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Entries in Myanmar (139)


Three Jumps to Tikon

Open Google Earth and enter "N25.49504 E95.02445" in the Search bar. You will zoom to northern Myanmar in the Naga Self-Administered Zone (formerly Sagaing Division) and see something like the image shown above. The yellow line in the upper left is the border with India. The coordinates you entered are indicated by the little grey box.

If you zoom in a little bit, a little strip of road will come into view and a red dot that says "Tigun" will appear (see above). Note that the village is really spelled "Tikon" and that the red dot is not located near the little strip of road.

If you zoom in a few more clicks, the village of Tikon will come into surprisingly clear focus. A small village of 13 household embedded in a sea of forest. Under the grey square with the coordinates is the school house where we stayed for a week. For the next jump, go here. A bit hard to get to, but what a great place once you do.


From the Boat VII

Still on the boat. But a different one this time. Clip is from the shorter, six hour trip by water taxi from Homalin to Htamanthi.  Boat was smaller, there were only about a dozen of us on board, and the hull was apparently leaking a bit because they had to keep bailing water the entire trip.  Somewhat disconcerting. 


From the Boat II

Purple boats and pagodas. And sawlogs. The Upper Chindwin river of northern Myanmar. [NOTE: Our boat was (kind of) yellow].


More Myanmar Growth Bands

This video by Kyaw Thin Latt from the WCS Myanmar Program was taken in the forest outside of Tikon the day we made dendrometer bands. It provides a good overview of the bands (in Burmese), documents the group of foresters, villagers, WCS staff, and policemen (with semi-automatic weapons) that went to the field that day, and shows Rob Tizard and I sharing a joke - when we probably should have been paying attention to the tree-banding. Nice job, Latt. [NOTE: I was never able to determine if the policemen actually had any bullets in their guns]. 




This Naga man from Tikon accompanied us to the forest the day we put growth bands on some of the timber trees (more on this later). And he brought along his handmade musket. Didn't really come across anything for him to hunt, but he was certainly ready. And he did learn how to make a dendrometer band. [NOTE: I struggled a bit to get this posted, because I'm using some new equipment now (see Colophon)


Thambuddhei Paya

The 25 hour boat ride ends up in Monywa, a major trade center in Sagaing Division. Monywa is also home to the exquisite Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya (shown above), which is one of the most beautiful examples of religious architecture I've ever seen. The temple dates from 1303, and is said to contain over 500,000 statues of Buddha. The walls are lined with them. All, to my eye, seem subtly different.

A close-up of one of the walls showing the detailed work is offered below. I couldn't stop taking pictures in here. [NOTE: I made a small donation to have a Buddha placed along the wall in my name. No idea where they are going to squeeze in one more statue].  


Rice Field

Rice field outside of Homalin in Sagaing Division, Myanmar in late afternoon sun. Whatever effort is required to get to northern Mynamar disappears the moment you catch a glimpse of a landscape like this.  The Chindwin River is off to the left of the image. 


Htamanthi to Monywa

This 25 hour boat ride was mostly sitting and sleeping (see Duffel Bag). There was a bit of excitement at the start of the trip when they loaded the three motorcycles over the bow of the boat. And the the swarm of food sellers that boarded each time we stopped at a larger port during mealtime. In hindsight, I fondly remember my little 2 x 2 m cabin during this trip. 


Faces of Tikon


This is what the village of Tikon looks like the first time you arrive and the rain has just stopped and the sun comes out and you are very happy to have finally made it. You are up at over 4000 feet and things have started to get a little chilly.

And this is what the village looks like in the late afternoon when you've walked out to find the path to tomorrow's transect and you turn back to check out the landscape. Magical. [NOTE: It was clear and sunny every day that we worked in the field and only started raining the last day when we walked out to Mile 25 camp. Magical].




N 25.50226°
E 95.02700° 

Back in Yangon with internet. Image above shows the start of Transect 1 (note red transect rope) in the forest outside of Tikon in the Naga Hills Autonomous Region of Sagaing Division. Some of the most beautiful tropical montane forest I've ever seen. Tikon is a lovely Chin/Naga village of 13 households that has been in the same place for 96 years. You walk for ten miles to get there. More on this incredible place later.