Right now Burma is experiencing a tourism boom. Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest along with the country’s move towards democracy are two important reasons for this.
These political changes have dramatically affected hotel, car hire, and airline availability. Costs of travel are expected to rise in order to match current demands. In fact, every facet of the travel industry in Burma is set to experience inflation. This includes local restaurants, freelance guides, and travel agents.
The current rising tourism demand could force prices to increase by 35 to 50% by the end of March 2012. However, suppliers have not yet confirmed their rate alterations just yet. Still, holiday travel in Burma is expected to raise 300% from the previous year – more than one million tourists.
Just like any other place in the world, Burma has its own story. This is one more reason besides the recent political reforms that make this country what it is. Popular attractions are described below.
The Golden Rock (a.k.a. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda). This is one of the most sacred places in all of Burma. Buddhists from China, Laos and Thailand believe in the power of The Rock. The story behind this landmark concerns a hermit who places this rock on a pillar thousands of years ago.
This was done before his death so people could continue to worship him after he passed away. It is believed that this rock has magical powers because it lies at the edge of the pillar but does not fall. This attraction is opened to visitors primarily during the dry, cool seasons.
Inle Lake (a.k.a. Inlay Lake). This body of water situated over Shan State Highland is the home of the Inthas people. This is a great place to hire a boat and travel around the lake. Along the way, you can visit multitudes of villages and attend the famous floating Phaungdawoo Pagoda market. This market usually is open during the Pagoda Festival, a celebration that takes place once a year at the end of September or early October.
Shwedagon Pagoda. This site is regarded as the number one tourist attraction in the country and it is the center of Buddhism in Burma. It is said to be covered in 30 to 60 tons of gold and supposedly a large number of jewels are buried underneath. This land’s most precious arts, crafts, sculptures, and more are found here.
National Herbal Park. Located near the Naypyidaw-Taungnyo Road, this park contains over 20,000 herbal and medicinal plants representing over 700 species from all over the land. This vegetation is protected by the government to help prevent depletion and extinction. Nearby is also the Safari Park, Water Fountain Garden, and the Zoological Gardens.
The New York Times has nominated Burma as one of the top three hottest tourist destinations of 2012. Holidays to Burma are likely to become increasingly popular despite the predicted rise in travel costs.