Burma, nowadays, officially known as Myanmar, is a large country. At 676 thousand strangely shaped square kilometers, with a long tongue protruding out in the south, a diversified population of 52 million, very few english speakers, a number of regions blocked by the military government for national security purposes and poor transportation infrastructure, it is definitely a challenge for the casual tourist and the seasoned traveler alike. Yet it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting countries in the world to travel today.
We visited in January 2015, immediately after the pick holiday season. Yet all the places we far from crowded. The tourism industry is just starting to develop and this is good for those who want to taste some originality. We landed in Yangon, flew the next day to Mandalay with its great Buddhist sites, then flew to Bagan to enjoy this unique site with more than 2’200 temples remaining from the 11-13th peak period. We continued with a road trip to Kalaw, the small and ethnically diverse hill town in the Shan state, then to the Pindaya cave with more than 11’000 resident Buddha images, before we reached Inle Lake, with its uniques fishermen and floating life. A short flight took us to the amazing Ngapali beach that compares with the best world beaches and after some relaxing, we ended up back in Yagon to see the remaining of this busy city before we return home.
The political situation in Myamar, i.e. the military government has always been an issue with liberal visitors. Lately the government has introduced some political freedom reforms and the opposition welcomes the tourists as a way to increase the standard of living and thus lead to more freedom reforms.
Here is complete list of the travelogues from this trip. Start reading here or click on any link to read the relevant post.