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  1. #51
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  2. #52
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    Anyone fancy a rat sandwich?

    I'll stick to the pork.


  3. #53
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    Catch you later, hope you enjoy the few I have put on and trust all you guys and girls are ok.

  4. #54
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    With regards to the roasting rat, I had been travelling high in the mountains when I came across this hut, there were a couple of guys outside cutting logs with one of those large two man saws, (they were both obviously well under the influence of some form of narcotic) I gave them a simple smile and seeing the rat roasting away, I thought i would simply stop and take a few photographs.

    That is when I caught the unmistakable aroma of opium coming from the building.

    The other guy on point duty outside was rolling mud and what might have been buffalo shit to make up sling shot, he too was rather glassy eyed. Note the following pictures.

    All the women take their blouses off
    And the men all dance on the polka dots
    It's closing time !

  5. #55
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    He was quite content to show off his sling, you can see one of the addicts spaced out on the bamboo bed in the building behind him.

    I simply walked in and took a few photographs, nobody really looked up, out of those who were capable of!

    The others were on Mars or Venus.


  6. #56
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    This is one of several, well away with the fairies.






    Below one of the guys was making up pipes, I think they thought I was going to join in. My wife was going daft at me for walking in there.



  7. #57
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    A better photograph from outside the building.

    Quite a spread isn't it!



  8. #58
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    More than likely they drive up there on their motorcycles, get there fill, drift into oblivion for a few hours, he has the mosquito nets ready for nightfall I noticed, and then drive home when the money for the pipes runs out.

    It takes a few pipes to rock the boat so to speak, a feeling of well being, euphoria, vividly dreaming whilst wide awake, (hallucinations) luxurious feelings with each additional inhalation. Drawbacks! Nausea, apathy, palpitations, constipation, lack of concentration, appetite suppressant, physical impairment in all ways, lowered or total lack of sex drive, respiratory failure and even death!

    In the hills it is measured as tae's!

    A tae equals a small finger-tipped size ball of pure opium which is enough for between twenty and thirty pipes. An addict will need as many as a hundred pipes daily!!

  9. #59
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    This was a very, no I should say extremely different place with quite a bit of history attached to it.

    Any of you lads any idea where it is lies, what the name of the little town is, what went on there years ago, and what the current attraction is?



  10. #60
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    I really thought this photograph was a cracker, the lush jungle the contrast between the absolutely gorgeous temple, the monk carving away on his teak logs (I'm sure they were teak) and the little dog in the foreground really finished it off.

    What do you think?



  11. #61
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    dont want to ruin the pretty travel log but what about the underage burmese pimped by the police?

  12. #62
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    The subject of prostitution and combined Police involvement can have very dense implications Obsidian; I can take the subject on board but let me Analise the same and give a broader outlook than what I think you are perhaps looking for on a personal basis.

    Initially let us look at how young girls in this particular corner of the planet can become involved in prostitution.

    Poverty.

    Lack of Education.

    Forced by Parents.

    Gullibility.

    Mothers, sisters other close relations involved in the same.

    Drugs and or alcohol. (Yaaba presently being a chief cause in northern Thailand)

    Family/Personal problems.

    Materialism westernisation automatically creates a somewhat frenzied desire for more.

    One may be entitled to consider that girls from impoverished countries such as Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, parts of Russia have no choice in the matter .

    Allegations abound that procurement and trafficking for the purpose of force prostitution are not only widespread in Thailand, but in many instances occur with the direct involvement of the Thai police or border guards. It is extremely difficult for Burmese to cross the borders into Thailand and travel any distance without the knowledge and or involvement of the official law enforcers.

    The difficulty is of course in naming or making direct accusations regarding these abusers of positions, there are many on the other side of the fence who have masqueraded as Police Officers and other officials in order to simplify their evil doings.

    Many young girls who have been found in brothels etc have been quite willing to identify alleged police who had been instrumental in transporting them from Thai-Burmese border points into northern Thailand towns or directly to brothels.
    Where does the truth begin and where does it end?


