By Patrick Brown
Hpa-an, Pa Dauk Street, Kayin, Myanmar, September 2, 2015
In April 2015, photographer Patrick Brown returned to the lower part of the Salween or Thanlwin River.
One of Asia’s great rivers, the Salween presents a placid face as it passes through Hpa-an, the capital of Kayin (Karen) State, close to the end of its 1,750-mile journey from the Tibetan Plateau to the Andaman Sea at Mon State.
In China, where the river’s epic travels begin, it is called the Nu River, or Angry River. As it races through narrow gorges etched from mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), the Nu is often turbulent and terrifying.
“Our personal confrontations with the river defy description. Phrases like ‘gigantic waves’ and ‘bottomless holes’ do not do justice to the Angry River and its demonic forces,” wrote a member of an American white-water rafting team which explored 80 miles of the river’s length from Gongshan town to below Fugong town in an expedition in Yunnan Province in 1996.
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