BURMA, a historical visit, April 1988

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country’s largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century. (source – Google)

If you were in Burma in early 1988, you probably have the same amazing travel experience as me. We entered Burma in June 1988, just 2 months before the biggest national democratic uprising in the country on 08 August 1988 (08.08.88). Burma was a truly beautiful country, amazingly friendly people and most of whom could understand simple English. It is still vivid in my mind, the day we arrived at the airport and discovered things were so basic and backward.

Although Indonesia was fairly underdeveloped in 1988, it felt like I was from a developed country when seeing things in Burma on that visit. The land looked very rich and green, full of potentials, but the people were very poor. We entered Burma on a 7 day fixed tourist visa but was lucky to stay for 10, as the train we boarded from Mandalay to Yangon (Rangoon) was broken down, hence we missed our flight to Bangladesh. Our visas were then extended, and it was blessed to have extra days to explore the country.

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