My Next Destination is a Doozy

A few weeks back, I alluded to future plans just as Austin and I were parting ways. Well, plans are now official. I’ve booked my ticket to Burma (Myanmar) and couldn’t be more stoked! For those of you unaware of Burma’s recent history, it has been engulfed in one of the longest civil wars in the world and under military rule since 1962. Only recently has the military loosened its grip and held general elections. The recent voting went well and as trade restrictions are loosened, Aung San Suu Kyi (leading opponent of the former government) has encouraged tourism to recommence. I got extremely lucky with my timing being in Southeast Asia at this point in time and after talking with other travelers, decided that a visit was a must. Apparently, a trip to Burma is a trip back in time. It’s been so closed off from the rest of the world for so long, that the technology we think commonplace anywhere else just isn’t in Burma. Its currency use is also a little on the unusual side. The official exchange rate for the Burmese Kyat is far worse than the illegal black market exchange rate. Even more odd, is the fact that the only foreign currency accepted is brand spanking new American dollars. One crease, one tear and you’ll have to wait for your flight home before spending the cash. Luckily, Cambodia also uses American dollars and I was able to stock up on crisp hundreds. Regardless, my trip back in time couldn’t come soon enough. I can only go off what I’ve read but Burma awaits with its share of wonders. Temples that rival Angkor Wat, unfazed Southeast Asian hospitality and, well, stuff like this.