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Minglabar!

Welcome to my Yangon blog! I hope to make this a valuable resource for all those traveling and living in Yangon.

Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar, the elusive, reclusive pariah nation that opened its doors to the world just two years ago, beckons the global tourist, for a glimpse of the last frontier in Asia. It offers insights into a world and a way of life that existed two or three decades ago…and it is indeed a breathtaking journey backwards in time.

The place, the people, and the technology, remind you of a bygone era of even countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But leading world powers are waiting to cast their net here, and offer aid, sops, and expertise to help Myanmar catch up with the rest of the world, now that it has opened its doors.

Yet the comfort of Thailand, the organized life of Singapore and the convenience of Malaysia, all fade in front of the serenely mystical beauty of Myanmar. The rush and frenzied pace of other places is missing, and what meets the eye is contentment and complacency which can easily be mistaken for laziness. Vast stretches of land are covered with untamed greenery, the flora and fauna retaining their wild beauty.

This is what lures tourists from all across the globe coming to get a firsthand experience of one of the world’s least developed countries that has just emerged out of decades of army rule, and seeing the benefits of economic sanctions being lifted, albeit not completely.

It cannot be denied that there is a lot of hype about Myanmar and one would expect a frenzied pace of activity on reaching here. But what meets the eye is a country gradually waking up to the need for change. On the economic front, global companies are eyeing 60 million potential consumers with unparalleled growth possibilities.

For the tourist, the investor and prospective resident, there is still sketchy information available about the country and the challenges it poses. Living in modern cities even in less developed countries, spoils us all and our threshold of expectations rises, only to be disappointed when we come to countries like Myanmar. Internet access, mobile connectivity, and communicating in English are some of the biggest challenges here, despite the promise of growth potential that is waiting to be tapped by global companies.

I am starting this blog to share all that I know and have learnt in the last 18 months of my being here. The idea being to share my personal experiences, and if possible, help make things easier for all those looking this way for visiting, exploring business potential or considering making Yangon their home. From the time I set foot on this Golden land, I have witnessed change similar to what I had seen during my childhood, the wave of consumerism, local ways being discarded for western ones, mindlessly emulating from other cultures, without being able to differentiate between growth and development, the latter being a need which the former may not positively promise.

So read on, and let me know if I can provide more inputs.