    The situation in Ranong is particularly alarming because of the large extent to which the local police and government authorities condone and at times collaborate in the systematic abuse of Burmese women and girls.
    For example, a Ranong merchant stated that "anyone who hopes to win a seat as Ranong's {member of parliament} must publicly announce a clear policy supporting border trade . . . and that means easing restrictions on illegal migrant labour, and on foreign prostitutes."
    Police involvement in forced prostitution persists after the women and girls are in the brothel. Brothels routinely operate with police knowledge and police protection. On July 26, 1993, the Crime Suppression Division of the police force raided houses suspected to be brothels in Bangkok.
    The police found account books listing protection payments to Thai government officials. Fifty percent of the Burmese women and girls interviewed reported having police as clients. Of these, most told of special privileges the police received from brothel owners. For instance, "Aye Aye" told Human Rights Watch that police came often to her at the Dao Kanong brothel in Bangkok where she worked. They usually came in uniform in groups of two to five men and were very friendly with the owner. The police were the only ones allowed to take girls out of the brothel, and they never had to pay. "Aye Aye" had to go out with policemen on occasions. The men were in full uniform and possessed walkie talkies and guns.

    Once a woman or girl is arrested, local police frequently allow brothel owners access to her in custody. Several of the young girls had been arrested previously by local police and returned to the brothel after the owner paid their fine. The amount paid by the brothel owner was then added to their debts and increased their bondage.

    Another example of the depth of official involvement in protecting the brothel owners' interests was the widely-reported murder in Songkhla province of Passawara Samrit, a Thai woman from Chiang Mai, who had apparently been forced into prostitution. Her murder was discovered on November 2, 1992, the same day that Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai announced his crackdown on child prostitution. According to witnesses, Passawara was threatened by police and the brothel owner, after the brothel owner discovered her escape plans. Passawara fled to a provincial hospital for protection, but the staff turned her over to the welfare office which planned to turn her over to the police. The next morning she was found dead in the bathroom.

    The official investigation revealed that two police officers to whom Passawara initially turned for help had tried to convince her to return to the brothel and work off her "debt." They reportedly threatened to arrest her for prostitution if she did not return to the brothel. The Songkhla police investigating the murder announced six murder suspects, including two police officers and two provincial officers. In late December 1993 four of the suspects were sentenced for Passawara's murder; the two police officers received the death penalty.


    Following the investigation, twenty Songkhla policemen reportedly were transferred but were not charged with any crime. Another sergeant was charged with accepting bribes from the brothel owner. In January 1993 Assistant Police Chief Pracha Prommok warned that any "policemen discovered taking kickbacks will face tough and punitive action." However, with the exception of the Passawara Samrit case, not a single Thai police officer has been charged or prosecuted for prostitution-related crimes. In a September 1993 interview, Prime Minister Chuan acknowledged that government officials continued to be negligent in suppressing prostitution; at the same time Police Maj. Bancha Netinan indicated that the police department was "cracking down on staff involvement of the flesh trade."Netinan told reporters that 302 inactive positions had been created for police officials involved in prostitution. While any effort to curtail official involvement in child and forced prostitution is welcome, Human Rights Watch believes that transfers cannot substitute for prosecution and punishment.

    This inactive post scenario really annoys me. What is exactly meant by an inactive post?

    I rather think they probably follow the drunken and drugged up drivers of wagons and buses, who have caused deaths by their dangerous driving tactics and do runners to Nakhon Nowhere!

    Fact book on Global Sexual Exploitation
    Burma/Myanmar

    Trafficking
    There have been 200,000 Burmese women trafficked to Karachi, Pakistan. (Indrani Sinha, SANLAAP India, "Paper on Globalization and Human Rights")

    The number of Burmese women and girls travelling to Thailand through Mae Sai to enter the sex industry is increasing. 60% of them are under 18 years of age. (Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, "Influx of Burmese sex workers via Mae Sai on the rise," Bangkok Post, 2 June 1997)

    The military and political situations in Burma, has led to an increase in migration, which has made women extremely vulnerable to trafficking for prostitution. (Indrani Sinha, executive director, "Paper on Globalization and Human Rights," SANLAAP)

