Prince of Death Road Trip-Khun Sa Memorial

DavidFL

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There's a blow up GT Rider map in the Khun Sa museum now....

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DavidFL

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Chinese Tycoon Building Khun Sa Museum

From
http://www.shanland.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3406:chinese-tycoon-building-khun-sa-museum-&catid=93:general&Itemid=291

He was defeated by China, but the late Khun Sa who died in 2007 without achieving his lofty ideals is being honored by a successful young Chinese businessman, who has invested millions to construct a museum for the controversial Shan freedom fighter, according to sources from Xixuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China.

Zhao Kun, about 35, President of the Yunnan Hai Cheng Industrial Group Stock Co.Ltd., himself a native of Xixuangbanna, reportedly thinks his money is well spent for the man who had once said, “Opium is the Shans’ nuclear weapon.”

The museum site is on a 200 acre land northeast of Jinghong, the prefecture capital. “He might be a druglord,” Zhao was quoted as saying. “But not a grain of his white powder (i.e. heroin) was exported to China.”

Nevertheless, Khun Sa’s 25,000 strong Mong Tai Army, then regarded as the strongest armed opposition movement, came to the beginning of its end in 1994, when, on China’s suggestion, he moved the bulk of his troops from the Thai border in the south to the Chinese border in the north. His former closest aides say the MTA was sold off by Beijing’s agents to the Burma Army which then launched a devastating operation against it.

Khun Sa died broken-hearted in 2007 under the custody of the military security service in Rangoon. He was 73.

Zhao Kun is also planning to renovate the museum constructed by Khun Sa’s followers in Ban Hintaek aka Therd Thai, Mae Fa Luang district, Chiangrai province, Thailand.

Khun Sa aka Zhang Chifu was born of a Chinese father and Shan mother in Loimaw, one of the former three top producers of opium in 1934. He became a Burma Army backed home guard leader in 1960. The world first took notice of him when he fought against the ex-Kuomintang forces in the triangle area between Laos, Thailand and Burma in 1967, which brought about “The Golden Triangle” into a household name. In 1969, he was imprisoned in Mandalay. But five years later, he returned to freedom following a spectacular kidnapping of two Russian doctors working in Taunggyi. He surrendered in 1996 after a mutiny broke out among the ranks in the wake of his disastrous northern expedition in 1994.
 

DavidFL

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Chinese Tycoon Building Khun Sa Museum

From
http://www.shanland.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3406:chinese-tycoon-building-khun-sa-museum-&catid=93:general&Itemid=291

He was defeated by China, but the late Khun Sa who died in 2007 without achieving his lofty ideals is being honored by a successful young Chinese businessman, who has invested millions to construct a museum for the controversial Shan freedom fighter, according to sources from Xixuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China.

Zhao Kun, about 35, President of the Yunnan Hai Cheng Industrial Group Stock Co.Ltd., himself a native of Xixuangbanna, reportedly thinks his money is well spent for the man who had once said, “Opium is the Shans’ nuclear weapon.”

The museum site is on a 200 acre land northeast of Jinghong, the prefecture capital. “He might be a druglord,” Zhao was quoted as saying. “But not a grain of his white powder (i.e. heroin) was exported to China.”

Nevertheless, Khun Sa’s 25,000 strong Mong Tai Army, then regarded as the strongest armed opposition movement, came to the beginning of its end in 1994, when, on China’s suggestion, he moved the bulk of his troops from the Thai border in the south to the Chinese border in the north. His former closest aides say the MTA was sold off by Beijing’s agents to the Burma Army which then launched a devastating operation against it.

Khun Sa died broken-hearted in 2007 under the custody of the military security service in Rangoon. He was 73.

Zhao Kun is also planning to renovate the museum constructed by Khun Sa’s followers in Ban Hintaek aka Therd Thai, Mae Fa Luang district, Chiangrai province, Thailand.

Khun Sa aka Zhang Chifu was born of a Chinese father and Shan mother in Loimaw, one of the former three top producers of opium in 1934. He became a Burma Army backed home guard leader in 1960. The world first took notice of him when he fought against the ex-Kuomintang forces in the triangle area between Laos, Thailand and Burma in 1967, which brought about “The Golden Triangle” into a household name. In 1969, he was imprisoned in Mandalay. But five years later, he returned to freedom following a spectacular kidnapping of two Russian doctors working in Taunggyi. He surrendered in 1996 after a mutiny broke out among the ranks in the wake of his disastrous northern expedition in 1994.
 

Ian Bungy

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This is one Place I have always wanted to Visit but for different Reasons still haven't made the Trip??? Will get there soon though! A true piece of the Worlds History right at Our Doorstep!
 

KenYam

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Recently went for a look at Khun Sa old camp and Mae Salong very enjoyable, good twistie roads, good views and a history education. The Aussie friends and myself were ignorant re the early herion trade and the Shan state, a very colourful time of history, would recommend a look see.

Turn left ( Police box )for Mae Salong approx 35 k's reminds me a bit of Sapa Vietnam, cold at night and the town closes early even seven eleven shop @ 2200 hrs.
For Thoed Thai don't turn left for Mae Salong go straight approx 11 k.s and once you go thru the tall Thai style arch with a man and woman on them, go straight ahead approx 3-400 metres turn right at motorcycle repair shop - there is small signs on power poles - Khun sa old camp/ museum.

Mae Fia Luang gardens with the HRH Mother's Palace is also a fast scenic mountainous drive coming in from the back way, hardy any traffic and only a short distance away. The gardens are definately the best I have see in Thailand.

