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The Rough Guide to Myanmar (Burma) (Rough Guide to.) Kindle Edition
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Firstly, you've got to give it credit for openly questioning whether you should visit the country at all. Why? Because much of the country's tourist infrastructure, including its airlines and hotels, are owned by the country's elite who have impoverished the rest of the country over recent decades. So by visiting as a tourist, particularly one sticking to the established tourist trail and/or flying everywhere, you risk simply putting money into the pockets of the country's rich elite rather than benefiting the impoverished masses. Kudos, thus, to the Rough Guide for acknowledging this so openly and honestly. For those who do decide to visit, the Rough Guide admirably points to a website to help you navigate the consequential moral maze.
Beyond this, the guide book has a good coverage of the rest of the country. Indeed, venture off the tourist trail and it becomes pretty much essential. My partner and I crossed into the country overland from Thailand, staying at Dawei for a few nights before continuing northwards overland. The tourist scene south of Yangon/Rangoon is undeveloped, with few hotels bookable online, let alone established on sites like TripAdvisor, We consequently found the accommodation and transport recommendations in this Rough Guide invaluable, as we were forced to rely on 'old-fashioned' (!) methods of securing accommodation (of which there is little in Burma's south) by phone.
This Rough Guide also honestly and helpfully covers Burma's other unexpected quirks for the tourist, such as the ridiculously high price of accommodation and the difficult of paying by card or taking money out of ATMs. The transport sections are particularly good, right down to fair prices for things like taxis.
Another reviewer has criticised this book, saying that it caters only for the backpacker and not the 'general travelling public'. I think that's unfair, in part because it's unclear who the 'general travelling public' are, in part because in fact the guide covers areas touristy and non-touristy (i.e. beyond 'the Big Four' of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle lake) and all forms of transport and accommodation at all price levels. It's also unfair because the (artificially) high prices of accommodation in particular mean that many travellers on mid-range budgets may find themselves forced into looking at backpacker-level accommodation, which is hardly a fault of the Rough Guide.
I didn't look at the Lonely Planet's guide to Burma but I have no hesitation in recommending the Rough Guide to Burma.
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