During the hot season of 2012 we ventured out onto a random road outside of Mandalay, along the Dotawaddy River, into the hills where it was slightly cooler. On the Mandalay plain it was over 110 F, dry and dusty. In the hills it was a bit cooler. Traversing the sandy and rocky paths with thick unforgiving vegetation was brutal and exhausting even though we barely spent two hours on foot going from the road up to a waterfall.
There was little water falling and local people erected homes under the falls and over the dams they erected to collect water and swim. Some of the people asked for a small donation of 100 Kyat from people to cross over their little bridges near the pools. They sold snacks, rice, bbq, bottled water and of course cheap whiskey and Myanmar Beer.
(Click on the photo’s to enlarge)
A remote cement road leading into the hills from Mandalay.
The paddy goes on for many miles north of Mandalay.
Someone’s tethered water buffalo under the shade of a tree.
The Dotawaddy River empties into the Irrawaddy. It’s riverbanks are forested with villages on the opposite side giving the impression of unchallenged wildness.
Local villagers make dams and erect homes under the falls during dry season to sell to the people escaping the valley for a cool retreat.
Khin hopping over slippery claylike stones under the brutal heat of the sun.
A view of some of the dams and distant hills rising north of Mandalay.
Waiting for their lift across the Dotawaddy, these villagers told us they were returning home from their jobs selling in a Mandalay market. True to local customs they invited us to eat with them.
A view of the Dotawaddy on the return to Mandalay on the dusty plains beyond the far ridges