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I went ahead and changed Burma to Myanmar and wrote some travel information. I forgot to log in at the time, but the update was written by myself. Professorbiscuit

Please see Talk:Burma for the discussion of how we came to arrive at this naming. -- Huttite 00:37, 12 Apr 2004 (EDT)

The little piece about the FEC en Kyat that I added is now put under BUY, but it has as much to do with taking busses, getting accomodation... well, just something to think about... W.


"Definitely barter! It is expected virtually everywhere, even in some of the nicest hotels."

I realize Myanmar is an unusual place, but shouldn't that be bargain?? -- Paul Richter 06:31, 12 Jul 2004 (EDT)

It's both barter and bargain everywhere in the developing world, not to mention schoolchildren and multinational corporations worldwide: it all depends on what you've got to offer and your flair for business. --Arthurborges

Aung S. S. Kyi[edit]

Hey,if Aung's freedoms were severely restricted,how could she receive her candles??:>>> 22:06, 13 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Your argument is nonsensical. Candles and freedoms are pretty different concepts. One can severely restrict candles without restricting freedoms, and vice-versa. -- Colin 00:16, 14 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Anyway,Democracy has no place in Burma and don't tell me you hate dictators(look at Yourself LOL) 00:22, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Perhaps you should give up making jokes; they are most remarkable for their lack of effect.
If you want to make a change here that is contraversial (as yours is), you will need to discuss it and gain a consensus on the matter. Your attempts at stealthy deleting the paragraph you dislike have failed repeatedly in the past, and will continue to fail unless you gain consensus. Regarding the actual content, it provides a quick and blunt summary of what the Traveller needs to know about Myanmar before travelling there, and our policy is The traveller comes first. So you will need to somehow miraculously convince us that this paragraph does not serve the traveller in an important matter. -- Colin 00:55, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Sorry,I thought you were making jokes with these freedom candles.And I deleted the paragraph coz you deleted mine about Burmese history(tit for tat),did you not like it?

And,let me add the following:How would you like that?:In the article on the US,we write: "The country has a reputation abroad to be a land,where lots of Violent,Horror and Porn movies are produced and viewn.That could be flattering... 06:29, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)

It is not our job to flatter every country. It is our job to provide blunt information needed by travellers. There are good reasons to travel to Myanmar; humanitarian workers, for example. Telling the traveller flatly about what kind of regime is in place is needed information especially for Myanmar so that the traveller doesn't get himself into trouble with the regime. This isn't Thailand where you can say what you want (except about the King) and go sunbathing every day. For Thailand we warn about insulting the royal family, for the US, we warn that it is more violent than the European countries it superficially resembles, for Myanmar the warning needs to be more of a blanket warning. So feel free to make arguments against whether the warnings are needed. But don't waste our time pointing at another country and complaining that Myanmar isn't feeling the love like other countries are. -- Colin 14:15, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Just remember the difference between advising travellers on things they should and shouldn't do, and coming across like Human Rights Watch. Eyeflash 15:54, 30 Nov 2005 (EST)

The local take on Ms. Aung is that she comes from an old established family of landowners who did their best over the centuries to maximize their own fortunes while minimizing payroll outlays. She is the darling of the West because she will open up the economy to Western purchases of the country's considerable natural resources. If the current government falls, it will also enable consolidation of the opium industry into a more streamlined efficient operation. Arthurborges 19:21, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Two further points on this statement in the insert:

QUOTERemember that foreign corporations only can operate in-country as joint partners with the junta.UNQUOTE

Has Wikitravel some duty to promote 100% foreign ownership of businesses in a developing country??? The reason governments have laws requiring a local partner is so that half the profits STAY IN THE COUNTRY TO GET REINVESTED IN THE COUNTRY and RAISE LIVING STANDARDS of the locals. With 100% foreign ownership, 100% of profits get repatriated, i.e. milked out of a national economy.

Moreover, "junta" is not neutral. After a presidential election where the governor of Florida rigged the voting so his brother could become president after a little bit of pressure on a sympathetic judiciary, some Americans might not be able to see the fine distinction and feel offended.

That statement should be removed. --Arthurborges 19:38, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Wikitravel, unlike Wikipedia, is not neutral. See Wikitravel:Be fair. -- Colin 20:45, 14 July 2009 (EDT)
Is there any particular reason you're adding diatribes to every single section on the page, even if the conversations otherwise ended years ago? - Dguillaime 20:46, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Yes, Dquillaime, The article is rife with insinuations to discourage folks from going there. That is very unfair. It is perhaps the most devoutly Buddhist country of Asia, with lovely people, quasi-inexistent crime and where English is more widely spoken than in Thailand. Allegations of corruption are as valid there as they are for any country with a market economy where money never just talks, it screams. The fact is that the econoomy is relatively protected from multinationals that come in, destroy local industry and generate profits that go off to Vanuatu or some other tax haven, rather than get reinvested into the local economy to boost living standards in a country that sorely needs local capital investment. We Westerners ought to scrub our own pots clean before calling anybody else's kettles black. --Arthurborges

Hi, just to say, Aung S.S. Kyi, according to BBC Radio Four has apparentley lifted to some degree her belief that tourism to Myanmar should be strongly discouraged. Perhaps a rewrite of parts of that section? Regards, -- JBenton 20 March

Questionable suggestions[edit]

OK, I understand that on Wikitravel the traveller comes first. However, I couldn't help questioning whether Wikitravel guides should offer suggestions of questionable legality. For example:

 It is more sensible to use the black market to exchange USD to kyat.

