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In jungles of Myanmar, sin city looks to a better future

Upon cruising on its wide, well-paved streets, the first question that enters a visitor’s mind is whether the city is still part of Myanmar. Past the lush green mountains where the concrete roads snake through the hinterlands, past what seems like never-ending rice fields, lies the concrete jungle of Mine Lar city, popularly known as […]

Cryptocurrency scheme not in Mong La, company says

A Yongbang cryptocurrency scheme in a border area of eastern Shan State is not located in Mong La Special Administrative Region 4, the Chinese firm in charge clarified. “The physical jurisdiction of Yongbang is a couple hours away from Mong La. Any control of incidental overlap [there should be none] will be maintained by the […]

Chinese tech firm claims digital plans for Mong La SEZ

A Shanghai blockchain company claimed it intended to set up a special economic zone in a rebel-held border area of eastern Shan State where it would issue digital currencies and IDs to the local population. Executives from Shellpay Internet Technology Co, in a Channel News Asia (CNA) broadcasting programme aired last December, said that the […]

Ministries join forces to legalise casinos

Several ministries are in the process of repealing the 1986 Gambling Law that forbids the operation of casinos in the country in the hope that legalising gambling will spur tourism and boost revenue, but some people are lukewarm about the move. The ministries of Hotel and Tourism, Planning and Finance, and Home Affairs are spearheading […]

Myanmar eyes closure of wildlife trade hub on Chinese border

Mong La, a lawless border town located in rebel-held territory in Myanmar’s Shan state, is a market for endangered species and products which are freely traded, largely to Chinese tourists. YANGON: Myanmar authorities plan to shut down a notorious border town where exotic animal parts are sold openly, an official said Tuesday, as Southeast Asia […]

China’s Expanding Middle Class Fuels Poaching, Decadence in Myanmar

In the remote jungle city of Mong La, endangered animals are sold as aphrodisiacs, traditional medicines, and gastronomic delicacies. MONG LA, Myanmar — In this gaudy mecca of eroticism and greed on the eastern border with China, the cuisine isn’t for the squeamish: Many items on the menu, including the drinks, are derived from poached […]

Chinese Tourists Flock to a ‘Pleasant Village’ of Gambling Dens in Myanmar

SPECIAL REGION 4 — At 8am, the road out of Mong La gets busy. Many visitors to this border town in the far east of Myanmar’s Shan State come to gamble—to do that, they must make the seven-mile journey to Wancho. Eleven years ago, the National Democratic Alliance Army that controls this enclave on the […]