02-Jan-2014 -- This is the second out of 5 reports reaching or attempting confluence points in Myanmar. The story starts from 14°N 99°E. As a highlight, we were able to get to this unvisited confluence. This area has been closed to tourists until August last year. But now this and other areas have been opened for foreigners. At tourismtransparency.org you can get the current open-areas-map of Myanmar.
The confluence point is just 450 m from the “National Highway” No.8 between the cities of Dawei and Ye. Leaving Dawei by bicycle on a single-lane track, I was wondering when we would finally hit the highway. Besides some motor-cycles, there was almost no other traffic. While we kept going on this track I thought that the highway runs probably in parallel somewhere. It took two hours until we realised that the track we were cycling on was actually the national highway.
We couldn’t cover the whole distance from Dawei to the CP (120 km) on a single day, so we had to spend the night somewhere. Official overnight places for tourists are only in Dawei and then another 300 km further north in Mawlamyine. We solved this problem by visiting a temple at sunset near a village called Kaw Hlaing. We were very welcomed by the monks and put up for the night.
The next day we had an early start (the monks get busy at 5 AM). On the national highway – again a mostly unpaved single-lane track - we approached the confluence point. Before visiting the Confluence, we strengthened ourselves by having a big lunch at Kyatkadin village (1.1 km south of the CP).
The minimal distance from the national highway was 450 m. But covering this last leg turned out to be more difficult than expected. The first half was accomplished quickly by hiking along a plantation. But then dense undergrowth, a canyon and a river had to be traversed. Finally we ascended a very steep ravine through thick bamboo. Almost on the top, we found the CP in-between the bamboo bushes.
I climbed to the very top to take the picture of the Confluence where one can see a little more than just bamboo stems.
Right after the confluence visit, the actual work began: we had to ride over a mountain pass on a very rough road (being under construction). At dusk, we reached the poorly lit town Ye.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to the road: 450 m
- Distance of bicycle parking: 450 m
- Time to reach the CP: 30 min
- Time at the CP: 1:50 PM
- Measured height: 120 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 1 m
- Position accuracy: 9 m
- Topography: mountainous, at a slope
- Vegetation: bamboo
- Weather: sunny, 30° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Thick Bamboo Confluence
The story continues at 17°N 96°E.
Further pictures of our bicycle trip can be found here.