Sounds like suggesting that tourists use the black market, which is obviously breaking the law. Further on we see that when encountering corrupt officials

NOBODY uses the banks except for commercial transactions. EVERYBODY tells you to go to the local meat & veggie market. NOBODY there acts shady about it. Transactions are very upfront, friendly and honest. Arthurborges 18:56, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

 Giving some money, or merely asking to speak to a superior will ward off such attempts.

Surely giving the bribe money to corrupt officials is bad?

--- Due to U.S. sanctions, the economy is handicapped and jobs, hard to come by. Family values are supreme; rugged individualism is considered sheer lunacy. When you have a salary, you have to spread it around the entire extended family. Live and let live. Five bucks is a big deal to most folks there. What's it to you? How does it feel to make someone happy? So share now and then. Arthurborges 18:56, 14 July 2009 (EDT) --- Finally

 Some items may need customs permits, but hiding them well in luggage will help avoid problems.

That's three places where the article suggests dodging around the law. Frankly, I don't give two tosses about the Burmese government, and they strike me as totally illegitimate. The risk of detection for any of these offences might be very low indeed, I don't know. However, travellers who DO get caught doing any of these things could get into some real trouble. Furthermore, if Wikitravel suggests illegal activities it's going to hurt it's reputation as a travel guide, and I don't want to see this happening. Is there a policy on this sort of thing here at Wikitravel?

Please respond soonish so I can decide whether to edit or not. This strikes me as a pretty important issue.

ManicParroT 00:05, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

I've gone ahead with the edits. Please say so if you really think they need to be reverted - I think I'm on pretty solid ground here with this.

Your edits appear to be inline without Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy -- Colin 03:11, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
I agree that the previous wording was bad, but alas, a traveller in Myanmar will need to know how to use the black market to exchange money and how to deal with officials demanding bribes. These are listed as exceptions in the policy above. Jpatokal 03:22, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
Agree about bribes -- but he didn't alter that section. -- Colin 15:16, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
When writing about corrupt, third-world countries, one should be careful of making the assumption that following the law is safer than breaking it or that following the law is feasible option. Chances are, breaking the law is not a shortcut, but the only way. You'll also find that the locals' ethical rules do not involve following the law, and for good reason. — Ravikiran 04:51, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
The article includes info about how to legally and safely do forex. It also says that the exchange rate is bad, but it's unclear what "bad" is. If the black market "only" saves you 50%, I wouldn't do it in a facist state like this -- it's just crazy. But it depends on how bad bad is. -- Colin 15:16, 27 July 2006 (EDT)

Revert political twisting[edit]

I reverted the last edits to this article, I think it was much more traveler-oriented before, and the previous version is more in tune with what I hear from all of the travelers that I've encountered that have been there.

Let's focus on giving info that aids the traveler in a trip there, and save all of the he said/she said for Wikipedia or another forum... ::: Cacahuate 03:14, 26 January 2007 (EST)