    Girls from Burma, aged 12-18, are in more demand for the sex industry in Thailand since traffickers are luring fewer girls from Northern Thailand. (Wanchai Boonphacra, Centre for the Protection of Children's Rights, "More foreign workers join sex industry as fewer Thai girls enter flesh trade," Poona Antaseeda, Bangkok Post, 24 November 1997)

    Burmese girls trafficked to Thailand come from Chiang Tung, Ta Khi Lek, opposite Mae Sai, and Yong and come from minority groups such as the Tai Yai and Mon. (Poona Antaseeda "More foreign workers join sex industry as fewer Thai girls enter flesh trade" Bangkok Post, 24 November 1997)

    Traffickers are increasingly transporting Burmese and Chinese girls for prostitution, partially due to a decrease in the availability of northern Thai girls. "Their pleasant character, white skin and beauty were similar to northern girls." (Prof Kusol Sunthorntada, Researcher, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, ("More foreign workers join sex industry as fewer Thai girls enter flesh trade," Poona Antaseeda. Bangkok Post, 24 November 1997)

    Methods and Techniques of Traffickers
    Deceptive job placements, abduction by agents and the sale of girls from hill tribes are all forms of trafficking. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)


    The 'green rice season', when farmers are short of money, is the prime season for ‘girl hunting’ in the rural and hill tribes. (CATW -
    Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)


    Health and Well-Being
    Fifty to seventy percent of Burmese women who are deported from Thailand are HIV positive. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)Policy and Law
    Trafficked Burmese women and girls are considered illegal immigrants in Thailand. They are arrested, detained and deported back to Burma. Fifty to seventy percent of them are HIV positive. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

    Prostitution
    Since Burma’s turn to a market economy in 1988, prostitution has increased. Some blame the promotion and growth of tourism. ("Myanmar tightens laws against prostitution," Reuters, 7 April 1998)
    20,000-30,000 Burmese women are in prostitution in Thailand. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)


    Policy and Law

    The military government has tightened laws to curb the growing prostitution trade. The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) amended the Suppression of Prostitution Act, 1949, and raised the jail term for those convicted of the offence to a maximum of five years. Previously, the prison term was "not less than one year and not more than three years." The term brothel was redefined to include any house, building, room, any kind of vehicle/vessel/ aircraft or place habitually used for the purpose of prostitution or used with reference to any kind of business for the purpose of prostitution. ("Myanmar tightens laws against prostitution," Reuters, 7 April 1998)






    Official Corruption and Collaboration
    Repatriated prostituted Burmese women found to be HIV infected were killed by authorities. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)



    Organized and Institutionalized Sexual Exploitation and Violence:
    Burmese women are being used as "comfort women" by troops of the State Law and Order Restoration Council. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)
    The Burmese Army, with 300,000 troops, has for the last 35 years effectively been a school for rape and ethnic cleansing of women from ethnic minorities. Many girls living in the southern panhandle have continued to be raped by soldiers after the signing of a cease-fire between the New Mon State Party and the junta in June 1995. (Earthright Organization, William Barnes, "Military a school for mass rape," South China Morning Post, 23 February 1980)
    Rape by the Burmese military, particularly against ethnic minority women, is institutional and endemic throughout areas of conflict in Burma. However, the government does not provide protection for these women. (V. Coakley, "Commentary: School of Rape, the Burmese Military and Sexual Violence" Burma Issues, April 1998)

    Ethnic Burmese women are being systematically raped by military personnel as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. The violence against women is directly related to the military's goal of wiping out all ethnic resistance. "There is a pattern of rape, and...civilians are targeted for political reasons or because they are part of a certain ethnic group," said the EarthRights group. According to the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on Burma, government troops have been abducting "increasing numbers of women, including young girls," and subjecting them to rape and other abuses. The UN Commission on Human Rights says women most likely to be raped are refugees, internally displaced women, and women belonging to ethnic minorities. Rapes by the military typically occur during raids on villages, when women are abducted for forced labor, or during encounters with victims of forced relocations in the jungle. (Dennis Bernstein and Leslie Kean, "Burma: Evidence of Systematic Military Use of Rape," Boston Globe, 30 July 1998)

