Up the River,Witho
A nostalgic visit to Myitsone, the source of the Irrawaddy River reveals that its natural beauty is already nearly a thing of the pa By SEIN HTAY
he fog over the Irrawaddy River was still thick. A cool, refreshing breeze stirred the air. As the rays of the sun were not yet visible in the east, it was chilly indeed. At this hour of the day, Chitthu Lan, which stretches along the bank of the mighty river, was nearly deserted. There were only a handful of people to be seen, walking or jogging and inhaling the early morning air. In the daytime and evening, however, Chitthu Lan, or “Lover’s Lane,” is one of the most popular areas of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in Burma’s far north. Known as a gathering place for lovers and young people, with such establishments as Chitthu Café, Kiss Me Café and Chitthu Yinkhwin (“Lover’s Bosom”) Karaoke, Chitthu Lan was a busy place through most of the day. In a café that had no walls and tilted toward the edge of the river, my friend and I were the only customers as we sat drinking green tea, enjoying the view of the foggy river and breathing in the crisp, clean air. We were waiting for a friend who would accompany us on our visit to Myitsone, the confluence of Maykha and Malikha rivers, about 46 km north of Myitkyina.
A Kachin woman walks on stones in the Irrawaddy River in Myitkyina. photo: the irrawaddy