Who's REALLY going on he said/she said here??? Ironically you have just admitted you're basing your POV on what you "with what I hear from all" my buddies. How do we know your buddies aren't biased? It sounds like what they say is in line with the mantra of the Bush administration, which has targeted Mynamar in its compaign to overthrow foreign governments that refuse to kowtow to its international dictates... I recommend Edward Said's work on "Orientalism." Not everyone in the world agrees with the rich white Western bourgeois view of the world, the so-called "white mans burden" of uplifting the 'uncivilized yellow natives' from Southeast Asia. The bulk of people visiting Myanmar are in fact people from China, who go there without an axe to grind. They are travelers too. This article should be "traveler-oriented," as you put it, for ALL PEOPLES OF THE WORLD, not just rich white people from the West going to places like Myanmar to stir up trouble and act as agents of cultural imperialism. The way to do this is avoiding ethnocentricism. -- Akhilesh M.
I reverted much, if not all of your additions to the understand section because after looking over several sources of information I think your edits were whitewashing history and it's important for us not to do that, especially since this isn't Wikipedia. If you have a problem with reality go take it up with the European Union [1] [2], the U.S. State Department [3], Amnesty International [4], Transparency International [5], and any other uncorrupted organization. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:25, 26 January 2007 (EST)
In what kind of jingoistic, U.S. chauvinist dream world are the European Union and the U.S. State Department and their NGO agents "uncorrupted???" European and U.S. imperialists are responsible for the worst war crimes in the history of humanity. [6] If you want to talk about "whitewashing" history, then let's see if you're ready to talk about the moral objections to traveling to the United States, ruled by a regime that has no problems with carrying out massacres of workers and people of color fighting for freedom, from Wounded Knee to My Lai to your tourture cells in Iraq. -- Akhilesh M.
P.S. Regarding your statement: rich white Western bourgeois view of the world. It would certainly be news to me and the rest of America if Ms. Condoleezza Rice is white as you suggested in this comment combined with your "Understand" edits. Hell, that'd be news to her! -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 21:55, 26 January 2007 (EST)
Rice's ancestry has nothing to do with anything; it certainly does not justify reinserting racist and ethnocentric trash in this article. One does not have to be "white" to hold a rich white Western bourgeois view. In an earlier period blacks who compromised with imperialist and racist power structures were called "Uncle Toms" in subaltern discourse. Now in advanced intellectual works, we refer to neocolonialists. The U.S. imperialists learned from the British empire's 'divide and conquest' tactic of using as few resources as possible to exploit and dominate the labor power of as many people as possible outside their borders. -- Akhilesh M.
I think the article already is reasonably balanced. Secondly, we have certain standards here like "express prices in terms in which they will be paid." Your switch of the USD into $ is unacceptible since it makes it unclear that the prices are being listed in terms of US Dollars. So I'll revert based on that alone. -- Colin 22:28, 26 January 2007 (EST)
Well, swith $ to USD, but don't reinsert the racist trash I cleaned out of the article. -- Akhilesh M.
Don't reach for the racism button -- it's not as effective as you think. People don't think Myanmar is corrupt due to racism. It has more to do with the fact that Myanmar is corrupt. If corruption runs rampant in a particular country, that needs to be documented in a travel guide so that travelers are prepared to deal with it rather than being shocked or surprised.
Secondly, please discuss the points you want changed and try to gain Wikitravel:Consensus. Just saying "this is all propaganda" when it appears to be the consensus of the West (and none of our free press is disputing it) is a dubious proposition. Keep in mind that it is your job to argue for the proposition and try to convince people you have a point, so berating people who disagree with you will probably not work out well. So with that said, give it your best, calmest, and most reasoned shot to try to convince us. -- Colin 03:26, 27 January 2007 (EST)
First, the "racism button" is not effective on racists, but the victims of racism know it when they see see. "Corruption" is not a fact; it is an opinion. Different cultures have different understandings of how to define "corruption." In Asian cultures valuing family and personal ties more highly, practices called "corrupt" by people with a "white man's burden" view of the world are matters of moral obigation. Second, the the notion of the "free press" in the West is mystification. What you have is a corporate media. There is, however, an independent media disputing the Bush administration mantra on Myanmar. International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice are a couple of new groups fighting imperialist aggression from within the borders of the American empire. The movement for black self-determination and the progressive workers' movement have always been militant in its opposition to imperialism. -- Akhilesh M.
Since you define as racist anyone who is both Asian and thinks Myanmar is corrupt, it is apparent that your definition of raciscm is "anyone who doesn't agree with me." That's not the usual definition. When you overreach by using the harshest words for your critics -- regardless of whether the words fit -- you are only demonstrating that you are incapable of making your point using truthful words. Perhaps that is because there is no truth to be had which justifies your point of view. The only way you can prove otherwise is to use reason instead of mere name calling. -- Colin 05:08, 27 January 2007 (EST)
I am not dealing with the question about whether the act of stating racist views makes one necessarily a racist. So don't throw a hissy fit with your feelings getting hurt. Ethnocentrism is not truth; it is ideology. Myanmar is only corrupt from the standpoint of a bourgeois ideology. Before the development of the capitalist mode of production, every culture valued family and personal ties more highly than institutional ones, than what Max Weber called "the spirit of capitalism." Myanmar's culture stresses moral obligations resting in personal and family relations. In some cultures, patrimonalism-- using your government connections to get a family member a job is fine and even expected. In the Western culture and in some East Asian societies that have adopted capitalism, a different definition of corruption putting the interests of capitalist producers and the state first is used. Use your own definition of corruption in your own personal dealings, but avoid spewing cultural impeperialism in this article. -- Akhilesh M.
So in short, you have no argument to make. But you'd really like to distract us by saying "help help I'm being oppressed." Tell you what: I won't be answering you anymore unless you have made an argument. But I will still be listening. Anytime you'd like to make some headway on your problems instead of coming down with the vapors, I'll be happy to work with you. In the meantime, vapor away and don't expect your changes to the article to stick. -- Colin 16:47, 27 January 2007 (EST)
Your ignorance about Myanmar and the world in general has given me a good laugh. Anyone competent who has studied anthropology or any related subject can tell you corruption is a social constuct, not a universial fact. Matters being considered corrupt in one culture are not considered corrupt in another. It's the bin Laden and Pat Robertson-types who consider the norms of their culture to be universal moral law. Get a clue, in case you find yourself talking about the humanities-- say at a yuppie cocktail party or something-- and someone you want to impress is actually informed about other cultures. -- Akhilesh M.

