To Come or Not Come

The question to go or not to Burma was legitimate for a long time in this country, it is nevertheless important to not forget its past, opening time and its consequences.

During the open country.

Letter reflection, interrogation

Without moralizing or justification object, we wish simply to share some feelings, some thoughts on facing Myanmar today.

For many years, the Western world beckoned Burma taken under the yoke of a military junta and there were good reasons for this. There are 17 years old, I remember arriving in an extraordinarily complex country, just a few open to passing travelers. No car in the streets, no phone, no fax, no electricity, no fridge, no shops or anything … not much. But there were people, smiling, endearing, calm, almost naive; I was abroad seemed to them an alien. For years the external travel agencies in Myanmar had better things to do than focus his Burmese Buddhists poor, nice course, but undergoing the diet of the moment. No way to bring tourists to the risk of being attacked by the associations against the powers that be, who cared little for his people … which we just needed to look first.

The country had a trade boycott, bank, went through a revolution monks in Yangon strongly repressed, suffered a massive cyclone killing over 170 000 people, the Lady of Yangon remained under house arrest for nearly twenty years. The world has almost forgotten what happened in this country in ruins.

We have been in this period the support of knowledgeable, passionate, not letting themselves be manipulated by the media and have decided to come out to meet the people that were so necessary.

Others do not want to come because of the positions that had taken the Lady of Yangon and this is quite understandable and respectable.

Others do not even know that this country exists t and had no reason to be concerned.

At that time the hotels were nearly empty, the very nice hotel waiting, Bagan survived, the guides were doing as they were, the surviving agencies, the Lady of Yangon meditated.

And then suddenly the Lady was released, the Western business world did not wait to implement business strategies. She said not to come to Myanmar would tell the world otherwise.

Western trips or countries bordering the agencies were quickly convinced that this destination was becoming interesting and profitable, with little regard for the evolution of the regime, but offering to meet a people who had suffered for years, abandoned by all because of ideologies Western.

Suddenly the friends, friends, other friends who have not yet done Burma are convinced that the country was rocked democracy and it must move quickly see what authentic Burmese people and preserved before tourists not affluent, without thinking that they are themselves tourists, we are all tourists …

And that’s the all begins, a country where nobody came or bit, is becoming a fashionable destination. Everyone wants to go see the house of the lady (it’s part of the journey in Yangon), wear the shirt of the Lady during their trip, suddenly interested in these Burmese so welcoming but poor.

Myanmar which received 150,000 tourists including some businessmen, must now accommodate more than 800 000 tourists with inadequate infrastructure. Visitors are surprised that there is not enough room to receive them, and especially that “the room, overlooking the lake in the hotel that had been their friends 5 years ago ‘is not available! Visitors are exasperated at not being able to send or receive an SMS, the hotel’s WiFi is not safe, especially as delivered service level is so unprofessional. Visitors can not stand having to suffer too long response time from the receptive and local agencies. Tourism staff also needs to adapt to these new requirements. He does it with the best intentions with tools that also gradually will evolve in a country where universities are scarce.

Coming in Myanmar is not an ordinary trip, this should not be, for all these reasons. If Asian tend to quickly turn the page, the passing traveler should not forget what was there. We all have to consider that it will take time to fit in this tourist influx. Understand it and help the Burmese as we can so that this “openness” is their chance.Et espérons le plus de compréhension possible de nos voyageurs dans cette ouverture rapide et complexe.

Herve Flejo