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Notes on the Geography of Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy

Despite an airport, the Irrawaddy remains the great conduit.

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Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 1

Now, as when the British came this way in 1855, nobody travelling on the river can miss Pagan.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 2

More than a highway, the river is also the local laundry room.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 3

It's the source of protein.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 4

Along its banks, farmers grow crops with residual moisture and, as needed, with tiny gasoline pumps that lift river water.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 5

Clay pots awaiting shipment.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 6

Watercraft come in many varieties, from humble rowboats...

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 7

...to flashy fantails...

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 8

...launches...

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 9

...and ships, in this case reminiscent of the colonial Irrawaddy flotilla, a major operation until the entire fleet was scuttled at the Japanese approach.

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 10

Traffic stops at dusk...

Burma / Myanmar: The Irrawaddy picture 11

...but starts early, like this mixed train at Nyaung-U.


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