By Ko Ko Naing (IPRD)
Translated by EPPA
Surrounded by Shan mountain ranges and old fortifications, Mong Yu, a border town in Tachilek district, Eastern Shan State, is located on the bank of Namlwe creek. The town is naturally beautiful with ancient historical pagodas, monasteries, and Shan traditional festivals all year round. Mong Yu border town is a favourite for waterfall lovers and those who want to visit the other side of the friendship bridge between two nations.
The history of Mong Yu town started during the Buddha time when the town was covered by forests. It is believed that the town was preordained by the Buddha while He took a rest at the place of Hokhone monastery.
Mong Yu is located at 100 ° 32’E and 100° 33’E. It is located between 21° 29’N and 21° 30’N and covers an area of 1,120.938 square miles. It is 46 miles wide from east to west and 19 miles wide from south to north. With numerous mountains and hills, the town has a few flat plains and is neighbour to Laos in the east, Kengtung in the west, Mongyawng and Tachilek townships in the south and China in the north.
There are two creeks, Namlwe creek which flows from north to south and Namphun creek which flows from west to east. Due to the temperate climate, the vegetation such as locally called Mitekaw, Sakawar, Seik Nangyi, Ohn Tone, chestnut, Thit Te, Thit Ae and pine trees are naturally grown, and Cassia siamea plant which is used as a firewood.
Although the 18-mile road Mongyawng- Mong Yu road was on earthern road that took the travellers an overnight to get to the town in the rainy season, the public construction company has expanded and upgraded the road to an asphalt road with a concrete bridge.
Village farmers in the town mainly grew the paddy in the past and they have grown maize, various peas, sesame, peanut, sugarcane, rubber, tea, coffee, coconut, banana and other vegetables and fruits now. Although they did breeding of cow, buffalo, pig, duck and fish manageably, not commercially, to use the cows and buffalo in farming, they now raise them for donation only.
Most of the villagers in Mong Yu town are Bamar, Shan, Lwai and Arkhar ethnic nationalities, with a few Mon, Chin and Rakhine people. The population has increased to an average of 34,461. The Shan people in Mong Yu live are ethnic people who make a living by honestly selling farm and farm groceries at home.
As Mong Yu is the closest city to the neighbouring country of the People’s Republic of China, it has the best border trade, and the village has been developed with its main engagement in trade and agriculture.