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The Road to Mandalay

And a land that time forgot

Burma (Myanmar to some) is increasingly in the news as some change begins. Ruled for many years by a ruthless, repressive junta, it suffers regular earthquakes and cyclone Nargis left more than a hundred thousand people injured, homeless or dead. Yet this is a magical place: a country of contrasts with a rambunctious history and a culture that is both awesome and fascinating.

Largely on a whim, the author decides to visit Mandalay, the “Golden City” foreseen by ancient Buddhist prophesies. Despite campaigns at the time suggesting no one travelled to Burma (thus supporting the regime) he takes a trip, much of it on the river cruiser “Road to Mandalay”

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Who are the Rohingya?

And what’s their problem?

Updated May 22, 2018

Most media sources and wiki describe the Rohingya as the world’s most persecuted people, a population of about 1.1 million people who live predominately in Rakhine state within Myanmar.

The Rohingya people say they are descendants of Muslims, perhaps Persian and Arab traders, who came to Myanmar generations ago but they are mostly ethnic Bengali’s who’ve been Islamised for many generations. But unlike the Buddhist community, they speak a language similar to the Bengali dialect of Chittagong in Bangladesh.

Looking back over 1000 years of history we cannot be precise. It is well documented that Southeast Asia was more influenced by Hinduism over the first few centuries of the B.C. era

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Myanmar

A land of pagodas

Once part of the Indian Empire and known as Brahmadesh which was shortened to Burma by the British who once ruled this Buddhist country. After independence, it’s name was changed to Myanmar which has become one of the worlds newest tourist destinations although the infrastructure struggles to cope with the rapidly growing tourist numbers.

Stretching about 2000km from north to south and surrounded by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand (Siam), Myanmar’s natural beauty was revealed recently by Top Gear’s (three idiots abroad) who drove trucks from Yangon, (a river city and the capital of Myanmar) to Thailand. Myanmar is accessed by road and air from all these countries.

Many political and ethnic opposition groups and

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