Have you been to Burma?
March 2, 2012 6:58 AM   Subscribe

One of my best friends in the world is going to Burma as a journalist to cover the ongoing civil strife there. Tips?

My best friend is going to Burma as journalist to cover the ongoing civil conflict. I want to help prepare him but I have no knowledge or any practical advice I can give him. Has anyone been? Has anyone got any advice? Do's and dont's? Any frontline journalist tips?
posted by rudhraigh to Travel & Transportation around Myanmar (Burma) (4 answers total)
Surely the organisation that is sending your friend can offer much more advice than you or most people here can? This is the current UK Foreign Office travel guide for Burma.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:03 AM on March 2, 2012

My father in law is a Burma specialist at [unnamed university]. One of the interesting tidbits he shared is that when he travels there, he brings a couple of boxes of ink pens, and will give one out here and there as gifts or favors. He says the gesture is always very well-received and generates enormous goodwill.

I asked him if he felt like he was being constantly watched or followed. He said not at all. Your friend's mileage may very, what with him being a journalist.
posted by chicxulub at 7:05 AM on March 2, 2012

I have a friend located in Washington DC who has been working on issues related to Burma for a number of years. He is very gregarious and I'm sure he'd be happy to talk with your friend before they head over. Memail me if you'd like to set that up.
posted by alms at 7:07 AM on March 2, 2012

Be prepared to spend a lot of time at checkpoints, probably not being allowed off whatever mode of transport is involved. This is mainly relevant in terms of bathrooms & water. I have never been so thirsty in my life as when I was sitting in a summer bus on a country road outside Mandalay at a checkpoint.

It's been a few years now, however, so maybe the checkpoints are less common or faster. Still, bring water, but don't drink so much you gotta go to the bathroom. Oy.
posted by aramaic at 7:08 AM on March 2, 2012

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