Burma is a country in Southeast Asia with a long history of political instability. Since independence in 1948, the country has been in one of the longest running civil wars among the country's myriad ethnic groups that remains unresolved. From 1962 to 2011, the country was under military rule.

It is bordered by India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Initially travelers stayed away in order to avoid supporting a potentially corrupt regime.

Despite all this, Burma is a very safe country to visit, and the crime rates are low. As long as you stay away from areas that border with Thailand, China and Laos, you shouldn't encounter any problem. Travelers should ALWAYS avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings and avoid taking photographs or videos of the military, the police or rallies.

It is imperative to respect religious custom when visiting Buddhist religious sites; shorts and sleeveless tops will cause offense and shoes and socks should be removed before entering a pagoda or monastery. Also it's important to take note that homosexuality is illegal in Burma.

Burma is a very exciting destination, it's slow economic growth has actually contributed to the preservation of its environment and ecosystems. So you can expect dense tropical forests, an abundance of exotic animals and a culture that has been untouched.

Side Note:traveler's checks, credit cards, and ATM cards can rarely, if ever, be used. Make sure to carry pristine US dollars with you before you arrive.

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