Route No. 21.
ToaBhamo (by Hotha).
1. Hotha .
2. Namboke .
Taping, in August 600 yards wide ; in dry season 150 to 200. Cross by boat.
Namsa, (wooden bridge).
From Manwyne to banks of Taping which cross in boats. On the other side a mud flat extends for 2 miles. Then follow the embankment of paddy-fields for about 2 miles. Commence now to ascend the hills. A rough bridle path leads up a steep and very trying ascent. Pass several Kakhyen villages. It is necessary to pay toll to the headmen. Having crossed the summit more than 5,000 feet above the sea, the descents the Hotha valley commences, which, not more than 1,C00 feet below, stretches out for 25 miles. From the village of Mentom an excellent paved road is carried along the end of the spurs, and in many places cut out along the slopes. The mountain streams are crossed by means of granite bridges. Pass numerous villages and arrive at Hotha. -This consists of 150 houses surrounded by a low wall. A path leads from Hotha to the town of Muangwan. A good road leads to the southern ridge of the Hotha valley, which is crossed by a narrow tract. A steep declivity leads down another valley to Muangwan. About 5 miles from Hotha is Old Hotha or Tsaycow, a much larger place than the present town of that name. The road is paved with boulders and slabs of granite, and the streams spanned by stone bridges, 20 to 25 feet in span, with a rest-house at either end. A road is said to lead from Old Hotha to Muang-lat reaching the San du valley by gorge of lower eleva_ tion, and most gradual descent on the northern slope.
District very picturesque. The large and populous town of Latha is separated from the road by the Namsa river. Cross the Namsa by wooden bridge. Road passes through a mass of little conical grassy hills, which block up the western end of valley ; then turns to left from the narrow glen of the Kamsa, and gradually ascending follows the course of the Namboke stream, and crossing a number of small hills attains the summit of the first spur of the easterly barrier of the valley. From this point to Namboke the road winds over a succession of spurs till it reaches the village which lies among a group of little wooded hills, formed by the junction of the secondary Hotha range with the great southern barrier of the Taping valley, which here unite.
Road deseends into a deep hollow, and thence gradually ascends to the ridge of the main range, bordering the Taping gorge, along which it leads to Ashan, 8 miles distant. A footpath, recently cleared of jungle, did duty for a road.
Leaving Ashan the path commences to descend in a southerly direction, and then leads along the crest of a spur running down to the village. Steep declivities border the path.
Having crossed the Namkhong, the path lies over an alluvial flat into another valley and across another torrent. Then makes a steep ascent up the mountain side passing the village of Sasa perched on a lofty rounded peak. A descent of a few hundred feet led to the village of Muangwye, on the southern slopes of a hill covered with trees and enormous granite boulders.Having crossed the Namkhong, the path lies over an alluvial flat into another valley and across another torrent. Then makes a steep ascent up the mountain side passing the village of Sasa perched on a lofty rounded peak. A descent of a few hundred feet led to the village of Muangwye, on the southern slopes of a hill covered with trees and enormous granite boulders.