Myanmar—also known as Burma—is amazing. This country of nearly 50 million is rapidly emerging from 50 years of military dictatorship, blossoming into as worthy of a stop as its popular neighbors. The people are more than friendly; they're thrilled to have tourists after being so closed off to the West for so long. And it's safe; you won't constantly need to feel for your handbag or hold your jewelry tightly. Burma is a country straddling two worlds—there are Wi-Fi and iPhones but no international ATMs, and there are pristine 12th-century pagodas and beautiful beaux-arts buildings, though how long they'll be preserved remains to be seen, which makes now the time to go. A note about this guide: It is impossible to go to Burma and not indirectly give money to the government, but with a little research and advance planning, travelers can support the local economy. The restaurants and hotels included here are privately run, but you will still pay a 10% government tax.
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