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Choo Tse Chien | profile | all galleries >> View My Galleries Here >> Northern Thailand - Golden Triangle Roadtrip >> Border Areas & Into Burma tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Border Areas & Into Burma

I always find markets to be interesting places for photography and very few markets get more interesting than a Border Market.

We were at the Rim Moei Border market at Mae Sot. The Moei River runs by the market and is the Thai-Burmese border. A newly built Friendship Bridge tranverses the Moei River connecting the 2 countries. Needless to say, there is a major trading center for Burmese Blood Rubies and other precious stones. Through Mae Sot, Burmese gemstones find their way into the international market as many dealers come here and deal in bulk wholesale. With the current Burmese (I should really stop using Burma and start calling it Myanmar, right?) government with its iron grip on the economy and trade, the Rim Moei market forms an important source of hard foreign currency for many traders.

Another 1500kms+ up north in the Golden Triangle, we were again at the Thai-Myanmar border at the Mae Sai. The border crossing at Mae Sai is the Northern-most point in the Kingdom Of Thailand. Across the Mae Sai river separating the 2 countries, is the township of Tachilek. A rough & tough dusty remote border town, Tachilek has a "wild wild west" feel and as once the stronghold of the (supposedly) last drug lord of the Golden Triangle, Khun Sa. The Myanmar army has since regained control of Tachilek and surrounds and Khun Sa now lives in Rangoon (Yangon). We made it into Burma (by paying the border guards USD 5!) and had a good day's shopping at the border market in Tachilek. The smuggling of opium & heroin at this border crossing continues to be a problem, although it is now a pale shadow of the long past heydays of the Golden Triangle. A mere 2 decades ago, as much as 70% of the opium of the world originated from this area and much of that came through this border.

From Tachilek, the road winds further deep into the jungle highlands of the Golden Triangle and it is merely hours to the Myanmar-Chinese border. We estimated that with another 48 hours on the road from Tachilek, we would be deep in the countryside of Yunnan, China - road conditions permitting. It was then no surprise that the border market of Tachilek was literally flooded with Chinese made goods (even a chinese made AK-47 if you had a extra stash of greenbacks). Bargains galore on exotic tropical hardwood carvings, burmese blood rubies, sapphires, jades, ivory carvings etc etc.

We saw no poppy fields on the Myanmar side, if there are still any, they would be undoutably be deep in the jungle highlands away from the main marked trails.
Beggar At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Beggar At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Betel Nut Leaf Seller Tachilek Border Market Burma
Betel Nut Leaf Seller Tachilek Border Market Burma
Border Crossing Into Tachilek Burma From Mae Sai
Border Crossing Into Tachilek Burma From Mae Sai
Brass Gongs At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Brass Gongs At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Burma On The Left Thailand On The Right With The Mae Sai River Separating The Two
Burma On The Left Thailand On The Right With The Mae Sai River Separating The Two
Burmese Blood Rubies Galore At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Burmese Blood Rubies Galore At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Door To Door Delivery Service At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Door To Door Delivery Service At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Noodle Stall At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Noodle Stall At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Friendship Bridge Across Moei River At Mae Sot With Burma On The Opposite Bank
Friendship Bridge Across Moei River At Mae Sot With Burma On The Opposite Bank
Fruit Seller At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Fruit Seller At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Gathering Of Street Peddlers At Tachilek Market Burma
Gathering Of Street Peddlers At Tachilek Market Burma
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Gemstones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Jade Bracelets At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Jade Bracelets At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Looking Across Into Burma At The Northern Most Point Of Thailand Mae Sai
Looking Across Into Burma At The Northern Most Point Of Thailand Mae Sai
Looking Into Mae Sai Thailand From Hilltop At Tachilek Burma
Looking Into Mae Sai Thailand From Hilltop At Tachilek Burma
Mysterious Dripping Water From Buddha's Hand At Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma
Mysterious Dripping Water From Buddha's Hand At Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma
Overloaded Pickup Going Into Thailand At Tachilek Border Burma
Overloaded Pickup Going Into Thailand At Tachilek Border Burma
Peddler At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Peddler At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Peddlers At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Peddlers At Tachilek Border Market Burma
Semi Precious Stones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Semi Precious Stones At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Shopping In Tachilek Border Market Burma
Shopping In Tachilek Border Market Burma
Standing At The Northern Most Point Of Thailand Mae Sai
Standing At The Northern Most Point Of Thailand Mae Sai
Street Children Of Tachilek Border Market Burma
Street Children Of Tachilek Border Market Burma
Temple In Tachilek Burma
Temple In Tachilek Burma
I Gotta Git Me One Of These! : Thai Military HumVee At Thai-Burmese Border At Mae Sot
I Gotta Git Me One Of These! : Thai Military HumVee At Thai-Burmese Border At Mae Sot
Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma
Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma
Welcome To Tachilek Burma
Welcome To Tachilek Burma
Wood Carvings At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Wood Carvings At Rim Moei Border Market At Mae Sot
Worshipper At Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma
Worshipper At Wat Phra That Doi Tachilek Burma