Route No. 14contd. From Kiang-tung to Kiang-hungacontd.
Karnes of Stages.
3. Mnang-ma or Ban-kap-a contd.
Me-lero, 150 to 320 feet wide. (Ferry, but fordable, higher up.)
westward, and an hour and a half after leaving Tapin, the road branching off to Kiang-khieng and Muang-niong. The valley in which Ban-kap is situated is nearly all under cultivation. It contains some 20 villages of from 15 to 30 houses each. The houses are far superior to those of Kiang-tung. There are a good many artificial tish-tanks. There is a road from this to Muang-kiang, running over hills, which are not high. Direction N. 40A E. Road very good. Continues along the valley of the Me-ma and passes several villages, all watered by small streams from the hills ; it then passes over a range of very low hills, which close the valley to the northward and crosses the Nam-mi, which is the boundary between the Muang-ma and the Muang-la districts, a few minutes after. From this the road passes over low hills and through narrow valleys (the former gradually diminishing in height), and enters the valley and town of Muang-la. This valley is about 6 miles in length and 2 in breadth, and the town contains about 35 houses, and stands on the banks of the Me-ma. There are not so many villages in this valley as in the Ban-kap valley. The banyan tree is frequently seen, and is of some size. Continue along valley and cross the Me-ma at a narrow gorge which encloses the valley of Muang-la ; beyond which is that in which Talan stands, aud a little further on the town itself. Close where the road crosses the Me-ma a pagoda is erected in a conspicuous spot on the side of a hill to mark the boundary between the Kiang-tung and Kiang-hung territories. The town of Talan stands on the right bank of the Me-lem, a large stream from ISO to 320 feet broad, aed contains about 200 houses. In the vicinity are numerous villages with cultivation.
Direction W. 60A E. Pass the skirts of the town and cross the Me-lem by the ferry. It is here about 12 feet deep, but fordable a little distance above. Pass old Aiouble walled mud fort, nearly opposite the town on the banks of the river. Road over plains with some villages, and enters thin jungle, where the Talan district ends. Having passed through the district and town of Muang-lai, and leaving it to the right with the fields and villages belonging to it, proceeds through a thin jungle with high trees and over low hilly ground, and reached some old fields and a good deal of open ground on the bank of the Nam-Tsan, a stream about 10 l'eet wide, flowing to the south-west and eastward. From this the road ran over low undulating ground thickly wooded and reached another plain, in which the village of Na-ngoi is situated, and is the boundary on this side of the Muang-lai district. From this, having passed over high and open ground, with plains to the north-west, and the village of Ban-khun, a good-sized place, reached the Nam-phang and Muang-phang, a town of 60 houses, situated like the other principal places in a valley with some villages round it. The hills surrounding it are higher than any near ; the road very god.
Direction first part 13A miles N. 65A E., then N. 30A E. After passing over a plain, the road gradually enters a thick jungle, crosses the Nam-tara, a stream about 15 feet wide, rushing rapidly over a strong bed. From this the ascent becomes very steep, till nearly attaining the summit of the first range when it becomes more gradual, the road running along the sides and tops of the hills with an occasional descent until it reaches two small streams, Nam-hak. Thence it again ascends still more, and reaches the highest part of the route but not of the hills, byJC0 or 400 feet. Here water boiled at 204fcA Fah., and the latitude was 21A 47' 45" N.
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