" (' Fetid water rivulet/ from the petroleum which is so called by the Burmans.) The aspect of this place is striking from the numerous pagodas and many roofed sacred buildings which crown the eminences, in the hollows between which the houses of the town are scattered." Immediately below these eminences is the river from which the town is named, dry at present as regards internal supply, but filled to some distance from the Irrawaddy and serving as a boat harbour.
The town proclaims the nature of its staple to nose and eyes. The coal-tarry odour of petroleum is smelt everywhere.
On the land side the town is commanded by heights. Looking from these as far as the eye could reach inland the country appeared barren; the soil 6andy and stony, with very scanty herbage, scarcely enough to redeem the surface from the title of absolute desert, with occasional scraggy bushes or grim euphorbias. Trees with substantial foliage were only seen in the bottoms, but even there no water was visible, or anything to indicate the season of the monsoon. Fossil wood abounds everywhere.
To reach the wells, which are situated three miles from the town, a road is followed leading among ravines and up the steep Petroleum. sides of rc tten sandstone hills. Here on an irregular
plateau with a gently rising surface the principal wells are situated. The wells are frequent along its upper surface and on the sides and spurs of the ravines which bound it on the north and south-east. They are said to be about a hundred in number, and of these some are exhausted and not worked. The depth of the wells appeared to vary in tolerable proportion with the height of the well mouth above the river-level ; but an inspection of the lowest situated near the bottom of the ravines enabled us to ascertain that all were situated considerably below the level of the ravine bottoms that bounded the plateau. Those measured on the top of the plateau were 180 feet, 190 feet, and 270 feet in depth to the oil, and one was said to
be 306 feet/'a(Yule.)
The area, within which these wells stand, does not appear to exceed half a square mile; in some places, the wells are less than 100 feet apart. The oil appears to be found in a stratum of impure lignite, with a good deal of sulphur.a(Yule.)*
The distance between this town and Wetma-soot on the Irrawaddy is nearly 10 miles, and the road, though hilly, appears practicable. All the hills are said to be accessible by artillery. This road can only be used in the dry weather.
The following are the villages on the road :a
Miles. Houses. Inhabitants.
1.aSit-ta-bwav ... 1
2.aNyoung-hla ... H
3.aSadaing-kan ... If
Yay-nan-gyoung is the residence of a woon.
a The income of the king from this source is Rs. 1,400 a day, the quantity of oil obtained being 7,000 viss. With better management, there is no reason why the income should not be greater.a The income of the king from this source is Rs. 1,400 a day, the quantity of oil obtained being 7,000 viss. With better management, there is no reason why the income should not be greater.