In Myanmar, the citizens have no freedom to say what they think, or go where they want. In Myanmar, a Nobel Peace Prize winning, democratically elected leader, languishes under house arrest by the oppressive government regime. And in Myanmar, the profits collected from many of the tourist attractions go directly into the hands of that same military junta government. There is much to consider before choosing to visit the country formerly known as Burma. Some argue that through prudent dispensing of one’s tourist dollars, one can insure that the money goes to small locally owned businesses, so the people of Myanmar benefit, rather than government run entities.
Those who choose to travel to Myanmar can cruise down the Ayeyarwaddy river to the city of Mandalay, and from there continue down the river to wander the tree lined boulevards of the capital city, Rangoon. The history of ancient Burma can be explored in Bagan, home to Burmese kings of the past. Numerous Buddhist festivals dot Myanmar’s calendar, providing unique insight into local culture. The gravity defying Kyaiktiyo, a huge boulder precariously balanced on a cliff, is one of Buddhism’s holiest sites. Ecotourism is possible in Myanmar’s national parks and sanctuaries.