The KMT Kuomintang were the nationalist Chinese forced out of China & Myanmar when they lost the war against the communist Chinese forces.
In a long march that led them through S-W China & Shan State in Myanmar, they eventually settled in North Thailand. Many were repatriated to Taiwan, but two 2 groups stayed & settled in North Thailand. These were the 5th army under General Tuan that settled at Doi Mae Salong, & the 3rd army under General Lee that settled at Tham Ngop & Mai Nong Bua.
It is 60 years since they settled in North Thailand & most of the originals who walked from China have passed away. Very few are left.
In the Chinese KMT village of Mai Nong Bua, there are 5 left, 4 men & 1 woman, all in their 90s. In Doi Mae Salong there are even less & in Pha Tang maybe a couple (?)
Their history is literally dying out, with the youth of today ignorant of their past and the amazing struggle their forefathers had, including the famous 1967 Opium War battle with Khun Sa in Laos when hundreds of Shan were machine gunned to death by the Lao army, who intervened in the battle, won & seized the booty – 16 tons of opium.
See Doi Mae Salong History on GTR here
The KMT also fought on behalf of the Thai government against the communists along the Thai / Laos border at Pha Tang, Phu Chi Fah, plus in Phetchabun at Khao Kor & Phu Hin Rongkhla.
To preserve their history there is a well known Chinese Martyrs Museum at Doi Mae Salong, plus in Pha Tang another lesser small museum.
Now at Mai Nong Bua, in the last 12 months, one of the sons of a living original KMT soldier, has started a small charming coffee shop & museum, with a fabulous collection of old photos of the great trek south from China & the battles they fought in Thailand – against Khun Sa the Opium Warlord, plus the communists.
Mai Nong Bua a classic old Chinese village, is 30 kms S-W of Fang, or 6 kms west of Chai Prakarn & R107.
The little wooden KMT coffee shop & museum is well worth a visit. The name is Baan Tamnan Samoraphum / Kafe Khon Plad Thin.
From MNB you can link up with R1340 on the Burma border to go to Doi Ang Khang or Arunothai.
On R1340 is Tham Ngop were General Lee & his 3rd Army force originally settled.
In the area of Mai Nong Bua there are also hot springs, plus the Tham Tab Tao cave & the huge Nam Roo spring. See the Doi Ang Khang Loop on GTR
More on GTR here The Mai Bong Nua KMT Coffeeshop.
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