February 27th

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February 27th

The Me Khok is navigable fo river boats to the Me Khon river just below Kiangtsen, an this appears to be the main trad route from Moulmein to Luanj Prabang, /. e., by land froi Moulmein to Kianghai, am thence by boat down the Me Khok and Me Khong (Cambodia) rivers to Luang Prabang. All sorts of piece- goods, cotton, matches, tin pots, hats, and flannel. At Kianghai there are no shops, only a daily market being held at the cross roads in the middle of the town, all the women squatting on mats along the sides of the road, with their little pile of goods in front. Only fish, tobacco, betel, &c., can be procured; there are no butchers as at Zimme (where there were many selling beef and pork). A dead-alive place, which might be of importance if it bestirred itself, situated, as it is, on a fine waterway, and also on the main land routes from Burma and China, and surrounded by fertile, well-watered land. From it tracks run to Zimme south; Muang Phang west; Kiang Tung north; and Kiangtsen north-east. Mr. Archer has just travelled from Zimme up the Me Ping valley and via Muang Phang and Kianghai to Kiangtsen.

Leaving the Me Khok and crossing 3 1/2 miles of thin forest, with high coarse grass, the village of Doong is reached. It is of fair size, with extensive paddy land and herds of cows: the rest of the way to Yunglay is through paddy, the fields of the two villages joining, clumps of bamboo and huts are scattered about. A range of hills closing in from the west is here only one mile distant. On the other hand, only detached hills can be seen in the far distance.

Supplies are procurable to a moderate extent; also forage and food.

The Me Khok is the boundary between Burma and Siam; but the Siamese have quietly encroached, and, I believe, are ready to claim as far north as Me Tsai, making the boundary Kiangtsen, Me Tsai, Muang Phang. However, this will be a question for Her Majesty’s Government and the King of Siam to settle. Next Entry