With a population estimated by the UN at 50 million Myanmar is the second largest country in South East Asia. Despite its size it is a country I don’t know a lot about largely due to the Military Junta enforced isolation.
Myanmar, or Burma as it was then known was conquered by the British over three wars from 1824 to 1885. The conquered territory, administered as part of British India, largely set the current borders for the nation. While the Burmese are the largest group within Burma, there are over 100 other language and ethnic groups making it an extremely diverse country.
With the gradual opening up of the nation and the recent small steps made towards a civilian government, tourism in Myanmar is booming. The four main stops on the tourist trail are Yangon the British era capital, Inle Lake in Shan State, Bagan the ancient capital and Mandalay the last capital of Burmese kings.
I am going to try to visit all of these sites as well as take a few days to head south of Yangon to the end of the Thai-Burma railway line constructed with Prisoner of War labour in World War 2. My Father’s Uncle is buried at the Thanbuzayat Cemetery south of the British era port town of Mawlamayine (formerly Moulmein).