RealNews

A convergence of old warriors and new money

Myanmar’s city of Mong La is a garish mix of tribal army commanders and wealthy Chinese tourists. Available soon: Luxury condos with a spectacular view of an immaculately groomed golf course, surrounded by an idyllic Asian landscape of rice paddies and lakes. Slight disadvantage: Your neighbours will be opium merchants, guerrilla leaders, drug lords, prostitutes, loan sharks and gamblers. Chinese-style capitalism has arrived in the heart of the Golden Triangle, the notoriously lawless region where much of the world’s opium and heroin are produced, and the result is a bizarre boomtown of the nouveaux riches and the old warriors. The new city of Mong La, which has sprung up from the wilderness of northern Myanmar in barely a decade, is a garish mix of wealthy Chinese tourists, tribal army commanders, drug traffickers, casino clients, thrill-seekers, Russian burlesque dancers, Thai transvestites and migrant businessmen. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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