Tucked in Thailand's northern border Maesalong is a place of contrasts. It's a freedom mecca from it's oppressive neighbors in China, Laos and Burma. Caught between are the Akha tribal people who have been forced from their nomadic tradition because of politics and strict borders. This photo: Ahbu travels in the back of a truck from her home in Maesalong, Thailand to Chiang Rei to receive treatments for her opium addiction. Having ridden in an automobile only once in her life, the hour-long journey has made her sick.
Ahbee, an Akha tribal villager has settled with her family on the south edge of Maesalong. She has converted to Buddhism from her native tribal religion and bows daily at the local temple three miles from her home.
An Akha tribal woman sells vegetables and handmade crafts in the downtown market.
Akha villagers bundle hay for repairs to their grass huts.
The Thai government has established a center in one of the villages to help give the tribal people some of the advantages of citizenship.
After a three-month separation, siblings Celon Phan, 11, and Naron Pawn, 5, play after Pawn's visit with family in the interior of Thailand.
Ali, a child in an Akha villiage south of Maesalang, stands in the doorway of his family hut after gathering fresh water from a source 1/2 milesfrom his home.
After having a light breakfast, Ahbu perpares for her journey for help with an opium addiction.
Theravada monks shop at a roadside market near their temple in Maesalong.
The tribal villagers sell everything from cheeseburgers to Chinese teas in the small mountain town.