Border Disorder

The Thai army platoon fanning out around the village of Wiang Haeng in northern Chiang Mai province was expecting a routine patrol. That overcast afternoon in late March, the soldiers were securing the area for a special visit by Thailand's Queen Sirikit. But along the Thai-Burmese border—where insurgents, smugglers and drug dealers hold sway—little can be taken for granted. Suddenly, the Thai troops were under fire. The enemy: a unit of the United Wa State Army, a tribal force from Burma. Allied with the government in Rangoon and notorious for its dominance of the narcotics trade, the tribal army frequently sends...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!