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Old 11-17-2012, 03:27 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
Reputation: 11862

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It seems when you read old travelogues of the Colonial era, or just anything about the colonial era in Asia, Burma is often mentioned, as an exotic realm, it's capital Rangoon a splendid place full of golden-gilded pagodas. To be sure, Siam held the same reputation, and perhaps was even more foreign at the time because it was never under colonial rule, but it seemed Burma was at least as big in stature in Thailand in those days.

Burma broke off British India and became independent in 1947, but as we know everything went downhill from there. Thailand is well known in the west as a place to visit and it's food, but Burma seems one of the least known and visited nations in SE Asia, for obvious reasons. Even Laos gets more visitors. If things had gone different, Burma would've probably been as big or even bigger than Thailand as now, and Yangon/Rangoon a major city of at least 5 million.

Can you imagine Yangon being as big as Bangkok or Saigon? Little seems to be known about Burmese culture or the Burmese people. There's the dominant 'Burman' ethnic group, which seems somewhere between India and China, speaking a Sino-Tibetan language. Burma being 'off the beaten track' makes it an interesting and mysterious destination for those interested in culture.

 
Old 11-17-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,634,230 times
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I remember reading that Burma and the Philippines were projected to be the two most stable and prosperous nations of Asia after World War II due to a fairly high standard of living, more intact infrastructure per population than other Asian nations, a wealth of natural resources, and a fairly large educated and westernized middle class. It ended up not working so well for either of the two due to some pretty terrible dictatorships--though the one in Burma was/is worse.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 10:55 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
I remember reading that Burma and the Philippines were projected to be the two most stable and prosperous nations of Asia after World War II due to a fairly high standard of living, more intact infrastructure per population than other Asian nations, a wealth of natural resources, and a fairly large educated and westernized middle class. It ended up not working so well for either of the two due to some pretty terrible dictatorships--though the one in Burma was/is worse.
Sad. I think partly thanks to US imperialism (don't understand that as me saying I approve of it) the Philippines was one of the wealthiest nations in Asia. Burma was the world's largest exporter of rice...Dictatorships have ruined SO many countries around the world.
 
Old 11-20-2012, 02:18 AM
 
788 posts, read 1,596,660 times
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I think at one point, the Philippines was only second to Japan in terms of GDP per capita.
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