Ton Pheung district

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Ton Pheung district ເມືອງຕົ້ນເຜິ້ງ
Location in LaosLocation in Laos
ProvinceBokeo province
Population (2015)
 • District34,476
 • Urban15,023
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Border checkpoint

Ton Pheung is a district (muang) of Bokeo province in northwestern Laos. The district lies in northwest Laos and borders Tachileik district of Burma and Chiang Saen district and Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province, Thailand. In addition, The district is the location of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone.


Given its location, the district has been the center of much conflict in the past. A dispute broke out in 1999 over Thai farmers cultivating on district lands and on 25 February 2008 an attack broke out on the Burmese border involving Burmese drug lords.


The district economy and also that of Bokeo Province is now dominated by the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GT SEZ) in Ton Pheung District. In 2007, Kings Romans Group, owned by well-connected Chinese husband and wife Zhao Wei and Su Guiqin, entered into a 99-year lease for 10,000 hectares on the banks of the Mekong. The company was granted 3,000 of these hectares as a duty-free zone, now the SEZ. As gambling is illegal in China, and the SEZ is only a two-hour journey by road from China, casinos and hotels catering to a Chinese clientele were built. A robust industry involving trafficking in endangered animals has grown up around the Chinese tourist trade. In January 2018, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against what it called Zhao's transnational criminal organisation, engaging in illicit activities, including human trafficking and child prostitution, drug trafficking and wildlife trafficking.




Bokeo International Airport

Bokeo International Airport, which serves international flights in Bokeo province, opened on February 5, 2024


  1. ^ "Results of Housing and Population and Housing Census 2015" (PDF). United Nations Population Fund in Laos. Lao Statistics Bureau. p. 101. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2024. Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  2. ^ Maplandia world gazetteer
  3. ^ "Drug Gang Blamed for Chinese Boat Attacke". The Irrawaddy. February 29, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c A Mr Big of wildlife trafficking: could elusive Laos casino operator be behind rackets that run to drugs, child prostitution?, SCMP, Simon Parry, 14 April 2018
  5. ^ Hance, Jeremy (2015-03-19). "High-end Laos resort serves up illegal wildlife for Chinese tourists". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 Mar 2015.
  6. ^ Sin City Illegal Wildlife Trade in Laos’ Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (PDF). London: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). March 2015.