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The River – Part II

The Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, with the location where each photograph in this dispatch was taken. Red marks the path of the journey.

On June 14th, the team traveled 98 miles, and on the next day, another 20 miles. Along the journey they saw many things.

The tree cuttings are put for good luck, and with that weather, they would need it.


Burmese men came astern and the team threw them bottles of water.  The villagers were constantly warning the team about the Burmese Navy.

Toilets on the riverboats are simple affairs.  A small enclosure with a hole that opens straight to the river.

The boat’s kitchen.

During the heat of the day, Charlie fell asleep on the boat. After a while, something woke him and he opened his eyes slowly. A person was staring at him. Just staring. Charlie opened his eyes wider and saw the melted face of a dead person looking straight at him. Right there in the boat. Startled, Charlie rubbed his eyes and looked closer at the melted face. It was just a hat hanging on a nail.


During the hot part of the day, the crew sometimes napped.

Blue tarps from some of the few aid groups who have been able to make it in.

Monks rowing from a monastery.  These monasteries can be lifesavers to distraught or imperiled travelers.

The situation is very bad, but I am happy to report that Charlie, who has much experience in big-problem projects, brought back news that was not nearly as bad as either of us had expected.

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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