I have always tried to make this blog a first hand account of my own travels. It is becoming an account of my travels with my boyfriend as well. It will always be a place where I try to make it 100% clear when a story is borrowed, given to me or created by someone else and displayed here for a purpose. As in the header photo which is courtesy of Flickr user Martin Sojka.
The latter is where this post fits in. You may remember my video profile of the startup travel site: Triptease. Well, I love them so much I asked them to showcase some of their wonderful community reviews with a guest post here. They have not paid me nor have I compensated them. I simply hope you will enjoy Triptease and its community of enthusiastic travelers as much as I do. So without further ado….
Burma. It seems to be all anybody is talking about. One of Condé Nast Traveler’s top destinations of 2012, on National Geographic’s best trips list this year. These days most the foreign press around Burma (officially Myanmar) lauds its beauty and exalts its hospitable locals. A welcome change of tune. Only three years ago Burma was regularly making headlines for its military rule and questionable human rights record. In spite of this, Burma has been actively encouraging tourism since 1992. And we’re responding. Myanmar broke one million tourists in a year for the first time in 2012. That figure is expected to grow by fifty per cent this year. New darling of the travel press, growing tourist figures – things are beginning to look rosy for Burma’s tourism industry.
The Triptease community are equally as keen to share their passion for Burma. Almost taking it upon themselves to be bastions of the Burmese tourist push, members have tripteased the best of South East Asia’s hottest destination.
The world’s fortieth largest country, Burma is deceptively large. There’s a lot to see. Unlike Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Hanoi in nearby Vietnam, or neighbouring Thailand’s Ko Samui – the sights, cities and beaches of Myanmar are relatively unknown. These tripteases pick out five reasons you’ll be itching to add a Burmese passport stamp to your collection:
1. The People
To quote Claire, author of the below triptease, “the Burmese people are remarkably unique, interesting, and friendly to tourists.”
2. The Hotels
Burmese hotels won’t earn international accolade, but you won’t go without a comfortable bed either. Novelist, Mark Thompson, tripteases The Strand (in the capital, Yangon). It was once considered “the finest hostelry east of Suez” and was a favourite of George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Noël Coward, and others.
3. The Spirituality
TV news presenter and travel writer, Ani Shah, is touched by the painstaking process young monks have to go through to become fully-fledged Buddhist monks.
4. The Pagodas
Asian expert tripteaser, Karen, loves Myanmar for its pagodas (temples). The fact the Burmese have a penchant for building them in odd places all adds to their charm.
5. Even emigrated locals are staggered by Burma’s beauty upon their return
Just look at that photo. It’s not difficult to see why Myat is so taken by the beauty of his motherland.
More of my favourite Burmese tripteases in this collection.
Just as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were unspoiled by mass Western tourism fifteen years ago, Burma is still unblemished by foreign influx. The time to visit is now.
Have you been to Myanmar?