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Confluence of the Ayeyarwady

The Ayeyarwady (or Irrawaddy) River, the largest river in Myanmar, is formed by the confluence of the N'mai and Mali Rivers in Kachin State. Perhaps the most interesting part about my trip to the confluence was meeting this group of five monks from the Kan Gyi Kyaung monastery near Inle Lake in Shan State. The older monk on the right is the Abbot of Kan Gyi Kyaung. He was giggly, interested to hear all about the rattans of Myanmar, and positively radiant.  He kept saying how auspicious it was for us to meet each other at the confluence. [NOTE: Andrew Henderson and I had just finished six weeks of fieldwork in the Hukaung Valley (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey) without a mishap. I, too, thought our encounter was pretty auspicious].

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