While everyone is welcome to make edits here, in cases of conflict we usually try to find a consensus that everyone can agree on. I suspect it will be very difficult to build a consensus that amnesty international is a biased operative of the Bush administration, especially given recent reports they've issued on Iraq. You're welcome to state your case, but please back it up with facts that prove the perceived bias in this article.
Also, I'd agree strongly with Colin - people here will be very willing to discuss any issues you see in this article, but claiming that the authors are racist and imperialist fosters argument rather than discussion. Last of all, please don't change headings of sections that other people have started - in wiki-etiquette it's considered rude to change someone else's contribution to a talk page. -- Ryan 03:31, 27 January 2007 (EST)
Amenesty International may have differences with Bush's henchmen on some issues, but it does represent a segment of the ruling class. It aligns itself with Bush in villifying Myanmar, opposes Bush in other areas. I stand by my arguments that their view is not the final say on matters here. -- Akhilesh M.
I'll just throw in two data points. Point 1: according to WHO figures, Myanmar spends [7] $10/person/year on health care]. Point 2: Myanmar also spent $50 million on the wedding of a junta leader's daughter last year. Are you sure you've picked the right poster boys to promote? Jpatokal 03:37, 27 January 2007 (EST)
Did you THINK about what you are saying above????? Maybe it spends little per person on health care BECAUSE IT IS A POOR COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT HAVE MUCH TO SPEND????? Why is it poor? I wonder... It was poor before Aung San Suu Kyi became the latest propaganda stooge of Western imperialism. The nation has been poor ever since it came under the rule of centuries of British colonialism and later neocolonial attacks by international capital and its U.S. political agents. -- Akhilesh M.
That's right, it's a poor country that does not have much to spend, and the junta still chose to spend $50 million to spend on a single wedding. Why aren't they using that money on something else? Was the wedding, too, caused by racism, neocolonial attacks or the US political agenda? Jpatokal 04:48, 27 January 2007 (EST)
I should not dignify the above with a response. Something you saw on YouTube has nothing to do with the broader development history of a country. -- Akhilesh M.
In other words, you have no excuse, and I thus won this argument. Whee! Jpatokal 05:07, 28 January 2007 (EST)
What are you, an eight year old? Some bullshit you see on YouTube has nothing to do with heath, education, and development in Myanmar. It's a red herring. You are not only ignorant about economics and development, you lack logic. -- Akhilesh M.
The World Health Organization (linked above) has nothing to do with health, education and development i Myanmar? Spending the health care budget of 500,000 people on jewelry and champagne is not gross corruption? Jpatokal 22:36, 29 January 2007 (EST)
So Abishek, aside from hanging around to argue endlessly, are you at least semi-satisfied with the changes made to the article? ::: Cacahuate 22:46, 29 January 2007 (EST)

QUOTEthe European Union [1] [2], the U.S. State Department [3], Amnesty International [4], Transparency International [5], and any other uncorrupted organization. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) UNQUOTE

Um "uncorrupted"??? I will allow that there may be a few uncanonized saints still on the payrolls of each of these illustrious corporate bodies, but none of the four is neutral and each has its own axe to grind, not to mention a#@ to cover. As for any fifth body, even Mother Teresa had skeletons in her cupboard.--Arthurborges 20:18, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Junta is bhaaaaaad[edit]

Y'know, while our dear friend Mr. Akhilesh is clearly a few noodles short of a bowl of mohinga, his rather funny edit to the USA article does showcase a point — which is that political finger-wagging doesn't belong on Wikitravel. Myanmar's a special case because Aung San Suu Kyi's democratically elected govn't is/has at some point told people to stay away, but I'd still suggest we compile the "junta is bhaaaaaad" stuff, including "how to visit and minimize your support" tips into one (1) section/infobox in the beginning of the article and then strip it out elsewhere. Jpatokal 03:45, 27 January 2007 (EST)

Sounds good. Right now it clutters the article for actual travelers -- whether NGO or tourists who choose to travel there. Also, I tend to assume that fewer people are ignorant of Amurican issues. So those who would be inclined to boycott are already doing so and don't need a reminder to stay away (actually, it shouldn't be a reminder -- it should just raise the issues and let the traveler decide). Unlike the USA, the Myanmar political situation isn't discussed quite so much, so ignorance probably abounds. -- Colin 03:50, 27 January 2007 (EST)
Great idea, Jani. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 03:57, 27 January 2007 (EST)
YES, finally some reason. "Political finger-wagging doesn't belong on Wikitravel." Now please help me take it out of here. If I have gone too far, just consolidate the Bush rhetoric in its own section like "note to anti-government activists." -- Akhilesh M.

