Yan Naing Tun

Surat Thani


Yan Naing Tun, aged 31, came to Ranong, Thailand from Mon State, Myanmar with the promise of a better life. At 16, he crossed into Thailand by boat, paying an agent to smuggle him across the border. The crossing took four days, and he will never forget it. He recollects the agent made him wait on an island somewhere at the border, until he could travel by another boat before arriving in Ranong province, Thailand.

Yan Naing Tun’s wife, Poe Ei, aged 27, migrated to Thailand the same way he did.  Paying an agent 18,000 baht to smuggle her into Thailand she too will never forget that crossing. Both are currently working on rubber plantations in Surat Thani.


Life on a rubber plantation is difficult. Yan Naing and Poe Ei only sleep five hours every night, working the rest of the time cutting rubber trees and collecting resin. They have to work long hours earning 30,000 baht a month together, sending most of it back to Myanmar to help their families.

For Yan Naing Tun and Poe Ei, their working life in Thailand is not easy. Yan Naing Tun can clearly recall an incident, paying a rubber plantation owner 15,000 baht in exchange for the right to cut rubber trees. After working only one month, the plantation owner kicked him out, threatening to shoot him if he didn’t leave. The money Yan Naing Tun paid the plantation owner was never returned.

Photo by Luke Duggleby

Win Hlaing


Win Hlaing