04/05/2012 07:10 am ET Updated Jun 05, 2012

8 Reasons To Go To Myanmar Now (PHOTOS)

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: 

Photos by: hkandy, Martin Sojka,hkandy, mangostanihkandy, TranufJonas in China, hkandy