06 SAL WEEN DISTRICT
head-quarters of the District; - the $ilin as far as Pawota, near the
south-west corner of. the District; the Salween, which forms the eastern
border, ,can be navigated, notwithstanding many rapids, by native
craft throughout as much of its course as lies within the District
except at the Hatgyi (the `great rapids'), a series of formidable falls
which bar the passage a little below the place where the Thaung-yin;
the. north-eastern boundary of Thaton District, flows into it from the
east. The Bilin is not an :affluent of the Salween, but enters the
sea in Thaton. District.
Salween is essentially a hill tract, and is traversed in a general
north and south direction by ranges of hills. The country is com-
posed of several groups of beds of Palaeozoic age, together with ;
metamorphic rocks, the whole traversed by granite and elvan dikes
in which gneiss, limestone, and hard calcareous sandstone are
associated. The last two are probably of the Moulmein group and' of
A dense mass of tropical forest trees covers the lower or southern
portions of the narrow river basins, becoming interspersed higher up
the valleys and on the hill-slopes with mixed forest trees, including
teak, padauk (Pterocarpus indicus), pyingado (Xylia dolabHfornr s)
and Albizzia Lebbek, with species of oak, fig, bamboo, &c. Orchids
and ferns abound on the trees and rocks. In the northern part of
the District large forests of pine occur at an elevation of 2,ooo feet and
upwards. The species met with are Pinus .Khasya and Anus Herhusii.
The District abounds in wild animals, principally deer,,and wild
hog., Tigers and leopards are numerous, and bears ` ate also Pre-
quently met with, but large game of other kinds is not common.
The climate in the valleys, generally speaking, is moist, hot, and
unhealthy, and has a peculiarly enervating' effect on persons not -
acclimatized to it. In the upper part of the Yunzalin valley, how-
ever, at an elevation of 2,000 feet and upwards, in the pine-forest
tract, pleasanter and healthier conditions prevail, though even there .
the climate leaves much to be desired. In the north the thermo-
meter falls to freezing-point at night in the month of January. 'At '
Papun the temperature in the cold season ranges between 65° and
8o°; in the hot season, between 75* and 97*.
The rainfall, which averages 114 inches annually, is evenly dis-
tributed throughout the District., There is practically no rain during
the first four and the last two months of the year.
Very little is known of the early history of Salween. Tradition
asserts that the eastern portion of the country was formerly inhabited
HSstory4 by Yim (Lao) Shans, who have given their name
to the Yunzalin river. Most of these are said' to
have been brought away by Alaungpaya on his return from the