Since last year's military coup, tourism in Myanmar has been completely paralyzed. That's why residents have to look for new jobs.
Bagan is called the "City of a Thousand Pagodas". The World Heritage Site is considered one of the most important temple sites in Southeast Asia. For many, tourism was the main source of income. Since the military coup, no one comes anymore.
Tourism in Myanmar Is down
Those who have not yet visited Bagan, however, will probably have to put the dream on hold for now: since the military coup last year, tourism in former Burma is completely on the ground. After decades of isolation, Burma finally introduced democratic reforms under the government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since then, chaos, fear and violence have reigned in the Buddhist country, which was considered peaceful and almost idyllic.
In such a country, only the death-defying go on vacation. The junta has been trying for several months to revive the sector, which is important for the economy, and to create a false impression of stability.
Few Airlines Fly to the Crisis-ridden Country
The airport in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is now open for commercial flights. But only a few airlines fly to the country - mostly via Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
In addition, interested parties from 100 countries, including EU ones, can again apply online for a tourist visa. But who wants to do that, under such conditions? What comes out of Myanmar is sheer horror.
People from Bagan Look for New Jobs
Local residents of Began now have to look for other jobs, such as construction works or in bars and restaurants. Many families in the temple city first faced the ruins of their existence because of the Corona pandemic and then suddenly because of the coup.
Many young men from the civil resistance are now fighting with weapons for the country's freedom. They train in the dense jungle to fight against the army.
From the 11th to the 13th centuries, the temple city in the Central Plains was the heart of the largest Buddhist empire in the Middle Ages. "The royal city played a prominent economic, political and religious role and was the center of Bagan civilization."
Bagan is among the most important archaeological sites in all Southeast Asia. The temples of Angkor in Cambodia and the world wonder Borobodur in Java are also among them.
In 2019, 4.3 million international tourists came to Myanmar, according to official figures. Most also traveled to Bagan.
Countries Strongly Discourage Trips to Myanmar
Many are already selling their properties to survive. Others have converted one-time tourist restaurants into tea stores for locals, at a massive financial loss.
Governments in most countries strongly discourage trips to the crisis-stricken country. Traveling to Myanmar is currently not advised in most countries.
According to junta data, more than 42,000 foreigners, mainly from China, India and Thailand, nevertheless entered the country between April and June. However, they were not there for leisure, but almost without exception for business.