In his famous 1890 poem “The Road to Mandalay” , Rudyard Kipling wrote:
“On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer
China 'crost the Bay!...

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat — jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot”

The thing is though Kipling never went to Mandalay. He only visited Burma for three days when a ship he was traveling on made a stop in Rangoon and Moulmein, both a considerable distance from Mandalay. The road to Mandalay is believed to be have been the Irrawaddy River. Even though the time he spent in Burma was short, Kipling was fascinated with the place at the period in time it was becoming a British colony. In 1898, he wrote”"This is Burma, and it is quite unlike any land you know about."

Kipling has long been a favorite of English novelists and travel writers—as well as not a few Burmese. Aung San Suu Kyi named her second son “Kim” after the famous Kipling book and character.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is one of Britain' most popular writers. He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1907; his poem "If" was selected Britain's favorite poem in a 1995 telephone poll. He was also voted Britain's favorite poet ahead of the Irish poets William Butler Yeats and William Wordsworth. [Source: Timothy Foote, Smithsonian magazine, January 1986]

Summing up Kipling's place in turn-of-the-century Victorian history, English writer Timothy Foote wrote: "Aesthetes like Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley had about run their course. Kipling was a new voice. He was brash and he was brilliant, and he wrote like a house afire, both in verse and prose, and readers couldn't get enough of him.

"In an age not noted for candor (or realism) he dealt briskly with war and casual death, cruelty and the cost of discipline, addiction to the Black Smoke (opium) and the seasonal seductions in Simla, the summer capital of the British Raj in darkest India...Kipling still takes up 13 pages in “Bartlett's Familiar Quotations” , and two columns in “Books in Print” . He is probably the most quoted (as well as misquoted) writer” of the 20th century.

In Kim, Kipling became the first European writer to suggest that Buddhism and Hinduism "can coalesce with Christian concepts of love." He also explored the idea that no person could become personally holy or saved without a commitment of love to the world and other people. Despite his enlightened and liberated views on many subjects, though, Kipling could be a passionate jingost chauvinist. He also lied about his army record.

Rudyard Kipling's Early Life

Kipling's father ran the Jamset Jeejeebhoy School of Art in Bombay and was the curator of the museum in Lahore.  His mother once threw a lock a John Wesley's hair into a fire: "Hair of the dog that bit us." Rudyard  Kipling was born in Bombay on December 30, 1865 not far from where the Parsi's put their dead in above-ground graves to be picked at by vultures. One of Kipling's first memories was of his mother picking out a child's hand in the garden. At the age of three he reportedly marched down the street of an English town shouting "Out of the way, out of the way, there's an angry Ruddy coming." 

As a youth Kipling was severely punished, sometimes unfairly, for misdeeds by his fiercely religious parents. In his story “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” he recounts an episode in which he was forced to wear a sign to school that read "LIAR." He was small and unathletic and educated at military school where he was known for his wit, humor and toughness. He once got in trouble for throwing clay in an art class and ended up being excluded from the army because he wore coke-bottle glasses.

Shortly before graduation his headmaster commented that he didn't think Kipling had "the stuff to resist temptation" and added that "journalism seemed to be especially invented of such desultory souls." Kipling's first assignment, at the age of 17, was a position at the “Civil and Military Gazette” , a daily based in present-day Lahore, Pakistan that covered fighting between the British and the wild frontier tribes of the Hindu Kush and Afghanistan.

During his leisure time Kipling explored the local all-night liquor shops and opium dens. India at this time was alive with disease. He witnessed scores of people die from typhoid, cholera and malaria (everyday he took 30 grains of quinine in his sherry as a prophylactic). He wrote two books—“Departmental Ditties” and “Plain Tales from the Hills” —the second which contained a monologue by an opium addict that shocked the few English readers that read it in 1888.

After the Second Afghan War Kipling wrote short stories for a newspaper in Allahabad. After six-and-half years these stories were sold for £250 to publisher who sold them as pamphlet-like paperbacks in railway stations in India. With this money he set off an a round the world journey, ending up in 1889 in London, where he posted a sign outside his Villiers Street flat that read "To publishers, Classics while you wait." Two years later newspapers and magazines anxiously wooed him and everyone from Oscar Wilde to Henry James praised his work.

Kipling first made his mark when “The Man Who Would be King”  was published when he was only 23. By the time “Kim”  was published in 1901 he was a wealthy man and his popularity ranked with that of a movies star today. In 1907 he became the first Englishman to win a Nobel Prize. He shunned publicity and once wrote that the fascination of the public toward famous people was a form of "Higher Cannibalism." Near the end of his life he pleaded "the dead are borne in mind\ Seek no to question other than\ the books I leave behind." 

