But for its brutal military regime, the beautiful country of Myanmar (previously known asBurma) would be a popular tourist destination tempting visitors from across the globe to explore its dense forests, abundant wildlife, friendly people, rich culture and underdeveloped coastal resorts.
However, would-be tourists face a difficult choice in whether to come. On the one hand, there are many attractions: thousands ofpagodas, fascinating culture and ancient towns among them. And tourists are welcomed with open arms by locals hungry for news of the outside world, and for their economic contribution.
On the other hand, it is argued that tourism directly funds the military regime. The pro-democracy resistance figure Aung San Suu Kyi is one of many who have asked tourists to resist travelling to Myanmar for this reason.
Travellers should also be aware that certain areas in Myanmar are currently out of bounds owing to the political disturbances of recent years; always seek advice before planning a trip.