Burma—Now Opening Its Doors to Tourists

For almost half a century, Burma—also called Myanmar—was ruled by an oppressive military regime. As a result, this sprawling Southeast Asian nation, renowned for its raw beauty, has remained relatively untouched by the globalized world—until now, reports InternationalLiving.com.

With democratization under way following a recent political turnaround, Burma is opening up and the country is now starting to attract tourists.

Its capital, Yangon, has a slow pace of life when compared to neighboring Asian cities like Bangkok.

“Yangon has changed since colonial times and you’ll find urban sprawl, but it is still home to tree-lined avenues and lush parks, including the 110-acre gardens set around Kandawgyi Lake,” says InternationalLiving.com writer Ellie Dyer.

“With few western visitors compared to the packed beaches and towns of Thailand, it is Asia as it was before the rise of mass tourism…a real adventure.”

Downtown Yangon, where streets are alive with activity, is the best base for visitors. It’s also a good spot if you want to see Burma’s diversity first-hand. The area is home to a mix of Burma’s eight or more ethnic groups, from the Muslim minority to locals with Indian heritage.

“Burma is experiencing a tourist boom, but there are limited hotel rooms to meet demand,” reports Dyer. “Expect to pay upwards of $60 a night for a good hotel, and be sure to book ahead.”

You’ll find good transport links in Yangon to other historical sites in the country, including the ancient temples of Bagan and the serene Inle Lake in Shan state. “But the city itself is an enchanting and addictive place,” Dyer says. “With international companies and development groups on their way, experience Yangon’s unique atmosphere before it changes forever.”

Read more about travel in Burma, including tips on exploring Yangon, here: Explore Burma’s Undeveloped Splendor Before the Masses.

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