“I Love This Country!”
I fell in love with Myanmar. The people always quietly but warmly smiled to me. Yangon was filled with energy of the venders, shoppers, monks, kids, and men drinking tea or working. I liked so much of the atmosphere of the places I have traveled in the country, and I appreciated the people’s kindness.
I loved how they dressed as well. Both men and women wear sarong very stylishly with matched shirts. The yellow powder called Thanaka on their skin tone appealed very cool and looked even showy to me.
Food was difficult because most of them were oily and I just couldn’t get used to it until the end of the trip. However the combination of the spices and subtle sweetness was addicting. Vegetable simply tasted good. The tea culture there was my favorite and somehow reminded me of “chai” in India. Oh I should also note that Myanmar has very good taste in bakery and pastry.
“Know Before You Go”
The first impression on Myanmar was, of course, “oh I love this country!”, but do I really?
The answer cannot be as simple as just “yes” after knowing the poor human rights record in the country and that my money is going into the government’s servants’ pockets and the ruling political party in which the prime minister is identical to the military top. If you enter Myanmar and try sightseeing by public transportations as you do in other countries, it could mean that you are investing into the political party in power.
Lonely Planet book suggest the readers to know about the military junta which was in power until 2010 and the nominally civilian political party which was installed in the 2011 but still undertakes the primacy of the military. The book also suggests not to stay at hotels or restaurants run by the government as much as you can. The more I search the politics in the country, the more fear I felt.
I still think I am glad I went to Myanmar.I got to know that the people in Myanmar are lovable but there are many problems remained in the politics. More over, now I know that the country is full of prosperities and expecting rapid economic growth. The international isolation is coming to a cease with an end of the economic sanction by the U.S. and UN. Now the world watch the election in 2015 which a democratic political party led by AUNG SAN SUU KYI has a chance to come back in power. As much as many investors watch the country, I am willing to care and hope for free and equal educational rights and other political infrastructure to be placed in order to make the prosperities solid.