Myanmar open to TourismBurma open to tourism
Yangon Tourism - All doorways open to Myanmar's biggest tourist town
First Lonely Planet leader I purchased for Myanmar spoke about the ethical predicament of going to lands where liberty has been restricted and where natives are wrongfully detained for criticising the state. This was the 2012 season, just a few month after Myanmar chose to open its gates to tourism.
While I was awaiting my visas at the Singapore Consulate, it was already clear that I would not find any visitors. Fewer than 3 years later, the e-visa is available for 100 different countries, making the trip very simple. It was my first time in Yangon to participate in international opening-up talks and conventions.
Myanmar's first courageous people to enter a land that was so remote from the outside worlds and of which there was so little information were the commodity firms of which Myanmar had much. Twenty years after these conversations, I saw a completely different Yangon, at least in the small detail, which shows that a state has opened its door to advancement, but at the same time is struggling with the initial difficulties of awakening to up to 50 years of evolution.
During my first 3 visas to Yangon within 4 month I saw drastic changes in the visas procedure. So what had shifted for Yangon in 2015? Apart from all the apparent changes, I was experiencing a whole new Yangon. Yangon of 2012 was drowsy and desperate, without feeling proud and without the will to improve.
Outcasts of the tourist passed spirits, reflexions of a universe to which they had no entrance. Obviously with the linguistic barriers and the real human warmth, I was enjoying dinner on small wooden seats on the side of the street, uncertain about what I ate. The thing I valued most was the shortage of smugglers, the total separation between the tourist and the dollar, a link that is so widespread in all other South East Asiatic states.
Yangon 2012 was not insulted by a visitor running counterclockwise around the pit and not taking care that the same visitor got on the round trip on a Saturday mornings. No show for the tourists, no portrayal of a past live, the real Myanmar was visible to me through the everyday lives of the city.
Yangon of 2015 had come a long way in such a brief period of the year. What changes I would notice during my visit in April 2015 and I noted the most evident and some others less noticable. Most noticeable improvements were those related to my reasons for travelling: travel information and the web.
There were no calls via cell phone in 2012 and $2,000 in revenue from UMTSs. To arrive in Myanmar was to part from the rest of the underworld. Things will have had to change by 2015. From 2006 to 2010 I have seen how cell telephones have reached the crowds in several Africa states. I was part of the Nairobi revolutionary and advised owners all over the country on the best way to get cell phone to everyone.
A 1% rise in GNP was forecast for every 10% rise in cellular phone coverage, as some surveys claim. Inquisitive about what it would do to Myanmar, I saw it with my own eye. Teens listened to soundtrack on their telephones and trays, ear plugs hung on their skulls.
Folks who play with pills while having supper on the same little bits of cardboard chair I settled on in 2012. There' s been a lot of talking on cell telephones, the first behaviour observed in someone holding this first one. At last, Yangon had made headway. By 2015, my capacity to function as a spirit had partly disappeared.
As I saw one of the bead walnut vendors, I paused to watch his skills, and as in 2012, nobody seemed to mind, as if I wasn't there. That was inconceivable in 2012. While I was still largely unseen, a group of experienced early adapters had already begun to take advantage of tourism.
To be honest, I've seen far fewer people in Yangon than I expected. Fearing that the place would now overflow, I had made mental preparations for the worse, but I was glad to see that it had actually hardly altered. Manually obtaining a visas in 2012 was not the only factor that made it harder to get to Myanmar in 2012.
At that time, as a consequence of the partial lifting of the ban in 2012, cash machines did not work and there was no acceptance of payment by credit or debit or debit or debit machines. Both of the big banks were able to handle hand payment by bank transfer, but otherwise plastics were quite wasted. A small change of this kind could have a big influence on tourism.
However, these were not the only improvement in just three years from 2012 to 2015. Several of the domestic carriers have already booked on line, such as Myanmar Air, which serves some of the world's major airports such as Singapore and Bangkok. They no longer had to fly to Bagan or Mandalay through a regional airline and could do so on-line, although the procedure was still quite manually for most of them.
However, with more vehicles, there were also congestion, something that had never been seen before in 2012. One can be sure that the hotels will recognize the next destination before everyone else and even then, in 2012, every trip to Yangon showed me a new opening or renovation. In the same way that the visas procedure was improving each year, the possibilities for lodging in Yangon also increased.
He has read himself in order to manage tourism on a large scale. Yangon has been able to do so for a long time. When I revisited Yangon in 2017 during a press tour with Accor Hotels, Tiger Air and Asia Holidays, I even saw drastic changes. In the meantime, the growth in transport in 2015 has turned into cruel congestion the size of other South East Asia towns such as Jakarta or Manila.
There are many tourist and other new places like Inle Lake have put themselves at the top of the division next to Bagan. There is an excellent network access, there is an excellent network access, and there are maps and information maps available. The tourism is in full flow and the new airfield is as pure and breezy as it is effective.
The year 2012 is well behind schedule. Though I have seen many subtile and drastic changes in the town in 2017, Yangon is still a tranquil and outlying town. Yangon, you have evolved and become an adult, but you are still magic, moody and full of sun.