Top 10 Reasons To Visit Myanmar


People are often surprised when I tell them that Myanmar is one of my favorite destinations for photography.  They often ask if it is safe for tourists or if the government is stable.  The answer to both of these questions is yes.  I have traveled to Myanmar many times in the last few years and I have never experienced any problems.  But what is the attraction?


1. Photography is allowed almost everywhere


Surprisingly, Myanmar has very few restrictions on photography.  You can take photos of monks and nuns in monasteries and temples.  You can take photos of people where they work and where they live.


2. The people are friendly and want to be photographed


The people in Myanmar are very friendly towards foreigners and love to have their picture taken.  My guide explained that many people believe if a foreigner takes their picture they improve their chances of coming back in the next life as a foreigner.


3. Myanmar has a lot of historical sites


Myanmar has a long history and many of its historical sites are still standing.  For example, the country has more pagodas than any other country in the world including the 2500 year old Shwedagon paya and the city of Bagan which offer unrivalled opportunities for photography.


4. There are a lot of different cultures to experience


Myanmar has many ethnic minorities with their own unique dress and customs.   Minority villages and homes are accessible to photographers if you have a guide.


5. There are monasteries, temples and pagodas everywhere


Pagodas, temples, shrines and the monasteries that maintain them are numerous and photogenic.  Some are very old and new ones are still being built.


6. Monks and nuns make great models


The Theravada Buddhist monks and nuns living in the monasteries are usually willing to pose for pictures.  They make great models in their red or pink robes.


7. There are always festivals and weddings to photograph


People in Myanmar are honored by foreign guests and always welcome you whenever an event is taking place.  These are great opportunities for photography because many people are dressed in their traditional best.


8. The country is changing fast


There were not a lot of foreign tourists in Myanmar in the past but that is quickly changing as the country is opening up to the world.  It is fast becoming a trendy place to visit so come see Myanmar before it changes forever.


9. It’s like stepping back in time to a simpler world


Many parts of Myanmar are like the rest of Asia was 30 years ago.  Modern life and technology are moving in but very slowly, especially in rural areas.  This provides great opportunities to see and photograph practices long forgotten in other parts of the world such as farmers plowing with oxen and fishermen fishing with a variety of handmade nets.


10. Tourist dollar have a bigger impact


As in any country, tourists help the economy.  But here it is clear that the local people really need our support.  Money spent traveling the country is greatly appreciated, especially when the money is going to ordinary citizens.


May your travel and your photography both be rewarding!


     Roger Nelson