BANGKOK: Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi arrives on Thursday (Jun 23) in Thailand where she is expected to be garlanded by her adoring compatriots, hundreds of thousands of whom have sought work and sanctuary from war across the border.
It is Suu Kyi's highest profile overseas visit since her pro-democracy party took power in April, ending nearly half a century of military domination.
Her government has seeded hopes for a new era of prosperity that could eventually convince the army of low-paid Myanmar labourers in Thailand to return home.
The two Southeast Asian neighbours have travelled in starkly different directions in recent years.
While Myanmar's junta has rolled back its chokehold on politics, last year allowing the freest elections in decades, Thailand remains in the grip of a military that seized power in 2014.
As Myanmar's democracy champion, Suu Kyi is expected to receive a rock star welcome during a visit to a major fish market in Samut Sakhon later Thursday.
The area, just outside Bangkok, is the seat of Thailand's huge seafood industry and home to more than 100,000 Myanmar labourers. But the sector has been battered by accusations of slavery and other labour abuses.