Can you Travel to BurmaAre you ready to go to Burma?
Does it have ethical responsibility to go to Myanmar/Burma? - Myanmar forum
Myanmar/Burma is an ethics issue? alpinttfortheroad, I have just returned to the Philippines from a 2-week journey, and I join others who strongly recommend that you take the itinerary. The" ethics " you asked was the same one I had for several years and which stopped me from going to the only land in the area where I had not been before.
Last year's regime shift was what prompted me to make a journey at the end of December in the hope that things on the spot have improved. There are many places and there are still many at very reasonable rates - we have not had a bad dining in Myanmar during our journey (and we have tried all kinds of places, from street cafes to fancy places, mainly for regional dishes) - in fact I am already lacking the cuisine in Myanmar!
My own personal experiences are that Bagan and Mandalay start running Thailand for their living, both for the hotels and for the meals. When we spoke to the local people, especially the leaders and riders who spoke some English, we had the feeling that there had been a significant shift since Aung San Suu Kyi came to power last year.
And we felt this openness and reluctance to talk in the places we were visiting - Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay. They are kind, welcoming and want to show strangers what their land has to offer. Until now I have not seen the kind of "invasion" that has brought Chinese/Korean/Western funds and tourists to Cambodia, virtually wiping out our indigenous population.
It' s clear that the Myanmar administration is learnt from the experiences of its neighbors, and some of the limitations it imposes seem to help maintain this (e.g. local people still make memorabilia, not the Made in China crap that floods all places of interest; no McDonalds -- anyway).
So much we really enjoy our stay in the land, not only to see the tourism things, but above all to get to know and interact with the local population. Children are beautiful everywhere - they are not timid and they like to have a talk with visitors; they would try to try to talk to you, but they are not intrusive - but for a visitor, what is a buck that is already paid for a gift that was made for half a days or a whole days if it will help the kid with his or her tuition?
When you want your cash to go directly to the individual, you can try out what memorabilia (and there are so many good, all brilliantly performed crafts) they are selling. I' m just a little supportive of my last experiences.