Once CIA-backed Chinese rebels, now you’re invited to their hideaway
August 30, 2019 4:38 AM   Subscribe

Former CIA-backed guerrillas — rivals of Chairman Mao Zedong — are now embracing the tourism industry, years after setting up the arteries and networks that sustain the Golden Triangle drug trade to this day.
posted by Blasdelb (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
First time I (clueless Aussie backpacker) was in Chiang Mai there was a safety question about going up to Chiang Rai - there was some sort of rule against it for tourists. Khun Sa had just defected/retired to Rangoon, and various factions were competing for the evacuated territory. You’d meet people who’d not-quite-brag (or just brag) about going further North.

One day the Bangkok Post reported that the govt had said that Chiang Rai was now safe and open for tourism: the shells were all falling in the jungle.

I headed South.
posted by pompomtom at 6:28 AM on August 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am waiting to hear about a drug industry not directly supported and sponsored by the CIA. “Are we the baddies?” “Well, duh!”
posted by Meatbomb at 7:06 AM on August 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

Drugs are the opiate of the powerful.
posted by Reyturner at 7:27 AM on August 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Very interesting story, thanks.
posted by y2karl at 9:54 AM on August 30, 2019

Worth remembering that Hong Kong's special status is also a result of European powers (UK) plying their opium trade with a vengeance.
posted by stonepharisee at 10:24 AM on August 30, 2019

Perhaps related is this tweet from the CIA, a few minutes ago.
posted by doctornemo at 1:50 PM on August 30, 2019

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