July 22, 2004

Burma Is Beckoning Me...

As you know, I am travelling to Thailand next week. I had been preparing for another visit to Cambodia, which I have been to three times before. However, I am now suddenly getting intoxicated with the idea of a return trip to Burma (Myanmar). I visited this fascinating country, about one and a half years ago, and I just found the people to be the friendliest, most devoutly Buddhist I have ever met. The combination of Indian and Southeast Asian culture in Burma is simply irresistible.

The political situation there is dire, and I appreciate the arguments that perhaps travellers should not visit out of protest. Yet, I feel a strong desire to experience firsthand, countries with repressive governments, as perverse as this may sound.

For myself, the highlight of my last journey there, were the days I spent with Jason in Bagan - an ancient plain, dotted with thousands of Buddhist stupas. The peacefulness of that place will always stay with me. Like Angkor Wat, it is an Asian treasure.

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