The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly known as Birma or Burma, has seen some major changes recently with elections and more freedoms for its people. Visiting Burma was always highly controversial as it would be seen as supporting the junta but that has changed in the last years now the country is opening up and boycotts are lifted. Traveling inside the county is still not easy and many parts, especially border areas are closed to foreigners. This is because the country is made up of dozens of ethnic groups and some still fight for independence. The reasoning of the military junta was that only a strong dictatorship could hold the country together, now more power is transferred to an elected, civilian government, this will be a test if the junta was right and Myanmar will descend into full-scale civil war or that the elected government can manage to broker peace deals with the many fighting factions.
The main destination for tourists will be the Bagan archeological site in central Myanmar, home to the largest concentration of Buddhist temples in the world with thousands of pagodas, temples and stupas on a 42 square km plain. While Angkor Wat is impressive due to the sheer size, Bagan is impressive due to the sheer amount of temples.
Another popular destination is Inle Lake, a magnificently beautiful and pristine lake on the border of Thailand and Laos.
In Myanmar are several national parks like Khakaborazi National Park, Alaungdaw Kathapa and Nat Ma Taung National Park where you can go trekking. Or you can visit the Kandawgyi Garden, Hlawga Wildlife Park or Zoological Garden. Here you will find beautiful orchid garden, souvenir shops and restaurants.
A typical Burmese dish is Lahpet made of fermented tea leaves and usually served in the form of salad along with other ingredients. Try the Mi Swan as well, which is made of rice noodle with chicken. If you are just married, you can try the Mont Lin Ma Yar which means Husband and Wife Cake, containing quail eggs and onion leaves.
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