Thailand: The Great Opium War

"Like a shootout in a cowboy movie, only it wasn 't a movie

The clatter of mess-hall cleanup had just given way to the nocturnal sounds of the jungle when Sergeant Manit Kammung and 800 other Thai Border Patrol Police suddenly received orders for a maneuver in the north. Armed with assault rifles, grenades, recoilless rifles and rocket launchers, the men clambered aboard trucks and rode all night through the newly harvested rice fields of central Thailand. Finally the trucks began to growl up the narrow roads that climb to the Golden Triangle, the opium-rich territory where the borders of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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