“I apologise if anyone in my village does wrong to you,” said the boatman as I paid for our just completed journey up the River Ye at Jaun Yua in Mon State, southern Myanmar.

Fortunately, he also worked for the local emergency rescue.

Before the boatman made the above comment, I had already gained an impression some locals were becoming disgruntled by the number of visitors, and tourist traffic was raised by the two elderly men collecting donations at the temple (relayed by the boatman).

Though there are more Myanmarians doing this river trip than foreigners, and I doubt any concern is exclusively directed at the latter.

I will clarify this with a caveat in that often ‘too much’ or ‘too many’ in Asian English, as spoken in these parts, can just mean ‘a lot’.

Though, this shouldn’t have you imagining teeming hordes. Visitor traffic to Ye is still light – ‘busy’ is also relative to what people are used to, or are willing to tolerate, and perhaps to what say locals have in it.

Back where my motorbike was, I ate at the restaurant to put a smile on the dial of the woman who reluctantly agreed to my parking request, and wasn’t overcharged too much – beware the condiments 🙂

This tour along Ye’s eponymous river is one of the recommended activities to do around here, however perceptions are often relative to experience and, while pleasant enough, I didn’t find it very special in comparison to other river trips I had done, but you don’t know if you don’t go.

It’s only a short ride upstream to a temple, from where you can go no further because this area borders part of Mon State currently restricted to foreigners. There’s an option of going swimming, but I felt if the boatman didn’t suggest it as an activity I wouldn’t do it, and I wasn’t particularly hanging out for a swim anyway.

You can hire a guide or travel independently by motorbike to the village (about 20 k’s from Ye) and take a boat from there.

I much preferred exploring other areas around Ye, as revealed here.

Ye overall, however, is an interesting and less-visited half-way point between Dawei and Mawlamyine. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want to venture up the Ye River. Your perceptions could be totally the opposite of mine. There is also apparently a temple with a fine view of the river, but I curtailed to explore other areas.

Photos in the gallery below are of the river trip and of Ye (pronounced ‘yay’) and surrounds.

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