Despite our late arrival to Burma we had a super fantastic time. The Semester at Sea folks did a brillant job rearranging our tour to ensure we did not miss out on anything. Before our arrival the ship was alive with a discusion about this mysterious country. Some people were quite disappointed that we would visit and therefore in some way support a government that is so repressive. Others thought the time was right to mark the reforms that have taken place and perhaps encourage more. Still others simply wanted to learn more. We were probably in the latter group and learn we did.
Burma is an amazing country. Like many countries what makes Burma most interesting are the people Of course the many temples and pagodas are extraordinary site but the people are even more remarkable. The past several decades have been difficult but it appears, at least from our brief observation, that the country is in the midst of a massive transformation. We hope that is the case.
We spent most of our time in Bagan region exploring the more than 2000 pagodas and temples in the area. We visited Mount Popa, took a boat cruise on Irrawady River, enjoyed many great meals, and toured Rangon. Finally, we had an opportunity to visit a school, play/sing with some children and serve them a meal. This was a great experience, one that many of the SAS students cited as a highlight of the trip.
Here is a link to some of our photos.