Further to my post about Boten, in the far north of Laos, Warren Mayes has provided these great shots from early 2006. The first shows Boten on the Lao side of the border.
And this is Mohan on the Chinese side, just a kilometre or so to the north. A nice contrast!
I once stayed a night in Mohan in a small hotel where pornographic videos were played at high volume for what seemed like most of the night. Great sound effects! My Lao travelling companions (traders returning from Mengla) had better luck – they walked across to stay with friends in Boten and then walked back first thing in the morning to collect their cargo and complete the border crossing formalities.
A group of Chinese labourers who attempted to sneak into Laos were much less lucky. They were caught by Chinese police, beaten mercilessly (in full public view) and then made to stand for hours in the burning sun. I have no idea what happened next.
Borders mean different things for different people.