Rough Guide MyanmarMyanmar Rough Guide
Burma (Myanmar) Characteristics
Burma is a big place, and you could stay here for a few month and still not see everything. There are at least seven and a half day to explore the "big four" attractions of Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan. You will be able to add more options to the mixture in more while.
Myanmar: Is it tourist season to come back?
Myanmar's rough guide
The most succinct and fun guide to Myanmar on the open air travel scene. The Rough Guide to Myanmar shows you the perfect places to stay, dine, drink or go shopping along the way, whether you want to see Yangon's colorful Yangon countryside and fascinating marketplaces, Bagan's amazing abundance of old churches, or hike to the Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo.
- Whether off the beaten tracks or in the main holiday locations, this guidebook offers extensive hands-on tips for every stage of the journey. The Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock), Taung Kalat (Popa Mountain), Shwe OO Min Cave, Gokteik Viaduct, Ngapali Beach, Inle Lake, Shwedagon Pagoda, Ngwe Saung, Shwezigon Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda.
- Fundamentals - important hands-on pre-departure information, which includes arrival, transportation, lodging, eating and drinking, healthcare, utilities, media, celebrations and entertainment, outdoors and sport, responsible tourism, cultural and social responsibility, purchasing, and more.
Myanmar: Is it tourist season to return?
Myanmar, the biggest, most varied and least known nation in Southeast Asia, is back on the tourism landscape after centuries of insulation. The city attracts with breathtaking sanctuaries, majestic scenery and time-distorted folk cultures - but the significant ethnical upheavals that still afflict parts of the land cannot be overlooked.
If so, what is the best way to make sure you and your hosting guests get the most out of your stay in the state? Here the co-author of The Rough Guide to Myanmar, Gavin Thomas, tells you what you need to know before travelling: Myanmar has disappeared off the road for so long.
The National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, called for a tourist ban on Myanmar in 1996 in protests against the austere army rule that ruled the land then - and to deprive it of much-needed external funding. The majority of would-be tourists and travel agents abroad accepted the call to leave the land until the return of democrická.
Myanmar has rescinded its 2010 blackout, and its surprisingly swift restoration of democratic rule - with an NLD administration voted in in 2015 in the first free and just election in half a millennium - has gone more quickly and quietly than anyone could have imagined. There are still significant ethnical disturbances in isolated areas of the countryside, with sporadic battles going on between the regime and the Separatist Shan and Kachin.
However, the most worrying thing is the long-standing repression of the Rohingya, a stateless Islamic nation in north-western Rakhine state, which is deprived of nationality and almost all fundamental civil liberties. While most Rohingya family have lived in the land since the Colonies, the authorities regard them as irregular migrants and insist that they return to Bangladesh.
All hope that the Rohingya would find equity under the new NLD administration was also quickly dashed. In fact, the Rohingya could reasonably demand a tourist ban on the land to demonstrate against their violent handling under Aung San Suu Kyi - a violent irony of what happened in the years she fought against state repression and atrocities.
A lot of businesses (including top hotels, large banking and airlines) have ties to the old governing Burmese regime, although they also make a living for many of Burmese people. With this in mind, the picture in Myanmar is no different from that in many other Asian states. In Asia, as always, the first rules of sustainable travel are to remain locally, dine and buy locally.
You should prefer to stay in one of the hotel accommodation and cafes rather than in large hotel establishments and their fine dining and mementos. Traveling by coach or suburban ferry is also better than a touristic trip or flight - almost all carriers in the land have armed connections (although it is difficult to prevent reaching some goals by air travel, admittedly).
Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake - in a land larger than France. Making a stop on the way to Bagan or Mandalay in places like Pyay, Meiktila or Taungoo provides a captivating flavour of Burma off the beaten track. Myanmar is one of the most inviting places on earth, and interaction with the Myanmarites is one of the great joys of traveling in Myanmar.
However, keep in mind that if you go off the well-trodden paths, you could be one of the first aliens the locals have ever seen. The Burmese are relatively old-fashioned. Burmese are still deeply Buddhistic today. Burma is one of the most mineral-rich nations in the hemisphere, with vast amounts of gemstones on offer - but be warned that many of them come from state mining and the laborers work in horrific working environments.
Above all Birman ese Rubins and local won to Avoid. Also, the electrical supply is valuable, and much of the land is still without electrical current - turn off the light when you are out. Myanmar or Burma? Myanmar's use (as the general re-named the land in 1989) of the old Burma name ( "preferred" by the NLD) was a very loaded topic during the generals' time and the years of Aung San Suu Kyi's detention, but it no longer arouses the passion it once had.
Practically all Burmese call the land Myanmar, although it does not bother anyone if they call it Burma. Discover more of Myanmar with The Rough Guide to Myanmar.