Myanmar vs. Burma[edit]

(Note: I've read the discussion here as well as in talk:burma!) While I'm not against using Myanmar as the name of the country, I suggest that the title be reverted to Myanmar (Burma). There are several reasons for this: 1. Myanmar (or properly Myanma) is historically the name used for the central plains, not for the entire country. Various historical sources (A. J. Phayre to name one), albeit colonial sources, point that out. 2. Thant Myint-U, the noted Burmese historian and an important proponent of constructive engagement with the military rulers, apparently prefers to use the name Burma (I haven't asked him but that is the name he uses in his writings). 3. There is plenty of evidence that the military government is actively "Bamarizing", if I may invent that word, the country. Martin Smith (Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity, Zed Books, 1999); Christina Fink (Living Silence: Burma under Military Rule, 2001); and to a lesser extent, Andrew Marshall (The Trouser People, Counterpoint Press 2003); all argue that changing the names of places is a part of the process of stamping the Bamar identity on the country.

My proposal is that, until such time as we know what the average citizen of Myanmar or Burma really wants, it is best to use both names. Personally, I've traveled extensively in Burma and it is not clear to me which name would win in, say, a referendum. Given that even a frequent visitor like me hardly gets the opportunity to interact with the minorities (especially the Karen, the largest minority and the hardest to find in Burma itself), it seems to me wrong to not include 'Burma' in the title of this Wikitravel page.

That's all well and good, but it's not how we name articles. Please see Wikitravel:Article naming conventions. Jpatokal 12:42, 14 May 2007 (EDT)

Well, it seems to me that the method for finding the 'most common English name', by counting google hits, is flawed enough to warrant both names up there. It defies common sense to believe that more English speaking people would recognize 'Myanmar' over 'Burma'. Looking at the google hits, I can see that there are 55.5 million hits for Myanmar as opposed to 28.7 milliion hits for Burma. Three of the top ten Myanmar hits are directly connected to the government of Myanmar and one wonders how many of the 55.5 million hits are from Myanmar government websites. Of course, many of the 28.7 million hits on Burma will include articles (from JSTOR for example) that were written prior to the name change. Seems to me that google is an imperfect tool for measuring something like this. Still, if that's the convention and you are the voice of authority, I'll leave this on the record and live with it :-). Seems a shame though to bypass the debate and ignore the suppressed voices from Burma. --Wandering 13:28, 14 May 2007 (EDT)

We don't use only Google search engine hits -- that's just one factor. We evaluate press mentions of each name, the name that other travel guides use, and the name that other reference works use. See Talk:Burma for the extensive discussion that went into this choice. --Evan 14:28, 14 May 2007 (EDT)
Yes, Google is an imperfect tool, and so are the others at our disposal. There really isn't a simple way to determine which name is "best". We definitely don't want to get into the business of choosing names to make political statements, because that opens up every naming dispute to political debate. On the other hand, using both names would be both awkward and wishy-washy. Better to make a good-faith effort to pick one or the other, and stick with it. - Todd VerBeek 14:35, 14 May 2007 (EDT)

Better to make a good-faith effort to pick one or the other, and stick with it. I'll buy that. For the time being! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wandering (talkcontribs)

Alright, so I'd like to revisit this. I have never known "Myanmar" as "Myanmar". I have always known "Myanmar" as "Burma" and that's before this whole protest thing. I found out about "Myanmar" only after I was redirected to the page after typing in "Burma" several months back. Anyone remember that weird guy who kept knocking the US and supporting the Junta, despite living and going to school in the US? That's when I found out about "Burma" being "Myanmar". It's the policy of the UK and US to refer to the country as Burma, which, although political, probably has led to millions of other people knowing the country only as "Burma". -- Sapphire(Talk) • 19:22, 27 September 2007 (EDT)

--- If you want to be neutral, you call a place by the name it officially calls itself. If you want to take the US Govt POV, then call it Burma. Or we can go the whole hog and change France to Frog Heaven; Russia to Putin's Empire and Germany to Ex-Third Reich. Or, more pointedly, Israel back to Palestine. Any takers? Arthurborges 19:11, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

I live in Myanmar and my guess, without doing any polls, that 90% of the people from Myanmar call their country Myanmar and only 10% Burma.

