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Myanmar

Now is the moment to visit this extraordinary land, scattered with gilded pagodas, where the traditional ways of Asia  endure and areas previously off-limits are opening up.

In a nation with well over 100 ethnic groups, exploring Myanmar can often feel like you've stumbled into a living edition of the National Geographic, circa 1910! The country, for instance, has yet to be completely overwhelmed by Western fashion – everywhere you'll encounter men wearing skirt-like longyi, women smothered in thanakha (traditional make-up) and betel-chewing grannies with mouths full of blood-red juice. People still get around in trishaws and, in rural areas, horse and cart. Drinking tea – a British colonial affectation – is enthusiastically embraced in thousands of traditional teahouses.

Thankfully, the pace of change is not overwhelming, leaving the simple pleasures of travel in Myanmar intact. You can still drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old river steamer, stake out a slice of beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal, or trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills without jostling with scores of fellow travellers. Best of all you'll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive and passionate – they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their world. Now is the time to make that connection.



 

 

    

  



 



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