Myanmar sites off limits
Visits to a number of popular tourist sites in Myanmar are being banned due to an increase in ethnic conflict. The decision comes after a German tourist was killed and his female companion injured by a landmine explosion in Thibaw township, Shan State in late November.
Tourists booking their visits through travel agencies will most likely be informed of what restrictions are in place but it is important for independent travellers to be aware that restrictions exist and to double check before going any where.
The areas now out of bounds are:
Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun and Minbya townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa in Chin State due to sporadic clashes between government troops and Arakan Army fighters.
In Kachin State the villages of Pamatee, Nal Shel Kaw, Mone Ngu, San Dan, San Gaung, Wa Sam dam, and Ziyardam in Puta-o township.
In Shan State tourists can still visit the downtown areas of Namhsan and Namtu towns but nowhere beyond. Linkhae, Kyaing Taung, Moe-ne, Kyethi, Mine Shu, Mine Yan townships are also out of bounds.
Visitors are also barred from Cocokyun township in Yangon due to security concerns.
In Mandalay Region permission is required to visit Mogok and Thabeikkyin townships. In Pyin Oo Lwin township, visitors need permission to visit the villages of Nyaung Done, Kyun Tine, Moegyoe Pyit, Badee Gone, Naung Paing, and Metaw.
Tourists in Banmauk township in Sagaing Region must seek permission visit the villages of Inn Pauk, Gone Done, Laythar Gone, Bu Taung, Nant Ar, Nant Khin, Nant Mar, Moe Tay, and Nar Nant Htun.
And in Sagaing’s Nanyun township tourists need permission to visit the villages of Tike Tee, Tagar, Lone Mat, Ke San, Kyann Done, La Chan, Lone Yone, Kan Kaw, and Tha Mann.
The restrictions put quite a number of popular sites off limits and deals a blow to the country’s tourism industry, particularly the closure of Mrauk U.
Image: Ratana-Pon, Mrauk U by Jean-Marie Hullot via Wikimedia Commons