Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Burma, Burma, Bur--CHIANG MAI

OK, so I lied! I am not going to Burma, I should actually already be there right now.

I've heard many mixed feelings from travellers who went there and had conflicting advice from the internet. Some claim that it is difficult to travel anywhere without supporting the government financially, which I really am against doing. I'm also concerned that by going the Burmese government will view this as some kind of acceptance from 'the West' (not that I have so much political sway, but if all travellers boycott the government it sends a message).

The country sounds absolutely beautiful, and the people are supposed to be some of the most friendly around. It would be quite an experience to go there and hear about their stories and perceptions of their situation.

Burma will always be there and I can go back some other time when the authoritarian regime is removed from power (hopefully in the not to distant future), I just wish I didn't already buy my plane ticket and visa.

Instead I'll be leaving Bangkok tonight and heading towards Chiang Mai in the north.

On an un-travel related note; I really suggest more people read about the government's actions in Burma. Human Rights Watch has many reports on Burma's use of child soldiers, it's marginalization of minorities, and of the government's crackdown onpro-democratic protests.

I've only partially read one report called 'CRACKDOWN'. It's over 100 pages long but you should definately check out the sections called The Monks Join the Protests and The Crackdown. The report contrasts the actions taken by the two sides in the fight for democracy in Burma, it also really made me so angry at all the injustices of the world!

I also found a video, (it has a few bloody pictures so beware) I can't tell if it has sound (no speakers on this computer) but it has pictures of the day of the crackdown.


  1. I'll go with you someday.
    miss you both, hope you love Chaing Mai like I did!

  2. Tough decision, but I think it was a good one. You will really enjoy Chaing Mai. Plus, I will travel with you anytime!