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Myanmar

The Articles from Readers' Submissions
Five Tips for Myanmar (February 2, 2011) by Charlotte Baird NEW!
Chin Refugees in Malaysia (part 1) (December 10, 2010) by Antonio Graceffo NEW!
Rohingyas in Malaysia (October 12, 2010) by Antonio Graceffo
The Sky is Not Blue in Burma (May 6, 2009) by David Calleja
Coaching the Loi Tailang Tigers (May 6, 2009) by David Calleja
Letter from an Exile (February 5, 2009) by Antonio Graceffo
Wanted for Opposing the Junta (January 13, 2009) by Antonio Graceffo
Plight of the Shan People of Burma (December 6, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Nursing the Shan (July 17, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
A Day in Loi Tailang (June 19, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
The Other Karen Tribe (June 18, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Shan Monks in Exile (May 18, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
The Suffering Continues in Burma (May 12, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Gone Kurtz, on the Burma Border (May 10, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Living to Help His Shan People (April 30, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Free Burma Rangers (March 8, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Robbed by the SPDC (March 2, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Overview of the War in Burma (March 2, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Casualties of War (March 2, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
Driven from Their Homes (January 20, 2008) by Antonio Graceffo
In Shanland (December 17, 2007) by Antonio Graceffo
Operations Inside Burma (December 1, 2007) by Antonio Graceffo
Shackled by the Neck (October 1, 2007) by Antonio Graceffo
Beer Myanmar - the 1,500 Baht Beer (April 23, 2006)
Walking to the Lake (January 16, 2005) by Philip Coggan
The Lost Tribe Meets the Last Emperor(July 23, 2004) by Philip Coggan

The Travelogues:

Yangon
Shwedagon the Superlative. And an otherwise attractive, albeit sleepy capital city.

Mandalay
Okay, it's a city, but the pagodas are nice. I know no more about the road to Mandalay than Kipling (I flew), but at least I went.

Hsipaw
Well, yes, there are banana pancakes here, but don't let that keep you away.

Inle Lake
"Outrageously beautiful," says Lonely Planet. I agree. Find out why.

Kalaw
Two days of trekking in the Kalaw hills.

Bagan
Temples and temples and temples and temples... and more temples.

All text and photographs 1998 - 2009 talesofasia.com. Commercial or editorial usage without written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited.

 

Myanmar - The travelogues: what this is all about

I've only made a single visit to Myanmar, a trip which lasted nineteen days from April 29 to May 17, 2000. My itinerary followed a fairly traditional tourist route. Roughly, it was Yangon > Mandalay > Hsipaw > Mandalay > Inle Lake > Kalaw > Bagan > Yangon.

As a tourist on a first-time visit to Myanmar it wasn't possible to produce the in-depth profiles that I have done for Cambodia. Journalists aren't even allowed into the country. Had I overtly attempted any activity remotely journalistic in nature I'd have stood a better than even chance of finding myself on the first plane out of the country sans film, notes, and who knows what else. I couldn't go anywhere I wanted, I couldn't talk to anybody I wanted, and I certainly couldn't photograph anything I wanted. To truly dig beneath the surface of Myanmar requires trusted contacts and multiple visits. I have not the former nor have I done the latter. I was in no position to try anything bold.

Had I admitted on my visa application that I am a published writer/photographer I consider it highly unlikely I would have even been issued a tourist visa. Never mind that the one travel article I subsequently wrote on Myanmar was favorable towards the country (as a tourist destination). But still, I spent nineteen days with my eyes and ears open, and while I won't pretend to be any kind of authority on Myanmar, I have at least been there.

As a result, the following section qualifies as little more than traveler babblelogue. It's simply my observations and impressions from nineteen days in the "Golden Land" seen through my own personal filters. Opinions are many and I expect other travelers who have been to Myanmar will find cause to disagree with some of my comments.

Supporting the text are numerous photographs (or perhaps the text supports the photographs - sometimes it's hard to say which is which). For this traveler, people are most often the highlight of any trip and as such, on these pages is a generous amount of images of some of the people I met along the way.

 

Google
 

To go or not to go...
Obviously, I went. I think you should, too. Here's some reasons why. A soapbox editorial.

Some Good Myanmar Links
I haven't checked these in awhile, but they were useful in 2000.

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