Ethnic Yunnanese Celebrate History in Northern Thailand

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Local Mae Salong guide Surapol Saiphetkornsakorn and his family in traditional dress ahead of Chinese New Year. (Photo: Panu Wongcha-um)

Local Mae Salong guide Surapol Saiphetkornsakorn and his family in traditional dress ahead of Chinese New Year. (Photo: Panu Wongcha-um)

The village of Mae Salong in Thailand’s mountainous northern frontier is home to thousands of ethnic Chinese; descendants of Kuomintang soldiers, mainly from Yunnan, who retreated south after the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

The Chinese of Mae Salong continue to celebrate their colourful history as a way of maintaining their distinctive identity and a sense of community in this corner of northern Thailand.

The area has seen tremendous change over the years. Tourism has transformed Mae Salong, and many locals now profit from running inns, shops and teahouses.

“Many tourists come, and it is both good and bad,” explained a local guide. “We must strike a balance …”

Full story at Channel NewsAsia.

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