A month ago we visited a country that until recently was closed to foreigners.
During the 19th century the British took control over Burma (complete control was established after the 3rd Anglo-Burmese war 1885-1887). After 60 years as a colony, the Union of Burma gained its independence from Britain as a democratic country.
In 1962 a coup put the country under control of the military and under control of this regime the country was officially named the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The military rule ended officially in 2011, and the country is making great strides in democratic reforms.
Trouble still remains with minority groups such as the Shan in the north which seem to have their own army, and even al-Qaeda wants to “rescue” the muslims of Myanmar.
The majority of the people in Myanmar are Buddhists and the country has a very tough law on anyone insulting the Buddha.
The country has a rich Buddhist heritage that although plagued by constant earthquakes (over 400 earthquakes were reported in the last century with the heaviest taking place in 1975), many temples and pagodas remain that date back to between the 8th and 12th century, some with wall paintings inside dating back to the 18th century and older.