Should You Travel to Myanmar? Yes, but It’s Complicated

In its glossy “Do’s and Don’ts for Tourists” pamphlet, the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism encourages travelers to responsibly visit Myanmar. Among the many cartoon-illustrated recommendations, the Ministry warmly nudges tourists to speak the language, ask permission before taking photos, and be respectful at cultural sites. But it also suggests that travelers “be mindful … Continue reading Should You Travel to Myanmar? Yes, but It’s Complicated

Thailand Part II: Koh Phangan’s Balancing Act

Jay’s suggestion to visit Koh Phangan was a curious one given the island’s reputation. Rough Guides describes Koh Phangan’s famed Full Moon Party as “Apocalypse Now but without the war.” The party traces its origins to a small group of hippies that descended on Haad Rin Beach in the early 60s to escape a ravenous … Continue reading Thailand Part II: Koh Phangan’s Balancing Act

Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads

“So what did you think about Turkey before you arrived?” asked a local Turkish Couchsurfer on my third night in Istanbul. It was an important question but one I hadn’t really considered. I wanted to tell him that I understood Turkey from a historical perspective, ever since I learned of Byzantium in my 9th grade … Continue reading Istanbul and Turkey’s Uncertain Crossroads