Rakhine & Ayeyarwaddy Surfing

About Rakhine & Ayeyarwaddy

Locked away on the eastern shores of the Bay of Bengal is the secretive Buddhist nation of Burma. Given the opportunity, this beautiful country could be a main tourist destination in Asia, thanks to its plentiful supply of natural resources, but it has never had much of a chance under the repression of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). This military led dictatorship has re-christened the country Myanmar, but despite being the biggest geographical area in SE Asia, many western governments refuse to recognise the new name and continue to use Burma. Regardless of what you call it, the biggest obstacle to travelling to and experiencing this fabulously exotic culture is one of conscience. Tourism is in it's infancy and the government controls almost all facets, which often have a very negative impact on the local population. Displacing villagers to build new hotels in prime locations is an obvious consequence, but behind the scenes, it is claimed that the Burmese tourist industry is built on slave labour, funded by illegal heroin and jade mining. Villagers are given little choice in the matter and human rights abuses are common, so most western governments advise their nationals not to visit or invest in Myanmar. If visiting Burma, it is almost impossible to avoid financing the military junta, therefore enabling them to continue to suppress the Burmese people. Even the imprisoned leader of the opposition party implores foreign tourists to stay away, so we are publishing this information from an education and 'what could be' standpoint, in the hope the political situation improves.

Pros

  • Exploration possibilities

  • No crowds

  • Consistent monsoon swell

  • Unique people and countryside

  • Independent tourism good for local economy

Cons

  • Wet and onshore swell season

  • Repressive dictatorship

  • Coastal access restrictions

  • Gov. tourism funds regime

  • Opposition party wants tourism boycott

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