Up until a few years ago, Burma was a pariah state, attracting less than a million visitors a year. With a brutal military regime, a nonsensical official exchange rate, strict visa rules, and inadequate tourist facilities, it is a wonder any tourists chose to go at all. Only the wildest of optimists could have foreseen how drastically things would change for the better in such a short period of time. From world class built heritage, to beautiful tropical beaches, Burma’s many attractions are finally starting to get the attention they deserve. Burma ranked sixth in our 2015 ethical travel guide to South East Asia.
Rudyard Kipling’s Burma: three days of wonder
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) spent just three days in Burma (Myanmar), and yet this brief visit had a profound effect on him. The British writer – who was 23 years old at the time – stopped in Rangoon (Yangon) in March 1889, as part of a sea voyage from Calcutta to San Francisco. Read more.
Burmese days: the extraordinary photos of Philip Adolphe Klier
Until recently we had never heard of Philip Adolphe Klier (circa 1845-1911), a German-born photographer who worked in Burma in the late 19th and early 20th century. But thanks to an ongoing project by the UK National Archives to digitise its huge archive of pictures, we have been introduced to some of his wonderful work. Read more.
All aboard the slow train to Kalaw (or Inle Lake)
We at itchy feet are firm believers that if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing slowly. Which is why the train between the former colonial hill station of Kalaw and Shwenyaung, the nearest railhead for idyllic Inle Lake, is such a treat: three and a half hours to travel 50 kilometres! Read more.