Myanmar open to TourismBurma open to tourism
Myanmar, for its unbelievable cultural and physical beauties, welcomes only a few tourist flocks to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. With Ko Phi Phi Phi, Ha Long Bay, Siem Reap and Luang Prabang becoming pressing backpackers' hotspots, only the most intrepid'free and independent' travelers cross the Myanmar frontier.
In the 1970' s, when the curtains of silk were opened to open large parts of Southeast Asia, Burma stayed in the midst of armed repression. Myanmar was then a strictly scheduled 7-day whistle-stop journey before the doors were quickly opened. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Burmese army junta's attitude to travel shifted and in 2006 it hosted an anti-climactic year of visits to Myanmar.
This undue preparation led to the dislike of many, among them pro-democracy spokeswoman Aung San Suu Kyi, who demanded a tourist ban that was only abolished in 2012. As a result of a quasi-democratic regime, the tourist industry grows into the "Grand Four" of Rangoon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. Yangon, formerly Rangoon, is still the most dynamic and varied town in the state.
SWEDAGON Pagoda still attracts people from all over the world and the city centre has the most beautiful archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. In the arid zone, Bagan was the centre of Burma's first great empire, which was founded between the ninth and thirteenth centuries.
More than 3000 pilgrims and churches are still in the wide plains and unlike Angkor Wat, Bagan remains a holy pilgrim goal for all Buddhists in Myanmar. If you are travelling to Bagan with a tour leader or explore the smaller temple by bike, only a few will not be silenced by His Mayor.
Soberset Maugham writes that reasonable men should never go to the old imperial capitol Mandalay, since no place could do justice to the romanticism evoked by its elusive, humming syllables. Lake Inle, in the middle of the land, is known for the "Inthar Son of the Lake", who control their fishermen' s vessels with one foot so that both hands can throw their net freely.
Myanmar's Nyaung Shwe, the'Gateway to the Lake', is the nearest thing to a backpacking world. Country-style businessmen have their heads on the road and are creating a equestrian association, new hiking trails and llodges, cooking courses and other facilities that offer experience-oriented tourism with a focus on developing the communities and protecting the world.
Much of Southeast Asia has been clouded by massive and unchecked overcrowding. The fragile Lake Inle and temperate Myanmar in general are at risk. There has been no large inflow of tourists to Myanmar. Rather than a boom, it is thriving so that both local people and travelers can find out how best to appreciate and protect this land that has been insulated from the outside of the world for so long.
Although it was too early for the festival, Myanmar could nail this tourist thing down much better than its neighbors. Contributed by Sampan Traveller, a Burmese company that has created tailor-made tours across the land with immersion travelling adventures.