Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 91 - Parting Thoughts on Myanmar

I have many mixed feelings about my trip to Myanmar. I loved the majority of my three-week trip in this country, but I also feel a sigh of relief to be able to leave back to Kuala Lumpur as well.

It was wonderful to be able to see the country (or the parts that were allowed by the government) with my own eyes and to meet some of the locals, some of whom were unafraid to outwardly criticize the government, and some who only did with a whisper. The people were for the majority of the time, extremely friendly, without much of the fakeness that accompanies someone with the intent to sell merchandise. It was sometimes very depressing to hear some of the hopelessness that some of the locals felt at their current situation, but was also shocking to know how ignorant some people were about how much they were being oppressed by the leaders of their country.

I felt that the restrictions on tourist travel throughout the country made it very contricting on me in my freedom to explore what I wanted, partially due to direct government restrictions, and partially due indirectly to the lack of proper infrastructure to satisfactorily transport people from one city to another. I found myself having to take extra time going to one city, only to have to reverse my steps to get back to a city I had already travelled to, in order to get the next city.

The sights in every city were unique, each with their own character and charm, with different things to see and do for each and every traveller. Some cities were more developed than others, and more comfortable than others. I couldn't be picky about the accomodations that were available to me in each city, but some of the more dirty and danky places put a toll on me, my energy, and my happiness. I guess that's my own fault, growing up in a first-world country with so many amenities made available to me. Call me spoiled or even just lucky...

I don't know what exactly is to come of the country in the coming years. Most of the people have hope that things will improve, but they also hold doubt that much will actually change given the power that military junta has in the government. The country doesn't need the help of ally countries, and international sanctions have don't nothing to pressure the government to improve the lives of its people. In fact, it might even be said that these sanctions have only made things worse for the people, since so few jobs are even available to the people. I would love to visit the country again, maybe when things improve, or more of the country is open to the world. We shall see...

Mural at Yangon Airport

Fermented Tea Leaf Salad


  1. I've just read your entire Burma section. Thank your for some marvellous pictures and your personal descriptions of the Burmese and their country.

    I am planning a visit in November.

    Cheers, Alan

  2. So glad you liked it and happy to be able to provide a resource for future travelers! Cheers!