well the political situation in burma is not as simple as putting back freedom of speech and releasing Aung San Suu Kyi.. sanctions are there bcoz they are tired of waiting for negotiations.. how do u negotiate with ppl who doesnt want to?
and it's more complicated
so boycotting is not an option as i feel the local ppl needs help,not much job, so at least if they have something from us tourist.
just try to read more on the situation and how u should travel, by contributing directly to the people , not the other way round..
i recommend to go, people are friendly, nice experience!
I totally agree with, making sure u contribute to the local people as much as possible, and avoid as much as possible spending money, on things, where the money will go to the government.
Dont worry,i have no objection to others going to Myanmar. I am not interested in forcing my personal principles, on anybody. And in many ways, i wish i was going to Myanmar, too. So pure and relatively untouhed.
What i think would be a good idea, is if we post here, any idea about how Tasha can help the local peole and be politically sensitive. Maybe Jekalo has some ideas, since s/he lives there.
I would firstly suggest staying in privately run guesthouses, rather than state run ones.
Absolutely! There's a lot that individual travelers can do to support local and family-run businesses. Most guidebooks give tips on this and tell which hotels, restaurants, etc. to avoid. If you fly, avoid the government-run Myanma Airways. Other transportation can also be an issue, as most boat and train operations are government operated. It's hard to avoid contributing something to the military coffers, but as others have suggested, there are a lot of good people operating businesses (Internet shops, restaurants, guesthouses, souvenir shops, etc.) that you can help. Also, consider donating children's books or supplies (or money) to schools and orphanages. I've also talked to monks at monestaries and temples that would love some current magazines, books, or English language dictionaries.
Would somebody know the answer to this question?
Does the internet in Myanmar, not sabotage the governments censorship laws? People in Myanmar can put anything they want on the internet, can they?
Good question, Mel. Internet access would certainly sabotage the Myanmar government's censorship laws and it's going to be hard for them to totally restrict it, just as the government in China is also trying to do. As far as putting content on a site, if they server is based in Myanmar, then I'm sure that there are limits as to what is allowed.
In Yangon most Internet shops have alternate ways to get around the ban on using Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and other restricted websites. They will either use Firefox, or some sort of proxy server. Earlier this month I saw several young women at one Internet cafe in Yangon checking their Yahoo accounts, logging onto Friendster and many other sites. They seem pretty savvy and know how to beat the government at their own tricks!
And is the internet affordable, for everybody, in Myanmar?
I would guess that Internet access is beyond the means of most Myanmar people. The cheapest rates we got in Yangon (if my memory is correct) were about 400-500 kyat per hour. That's less than a half-dollar. But prices in Mandalay were double that, and the speed was horribly slow. I used another Internet Cafe in Nyaungshwe (Inle Lake) last year that wasn't cheap either. Just not many places yet, outside of Yangon, that have Internet access. When I stayed in New Bagan this time I didn't see a single place that offered Internet, so I waited until I got back to Yangon to use it. Found a nice little Internet cafe there called i4c - it was located around 38th Street.
Thanks for that interesting info buzzard.
Mel, I would agree with buzzard that internet isn't affordable for the Burmese and most probably don't use it. I asked some burmese about this last year and the impression I got was when you're only earning a few dollars a day, 50c - $1 is a big waste of money (especially given how boring it is watching super slow pages download).
Tasha, my tip for travel would be do not take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan. This is an obvious government run service. I did it and regretted it for a number of reasons. The scenery is similar to any other asian boat travel, I don't think you'd be missing out on much by missing this trip.
Enjoy Myanmar, it's a beautiful place.
bring a visit to Myanmar if you can. It is one of the last pure countries in the world, and the local people love to see foreigners. For them, your presence is a signal that the world did not forget them (yet). Try to use as much as possible local (and non governmental) businesses.
[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]