Impressions of Myanmar

Remember a time when grocery stores were named after it's owner? When potato chips and sweets were home-made and no Pringles, Mars, or Tic Tac's can be found on shelves. I don't. In Myanmar the only Brands you can find are Coca Cola, Toyota and other mainly Japanese car makers, as well as Samsung for the Phones. That's about it. 

Yet Myanmar comes with a people that seems incredibly industrious and hard working. A general spirit of optimism can be felt running through Yangoon and the country is blessed with a relative efficiency is you take the lack of infrastructure or it's decay into consideration. Yes there are delays or inconveniences - but people make-do with what they have and move things forward.

There is relatively little haggling and hustling in Yangoon, the charming capital with beautiful crumbling old architecture - a pleasure to visit as a tourist -- in particular if you stay off the beaten tracks which are still plenty and even those that are well travelled are considerably less manic. Of course some of this will change as more travellers put Myanmar on their travel routes. The country still has the opportunity to maintain and renovate it's older stock of beautiful yet crumbling architecture and avoid the mistakes some of the other emerging economies which destroyed big portions of their heritage. Overall the country has the right attitude and also access to resources to become a relative power within the region. That is, if they can contain high-level corruption and ensure trade agreements to the advantage of their people. This is the crucial moment and there's still a long way to go.