In the 1920s a teen-ager looking for adventure signed up with the British Imperial Police Force and became one of the thousands of young men patroling the empire that never saw the sun set. Yet five years after Eric Arthur Blair began his tour of duty in an Asian colonial nation sired by the Queen, the soldier of fortune promptly returned to his homeland, shed his uniform, changed his name to George Orwell and started a new career as a novelist. He spent the next 30 years of his life, some would say, writing about that nearly land-locked Asian nation even scribbling notes for a new novel set in the country from his deathbed.
When you go to Burma perhaps it will have the same transformative effect upon you as it did upon Orwell. His books Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, which incidentally have sold more copies than any other two books of the 20th Century, were inspired by his time in Burma. What is it about this enigmatic empire that caused Orwell to obssess over the country all his life?
When you visit this country shrounded in mystery it will no doubt beguile you with its tropical beauty, it's charming intersection between the ancient and the post modern and the ironic openness of its people who live under the ever watching Big Brother of a strict military regime.
Governmed by a military junta which inexplicably changed its centuries-old nation name of Burma to the Union of Myanmar, Orwell's obssession is a country in Southeast Asia. It lies on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea coast with Bangladesh and India to the west, China to the north, and Laos and Thailand to the east.
But those facts do not begin to explain the depth and breadth of beauty that you will see when you travel to this country which has a bustling capital city peppered with bright yellow and red-colored new construction as well as the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia.
In this guide book you will experience Burma's hottest attractions, best places to dine and relax but also get a bit of what makes this country tick. Come with us and let us journey to find what Orwell saw in the country that changed his life forever.
Things to See
Bagan is an archaeological zone with thousands of pagodas near the banks of the Ayeyarwady River
Inle Lake is a large shallow lake good for beautiful boat trips, visiting floating villages inhabited by the Intha people, hiking, and also a source of excellent silk
Kengtung is between Mong La (on the border with China) and Tachileik (on the border with Thailand) in the Golden Triangle, known for the Ann (black teeth people) and Akha tribes and trekking
A gold-gilded rock sitting atop a cliff and a major pilgrimage site
Mount Popa is an extinct volcano regarded as the Mount Olympus of Myanmar, a green oasis high above the hot plains and an easy day trip from Bagan
Mrauk U is the former capital of the Rakhine Kingdom
Ngapali is a beach resort in western Rakhine State, spilling into the Bay of Bengal
Ngwe Saung is the longest stretch of beach in Myanmar's Ayeyarwaddy Division, white sandy beach and crystal clear water are the features of Ngwe Saung Beach
Pyay is a town on the Ayeyarwady River midway between Yangon and Bagan, known for its archaeological site Sri Kittara, the ancient Pyu capital from 2 to 9 AD