Rule 1 - absolutely nothing in Southeast Asia is free
Rule 2 - nothing is as it seems
Rule 3 - nothing ever goes as planned
Rule 4 - there are no coincidences
Cox is a journalist in search of an interview with the biggest heroine dealer in the world, Khun Sa, who rules a large swath of Shan State in northeast Burma, the core of the Golden Triangle of lore.
This is fascinating stuff, offering a you-are-there look at some of the most remote, unexplored territory on the planet. You will learn much here, including some not so nice genocidal activities, perpetrated against ethnic minorities in the area. That was news to me.
You will pick up a bit of Burmese history. One such item is about how the Kuomintang was sustained in northern Burma by the USA as a thorn in China's side. But they needed income, so became international drug producers and dealers, and after the war on China lost any appeal, the drug business remained. There is some history offered re the infamous Thai sex trade, about headhunters, and about Burmese campaign against the Karen ethnic minority.
There is a very colorful cast of characters here
Barry Flynn - professional adventurer and former tv actor
Bo Gritz - a guy who mounts expeditions to rescue long lost POWs and MIAs
USDA Catherine Palmer - aka Dragon Lady
Khun Sa - biggest heroin dealer in the world. Commander of a private army
The telling is part Heart of Darkness, part Woody Allen. And just what do you bring as a gift to a man who has gazillions of dollars and his own military? That section had a very Bananas feel to it.
Chasing the Dragon is a fun and informative read. It will make you laugh out loud, teach you things you never knew and make us all realize that we do not know as much about our planet as we might have thought.