But you have to acknowledge that in the local language the country always was called Myanmar. Rbakels (talk) 15:29, 15 October 2013 (EDT)

It is the Union of Myanmar, reflecting the fact that only part of the population are ethnic Burmese. I guess the name Burma (or Birma) should go the same way was Rhodesia and Ceylon (nowadays Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka respectively). Inevitably, some of the newer names are politically incorrect. Siam was renamed to Thailand in the 1930s in order to express territorial claims to land inhabited by ethnic Thai outside Siam, notably in Laos. Rbakels (talk) 15:28, 15 October 2013 (EDT)[edit]

I noticed that jpatokal deleted the link I had put in to this site. I'm sure the reason was "that's not how we do things around here," :-) but, since seat61 is the ONLY site that contains reasonably up to date information on train schedules and pricing in Myanmar, is there some other way that the link can be made available to travelers? --Wandering 11:39, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

Well, it's technically an external link, which is why he deleted it. But we've actually discussed this before, and for that actual website too, I just can't seem to find the old conversation. It is a good website, and for several countries it's the best source for train info. But if we start allowing SOME external links, then where to draw the line becomes a tough issue, so we've sort of just said NO external links. feel free to bring it up on Wikitravel talk:External links though if you feel strongly about it – cacahuate talk 12:41, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

S'ok. I think I know how it'll play out so won't bother posting in the external links talk thing for now. Seems a shame though that a really useful piece of travel information has no place in wikitravel. Seems to be a bit of the baby and bathwater thing going on here with the enforcement of the external link rule. If I were the law, I would just look away if someone posted the link to seat61 in the Myanmar trains section. But, I'm not, so I'll just sigh and move on!--Wandering 15:02, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

I agree that the External links policy is broken in this respect, but nobody has found a way to fix it yet... Jpatokal 23:12, 7 June 2007 (EDT)

I guess Wikitravel can live without a reference to seat61. Gotta leave something for Thorntree!--Wandering 11:01, 8 June 2007 (EDT)

has a new feature-- a [/link_directory link directory]! It's still in testing, so there aren't links to it visible on the site yet (should be added to the UI by next week), but please feel free to try it out. It's perfect for this sort of site -- the entry to the link directory can be tagged with multiple destinations... then a link to Extra can be added to the Myanmar page (currently showing up in the "other links" section, soon to be a more prominent tab link). Maj 15:11, 8 June 2007 (EDT)
Err, no, it's almost completely useless for this sort of site. How would a reader perusing the "By train" section of the article know that, if he clicks on the tiny little "Extra" link off the site and pokes around there a bit more, that he'd find a useful link in there somewhere? Jpatokal 00:45, 9 June 2007 (EDT)
Errr, because if you read what I wrote you might notice the part about "soon to be a more prominent tab link." If someone is looking for more than the guide, they'll be able to click on links to take them to all the blogs, photos, forum posts, and/or links related to a destination. One click. Yesh. Maj 09:49, 9 June 2007 (EDT)
Errrr, you didn't actually answer my hypothetical question. Prominent tab or not, it's just one generic link off to the side somewhere, so how is the reader supposed to know that there's something relevant to (say) train travel or nightlife behind it? Jpatokal 10:00, 9 June 2007 (EDT)

Wait... what?[edit]

My new favorite line in this article is "Be especially alert and cautious if you are carrying bombs in hotels and office buildings."' -- Colin 15:42, 8 December 2007 (EST)

Unless you belong to the tatmadaw - then you can just wave the bombs around!--Wandering 15:58, 8 December 2007 (EST)


International press complains currently the strict visa procedures of Burma at the embassy in Bangkok. I put in a small note of the cyclone "Nargis". Does any heard that this also effect tourist? Jc8136 11:34, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

A number of consulates will hassle Westerners who apply for their visas directly. However, you will get the visa you want with no hassles if you order it through the travel agent who sells you your ticket.

The Western media are quick to put negative spin on anything about Myanmar and anything they say has to be crosschecked. --Arthurborges 18:38, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

The VISA section is a complete mess, as of Summer 2013. There is contradictory information. In one place it says one thing in another something else.

is it safe? section[edit]

In addition to the chances of being mugged, I think the "is it safe?" section should address what a tourist's chances are of being murdered by the junta. Web wonder 18:42, 27 February 2009 (EST)

Um, if you shoot at a police officer or serviceman, expect return fire.

Otherwise I see no problem.

To give you a personal example, when I landed at Yangon Airport, I came up to Immigration, manned by four middle-aged female officers, slightly plump, and cheerfully chatting amongst each other as they knitted. They looked at me, I put my passport on the counter, one of them took it, placed it on her desk and resumed conversation with her fellow officers. After standing there like an idiot for several minutes, I somehow insanely imagined that perhaps I ought to proceed directly to Customs, where my passport would be returned. So I just wandered forth for several yards until I heard them all giggling behind my back.

Well, in Asia, when you hear a group of people giggling within earshot, you freeze. And look around. So I did. And there they were, the four of them, giggling away as they beckoned me to come back to the Immigration Desk.

Um, try that at JFK or LAX. Arthurborges 18:45, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

hotels run by friends of the government[edit]

"There's a part that says "Many large five-star hotels in Yangon and Mandalay are run by friends of the government or by people with connections to the drug trade. Socially conscious travelers may want to avoid these two types of hotels."

