Traders of the Golden Triangle by Andrew Forbes, David Henley
During the latter half of the twentieth century the little-known and often lawless region where Laos, Burma, Thailand and China meet has become known and widely romanticised as ‘The Golden Triangle’. Originally a Western designation applied to the region because of its wealth in jade, silver, rubies, lumber, rare animal products and, above all, opium, the name has stuck and is today accepted both in Chinese and in Thai.
By reputation, by very definition, the area is off the beaten track. The home of drug warlords, arms dealers, insurgent armies, latter-day slave traders and plain, old-fashioned bandits, it is also the home of an extraordinarily wide range of colourful ethnic minorities, many still only partly known and understood, and a veritable Tower of Babel linguistically.