Since 1992, the government has encouraged tourism in the country; however, fewer than 270,000 tourists entered the country in 2006 according to the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board.A�Myanmar’s Minister of Hotels and Tourism Saw Lwin has stated that the government receives a significant percentage of the income of private sector tourism services.
The most popular available tourist destinations in Myanmar include big cities such as Yangon and Mandalay; religious sites in Mon State,Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An; nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, Pyin Oo Lwin; ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U; as well as beaches in Nabule.A�Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui.A�Nevertheless, much of the country is off-limits to tourists, and interactions between foreigners and the people of Myanmar, particularly in the border regions, are subject to police scrutiny. They are not to discuss politics with foreigners, under penalty of imprisonment and, in 2001, the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board issued an order for local officials to protect tourists and limit “unnecessary contact” between foreigners and ordinary Burmese people.
Flights to Myanmar
The most common way for travellers to enter the country seems to be by air.A�According to the website Lonely Planet assignments , getting into Myanmar is problematic: “No bus or train service connects Myanmar with another country, nor can you travel by car or motorcycle across the borderA�a�� you must walk across.”, and states that, “It is not possible for foreigners to go to/from Myanmar by sea or river.”A�There are a small number of border crossings that allow the passage of private vehicles, such as the border between Ruili(China) to Mu-se, the border between Htee Kee (Myanmar) and Ban Phu Nam Ron (Thailand) (the most direct border between Dawei and Kanchanaburi), and the border between Myawaddy (Myanmar) and Mae Sot (Thailand). At least one tourist company has successfully run commercial overland routes through these borders since 2013.”From Mae Sai (Thailand) you can cross to Tachileik, but can only go as far as Kengtung. Those in Thailand on a visa run can cross to Kawthaung but cannot venture farther into Myanmar.”
Flights are available from most countries, though direct flights are limited to mainly Thai and other ASEAN airlines. According to Eleven magazine, “In the past, there were only 15 international airlines and increasing numbers of airlines have began launching direct flights from Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and Singapore.”A�Expansions were expected in September 2013, but yet again are mainly Thai and other Asian-based airlines according to Eleven Media Group’s Eleven, “Thailand-based Nok Air and Business Airlines and Singapore-based Tiger Airline”