But if one stays at a hotel NOT run by friends of the government, won't some of the money still end up going to the government since the hotel's owners will have to pay their taxes? What, then, is the point of avoiding hotels run by friends of the government? Web wonder 18:38, 27 February 2009 (EST)

Every business pays tax in one way or another. Wherever you go in the world however, you can make a point of making your purchases from the smallest, most vulnerable enterprise or entrepreneur. USD 10 in a street vendor's pocket can make his day (or week) whereas a five-star hotel will never notice it much. Call it being "socially conscious" if it gives your ego an erection; I just call it common sense. Arthurborges 18:57, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Wholesale Plagerizing of Lonely Planet Guides?[edit]

Wow, this site seems to see nothing wrong with copying entire sections from Lonely Planet (Should you go? and Is your money safe?) and using them here without permission or even proper sourcing! Is this a case of "when in Rome" or don't you have enough information collected on your own?====

See shared:Copyleft for the rules about re-using content. If there is text that is copied from Lonely planet in this article then it should be removed, but if the problem is that some of the sections are merely similar to LP then that would not really be a problem. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:30, 4 July 2009 (EDT)
I'll agree that it is rather similar to Lonely Planet and they also use the same "To go or not to go" [8] however, I believe this was written after the extensive conversations above, right? Also, this conundrum is by no means an invention of Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet put it in their book because it's something on the minds of many tourists considering travel to Myanmar. Safety is also a major concern when travelling to this kind of country. Lonely Planet is certainly not the only book to list safety concerns for travellers! Anyone making a Myanmar guide with any knowledge of the country would mention these topics somewhere!

With that said, there is nothing wrong with adjusting the comments to make them more original while still staying true to the topic. Like I said, it's similar (because it references the same issue) but it's not a direct copy. Make changes if deemed necessary. ChubbyWimbus 22:05, 14 July 2009 (EDT)


We badly need a proper regional structure for Myanmar. Currently, we are following the political divisions of the country (14 different states/divisions). Anyone fancy having a go at proposing a regional structure? Any of Laos, Thailand or Cambodia might serve as inspiration as countries which have been completely regionalised. If anyone can do this I will pledge to draw a Wikitravel style map for Myanmar. --Burmesedays 09:37, 27 December 2009 (EST)

My proposal:
  • North-East Mountains (Shan, Kachin, Kayah and northern Saigaing)
  • Irrawaddy (Mandalay, Magway, Yangon, Bago, Ayerwaddy and southern Rakhine)
  • West (Chin, southern Saigaing and northern Rakhine)
  • South (Tanintharyi, Mon, Kayin)--Burmesedays 11:25, 28 December 2009 (EST)
I really can't help with the specifics, but would like to suggest that a division of more than four might be useful for such a big country, since it might help us to avoid having to subdivide again (at least for quite a while). But then again, if a four-way division makes the most sense from a travel perspective, please ignore this comment! --Peter Talk 11:45, 28 December 2009 (EST)
Seems like a good start, but I don't think you can place Mandalay in the Irrawaddy Delta. I think a Central region could work. I also think it might not be wise to split the existing regions, that might be confusing. Globe-trotter 11:49, 28 December 2009 (EST)
I deliberately called it Irrawaddy (no delta) to include the valley and the delta. The Irrawaddy flows straight through Mandalay. I can see the sense in a central region though.... maybe we could have Irrawaddy Delta and Irrawaddy Valley? On not splitting existing political divisions, it is tough if you take a look at the map I just uploaded to the main article. The Geography is not very convenient! :) Point taken on more divisions. Let me think some more and others please do contribute. This is a tough one. --Burmesedays 12:07, 28 December 2009 (EST)

I tried the following, maybe its something:

  • Irrawaddy (Southern Myanmar) (Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy, Bago)
  • Central Myanmar (Mandalay, Magwe)
  • Western Myanmar (Chin, Northern Rakhaing, Southern Rakhaing)
  • Northeastern Myanmar (Northeastern Mountains) (Shan, Kachin, Kayah, Sagaing)
  • Southeastern Myanmar (Tanintharyi, Mon, Kayin)

I know the river is up north, but I always think of the Irrawaddy Delta.

Globe-trotter 12:33, 28 December 2009 (EST)

I have just sketched that scheme on the CIA divisions map and it seems to work and I would be happy to roll with it. I assume we will keep the existing state articles and have a two level region structure for Myanmar? Myanmar --> Region --> State/Division --> City? Just as a note, we have avoided this structure for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia which have more content than Myanmar.... --Burmesedays 04:36, 29 December 2009 (EST)
We could get rid of the states, but I think the states also say something of the ethnic composition there. Myanmar is a very diverse country with lots of ethnic minorities, so I think a two-level structure would be useful. But both are options, especially content-wise. globe-trotter 10:37, 29 December 2009 (EST)
Keep the states I think. Map will be done in a day or two. Fun one to draw.. all that coastal detail. :) --Burmesedays 12:06, 29 December 2009 (EST)
A lot of fiddly work involved in getting this regionalisation straight. Orphaned articles all over the place. The good news is, we have more content than originally imagined. For the time being I am not paying any attention to the nine rules except at the country level; rather just trying to make sure each article is correctly assigned to a state/divison and thus to a region. We can refine the lists down to nine later. --Burmesedays 23:11, 29 December 2009 (EST)

Travelling through the country overland[edit]

Is anybody aware of any route through the entire country which is possible from entering one foreign and exiting another foreign border? The article currently makes it not sound possible. For me any routes in any direction would be interesting. — Hippietrail 17:54, 11 March 2010 (EST)

Language study[edit]

What is the availability of language schools or teachers for foreigners who wish to learn some Myanmar? — Hippietrail 18:16, 11 March 2010 (EST)

You can contact Min Thu: [email protected] There are more but try him first if you like.


