Why it's Taboo: Steve Harbert, from Mountain Kingdoms tour operator, explains, saying "Under the long-term rule of the military, Myanmar [also called Burma] was guilty of serial human-rights abuses, including displacement of ethnic villagers and forced labor. These actions led to the introduction of economic sanctions by both the U.S. and the E.U." The National League for Democracy (NDL) party called for a tourism boycott in 1995 that was widely upheld until it recently revised its stance and encouraged people to visit responsibly. (Visit the Burma Campaign UK for more information on the political situation.)
Why it's Still Worth Going: From 2,500-year-old golden temples to the world's longest teak bridge, Myanmar offers endless interesting sightseeing opportunities. In an area about the size of Texas, there's everything from grasslands to jungles bordered by the Himalaya mountain range.
How to Visit: Do your research and visit with a tourism company that is committed to ethical travel to the region. Mountain Kingdoms, for example, says that they work to "offer trips to the country in a way that minimizes benefit to the ruling regime and maximizes benefit to local people and companies." Avoid visiting attractions run by the military regime or its supporters (such as Kandawgyi Gardens), and support private companies rather than the services owned by the regime’s associates.