13-Apr-2010 -- Myanmar was on the hottest period of the year – that is why they choose this season to have the New Year Celebration called “Water Festival” in which people will spray others with water to wish them health and prosperity. The temperature in Yangon was 39 degree Celsius at that time. We left Yangon about 9:45am by car and after crossing the river, we chose a completely new concreted road which is not on the GPS map. The only reason to choose this road was that it parallels the river, and the confluence is also near the river. When we were about 1.5km from the confluence as the crow flies, we had to leave the car and took the remaining distance by walk. It was 11:40 a.m., approximately 40km from Yangon.
We went along the crooked roads connecting one cluster of houses to other, which made the way longer than the expected 1.5km. Walking on this road was just like you were climbing a mountain, because you should be careful where your steps were to avoid ankle sprain, since the road was made of muddy soil thrown unevenly from the field and seemed to have turned to rock under the intense sun. The harsh sunlight beat unmercifully down on the unsuspecting preys on earth, namely us Vietnamese in this case, since it seemed that the two Burmese friends were too familiar with this weather that they did not need even a hat. Any tree shade was like a salvation which unfortunately was very small and far in between, especially on the returning way. The sentence “Looks can be deceiving” had never been more true, although the problem had nothing to do with appearance but with distance.
If it was not for my two Burmese friends, we were sure to encounter the biggest problem of “languages barrier”, when we were just 300m from the confluence. Because of them, we had one kind woman who led the way into the rice and sugarcane fields inside. We then beat the sharp-as-razor sugarcane leaves, fought our way through the jungle of bamboos and reeds ramparts, … to finally find out that the confluence was in the middle of a not-quite-small-but-quite-deep pond. Luckily, the pond was nearly as dry as it could get (we were in dry season), so that the confluence point was right at the very edge of the water line. 12:20 P.M. WE WERE AT THE CONFLUENCE 17N 96E.
The hardness of the weather made the victory all the more sweeter.