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Being in and out of Thailand for more than 45 years, I know that my co-ins have their own concepts: kin through faith (ñati-thang-sailued) and kin through principle and law (ñati-thang-dhamma) that are acceptable in a multifaceted and wide communitys. Michael Ignatieff, who is a political and scholarly figure from Canada, compares "ethnic nationalism" to "bourgeois nationalism" as follows:
Both our current rulers and their forerunners, perhaps with the exemption of Aung San, who began with "ethnic nationalism" during Britain's reign, seem to think that they have become "civilian nationalism" by deposing "Burma", which adopted the legislative branch before gaining sovereignty, and reshaping the Myanmar without asking the people.
You should find out the facts about yourself by letting non-Bamars (or non-Burman or non-Burman) reign for a while and check their emotions of being civilian nationals under the reign of non-Burman. and it is not the truths that our rulers can expect: Again the worid has reverted to ethnical nationalism, with leading figures such as Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and others.
But, unfortunately, this revival of national ethnicism will not ensure global harmony, let alone pacification in Burma, but will only drive the whole continent towards conflict and devastation.
Burma Travel Advice
Whereas the overnight rates have soared in recent years due to state taxation on international tourists, the overall standard is very low in comparison to the remainder of Southeast Asia. Don't get me wrong, I' m a real down-to-earth hardcore back packer, but I still get angry when a lackluster twin room, which in Thailand or Cambodia would take a few bucks at most, is more than twenty in Myanmar.
But, provided you don't go to Myanmar to unwind (theoretically not even to go crazy 24/7), it's definitely a good idea to visit: To cross the boundary from Mae Sot to Myawaddy by road means to move with tens of thousand of Burmese and Thais on the way to the Friendship Bridge with solid pack.
Crossing the mountains with a six-seat vehicle, with seven passengers on board, on a unpaved highway, where there is one-sided transport every other night. Close to the Thai southerly frontier you will find Hpa-an's paddy paddies and Granit rocks, Bhuddas-filled caves and dozy towns. You can see peasants with the tipical pointed cap and kids going to schools with the longji (the village sarong) from the windows.
Foggy peaks are traversed by the mighty Goteik Viadukt, where the procession is slowed down by crawling. Not to be missed are the Golden Triangle village tribes on the Laos and North Thailand borders. Burma is not a backpacker's paradise. On a bicycle tour, I traversed the sea with other bikers who had loaded five bicycles onto a long tail boot, I floated, went to a convent in the woods and visited an unlikely winetasting on the hill at sundown.
And I even had an ltalian supper made by a native cook who learnt the arts from a passer. This cotton ball must be split evenly between the new US dollar and Kyat, the national standard we use. What can be difficult if you are not from home, but from Thailand, and you only have one plastic cards between you two (This is a different matter, but just in case you are in the same situation: increase the draw line, you find a large house like the Bank of Thailand, which allows you to withdraw money back transactions, you draw in Bahia, modify the Bahia in U.S. dollar and then half of it in Kyat on the Boundary's Negro Market: quick and easy).
As if we would spend two nights and two nights on the Bayan to Mandalay boats, without a books, play tickets, meals (or at least eatable food), restrooms (except for a pit in the bottom on the back of the boat), still asleep. Just as if it wasn't cute enough to be asleep on the decks, the place where the ship was moored communicated very noisy Buddhist prayer for three long periods in the nighth.
The omnipresent TV sets broadcast noisy, regional soaps on long-haul busses with performers in Longji and Tangaka. It' not that the whole of Southeast Asia is better at this. Myanmar, in a nutshell, is a chaos. Attempt to stay away from the well-worn paths (the shores of the southern and northwestern parts have just opened) and stay away from the boat for the sake of their God!