    Cases
    The Burmese Army has been accused of fostering a "school for rape," and been responsible for sexually abusing Burmese women in epidemic proportions. One platoon of troops from LIB 519, led by Sergeant Hla Phyu, stationed at Kaeng Kham village went from house to house, raping every adult woman in the village. "When soldiers rape women there is no action taken against them, they have permission from their officers." Dozens of women and girls were killed in a mass murder after being raped by the Burmese soldiers. (1996 Shan Human Rights Foundation report, Shan resistance leader Sao Ood Kesi, Denis Bernstein and Leslie Kean, "Ethnic Cleansing: Rape as weapon of war in Burma," The Nation, 16 June 1998,)

    On September 15, 1997, 120 troops led by Capt. Htun Mya found 42 women and 57 men hiding in the forest in Kunhing Township. The troops gang-raped all the women for two days and two nights. Afterwards, the soldiers reportedly killed all the 99 villagers. (1996 Shan Human Rights Foundation report, Shan resistance leader Sao Ood Kesi, Denis Bernstein and Leslie Kean, "Ethnic Cleansing: Rape as weapon of war in Burma," The Nation, 16 June 1998)



  13. #63
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    Saturday, normally I am out from first light this time of year, gardening, cleaning the car, general clean up around the house, garage etc etc there is always plenty to do on a Saturday. Today it is like the middle of winter again in Lancashire, and hardly fit for taking the dog for a walk, and as I have no dog it's not an issue to even consider.

    I did the post for Obsidian which may be of interest for a few of you as well. One thing for sure about The Orient, you are never stuck for a subject, be it to write about or have a good discussion about.

    OK on with the thread. I mentioned having quite a few ex-pat friends in the orient, Thailand especially, I'll do a bit of a section regarding them later on en bloc so to speak, it's probably more effective than putting bits and pieces in about individual characters.

    So for now, I'll do a bit on northern Thailand in general, we took a great trip actually, left Chiang Mai, called to see an old pal in Chiang Rai, looked for another, and the Police Box where we should have turned right had gone from the face of the earth (it always used to be there )so we didn't make that connection (better luck next time). We spent the night in the really nice accommodation at Due Doy Suay, and eventually ended up in Mae Sai, which is always a pleasant little interesting border town!

    We had a stroll round town, Flobo purchased a few bits and pieces like women do, and we noticed about half a dozen shady looking characters around the back of the vehicle as we were returning to the same. On checking the rear tailgate, our possessions being inside I found the offside catch for the top door had been forced open. One guy sat in the driving seat of a taxi directly to the rear averted his eyes rather smartish when I looked directly at him. As it is they had not gained entry to the vehicle so there was no loss. I rather felt like I wanted to rearrange his looks, but thought better of it, plus the fact I'm not getting any younger and it doesn't seem the right thing to be doing nowadays!


    Meandering again:- There was a good point to this story. Several days later I took the vehicle into The Toyota main agents in Mae Hong Son, the workshop manager, who spoke excellent English as a matter of fact, looked at the damage to the lock and asked me to wait in the very modern reception area of the garage. There were free coffee facilities, free INTERNET use all in all a very ultra modern set up, which could have been in any major city of the planet.

    He had a technician take the vehicle into the workshop there was a glazed viewing area from the waiting room and he proceeded to carry out the repairs. It took him almost an hour. In the UK I would have expected a bill for at least £75..00. On completion and asking how much I owed, the workshop manager expressed his concern that I had been subjected to such an incident in Thailand! He stated furthermore that it would not be a Thai person doing this; "In Mae Sai there are many 'bad men' from other countries," he exclaimed.

    There will be no charge.

    I was quite taken aback and expressed my gratitude with a decent tip.

    I will certainly find the time to drop Toyota a letter regarding this excellent service to a 'Farang' Thank You Toyota Mae Hong Son.


    The Chinese Temple in Mae Sai.





    Immigration point in the distance.




    Street photograph in town and Flobo about to attack the shops.