Kipling Learns About Burma While Working in the Punjab

It was a wearied journalist—he left his little bed,
And faced the Burma telegrams, all waiting to be read.
But ere he took his map-book up, he prayed a little prayer:-
"Oh stop them fighting Lord knows who, in jungles deuce knows where!"

George Webb of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs wrote: “These lines, from a piece of nonsense-verse in the Civil and Military Gazette of Lahore, on 10 December 1886, provide our equivocal first glimpse of Kipling's Burma.” At the time, 1,500 miles from Mandalay, Kipling was 20 years old and the Civil and Military Gazette was the leading newspaper of the Punjab. “ If he was chronically overworked, he was also precociously well-informed, and engrossed by the indescribable complexity of India...Into the four years that he had been Assistant Editor, with no home leave, he had crammed a remarkable range of experience and an alarming amount of writing, quite apart from the routine editorial labour of reducing to shape the incoherent work of others, under the unforgiving restraints of time and space. [Source: George Webb, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, June 16, 1983 //\]

In 1886 when Kipling wrote his first recorded words about Burma, the kingdom’s ex-King Theebaw was “settling into sulky exile near Bombay...In far Peking, an obscure Anglo-Chinese Convention was signed in July. Britain acknowledged Chinese interests in Tibet. China withdrew all claims to the still partly unmapped and unexplored country which the Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferin, had annexed in January as Upper Burma. On its absorption, the Indian Empire had grown to about its maximum extent, but the victorious troops, after a swift formal conquest, now faced an unending prospect of irregular warfare and police-work over difficult terrain, to suppress an epidemic of banditry. To keep a semblance of order since January had required an average strength of 14,000 troops.

On his newspaper work in Lahore, Kipling recalled: “...eternal cuttings-down of unwieldy contributions ... newspaper exchanges from Egypt to Hong-Kong to be skimmed; ... the English papers on which we drew in time of need; local correspondence to vet for possible libels, 'spoofing'-letters from subalterns to be guarded against ... always of course the filing of cables, and woe betide an error then! [Something of Myself p.48]

Webb wrote: “Distinct from this editorial work with inkpot and scissors, his original writing, audacious and beautifully composed, was by 1886 just beginning to be noticed locally. Since January his paper had published sixty items of his prose and verse, and although many of them were anonymous, and some of them are to this day uncollected, eighteen others had been reissued that June in Departmental Ditties, a bitter-sweet collection of accomplished verses that have never since dropped out of print. In the last four weeks he had produced for his paper six of the brilliant, mordant short stories later collected as Plain Tales from the Hills. But even as he sat writing "The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly", worthier subalterns were in grimmer trouble away in Upper Burma, where the state of brigandage and rebellion had prompted a stiffening visit by Roberts, Commander-in-Chief, and the strengthening of the garrison that December to 25,000 men. There were to be 99 military outposts, and mobile columns patrolled every district. News of their operations kept flooding in by telegram. However, urgent telegrams were not delivered by hand to Kipling's offices: instead, as he later recalled: “I took them down from the telephone—a primitive and mysterious power whose native operator broke every word into monosyllables.” [Something of Myself p.48] //\

Kiplings First Works About Burma

No doubt feed up with garbled texts, and unavoidable corruptions made by his Indian clerks, Kipling wrote in December 1886 in "A Nightmare of Names":

It was a wearied journalist who sought his little bed,
With twenty Burma telegrams all waiting to be read.
Then the Nightmare and her nine-fold rose up his dreams to haunt,
And from these Burma telegrams they wove this dismal chaunt:
"Bethink thee, man of ink and shears", so howled the fiendish crew,
"That each dacoit has one long name, and every hamlet two.
Moreover all our outposts bear peculiar names and strange:
There are one hundred outposts, and, once every month, they change.
If Poungdoungzoon or Pyalhatzee today contains the foe,
Be sure they pass tomorrow to Gwebin or Shwaymyo.
But Baung-maung-hman, remember, is a trusted Thoongye Woon,
The deadly foe of Maung-dhang-hlat, Myoke of Moung-kze-hloon.
Poungthung and Waust-chung are not at present overthrown,
For they are near the Poon beyond the Hlinedathalone.
While Nannay-kone in Ningyan is near Mecacaushay,
But Shway-zit-dan is on the Ma, and quite the other way.
Here are some simple titles which 'twere best to get in writing,
In view of further telegrams detailing further fighting:
Malé, Myola, Toungbyoung, Talakso, Yebouk, Myo,
Nattik, Hpan-loot-kin, Madeah, Padeng, Narogan, Mo. .."
After several more such lines he concluded:

"Oh stop them fighting Lord knows who, in jungles deuce knows where!"

