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We want you to pay the lowest possible rate for your room. If you have reserved a hotel room through Agoda, and then show us that you could book the same room, for the same dates, at a lower rate, that is viewable and bookable on another website, agoda will either match that rate or beat it.

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Muse Border Opening Is Another Step Forward 15 Sep 2013 Current Affairs | 0 comments

As visitors rush into Myanmar, suspicion rushes out

“Opening” is the new operative word across Myanmar, with the latest application being news of the opening of the border between China and Myanmar at the town of Muse. Beginning in October, international visitors with passports and visas will be allowed to cross the border into Myanmar and leave via flights from Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, or Mandalay.

Normalcy returns

That sounds a whole lot like normal foreign visitation to a country, but normalcy has not been the norm in Myanmar for a long time. Visitors were discouraged from entering the country—and barred from doing so at Muse—during an extended period when the nation was governed by suspicion and fear.

The situation has changed. A reform-minded government that is still establishing its credentials as a force for human and economic progress is opening the country to foreign investors and tourists. The Muse opening follows a similar relaxation of border regulations in August at entry and exit gates at four locations along the Myanmar-Thai border. Checkpoints between the two countries are being opened to day-trippers.

Consequently, 200,000 more visitors entered Myanmar in 2012 than entered in 2011. A million more are expected to visit in 2013 compared to the previous year. By the end of 2014, annual tourist visits are expected to reach three million. This in-swelling of foreign interest and currency opens new opportunities for the nation’s leaders and its long-suffering people.

Openness and change

It is fascinating to watch the changes that result from openness. The turnstile numbers at the border gate only begin to reflect the magnitude of change ushered in by an open attitude. From just knowing that the arriving visitors are welcomed, rather than suspiciously monitored as they enter, loosens purse strings of visitors and fosters goodwill.

But heart and minds inside the country are affected, too. Knowing that the people governing the country are open to foreign contacts means that they are open to domestic exchanges as well. They are open, in a word, to change. 

As the leaders of Myanmar continue to show confidence in free expression and free markets, propping open the doors of progress regardless of concurrent challenges that are bound to enter, Myanmar will finally begin to reach its potential.


Learn more about Myanmar's current affairs.

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