Category Archives: Burma

2012: the year to visit Burma?

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Burma (photo by bradjward via Flickr)

I first visited Burma in 2007. On arrival in the repressive nation, I had to change 100 dollars into the local currency at the airport; there were no cash machines; there was almost no internet use and what there was, was restricted to a handful of junta-approved sites; people ran away when I mentioned National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Things are a bit different now, following the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and an apparent relaxation of the iron grip of the junta that has ruled the country since 1988.

CNNGo recently listed 5 signs that Burma is getting easier for travellers. Could 2012 be the year that tourism in Burma takes off?

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Living with Burmese migrant workers

In May 2008 I travelled to the Thai border town of Mae Sot. The town has long been a haven for both political refugees and migrant workers from Burma, just across the Moei River.

I spent several days with a group of illegal workers, who were living in a makeshift settlement at a construction site. Continue reading