George Webb of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs wrote: “Where indeed were those jungles? And whom were they fighting? And why? Can we now conjure back a state of world affairs, a cast of mind, when Englishmen of no ignoble vision saw Burma's conquest by British India as a benefit conferred on a distracted land? When Indians of liberal persuasion questioned the step mainly on grounds of cost to the Indian taxpayer? [Source: George Webb, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, June 16, 1983 //\]

“Constitutionally, of course, Burma formed a part of Kipling's India, the subcontinent of which he drew so clear a picture. But he was employed first in Lahore, later in Allahabad, and though he travelled widely from those places, his India was essentially the north-west and north-center. His writing touched on his birthplace, Bombay, and on the seat of Government, Calcutta; but just as the south was unknown territory, so was Burma, an exotic eastern extension to which his employers never sent him. India's Burmese dependencies suffered from more than mere distance from the center. (They were closer to Calcutta than western India was.) Their remoteness lay not in mileage but in mountains, jungles, rivers and the sea. Communications in Burma always ran not towards India but north-south. In cultural as in physical terms the land is intrinsically part of the Indo-Chinese peninsula of south-east Asia. //\

Kipling’s Burma

George Webb of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs wrote: “The Third Burmese War provided the kind of drama that would feature later in his prose and verse. As it happened, the first officer casualty of the war was someone he had known and admired at school, Lieutenant Dury, Indian Army, killed in the capture of Minhla Fort, one of the positions on the Irrawaddy that the Burmese hoped would somehow block an advance on Mandalay. In a sharp action, infantry stormed the fort while the ships gave covering fire...Fifty years later Dury's grave at Minhla was still identifiable. It may be so today. [Source: George Webb, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, June 16, 1983 //\]

In 1891, in a magazine article about his old school, Kipling was to describe Dury's death: “ The best boy of them all—who could have become anything—was wounded in the thigh as he was leading his men up the ramp of a fortress. All he said was, "Put me up against that tree and take my men on" ... when his men came back he was dead. [Source: "An English School" (1893), collected in Land and Sea Tales, 1923]

In April 1887 Kipling’s "The Taking of Lungtungpen" was published. It was the second Mulvaney story, and the one Burmese episode in Plain Tales, and was allegedly based on a true event, when some British troops stripped and swam a river to reach a dacoit stronghold, whereupon, entering it naked they effectively surprised it. Parts of this neat and mildly hilarious tale, displaying the casual chauvinism of the nineteenth century private who narrates it, read oddly, even brutally, today, but its flavor is not without authenticity. Mulvaney, invalided back with dysentery, describes the work of a platoon on outpost duty: “... thrying to catch dacoits. An' such double-ended divils I niver knew! Tis only a dah [knife] an' a Snider that makes a dacoit. Widout thim, he's a paceful cultivator, an' felony for to shoot.”//\

Eventually a prisoner, "persuaded" with a cleaning-rod, tells them of a bandit-ridden village, and after a night march and a swim in the dark they force a ludicrous entry: “whether they tuk us, all white an' wet, for a new breed av divil, or a new kind av dacoit, I don't know. They ran as though we was both.” Mulvaney clearly distinguishes between the dacoits, whom they slaughter without compunction, and the inoffensive and readily reconcilable villagers: “...we spint the rest av the day carryin' the Lift'nint on our showlthers round the town, an' playin' wid the Burmese babies —fat little, brown little divils, as pretty as picturs...” //\

In real life, the facts about pacification would seldom be so clear-cut, but Kipling seems to have found difficulty in being quite logical about dacoits. The worst were barbarous terrorists, whose elimination was a prerequisite of peace. Others, perhaps, were an endemic breed of picturesque ruffian, who certainly shared in the national charm of character. This dichotomy, and Kipling's own blend of romance and realism, makes for some inconsistency of treatment. In January 1888, by now transferred to the Pioneer at Allahabad, he wrote "The Grave of the Hundred Head", a grim poem which does not conceal the ruthless undertones of a counter-insurgency campaign now in its third bitter year:

A Snider squibbed in the jungle –
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.