Cheers ken F
 

jethro69

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Dec 15, 2010
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Did the trip this afternoon from Chiang Sean, and return via Doi Tung. When already on the road I noticed I forgot my GT-map:crazy: so once past Thoet Thai I did not really know where to go, so I ride a bit past the villages and returned. As it turned dark I lost a bit orientation 15km before Chiang Sean. Normally I know this small roads quite well, but no chance if you can't see anything...:(

http://apps.cealogs.co.uk/viewer/etlog/a63bece835e43bb5d06516cffcbbf2ee/#end=0&start=0&utcOffset=420&unit=metric

I was too stupid too read and followed a sign heading to ThaThon instead rte 1130 to ThoedThai :sick: , heading back direction MaeChan, I dropped almost the bike, as some genious shop owner covered the street with water to prevent dust, it was slippery like hell :mad: , well I saw myself already on the tarmac, but somehow I (or was it the bike :confused:) came to an upright position again, lucky like hell. So being wrongly on rte 1089 I took the first turn right heading to 1130. (pics)

A nice little road I thought bymyself....,

But it did not last for long, after a few hundred meters it became like this



Rte 4032 beyond ThoedThai

small village near burmese border
 

Darrell N

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Sep 9, 2016
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Excellent Khun Sa thread! Now 2021, it appears time has not been kind to the museum compared to when he died. The buildings are starting to collapse, with holes appearing in the roof, and bugs have eaten many structural supports to the point of failure. There seems to be a lot of his possessions missing now, and the lady looking after it does her best to keep it kind of swept and clean. There is no admission fee, hence no funding for upkeep. However, as it is such an important part of the repressed dark history of the area here, one should see it. There are still things to see before time and the massive trees within the compound eventually take it over. His saddles are on display below his portrait. You can see a horrible damp camp jail cell just up the hill path to the right and behind the bronze Khun Sa horse statue, which is simply a deep hollowed out pit in the earth, the entrance is a tight hole that prisoners were put into, looking like a well. The hilltop is surrounded by zigzag defensive trenches dug into the earth. Also, you can now ride up a steep paved path to the top of the hill behind the camp to the north where a monk now lives to see a great view of the town and valley. One can only imagine what this area was like in the day, a no mans land of thick jungle in all directions without agriculture and roads going almost everywhere.
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DavidFL

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Excellent Khun Sa thread! Now 2021, it appears time has not been kind to the museum compared to when he died. The buildings are starting to collapse, with holes appearing in the roof, and bugs have eaten many structural supports to the point of failure. There seems to be a lot of his possessions missing now, and the lady looking after it does her best to keep it kind of swept and clean. There is no admission fee, hence no funding for upkeep. However, as it is such an important part of the repressed dark history of the area here, one should see it. There are still things to see before time and the massive trees within the compound eventually take it over. His saddles are on display below his portrait. You can see a horrible damp camp jail cell just up the hill path to the right and behind the bronze Khun Sa horse statue, which is simply a deep hollowed out pit in the earth, the entrance is a tight hole that prisoners were put into, looking like a well. The hilltop is surrounded by zigzag defensive trenches dug into the earth. Also, you can now ride up a steep paved path to the top of the hill behind the camp to the north where a monk now lives to see a great view of the town and valley. One can only imagine what this area was like in the day, a no mans land of thick jungle in all directions without agriculture and roads going almost everywhere.
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Sad isn't it how that museum has fallen into poor condition.
Regardless of your viewpoint on Khun Sa, he was the man who gave the Golden Triangle it's name & over the decades attracted thousands of tourists in search of adventure to the infamous Golden Triangle. It could be said that perhaps he was the one who unintentionally created the tourism boom in the GT?
Surely & despite the political issues involved, some funding & a small budget could found to be repair & maintain that place.
Certainly the people of Thoed Thai would appreciate more tourists coming to their fabulous little town.
If understand correctly the previous kamnan, responsible for (mis)handling the local budget is no longer there, so I wonder if something could be instigated & some funds raised to help?
 

DavidFL

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The Khun Sa Museum - Update 19 September 2021

We managed to get into the Khun Sa museum via a back door.
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It is dark dusty & somewhat hazardous inside with termites eating away the ceiling & rafters = it will eventually collapse, & what a tragedy that would be.
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When you understand the history of Khun Sa, these old HQs, & how his infamy attracted thousands of people, if not millions, of people to seek out the mystique of Golden Triangle it is deeply sad for to this happen. I can only think there must be some murky local politics involved why it is not be cared for properly & promoted, as it should be.
Controversial his drug trade may have been, but the aura of the Golden Triangle comes from that checkered history, deserves to be acknowledged & used to showcae how difficult life once was in the mountains. There is great educational potential for everyone in presenting a balanced history of Khu Sa & life in the mountains in the 60s - 70s - 80s.

 
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Ian Bungy

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The Khun Sa Museum - Update 19 September 2021

We managed to get into the Khun Sa museum via a back door.
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It is dark dusty & somewhat hazardous inside with termites eating away the ceiling & rafters = it will eventually collapse, & what a tragedy that would be.
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When you understand the history of Khun Sa, these old HQs, & how his infamy attracted thousands of people, if not millions, of people to seek out the mystique of Golden Triangle it is deeply sad to this happen. I can only think there must be some murky local politics why it is not be cared for properly & promoted, as it should be.
Controversial his drug trade may have been, but the aura of the Golden Triangle comes from that checkered history, deserves to be acknowledged & used to explain how difficult life once was in the mountains. There is great educational potential for everyone in presenting a balanced history of Khu Sa & life in the mountains in the 70s - 80s.

Oh Dear, that's a Darn shame! An important part of History will be lost there if they let all that Collapse and disappear?