Hloyo is situated in the infamous ‘golden triangle’, once the centre of the opium trade in this region. A very narrow road winds its way up the hillside to the top of the village. You can imagine how difficult travel would have been back in the days before sealed roads … and how easy it would have been to evade police and army patrols. Even today there are a myriad jungle trails through the hills and valleys.
One of the first things to catch our eye as we arrive is the sight of still-green broom heads placed out in the sun to dry. The making of broom heads from the narrow leaves of reeds collected along the rivers seems to be a common occupation here. In one spot a ten metre stretch of the road is largely taken up by broom heads only just leaving enough room for our songthaew to get by. Later we see people turning, rolling and shaking the raw broom heads to make sure they thoroughly dry out.