Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Burma makes Times’ ‘visit’ list


Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:59 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – Burma is bracing for an influx of tourists, with the news of its move toward a more democratic system. Adding to the interests was a The New York Times’ article last week on “45 Places to Go” which noted the country’s “world-class boutique hotels and deserted beaches.” 

Burma has been on the adventurous backpackers list for years, while other travelers chose to stay away and not support the country’s former military regime. 

The article said “because the country has been so isolated, the deeply Buddhist ‘Land of the Golden Pagoda’ resonates with a strong sense of place, undiluted by mass tourism and warmed by genuine hospitality.”

Noting that Aung San Suu Kyi has called for sustainable development and “trickle down” tourism where dollars will do the most good, the article cited the ViewPoint eco-lodge on the banks of Inle Lake and the Amara Ocean Resort on Ngapali Beach — a pristine swath of coastline on the Bay of Bengal. The resort finances relief projects in the Irrawaddy River delta.

Other Southeast Asia locales mentioned were Ko Samui, a tranquil island in the Gulf of Thailand, and the famous Halong Bay in Vietnam with its picturesque limestone island-cliffs, which has been named a Unesco World Heritage site.

Koh Rong, Cambodia’s second largest island with a 43-kilometer long beach was also cited.

Also destined to become a must-see locale is Burma’s famous Bagan temple complex south of Mandalay, which was the first place Suu Kyi visited when she was released from house arrest in November 2010.         

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