Welcome to Mong La
Reliant on China for everything from the electricity supply, to mobile-phone connections, Mong La feels more like a town in neighbouring Yúnnán Province than anywhere in Myanmar. Chinese is the lingua franca here – don't expect to hear any English – and the Chinese yuan (Y) is the local currency. Almost all visitors are from across the border, drawn to Mong La by its dubious reputation for wild nightlife. Gambling and prostitution are the main recreational activities, but Mong La is also notorious for the smuggling and selling of endangered animal species, as well as for being a key node on the people-trafficking route from China to Thailand.