then the Sai, then proceeds overland to the west via a series of irregular lines through the Daen Lao Range, before turning to the south-west and joining the Salween River. The border follows the Salween and then Moei River southwards, before leaving it and proceeding southwards overland through the Dawna Range and Bilauktaung Range (collectively these mountains form the Tenasserim Hills). The border continues southwards down the Malay Peninsula, almost cutting Thailand in two at Prachuap Khiri Khan, before reaching the Isthmus of Kra and the Kraburi River, which it then follows out via a wide estuary to the Andaman Sea. The maritime boundary then follows coordinates marked by the countries' continental shelf delimitation agreement towards the tripoint with India, which controls the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Map of the areas briefly annexed to Thailand during the Second World War

The border regions have historically been contested between the various Thai and Burmese states.[2] Fighting between Burma and the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom over control of what is now Myanmar's Tanintharyi Region dominated the area in the 16th century, before Burma destroyed Ayutthaya and took control of the region in 1767.[2] Soon after, Siam extended suzerainty over the Lanna Kingdom (now Northern Thailand), which had previously been under Burmese control. Burmese expansion in the 19th century brought it into conflict with the British in India, sparking a series of conflicts which ended with Burma being occupied and incorporated into British India.[2] With France occupying French Indochina in the same period, the two European states allowed the Kingdom of Siam (the old name for Thailand) to retains its independence as a buffer state.[3][4]

Orange shows Trans-Salween territories relinquished by Siam to British Burma in 1892, defining northern portions of Myanmar-Thailand border.

In 1868 Britain and Siam signed a treaty delimiting the Burma-Thai border from the Salween south to the Andaman Sea.[2] Following some confusion as to the border's location, on the ground demarcation of the border commenced from 1889 to 1892.[2] In 1892 the northern section of the border delimited and then demarcated on the ground from 1893 to 1894, with a final boundary treaty with maps signed on 17 October 1894.[2] The northern terminus of the border was fixed in 1896 when the British and French agreed that the Mekong would serve as the Burma-Laos border.[2] Some minor boundary adjustments occurred in 1929 and 1934.[2] In 1941, following Japan's invasion of Burma, parts of Burma were ceded to Siam as the Saharat Thai Doem territory, however these areas were returned to Burma in 1946 following Japan's defeat and since then the border has remained in place.[2][5][6] In 1937 Burma was separated from India and became a separate colony, gaining full independence in 1948, at which point the border became an international frontier between two sovereign states.[2]

At present there is an outstanding dispute over the ownership of some small islands in the Andaman Sea.[7]

From 2010 to 2012 there were clashes along the border between the Myanmar army and the Karen National Liberation Army.[8][9]

In 2021, the Myanmar military clashed with civilians in the border areas. Many of them fled and ended up in Thailand. [10]

In 2023 there were more clashes and the governments of both countries have decided to form a humanitarian task force. [11][12]

Border crossings

As of 2019, there were 6 permanent border crossings, 1 temporary border crossing, 13 checkpoints for border trade and 1 special checkpoint for border trade.[13]

Permanent border crossings

No Myanmar Thailand Notes
Border post Road Border post Opening hours
1 Tachileik, Shan State 1 Mae Sai 1, Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai 0630 - 2100 The border crossing is via the First Bridge over the Sai River.
2 1041 Mae Sai 2, Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai 0630 -1830 The border crossing is via the Second Bridge over the Sai River.
3 Myawaddy, Kayin State 12 Mae Sot 1, Mae Sot District, Tak 0530 - 2030 The border crossing is via the First Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge over the Moei River.
4 130 Mae Sot 2, Mae Sot District, Tak 0630 - 1830 The border crossing is via the Second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge over the Moei River.
5 Htee Kee, Dawei, Tanintharyi Region 3229 Ban Phu Nam Ron, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 0600 - 2000
6 Kawthaung, Tanintharyi Region - Bang Rin Fisheries Pier, Mueang Ranong District, Ranong 0630 - 0000 Ferry Border Crossing. Consists of checkpoints located adjacent to 4 separate piers on the Thai side.
Pak Nam Ranong, Mueang Ranong District, Ranong
Ranong Customs Pier, Mueang Ranong District, Ranong
Andaman Club Pier, Mueang Ranong District, Ranong
Myanmar welcome sign at the Three Pagodas Pass

Temporary border crossings

These border crossings are open for foreigners for travel purposes only.

No Myanmar Thailand Notes
Border post Road Border post Opening hours
1 Payathonzu, Kayin State 323 Dan Phra Chedi Sam Ong (Three Pagodas Pass), Sangkhla Buri District, Kanchanaburi 0830 - 1800

Checkpoints for border trade

These border crossings are open for cross-border local trade only. There are 13 checkpoints for border trade officially recognized by the Ministry of Interior, located in Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son and Ranong provinces. Entering the opposite country beyond these checkpoints and their associated markets is illegal.

Special checkpoint for border trade

One special checkpoint for border trade is planned as a future permanent crossing. Entering the opposite country beyond these checkpoints and their associated markets is currently[may be outdated] illegal.

No Myanmar Thailand Notes
Border post Road Border post Opening hours
1 Mawdaung, Tanintharyi Region 1039 Dan Singkhon (Singkhon Pass), Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 0630 - 1800


See also


  1. ^ "Burma". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "International Boundary Study No. 63 – Burma – Thailand Boundary" (PDF). US Department of State. 1 February 1966. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ Pholsena, Vatthana (2007). LAOS, From Buffer State to Crossroads. Silkworm Books. ISBN 978-9749480502.
  4. ^ Macgregor, John (1994). Through the Buffer State : Travels in Borneo, Siam, Cambodia, Malaya and Burma. White Lotus Co Ltd; 2 edition. ISBN 978-9748496252.
  5. ^ Donald M. Seekins, Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar), p. 251
  6. ^ "A Forgotten Invasion: Thailand in Shan State, 1941–45"
  7. ^ Sophal, Sek (13 January 2020). "New subs sign of troubles to come?" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Thousands flee Myanmar clashes". Al Jazeera. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Civil war threatens following Burma's election". ABC News. November 9, 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Myanmar army air raids send hundreds fleeing into Thailand".
  11. ^ "Thailand trying to rescue 162 nationals as tens of thousands flee Myanmar fighting". Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  12. ^ "Thailand, Myanmar to form aid task force as border unrest intensifies". Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  13. ^ "ข้อมูลช่องทางผ่านแดนและความตกลงเรื่องการสัญจรข้ามแดน". Foreign Affairs Division Office, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Interior.
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Myanmar–Thailand border
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