Muong Lim – 23rd June 1867

oxen

We were, in truth, very much in danger of dying of hunger in our bamboo hut, built between the stream and the forest. Hunting was hardly any easier than fishing, for the rain fell in torrents. At last, after two days’ anxious waiting, a strange noise was heard from the woods, and each of us pricked up his ears and sought to pierce the gloom of the trees. The first ox that emerged from the path with a double seat on its hump was received with transports of joy. The chief of Muong-Line had sent us sixteen pack-oxen. We put our baggage on their backs without a moment’s delay and set out in such a downfall of rain as raised the level of the river perceptibly in two hours.

The rain had effaced all trace of a path on the side of the mountain, and the soil was so slippery that we could only advance by catching hold of the bare roots of the trees, the creepers, and hanging branches. As for the oxen, they fell at each step, rolling one over the other. After having followed the ridge of the mountains, marching several hours in a torrent of rain, in the midst of a splendid vegetation of palm-trees, sicas, and tree ferns, we at last reached the borders of the river of Muong-Line, which we crossed at a ford, the water reaching up to our shoulders. Some huts, one of which had been prepared for us, were presently seen in a grassy plain, surrounded by mountains.

de Carne: 175-6

Four days after leaving Chiang Khong the explorers were at the edge of the King of Burma’s dominions. Eight miles from the spot on the riverbank where the party first halted was the settlement of Mong Lin, one of the possessions of the ruler of Keng Tung. Still waiting for a reply from Keng Tung, the Frenchmen obtained permission to travel to Mong Lin which they found to be a sizable village, big enough for a market to be held every five days. Some of the merchandise sold at this market was a cause for bitter reflection on the contrast between British commercial acumen and French disdain for the Asian market. Here, in such a notably isolated corner of the globe, it was possible to buy English cotton goods, printed in the preferred colors of the local purchasers and bearing Buddhist symbols.    

Osborne, 118

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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