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Keep your Travel Plans Open for Myanmar, 2011’s Hottest and Hippest Travel Destination

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Watch out guys, Myanmar is on the rise. What was once one of the less visited countries in the world has now caught the eye of the intrepid and casual traveler willing to experience the exotic. We don’t blame you for wanting to see the country’s gleaming pagodas, magnificent ruins, fabled cities, untouched landscapes and pristine beaches. What’s keeping people from coming before? And why the huge optimism for this year? We don’t want to delve too deep into politics, but we’ll briefly touch upon it so you can understand the situation.

We all know about the junta in Myanmar. It is the main reason why travelers are swayed from coming to the country in the first place. Case in point: about 300,000 people visited Myanmar last year. Its neighbor, Thailand received 15 million. The regime is accused of several human rights abuses and the international community knows and understands this and do not want to support them. We understand this totally and assure you that our guides, staff and personnel in Myanmar are expats or locals in Myanmar with firsthand knowledge of the country, the culture and the people. But facts are facts: it is impossible to avoid some sort of payment to the government, with accommodation taxes, admissions charges and airport duties. But there are benefits to visiting the country.

The people here are some of the friendliest in the world. They yearn for international contact and are very enthusiastic to hear your stories while sharing their own to you. And don’t be surprised. They are some of the most cheerful and jolly folks you’ll ever meet, despite their current government situation. This is a plus plus situation in itself. You and the locals will cherish these moments for a very long time.

A visit to Myanmar also gives visitors a rich and deep insight into not only its own history and culture, but an interconnecting one with most of Southeast Asia, Europe and South Asia. And who can forget the relics that result out of that history? Glittering pagodas, colonial structures, majestic ruins, these are some of the world’s best! And the landscape, which includes some of the Himalayas up north to rivers and lakes, plains, hills and beaches are relatively untouched! Nature at its finest.

But why this optimism? There are signs of the junta loosening their grip on the country. First, the country enjoyed free elections in November, the first time the country has experienced anything like that in 20 years. Also in November, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi an advocate of democracy in Myanmar was released from her house arrest sentence. Although these events have eased Myanmar’s image a little in the eyes of many, there are still many steps that need to be taken in order for the country to fully recover. But these are positive first signs. And people have been talking about Myanmar’s potential for a very long time.

So, what’s there to do in Myanmar? Lots! Our tours page can give you an idea on the type of itinerary you can expect. And if you want to enrich your experience even further? Then our Myanmar day trips will do the trick. So, don’t forget. 2011 is Myanmar’s year. Head over there while it’s hot!

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