Myanmar (Burma) Favorite Tips by gabriellefox
Myanmar (Burma) Favorites: 189 reviews and 205 photos
Favorite thing: Gold is the most precious metal. Yes, Myanmars love gold. Gold is used every where: pagoda, monasteries, accessories of the nobles, and so on. Most pagodas in Myanmar are covered with gold leaves, or for those who cannot afford use gold paint in the modern days.
When you get to Myanmar, or if you have ever been to Myanmar, this question will need not be answered. You will see golden things or gold-covered monuments in every direction you turn.
Fondest memory: Pagodas
Favorite thing: Burma was colonised by the British in 1886 and became independent in 1948. There was a brief period of parliamentary democracy when U Nu served as Prime Minister until 1962 when he was deposed in a military coup by General Ne Win. Apparently Ne Win didn't know what to do next. He's not an economist, not a scientist, not even a politician. He's a general. Since the coup, Burma has been a repressed country cut off from the rest of the world.
Ne Win began a policy of extreme isolationism, non-alignment and neutrality. He rejected investments by Western and other foreign governments, nationalized industry, banks, the import/export trade, and retail business.
To retain power through such tragic failure he used the skills he had as a general: fear, disappearances, murders, arrests, and torture. He is believed still to wield power.
During his brutal military reign the economy collapsed. Burma went from being the "rice bowl of Asia" to the distinction of United Nations Least Developed Country in 1987. It is now on par with Ethiopia and Chad.
Fondest memory: My parents were brought up in a different Burma and many of the older residents remember the good days with fond memories. They had very happy and fortunate childhoods. My parents had cooks, nannies and housekepers and houses with huge compounds. That sadly all changed quitre dramatically when they were forced to leave the country with not much more than the clothes on their back.
Favorite thing: Get amongst the people.
Due to its recently closed doors Burma is still mostly unspoiled by the C20th.
Fondest memory: The people.
I spoke to many people who have visited, lived or worked with the Burmese and they are universally regarded as one of the kindest and sincerest races on earth.
Most are very poor but they would share their last meal with you and are disappointed if you do not at least take tea with them.
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