|The Irrawaddy Delta, which comprises nine main tributaries and a capillary system of smaller creeks and waterways, stretches over 10,000 square miles. Heavily populated, this water-logged maze has played a major part in Burmese history and in 2008 came to the world’s attention when struck by Cyclone Nargis.
This is a water world of rich ecological diversity not to mention human endeavour. Not for nothing was it known in colonial times as ‘the rice basket of Asia’. The old Irrawaddy Flotilla ran over one hundred vessels, known as creek steamers, in a complex web of operations that opened the area to cultivation and trading.