The Silken East ^
two miles along the river shore. Here the great boats aof the Irrawaddy may be seen in every stage of their evolution, from round timber to stately craft. Steel saws scream and crash in the heart of the prisoned logs ; carvers with skilled fingers trace their rich patterns on steering chairs and sterns, and delicate chisels transform the dead wood into figures alive with action, and flowers of intricate beauty ; planks with red ashes smoking over them take the curves which will lift them into grace ; and here, last of all, having passed through every phase of their gestation, the finished craft are launched upon the bosom of the great river, there to accomplish their adestiny.
Behind Pakoku there is a low ridge of sand-hills running east and west, and the popular tradition is, that of old these were the right bank of the river, and that the prosperous modern town is built upon its ancient bed. Konywa, whose decline has contributed to the prosperity of Pakoku, was less than fifty years ago the principal town at the mouth of the Chindwin. " Striking across towards the western shore," wrote Yule, " we approach the large village of Koonyuwa, marked by conspicuous temples and two gigantic griffin-lions. The shore was lined with magnificent trees, their large boles surrounded by the risen stream, which now washed almost the floors of the cottages. The stooping branches laden with thick foliage, the numerous cottages buried in the trees, and the small pagoda-spires here and there visible, rising through the further groves, presented a -succession of beautiful pictures. We anchored almost