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Vibes of democracy make Burma hot for travelers

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A Burmese temple.

BURMA TOURISM. (Updated) As the military seems to ease its grip on power in Burma, or Myanmar, letting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi participate in elections after her many years in house arrest, the country is getting hotter by the minutes as a destination for tourists. Partial results from the elections for parliament held in early April showed a landslide victory for San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy, the BBC reported on Monday.
The party has ended its call for boycott of the country by the world’s travelers, and now the country is booming, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

• More great stuff: FACTBOX: Learn more about Burma/Myanmar

With it comes a row of problems that the poor nation now is trying to cope with. One is the bad infrastructure after many years of neglect, badly adapted to handle a mass-invasion of foreigners. Lack of hotels is adding to the systematic underdevelopment in the business, the paper reports, driving up prices as the few rooms available are booked quickly.

Burmese monk.

Costs are expected to increase between 35 per cent and 50 per cent this year. “We have been advised that all suppliers, including hotels, transportation companies, domestic airlines, restaurants and freelance guides, will be looking to increase their rates”, says the managing director of Travel Indochina, Paul Hole, to Sydney Morning Herald.


Read the whole story at Sydney Morning Herald.

→ Flights to Burma:

A few search engines for air tickets do not support Rangoon, or Yangon as Burma’s former capital is sometimes spelled, but many do. To get an overview of prices, we conducted a search on for a round-trip ticket from London to Rangoon on September 21, which is a Friday, with the return on October 6, a Saturday.

The result:

• Malaysia Airlines delivers the best price at €765 and an outbound flight time of just under 18 hours, with one stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

• Second comes Etihad that will set you back €932, with about 20 hours total travel time both ways, however including two stopovers.

• Third is Malaysia Airlines again with a much worse alternative, taking almost 32 hours to get you from London to Rangoon including the stop in Kuala Lumpur, and charging €940. After that, and on those dates, no airline comes in under 1.000 euros (Air China wants 1.050 euros for the ticket).

More info: Check out these travel blogs on Burma.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.