Myanmar - any recent experiences?

Old Jun 9th, 2005, 05:17 AM
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Myanmar - any recent experiences?

I had thought of visiting Vietnam on my way back to Australia from Europe - but looks like it will be prohibitively expensive seeing as direct flight are all full.

I could fly from Singapore with Tiger Airways but the dates in from Europe and out to Vietnam don't match. It would mean 2 nights in SIN. So I have hit upon Burma.

And that sounds fascinating.

Would love comments from recent visitors. About anything and everything - but especially on an aspect I've not found much info on so far - beaches? A trip to the sea is not a high priority, but all the same it would be nice!

Thank you all for your replies.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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If your goal is to hit the beach don't go to Burma. There is one but it's the place to go after you've spent 3 weeks there. There are many many places in asia with far better and more interesting beaches.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Myanmar is a fantastic place. I was just there in December/January for two weeks. If you have some specific questions, just ask. So much to tell.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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Burma is AWESOME. With that said, on our trip this summer we're going to Sri Lanka instead. When my wife heard of the bombs in Rangoon, she put her foot down. If threats of terrorism and a horrible government don't deter you, it's an amazing travel destination. Pagan, in particular, is fantastic. Hopefully things will have settled down by our next trip.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 05:47 AM
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Thanks all.

glorialf - the beach would only ever be an add-on - way from being the main goal - in Burma or anywhere else for that matter.

ccc - Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination - hope you enjoy. You mention the 'horrible government' in Myanmar - yet you still went. Did you worry about it beforehand? if so, how did you reach the decision to go?

Melea - how easy is it to travel around?
Did you find it easy to book buses and trains? Where would you recommend as a good place to stay in Yangoon when you first arrive?

Still thinking - thanks for all and any contributions.

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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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There are two schools of thought re visiting Burma given their government. One is that visiting supports the government and your tourist dollars allow them to stay in power. The other is that the more people that go the more exposure there is to outside thoughts and ideas. Also, this school of thought holds that tourist dollars flowing to individually (as opposed to government) owned enterprises helps the people alot more than if tourists didn't come. I happen to subscribe to the latter view but many others don't. Regardless of which side of the argument you come down on, Burma is a great travel destination.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 01:35 PM
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I was in Burma 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. While Bangkok is my favorite city, I think Burma is my favorite country. We were in Yangon (Rangoon), Bagan (Pagan) and Inle Lake. I loved all three but I think the highlight was Inle Lake, which we almost didn't go to. Burma is a beautiful country with equally beautiful people. They are warm, polite and very welcoming. It's a very inexpensive country and good hotels and food are quite cheap.

I'm in the camp that it's better to visit than to boycott. My feeling is that the people need contact with the outside world and they need our dollars (or pounds or whatever). We stayed in privately run hotels and flew the privately owned airline rather than the state owned one, though I'm certain the government got their cut. I doubt there's any way around this. We didn't talk politics with people unless they brought up the subject and even then, were careful so as to not get anyone in trouble.

Burma has a lot of old world charm, beautiful temples and stunning scenery. Although there isn't much of a tourism infrastructure to speak of, I was able to book all hotels and flights on the internet and we hired guides and drivers as we went along. It was one of the easiest and stress free vacations we've ever had.
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