winter vacation 2000/2001


once again asia -had to finish last year's plan. laos and a new place this year, burma.

many people asked me why I would go to myanmar. here is why: the country is still not overrun by tourists (I do know I help to destroy it- but do you eat meat, drive a car or take planes.....) so it is the"real" myanmar not like so many other places in asia.

they still have a lot of tradition (thanks to the iron curtain - somehow like east germany many years ago).
if you look at vietnam now and compare it with the vietnam of 1989 you know what I mean. and it was really worth the trip- the Burmese people are really friendly and there is lots to see.

I hear you: I helped the government to stay in place longer with my money. I did my best to avoid this. I bribed the woman at customs (that way I did not have to buy a single fec) stayed in small private places, used the private airline, used lots of private buses, trishaws and ate on the street or in small restaurants.

still some money goes to the regime. but do you really think that makes a difference? the big money comes from drugs, jade and rubies. so go out and blame the junkies or the jewelry shops. or do you drink heineken, pepsi or smoke 555? they are in the country, selling (of course the labelis different) and paying taxes to the regime. even some folks of the opposition say all the boycott does not really help anything.

it makes the poor suffer more, the ones at the top have everything they need. take a look at Iraq! or take china - a few weeks ago a school blew up - more than 60 little kids died - they where forced to produce fireworks in the school - or the yangtze dam where millions are forced to move from there homes. nobody asks me why I traveled china.

of course I do not think everything is sunshine in myanmar - if you open your eyes you can see that. there is something fishy - and I do not agree with the regime nor do I tell you that they are not as bad as it looks - probably they are even worse! but if a country is open to tourists it is a first step towards more freedom - and if it is only freedom of mind.

anyhow take a look at the pictures!