The clever tour operators usually design the delta tours when the clients tire of the big cities and many pagodas. It is not popular in Burma but Vietnam and Cambodia make a lot of money from delta tour where the clients learn about ways of fisherman’s life and fishery.
I was amazed at the fishermen and their houses in Tonlesatt lake, Cambodia. There are five to six-storey wooden houses beside the river. Fishermen are repairing their fishing nets and tracks, their wives are cutting the dried fish.There were some alive fishes in the tracks that half-sank in the river. Some half-naked children were playing at the verandah. I think we should have designed this trip in Burma when I saw them.
Cyclone Nargis hit in Irrawaddy delta in 2008
I had a piece of luck when Cyclone Nargis hit in Irrawaddy delta in 2008. Hundred thousands of people lost lives and many survivals became homeless. A week later, many local and foreign NGOs went to storm hit area. Luckily I was translator between local people and foreigners. I had chance to travel to Irrawaddy delta area very often. We hired boats and went around Boglay and Latputta area. Boglay is not so far away from Yangon about two hours drive from Yangon. We emphasized that area because which was badly storm hit . Especially Kyain Chaung Gyi, Meinmahla and ” Kyun Nyo Gyi ” in english big brown island.
All people in delta believe the spirit called U Shin Gyi is in that island.
All people in delta believe the spirit called U Shin Gyi is in that island. Even Maurice Collis, a famous British author expressed about it in his book, “ Into Hidden Burma “. They told me that spirit help them a lot. I asked the villagers, where was U Shin Gyi when cyclone hit in this area? They told me a joke that he was in the United States at that time.He couldn’t help us but he urged the US government to send some assistance. That’s why the US sent some naval vessels but burmese regime refused to come in burmese sea role.
The Irrawaddy delta is very fertile so it is a rice bowl of Burma. There are many big and small rivers where a lot of fresh and sea water fishes that’s why it is densely populated area. In the coastal area such as Phyar Pone, Boglay, Latputta and Pyinkhayaing have mangrove forest. Especially in Boglay area. Meinma Hla island in english ” Fair Lady ” island where I saw a crocodile was sleeping on the river bank.
Fishermen were fishing, placing the crab traps by small boats in the evening. Some fishermen took his family they got help from their wives and children. I was on edge when I saw the children playing in the small boats in the big river but they know swimming very well. The children in delta have confidence about water and very good resistance because they had nothing although they went swimming in the muddy & polluted water just after cyclone Nargis. The foreigners were really surprised at them.
The worst storm hit village in Boglay township
When we arrived at Kyain Chaung Gyi village, the worst storm hit village in Boglay township to distribute food and clothing, some survivals came to us. Among them, a young lady at the age of 20 carried her young son in her waist. Her son looks so cute. I asked her the name of her son. She said, ” Dan Oh ” which means metal pot. I told her why did you gave stupid name to him. She explained to me an interesting story.
This young boy was only seven days old when the storm hit. They live in the small bamboo hut beside the river. Their hut could stand the wind but couldn’t for the tidal waves. Everything smashed away but she hugged her son. Half an hour later, both were stuck in the big mangrove tree in the forest. She sat in the tree but water level was almost reached. The wind speed was very high and thunder strike. She could see the big metal pot was flowing towards her when lightning.
She was so happy, took the pot and put her son in it but she didn’t cover perfectly. She held the pot and made sure her son was still breathing the whole night. Next early morning, the wind had dropped and the rain let up.
She climbed down from the tree with the pot. It was so difficult, she said. She massaged her son gently. The whole body of her son was very cold as he suffered from the severe storm and rain. He began to regain consciousness not long after.She came back home but no hut to live. Lucky, her husband escaped from death and met each other. The metal pot saved my son’s life so everybody called him ” Dan Oh “means metal pot.
I never forget that lucky family and the name of the boy. I haven’t seen any family with all family members except this lucky one. All families lost at least one member throughout my trips in delta after cyclone Nagis. The lucky boy would be about 14 now. I always wish, may Everybody strikes good luck.
Sharing is Caring.
Written By Pro TouristBetter Than Others ? Harder Than Ever !