Second Defile of the Ayeyarwady River near Bhamo, Myanmar24.2N 97.2E
In this orthorectified image, the Ayeyarwady River flows downward through the southern part of Kachin State, Myanmar. The two largest white areas along its banks are the towns of Bhamo (right) and Shwegu (left of center).
The Ayeyarwady arises further north in Kachin State by the confluence of the N’mai and Mali Rivers, which both have their sources in the Himalayan glaciers of Northern Myanmar.
The town of Bhamo, about 150 miles (240 km) south of the Mali and N’mai river confluence, is the northernmost city reachable by boat all the year round, although during the monsoons most of the river cannot be used by boats.
However, the city of Myitkyina, lying 30 miles (48 km) south of the confluence, is the northernmost city reachable by boat, but can only be reached during the dry season.
Between Myitkyina and Mandalay, the Irrawaddy flows through three well-marked defiles. The second defile is visible here as the curve near Bhamo.
Below the town, the river makes a sharp westward swing, leaving the Bhamo alluvial basin to cut through the limestone rocks of the second defile. This defile is about 300 feet (90 m) wide at its narrowest and is flanked by vertical cliffs about 200 to 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) high.