  14. #64
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    It never ceases to amaze me in Thailand especially, how you can be driving through mountains with no sign of life or residence, and all of a sudden miles and miles from anywhere, you come across somebody on an elephant dragging a log or something else along or like the photograph below. People standing in rivers, washing clothes, fishing, frolicking, taking a bath or cleaning a car.

    Amazing Thailand.












  15. #65
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    I was quite surprised to come across this old timer, wandering about a dusty highway with his stick. I gave him a few baht for the privilege of his photograph though.

    I think it a bit cheeky to simply stop and start clicking away. Usually in a village it's all you can do, because of the numbers, and of course, once you give one and a few see you, they are all over you like a swarm of bees around a honey pot.





    Some of the roads we ended up driving along were simple dirt roads, they always give me the most interest and I enjoy finding out where they lead to.

    I'll simply keep feeding you bits and pieces from the north of Thailand in general, if you have an interest in a particular location or point which may interest you, let me know and I'll open it up more for you.

    The areas I am presently covering right now are in conjunction with a trip as follows:-

    Chiang Mai - Surrounding areas, Mae Rim, Doi Ithanon. Mae Sai, Doi Mae, Fang, Doi Ang, Pai, and over to Mae Hong Son.

    Hope you enjoy it, some great places to visit.




    One of the fascinating features of roads like the one above are the number of snakes you come across, there never seems a right time for the camera though, by the time you spot one, stop the vehicle, get the camera ready, it's long gone.

    Pity, but I have only ever managed to snap two or three and this last trip alone we must have spotted at least a dozen on roads like these, plus more around other places.

  16. #66
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    Don't the ladies represent the Hill Tribes with amazing flair and colour.




    Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. All in the same day.




    The weight of all they carry and believe me, I have felt the weight of some of the loads I have seen them toting from time to time, is quite amazing. The strain is taken by the band which passes across their foreheads, putting the main load on the neck muscles.

  17. #67
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    This guy was just getting up from his bed, but we noticed him outside his humble abode, had a bit of a natter with him as best we could, treated him and he allowed us to take some really interesting snap-shots.

    He was really proud of his television too. He had a small generator and really enjoyed showing us how well to do he was.





    Everything the family needed all in one little corner.





  18. #68
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    Last scenic photograph from the mountains, and we'll see what tomorrow brings.





    We simply love being out in the mountain areas. It's brilliant.


  19. #69
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    The enclosed link blow is worth a close inspection, unless you are of a nervous disposition, in which case keep away from it.


  20. #70
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    Great pics, but try to keep them to 800 pixels wide please.

  21. #71
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    Oh heck, or should that be 'eck ?


    I knew I'd get in trouble for something


    I'll try and adjust the photographs MTD


    Let's see if this does the trick, it's a nice one this too, a young lady with child, basic residence but what a lovely baby.


  22. #72
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    That ok MTD:question:

  23. #73
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    Lovely.

  24. #74
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    Nice photos Mathos, esp the ones on the road of the old man & hill tribe women!

  25. #75
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    I put the photograph as shown below onto the thread a little while back and asked if anyone had any idea about the location, there was no response and in total honesty, I had no idea about the little place at all until earlier this year. What a fascinating and beautiful little place Ban Rak Thai is though, there is a decent short and recent history attached to it, I'll do my best to explain what I have learned and delved for, but I am still doing research on the same, there is not a great deal of information forthcoming though.




    Ban Rak Thai (kmt. village)
    The village is situated some 44 kilometers from Mae Hong Son via Pha Sua Waterfall on the Thai-Burmese border. Founded by Kuomintang Chinese soldiers, the village is famous for its breathtaking views and tea cultivation. There is a wonderfully appealing man made lake (as shown in the photograph above and others I will place on the thread, later to-day.

    It's well worth a visit to be honest ewith you, especially if you live in the north of thailand or are planning a vacation trip to LOS in the future. At the village you can also see how the is grown, harvested, and taste some delicious U-long tea. An annual Tea Tasting Festival is held at Ban Rak Thai in February.

    Tea Tasting Festival.
    This is annually held in February to promote tea products of the Rak Thai village. The activities include hot tea tasting, tea-making demonstrations combined with cultural shows. Visitors can also enjoy riding a horse around the village.

