The Irrawaddy is the principal river of Burma running through the
centre of the country. It is the most well known and the longest in
Burma. It formed in the north by the confluence of the two rivers
Mayka and Maylika (also known as Nmai Hka and Mayli rivers) at the
Kachin state. The western branch, the river Mali(Malika) is rising in
the hills near the northern border of Burma and the eastern branch,
the river Nmai Hka (Mayka) in northern Burma rises in the Languela
glacier and flows generally south, joining the Mali River to form the
Irrawaddy River. We love to see the rencontre of the two rivers. We
call it 'MyitSon' (la rencontre de deux rivieres). Although I could not have
a chance to visit MyitSon, I felt that the stream in the river Irrawaddy
represents Nmai Hka and Mayli. The Irrawaddy provides
the main means of communication between important points in the
interior and the southern port cities, especially Rangoon.
When I learnt geography at school, teachers pointed the two rivers and
the Irrawaddy River on the map. Their meeting place was like an
English alphabet Y and I felt that our map was not complete without
it. We knew that how magnificent and glorious view the place was.
Without it, our country seemed ugly and uninterested.
When my grandfather (U Thein Nyunt, who was a father of my mother)
visited MyitSon in 1958, he and his companions together took a photo
beside the rivers. One day my grandfather showed us the photo and
explained the meaning of MyitSon. We saw the photo with excitement.
The photo was very old but we could see the place was very clear and
had a good view. At that time he worked at I.W.T (Inland Water
Transportation Board). He was there for his work. My grandfather said
the river was so cold that they could put their bottles into the
stream for having coldness. They did not need the refrigerator. The
surface of the river was very clear and transparent. They could see
beautiful pebbles beneath the river. I felt that it was very poetic.
My uncle who was an engineer worked once at the Mandalay Computer
Science University. He visited MyitSon in December 2003. He went by
train at night from Rangoon and reached MyitKyeeNa in the morning. He
and his team ascended to MyitSon in the afternoon by micro-bus for 2
hours. MyitSon lies at the head of a shallow valley. There were giant
trees beside the route and it was a good view. When they reached
MyitSon, he said he did not at first recognize which was Mayka or
Maylika. He said the significant things of MyitSon were various stones
with different beauties. The sizes were varied and their designs were
very significant. The stones existed naturally beside and beneath the
rivers. Some people took the photos of these stones with the sunshine.
They chose the time when the sun arise, and took the photos with
reflections of the stones from the sun light. My uncle said some
visitors gave the names for the stones. For example my uncle chose
three beautiful stones beside the river and gave his three sons'
names. (It was just for pleasure. They did not take the stones nor
wrote the names on them. When they returned home, they told their
loved ones 'Hay, I gave your names to these stones. Very beautiful
stones indeed! Look! See your stones in the photo there!' and showed
the photo to them.) My uncle and his friends ate grilled- fish with
vegetables there. These dishes were souvenirs of MyitSon. There were
shops selling foods and souvenirs made by shells. They spent half day
in MyitSon and returned to MyitKyeeNa in the evening.
Another uncle worked at Medical Research in Rangoon and he went to
MyitSon for their Research in 2004. He went there by plane to
MyitKyeeNa and lodged at the hotel. Then they ascended to MyitSon by
car. It took 2-3 hours to reach MyitSon. He said they went with their
team to make research for athletes. When my uncle visited MyitSon in
summer season, he said the place was still popular and beautiful. It
gave people excitement and content. If people visited in rainy season,
the rivers flooded all near regions. In the summer, they could see
KaRaneNaw view below the hill. At MyitKyeeNa, it was warm in a day and
too cool at night. They ate grilled fish and glutinous rice (kauk nyin
paung). It was very delicious. My uncle said although in general he
did not like grilled-fish, he never forgot that he once tasted the
grilled –fish there. He also had a great chance to watch the Kachin
Manaw pwe(Kachin Culture Festival). It attracted people so much. The
visitors were still interested to take a trip to MyitSon.
Although I wrote down the infinite variety of our magnificent place -
MyitSon, my narrative might not be much of complete beauties of it as
I can only write what I was heard from my grandfather and my uncles. I
hope my readers will be able to visualize what the MyitSon had meant
to the people of Burma.
(Photo-above – My grandfather visited MyitSon for his work with his
friends in 1958. He wore a black suit sitting second from right of the
viewer. See how beautiful the stones were! I have not a chance to
visit there, but I imagine which of the stones will bear my name?)