Tucked away in the farthest corner of what was once British India, the highland tribes of Eastern Myanmar are diverse, and truly unique, each possessing their own customs, religion, history and language. During my visit to Kengtung, Myanmar, located near the Golden Triangle – close to Laos, Thailand and China – I discovered true diversity for its own sake, free of any other agenda, political or otherwise.

Kengtung is an area in the Shan State of Myanmar that has captured my imagination since 1993. The name means, “Walled City of Tung,” in reference to its mythological founding. The whole area was once part of Northern Thailand’s Lanna Kingdom in the 1200’s, and echoes of that epoch remain today. Interestingly, Kengtung was occupied by the Thai Army from 1942 until the end of World War II.

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