Tofu After Dark

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November 2012
Location: Mae Sot, Thailand

Mae Sot's "tofu factory" was founded by a Chinese gem trader who arrived in Mae Sot's normally booming market just before the bridge to Myanmar closed. With gem trading reduced, the owner set about running a small restaurant and creating unusually delicious tofu, with the restaurant eventually being dropped. Since the bridge re-opened in December 2011, the owner returned to gem trading, leaving management of the tofu shop with his Chinese-Burmese wife.

Like most businesses in Mae Sot, the tofu factory is staffed by undocumented Burmese. However, the work is not especially arduous. The staff work daily which is typical, but for a reasonable 8 hours per day. Staff may frequently depart to find opportunities in Bangkok or during the daytime, but seem satisfied to return to the tofu shop repeatedly.