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8 Reasons To Go To Myanmar Now (PHOTOS)

Posted: 04/ 5/2012 7:00 am

For decades, Myanmar has isolated itself from western eyes. The junta-controlled country began to open to tourism in 1996, but its use of forced labor and the imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi led to international economic sanctions and an unofficial tourism boycott.

Now though, things are changing for the better.  Aung San Suu Kyi is free, the country's opening up to the west, and an official visit by Hilary Clinton recognizes the Junta's efforts to bring Myanmar -- often called Burma -- into the modern world.  Myanmar is finally ready for its moment in the spotlight - and it can be an ideal destination for independent travel.

Here are eight reasons why you should visit Burma now.

Ready to go? Find flights to Yangon,  book a 15 day tour of Burma, check out our Myanmar travel guide, or read more about travel in Asia: 

1) Because It Is Off The Beaten Path
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Decades of tourism development in Asia has made it harder and harder to feel a thrill of exploration. In Burma, that thrill comes back with a vengeance. As you explore, you'll find that the path is yours to forge. Without a major tourism industry, everything feels exciting and new, and the only time you'll see another tourist is at your hostel. It's easy to feel as if you're the first tourist the country has ever seen, and that's a feeling you won't soon forget.

The only flights into Burma are from neighbouring countries. Air Asia, one of Asia's cheapest carriers flies twice a week from Bangkok to Rangoon for less than US$50. Burma's tourism infrastructure is still relatively immature, but it does have plenty of hostels at major cities and tourist sites and some even have websites offering advance booking. To make life easy for yourself, book into a hostel online for your first night. The next day, take some time to visit other hostels and move if you need to. Hostels in tourist areas outside of cities tend to be clustered together, so in these areas your best bet is to just wander around, walk into your favourite one, and ask for a room.
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Photos by: hkandy, Martin Sojka,hkandy, mangostanihkandy, TranufJonas in China, hkandy

 

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