The other verses describe, approvingly, the terrible mass reprisal exacted from a rebel village by the Indian troops avenging their British officer's death. Nine months later, in "The Ballad of Boh Da Thone" two hundred and twenty lines of ingenious light verse, the touch is gentler, and the undignified end of a brigand chief is handled with generosity and humour, although there is no fudging the ultimate right and wrong:

He shot at the strong and he slashed at the weak
From the Salween scrub to the Chindwin teak:

He crucified noble, he scarified mean,
He filled old ladies with kerosine:

While over the water the papers cried,
"The patriot fights for his countryside!"

But little they cared for the Native Press,
The worn white soldiers in khaki dress,

Who tramped through the jungle and camped in the byre,
Who died in the swamp and were tombed in the mire.

A similar attitude to the war recurs much later in Kipling's fullest prose description of campaigning in Burma. This is in "A Conference of the Powers", a short story published in 1891 after Kipling's return to England. The atrocities committed by dacoit gangs are still mentioned, but the captured dacoit leader is given a wry dignity, like the loser in a protracted sporting event: indeed, the young officer is made to give his account of the pacification in the tiresome inarticulate argot of the public schools. It is difficult now to judge the authenticity of this, but the nonchalant understatement is very British, and the frivolous narration may well be appropriate, given that by 1891 the fighting was mostly over, and the crueller memories had faded, and the scene is set in London, where Kipling was twenty-five and on a pinnacle of sudden fame. //\

His last full year in India, 1888, had been his most productive, with one hundred and sixty pieces of published work, including "The Man who would be King" and much of his finest work. None of it was more moving than "Georgie Porgie", its title a corruption from Burmese—the story of a District Officer who insensitively abandons the adoring Burmese girl he has lived with in Upper Burma, and breaks her heart. The tragedy is that her very devotion precipitates and heightens the disaster. In his praise of Burmese girls in this story Kipling was, as always, unequivocal: “No race, men say who know, produces such good wives and heads of households as the Burmese ... When all our troops are back from Burma there will be a proverb in their mouths, "As thrifty as a Burmese wife" ... English ladies will wonder what it means.” //\

Years later, in "The Ladies", Kipling's time-expired soldier remembers a Burmese girl: “Funny an' yellow an' faithful – / Doll in a teacup she were, / But we lived on the square, like a true-married pair, / An' I learned about women from 'er!” By then, Kipling had been to Rangoon and seen Burmese girls for himself 'and when I saw them I understood much that I had heard about – about our army in Flanders, let us say.'

Kipling’s Short Visit to Burma

Kipling visited Burma as a steamer passenger in transit. George Webb of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs wrote: “It was March 1889, and, still unknown outside India, he was abandoning the editorial slog of a newspaper to make his fortune by his pen elsewhere. He embarked at Calcutta, for Japan and America, and his first call was Rangoon. From there, and at every stage of his journey, he wrote for the Pioneer long accounts of what he saw. These were eventually collected in From Sea to Sea, twenty pages of in Letter II, which constitute his delightful travel sketches of Rangoon and Moulmein. [Source: George Webb, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, June 16, 1983 //\]

On leaving Calcutta his mood had been one of exhausted relief. “ A glorious idleness has taken entire possession of me. . .all India dropped out of sight yesterday, and the rocking pilot-brig. . .bore my last message to the prison that I quit. We have reached blue water – crushed sapphire – and a little breeze is bellying the awning. Three flying-fish were sighted this morning. . .The only real things in the world are crystal seas, clean-swept decks, soft rugs, warm sunshine, the smell of salt. . .

Eventually they steamed up-river towards Rangoon, still out of sight: “as we gave the staggering rice-boats the go-by, I reflected that I was looking upon the River of the Lost Footsteps – the road that so many, many men of my acquaintance had travelled, never to return. . .They had gone up the river in the very steamers that were nosing the yellow flood and they had died since 1885. At my elbow stood one of the workers in New Burma. . .and he told tales of interminable chases after evasive dacoits. . .and of deaths in the wilderness as noble as they were sad... Then, a golden mystery upheaved itself on the horizon. . .a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu temple spire. . .the golden dome said: "This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about."

He stayed at Jordan's Hotel, which he condemned for bad board and bad lodging. But he dined at the Pegu Club, and enjoyed that, and met men who gave him vivid yet understated accounts of the war, accounts which must have subsequently colored "A Conference of the Powers". He even found someone who had been with Dury at the taking of Minhla Fort. The Club was full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north.

