Kay Zar Ko and San San Oo

Surat Thani


Kay Zar Ko, 39, crossed from Myanmar to Thailand when he was only 18 years old. He worked      for five years on a rubber plantation in Chumphon province before returning to Myanmar, where he later met his wife, San San Oo.  

San San Oo had once crossed the border into Thailand looking for work before meeting her husband. She first came to Thailand when she was 22 years old, paying an agent 15,000 baht to smuggle her illegally across the border.

San San Oo’s first experience in crossing the border was difficult and frightening.

Recalling her memories, she was driven from her home in Mon State to the bordering area opposite a crossing point in Kanchanaburi province. The ride took three days. When they arrived at the border, she and six other migrants walked across, where they were transported by car heading to the south of Thailand. On the way to Surat Thani, they were stopped at a checkpoint in Prachuap Kiri Khan province. San San Oo and the others were arrested and had to spend the night in lock-up, paying 14,000 baht for their release. Without documents, she returned to Myanmar, where she met and married Kay Zar Ko.    

Years later, Kay Zar Ko and San San Oo, once again crossed into Thailand, as they needed desperately to provide for their son and parents in Myanmar. Currently, they are working on a rubber plantation in Surat Thani.

San San Oo, now 34 years old, feels that it has been a long and difficult journey for them both. Their wish is to return home and see their son, who they miss desperately! 

Photo by Luke Duggleby

Aye Mi San


Aye Mi San