Now that Hillary Clinton will visit Myanmar next month, will we see an increase of US tourism to that country? After all, it’s been 50 years since a US Secretary of State has visited Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma).
To celebrate this historic event, I received two books today about Myanmar. The first was a travel guide, To Myanmar With Love (ThingsAsian Press, 2009) by Morgan Edwardson and Steve Goodman.
And the second a travelogue, Defiled on the Ayeyarwaddy (ThingsAsian Press, 2010) by Ma Thanegi.
I have a cute story about Myanmar, which was still called Burma, from 20 years ago. I was planning to cover most of Southeast Asia the summer before my 21st birthday. I chose some places like Vietnam and Cambodia, which were off the beaten path back then. And Burma. It was really only possible to enter Burma with a package tour, so I was willing to shell out a chunk of cash for a quick trip to Rangoon and Mandalay.
But when my mother and one of her best friends found out, I received a letter (only snail mail in 1991) from my mom strongly advising me not to go. The repressive government, the dislike of foreigners (Americans), and so on. So I caved and instead used my money to ride a train for seven days without a shower.
Twenty years later, guess who’s booked a trip to Myanmar?
Bon voyage, Mom (and her friend).
Do you know anyone planning to travel to Burma in the near future?