Ban Rak Thai

There’s a village about as far northwest as you can go in Thailand before you hit the fortified frontier with Myanmar. Its name is Ban Rak Thai, which translates as “Thai-Loving People”. There’s a story in how it came to be. That village with its signs written in Mandarin and its slopes lined with oolong tea shrubs was founded by Kuomintang soldiers, themselves escaping Mao’s Communists across the hills from Yunnan Province in 1949. While the mainstay of Chinese nationalists fighting under warlord Chiang Kai Shek fled to Taiwan, this faction of history’s losers found sanctuary in Thailand where they brought a little taste of home with them.

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