Country number: 56
Territory number: 61
When? June 2001, coming from Indonesia via Bangkok, returning to Bangkok, going on to Cambodia
How? Bus, boat, bike
Who? With Nick
‘My top priority is for people to understand that they have the power to change things themselves.’
Aung San Suu Kyi
Myanmar was known as Burma until 1989 when the military junta renamed the country Myanmar. The capital, Rangoon, became Yangon.
In 2006, after my visit, the capital city was moved, rebuilt and named Naypyidaw, a purpose built modern (much smaller) city.
Burma was part of the British Empire from the mid-19th century and was then occupied by Japan during the Second World War, before gaining independence in 1948.
Myanmar was under the rule of an oppressive military junta from 1962 to 2011. Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of national hero Aung San, spent a total of 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and 2011, was the most vociferous opponent to the junta. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.. During this time, Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (or NLD) called for a tourism boycott, saying that the income generated helped to support the government. Finally, in November 2015, the NLD opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi were able to form a government.
Ironically, Suu Kyi and the NLD face international criticism for their handling of a crisis. The country has been accused of ethnic cleansing in the Muslim-majority Rakhine region
Myanmar is one of only three countries not to adopt the metric system of measurement. (The other two are Liberia and the USA.)
To see more of my photos of Myanmar, visit this page.