He took a ticca-gharri, and marvelled at the people and colors in Rangoon: “... all men were agreed in saying that under no circumstances will the Burman exert himself in the paths of honest industry. Now, if a bountiful Providence had clothed you in a purple, green, amber or puce petticoat, had thrown a rose-pink scarf-turban over your head, and had put you in a pleasant damp country where rice grew of itself and fish came up to be caught. . .would you work?. . .When I die I will be a Burman, with twenty yards of real King's Silk, that has been made in Mandalay, about my body. . .I will always walk about with a pretty almond-colored girl who shall laugh and jest. . .as a young maiden ought. She shall not pull a sari over her head when a man looks at her and glare suggestively from behind it, nor. . .tramp behind me when I walk, for these are the customs of India.

He was on his way up the stairway to the platform of the Shwe-Dagon pagoda, wondering 'how such a people could produce the dacoit of the newspaper', when he was shaken to meet a man passing by, whose features looked startlingly sinister and cruel. Kipling wrote a detailed description of the face, and felt it was of a man who 'could crucify on occasion'. It was the only jarring note he found in Burma. Otherwise the attractiveness of the people overwhelmed him. Immediately after the disconcerting dacoit-figure had swaggered past: “a brown baby came by in its mother's arms and laughed, wherefore I much desired to shake hands with it, and grinned to that effect. The mother held out the tiny soft pud and laughed, and the baby laughed, and we all laughed together, because that seemed to be the custom of the country, and returned down the now dark corridor where the lamps of the stall-keepers were twinkling and scores of people were helping us to laugh. . .I had not actually entered the Shway Dagon, but I felt just as happy as though I had.”

After Rangoon his next call was at Moulmein: “As the steamer came up the river we were aware of first one elephant and then another hard at work in timber-yards that faced the shore. A few narrow-minded folk with binoculars said that there were mahouts upon their backs, but ... I prefer to believe in what I saw—a sleepy town, just one house thick, scattered along a lovely stream and inhabited by slow, solemn elephants, building stockades for their own diversion.

Ashore, much impressed by the surrounding greenness and beauty, he climbed to a large white pagoda on a hill: “I should better remember what that pagoda was like had I not fallen deeply and irrevocably in love with a Burmese girl at the foot of the first flight of steps. Only the fact of the steamer starting next noon prevented me from staying at Moulmein forever ... Leaving this far too lovely maiden I went up the steps.. .The hillside ... was ablaze with pagodas—from a gorgeous golden and vermilion beauty to a delicate grey stone one just completed. . .Far above my head there was a faint tinkle as of golden bells, and a talking of the breezes in the tops of the toddy palms ... I climbed higher ... .till I reached a place of great peace dotted with Burmese images. Here women now and again paid reverence. They bowed their heads and their lips moved because they were praying. I had an umbrella – a black one—in my hand, deck-shoes upon my feet, and a helmet upon my head. I did not pray—swore at myself for being a Globe- trotter, and wished that I had enough Burmese to explain to these ladies that I was sorry... Then Kipling left and sailed on his way, and never saw Burma again.

Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling

In 1890, a year after Kipling’s visit to Burma, George Webb of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs wrote, “lonely in lodgings off the Strand, and missing the sunlit world he had left behind him, he published "Mandalay", the most famous of his poems and one of the best-known in the English language. Its theme was a former soldier's longing recollections – of dawn watched from a troopship's deck in the Bay of Bengal, of the pathway to war and romance that he calls 'the road to Mandalay', and of a girl he fell in love with at a pagoda in Moulmein. It was a lament for the East in general, but for Burma in particular. ... On the road to Mandalay,/ where the flyin' fishes play, / An' the dawn comes up like thuder outerf Chna 'crost the Bay! Those verses, strangely potent in their evocation, their rhythm, their regret, leapt into instant prominence, where they have since remained, as the most haunting lines ever written in English about that cleaner, greener land. [Source: George Webb, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, June 16, 1983 //\]


“By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"

Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay;
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay,
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat—jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:

Bloomin' idol made o' mud—
What they called the Great Gawd Budd—
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git her little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!"
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin my cheek
We uster watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.

Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

But that's all shove be'ind me—long ago an' fur away,
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."

No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin' stones,
An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?

Beefy face an' grubby 'and—
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay, etc.

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', and it's there that I would be—
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea.

On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
Oh the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!”

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Travel Information Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy,,, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.

Last updated May 2014

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. This constitutes 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you are the copyright owner and would like this content removed from, please contact me.