    Ban Rak Thai transalates to;- The Thai-loving village

    Chinese refugees settling in Northern Thailand can be dated back to the 1949 Communist takeover in China,{It isn't that long ago is it?} when a considerable number of Kuomintang who were Chinese Nationalist Party adherents fled the mainland, this was basically following the Mao takeover. They first landed in Burma and finally moved to Thailand. The Thai government offered a piece of barren land to these wretched Chinese refugees for residence. It should be noted that from the information I managed to obtain the land was never really given, the Chinese were given some form of right to remain there, but in turn they had to defend the same from any form of incursion especially from Communist forces of any nationality.

    Consequently it's historical value is steeped in drug running, slave trade and association with The notorious late Khun Sa and his band of merry men.

    It is a good and very interesting ense of history to the town of Mae Aw – Chinese people were all I could see in the vicinity In Thai, this town of 1,200 people is known as Ban Rak Thai, or “the Thai-Loving Village.” We spent some time there, you can probably tell that I am by nature an extremely inquisitive person, I like finding places like this.

    The town is fairly simple in its layout – a number of bungalows and wooden cottages collected around a large artificial reservoir. In the surrounding hills as you will see from the snaps I have entered there are some interesting homes.

    It is very tranquil, you would almost be afraid to raise your voice.
    It possesses a unique beauty and retains a manner of life that began with an exodus long ago in Yunnan, It has been transported by foot in a manner of speaking through the jungles and across the mountains of The Yunnan, Laos, Burma and eventually settling in this petite corner of Thailand.

    In town you will see quiet scenes, children happy and content to be with their elders, a small and private community locked away from the trappings of a modern world.Along the way, I am offered small cups of hot Oolong tea, and I try to seep myself in the town’s history, asking residents for snatches of history – bits and pieces of the aftermath of World War II, the movement of large populations in rogue armies, and families trying to carve an existence out of desperation.

    The original soldiers had sought a refuge from the fighting and no doubt hoped to pass this way of peace down to their loved ones, looking at the town, I would say they hace made a success of their dreams.



    Isolated and helpless, these refugees built up their second homeland on this foreign soil all of their own. Today, 40-odd refugee villages are found in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai bordering Burma and Laos. These villages vary in size, ranging from several hundreds to 3,000. Chinese refugees total about 60,000 according to conservative estimation.

    I am aware that there are many Chinese refugees in the mountains of Laos, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia even, just what these figures would total I have no idea. I am of course referring to refugees from the Chinese civil war, not the influx of Hill-tribe people. I have heard figures quoted of 80,000 in Thailand alone. I rather think that a comparrison to a spill over Old Trafford crowd, is no comparrison to the true numbers one might found in these isolated havens.


    Ban Rak Thai is not the biggest Chinese village in Thailand. You may not know it but there is a really large village, Doi Mae Salong, in the province of Chiang Rai,

    This village of Ban Rak Thai though is special, there is something about it which both Flobo and myself found quite enchanting. See what you think of the additional photographs as well.

    Oh, nearly forgot, I got a real good bollocking off a soldier complete with AK47 for doing an illegal crossing of the border into Burma.

    The people in Mae Aw prefer to keep things quiet. History is history to them, and their swords have long since been turned into ploughshares.

    Below is a copy of the information I obtained regarding the actual land.


    The villagers can’t buy or sell their land. It was given to them by the government, and thus is not theirs to own. But they are free to live here. Their life is in many ways similar to the myriad refugee populations and hilltribes who dot this province and most of them are restricted to the area where they live. They don’t have enough money to travel around. But some of the villagers have also pursued and won citizenship.

    Every Chinese refugee is issued a refugee document, but enjoys no civil rights and freedom of mobility. These Chinese refugees have a strong sense of nationalism, stressing their Chinese identity and endeavoring to preserve the traditional Yunnan customs in every possible way.

    I have also read about the town harbouring Burmese rebels about one official apparently issuing fake passports to 900 hill tribe villagers. There are tales of yaaba moving through the village at an alarming rate.

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