Going to BurmaOn the way to Burma
org. Pilgrimage to the Golden Rock.
Are you supposed to go to Burma?
So, we have just returned from our first journey to Burma/Myanmar - a journey we have been waiting for 20 years. Although we had been hoping that you too should come to Burma, we still believe that the decision to come here is a very individual decision that requires thorough research and reflection.
We will be the first to acknowledge that unfortunately nowhere in South-East Asia is a lighthouse of people' s freedoms and freedoms. Everyone has their problems - disappearance in Laos, bloggers arrested in Vietnam, extra-judicial murders in Cambodia, and that is just the beginning - but Burma has always been able to reach a low in this respect.
It' s truely the case that the Burmese regime no longer exists, but like many things in Burma, the realities are far removed from what is monotonous and what is not. Most of the lieutenants now serve as ministers within the administration - they have just exchanged the khaki for more relaxed clothes - and yet the army still holds 25% of the parliamentary seat.
Myanmar still detains politicians, uses hard labor, is said to have been part of Rohingya racial cleansings, and has been ranked fifth-best country in the hemisphere by Transparency International. Burma's humanitarian record is still bad, according to UNHCR, despite some remarkable reforms by the regime, and allegations of the use of violence as a weapons are still being directed against the country's armed forces.
Where, in the past, travelers who took care of the funds they gave to the goverment could now work with the ever-growing pals community, this is becoming much more intricate. Yes, there are some easy ways to cut what you put into the treasury, for example by not using the rail system, but it is quite impossible and impractical for travelers to keep their funds away from their ubiquitous comrades.
Put your cash in the right hand. It is a Buddhist anti-Muslim group of hatred that at least seems to be accepted by the state. They are companies that should be boycotting knowledgeable people. Apart from political and worship issues, Burmese tourists are confronted with a very cumbersome dual fare system for rail, bus and some hotel accommodation for internationalers.
It is a nice land - even in heavy rains. Major parts of the land need official permission to make an organized itinerary. Asking Myanmar Tourism & Travels for a journey to Mrauk U in the west of Burma, we were informed that a visa was needed and the ex-Yangon expenses would be around $700, which would take "five or so" working day.
" At the same time, all the people we spoke to in Burma helped overseas visitors who visited their area. Your visit can help small-scale, privately held companies and the funds are welcome - especially from those who try to put them in the right hand. A visit to Burma, and as in any other countries, will give travelers the chance to become more familiar with the localities.
It is to be hoped that a greater number of people visiting the state will help to keep the state open to travelling, and do so as positively as possible. Myanmar is an absolutely amazing place. And, as everywhere in Southeast Asia, Burma offers outstanding food - thick curry and delicious pasta, often prepared by handwork - and it accounts for the gastronomic transitions from South Asia to Southeast Asia.
Don't try to use public transport like a train, but choose to take personal coaches - even if some of them may be in the possession of a crony. When it gets too complicated to go nuts - and it will most likely be realistic, then go as you please, but set aside some of your money to make a contribution to an organization that does a good job in the state.
We will have three authors there in the next few month and introduce restricted reporting on Burma until 2013, focusing primarily on the most popular travel sites frequented by independents and reassessing the picture at the end of 2014. It is our opinion that Burma is a traveler' s place that justifies further research by travelers to make an educated choice as to whether or not they should come.