What Will Happen In The Myanmar Boom?

It’s been interesting and I guess, lucky for me, that as I have started this journey, the world’s attention has been increasingly turning to Myanmar and the political opening of the country.

Aung San Sui Kyi is sitting in Parliament and restrictions are loosening it seems almost every day – most of which are very good things. However, one thing I wonder about is the impact of the explosion of the Western world on a country that has been so deeply isolated for so long.

The impact will be felt, deeply, on the country’s environmental and historical treasures including the more than 2,200 temples wrapped in the plains and jungle around Bagan.

BAGAN, Myanmar — Fires, floods, treasure seekers and ficus trees have by turns withered this ancient royal capital, but in many ways it still looks as it might have eight centuries ago. More than 2,200 tiered brick temples and shrines sprawl across an arid 26-square-mile plain on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River, remnants of a magnificent Buddhist city that reached its height in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The rest of the NY Times article is here. There are also virgin forests, tiger preserves larger than all the ones in India combined, and much more. I am hoping that progress doesn’t mean destruction for many of these treasures and am actually actively wondering what I can do to help prevent such an outcome.
Here are three pictures again from the 1950s when my dad explored the temples there.

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