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North Thailand People

The Haw People In North Thailand

  • The Haw are descendants of the Yunnanese traders who were the traders of the Golden Triangle including Yunnan, Burma and Thailand and who were the brigadier invaders under the Black flag that wagged war in Laos and Vietnam.
  • They are not to be confused with the Overseas Chinese who came to Thailand, (the Hakka, Hokkien, Hainanese and Cantonese) and the Han Chinese Kuomintang Nationalist armies who escaped from Yunnan to permanently settle in Thailand when the Peoples Liberation Army entered Yunnan in 1949. In the late 13th C Yunnan was conquered by the Mongols and Kublai Khan then looked South to conquer Burma (Pagan Empire) as well as all of south East Asia.
  • The Mongols employed Muslim Turkic mercenaries from Uzbeck, the Khanate of Bukhara in Central Asia, to conquer and hold territory. In Yunnan these solders were then settled in Yunnan to ensure the continued pacification of the territory gained. To do so they were given land and Chinese wives. With this process of assimilation which continued thereafter their descendants in appearance became more Chinese, although today are recognizable by their European noses and facial hair on the men.
  • They adopted Yunnan Chinese as their language and retained Arabic only for religious instruction.


The essential characteristics of the Haw are:
  • Their Turkish-Chinese ancestors
  • Their Muslim religion
  • Their customs and traditions which are Yunnanese and Muslim . The Haw are unlike the other communities in North Thailand who are Buddhist and or animist and of Austro-Asiatic and or Tai descent.
  • The Haw are of Sinitic race and speak a dialect of Mandarin (South western Mandarin).