I wonder why some of my postings have been deleted. Just a few days ago I posted news on the visa on arrival procedure which started on the 1st of May 2010. Relevant information for the traveler I thought. Next day it was gone. A little longer ago I wrote the the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to be finished in November (according to the court ruling)........also gone.

The information about ASK's potential release date is still there in the Understand section. On visas, that edit was removed with a full explanation in the edit dialogue. See [9]. As the information was added from an anonymous IP and not by a registered user, and various Burmese Embassies did not seem to know about it, I can understand why it was questioned. If the information is correct, please do add it again, preferably with a reference (here, not in the article). I hope that clarifies.--Burmesedays 01:05, 6 May 2010 (EDT)
Yes it did and I do apologise. I missed ASSK entry and do understand the caution on unverified information. I heard about the possibility on visa on arrival on the 1st of May through MMC (a private initiative by hotels and restaurants to promote tourism in Myanmar. I do agree there was nothing published at the time (the actual decision was taken in NPT the day before!). Have a look at for verification.
No need at all to apologise. I suggest you re-add that information, if you have not already done so. It is quite major news.--Burmesedays 09:41, 6 May 2010 (EDT)


This is supposed to be wikiTRAVEL, so the article should be mainly about the top tourist attractions of this country. Instead mostly all I saw was a lengthy history lesson on Myanmar. This is NOT wikiHISTORY. Please remove the history part and instead list the top 10 attractions of the country —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

If that is all you saw, then you did not look very hard. Go the cities section and you will see the nine most important Burmese cities linked. Likewise the nine most important other destinations (non-cities) are also linked. Go to those linked articles and you will find some gems of information about attractions and activities in this often difficult country.
I would also advise you that if you are not interested in the history of Burma, then you should not travel there. The history section of this article provides very important information and perspective which any visitor should take on board.--Burmesedays 01:31, 13 August 2011 (EDT)

You Burmesedays shouldn't be telling people that a History lesson is mandatory to travel to Myanmar. WikiTravel should be fast and easy to read. If anyone wants extra information, including history, they can go to WikiPedia and read it there. Looks like Myanmar WikiTravel is hijacked. Simply compare Myanmar WikiTravel with the wikitravel of other countries. WikiTravel is not suppposed to be the information about all aspects of a country. Just what is of interest to the tourist.

I'm a tourist, and I wouldn't dream of going somewhere without a basic working knowledge of that place's history. How can you get the full experience without it? You'd wind up like Ben Carson looking at the pyramids. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Status of Myanmar's governmental system[edit]

Is it still a military junta? It would seem that, with Aung San Suu Kyi and many members of her party in Parliament and many restrictions having been eased or removed, yet a certain number of seats (is it 25%?) reserved for unelected military personnel, it is more of a country in transition. So what term description should be in the information box at the upper right of the article? Ikan Kekek 15:12, 6 May 2012 (EDT)

Military junta ;)
Better yet, lets get rid of that slapdash item? I actually thought we agreed it should be gone already, towards the end of that discussion. --Peter Talk 15:18, 6 May 2012 (EDT)
The discussion escaped me. I'm just seeing it now.
I don't object to the system of government not being listed in a word or two, as long as it is described in the article in a sufficient way for travellers to know what they're getting into. Which means we will still have to patrol biased edits. Ikan Kekek 16:17, 7 May 2012 (EDT)

Burma's new fashion trends[edit]

Now I sense new fashion in Myan-Burm. Happy Halloween for that. --CurvyEthyl 04:37, 31 October 2012 (EDT)

Wikitravel:External links[edit]

IBadmins do great work in fighting link spam here but they are overworked and occasionally make a mistake.

I've reverted the mistaken removal of the link to MPT (Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications own webpage about roaming since it is obviously a primary source. (Even if it were a secondary source [and no primary source were available] it should still probably be included under our ttcf over-riding rule and objective!) --Ttcf (talk) 13:57, 27 February 2014 (EST)

Well, that was a great demonstration of how easy it is to make mistakes with diffs! Adzas removed the link to the primary source about Scania buses and not to roaming agreements. Although it isn't a secondary link, I don't think it's of overwhelming utility to the traveller to have information about Scania buses in the article so I've not reverted her - it's a judgement call. --Ttcf (talk) 14:04, 27 February 2014 (EST)