Chasing the Dragon is the story of a Boston Herald reporter's journey into Burma/Myanmar to interview the mysterious drug lord, Khun Sa.
The features desk of an American newspaper may seem an unlikely launchpad for a journey into one of the world's most remote and dangerous regions, but for journalist Christopher Cox, it was where the story began. It would end nearly three years later in the almost inaccessible mountain fastnesses of Shan State, Burma, as Cox brought off a journalistic coup even hard-bitten foreign correspondents might envy: a rare personal audience with General Khun Sa, the man U.S. law enforcement dubbed "The Prince of Death," the man thought to control a third of the world's supply of heroin. Accompanied by an obsessed Vietnam vet who had given up everything in his single-minded search for American POWs left behind in Southeast Asia and an eccentric expat with close personal ties to the general, Cox was going to cross forbidden borders to enter a region long off-limits to Westerners. And armed with little more than a backpack stuffed with vodka, porno tapes, and cigarettes, he was going to succeed. His journey would take him deep into the Golden Triangle, a shadowy zone of banditry, drug smuggling, and the ghost armies of past wars. He would begin in the red-light district of Bangkok, with its sex bars and soaring HIV rates, then head up into northern borderlands newly discovers by package-tour groups, and finally cross a jungled no-man's-land into the world of the Shan, where tough tribesmen trade opium and precious gemstones for the arms they need to fight the Burmese.