National Geographic : 1967 Jul
Bent under 250 pounds, a steve dore carries baled rubber sheets at a Chinese-run warehouse in Song khla, a major southern port. He passes a stick to the foreman to tally the cargo as it goes aboard a lighter. Second to rice among Thai exports, the rubber goes primarily to Japan for processing. Tumpline pressing the worker's brow marks him as a Malay; the Thai regard the head as sacred and would not put it to such use. Turban and tennis shoes garb a Malay coolie stacking 100-pound tin ingots-products of Thailand's new smelter on the large southerly island of Phuket. With surf as their sluice, sea gypsies pan tin on Phuket. Men folk of this wandering coastal peo ple swim out with inner tubes to dive for ore-rich silt, then float it to shallows for the women to sift. Farther offshore, modern dredges bring up massive bites of tin con centrate-deposits washed down from nearby mountains.