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A Matter of Perspective

January 2013. While tourists are starting to flood the country, others are still sceptical about the sustainability of the recent political changes in Myanmar. On one hand, there are publications like the Swiss “DU” magazine ( The jounalistic articles are basic material for long dinner table discussions, very sceptical when it comes to how far the country has come in its process of opening up and democratization. The high class photography is  black and white with lots of grain to mimick old-time photographs, implying a government that still lives in the past. Combined with the journalistic articles the magazine leaves the reader with a more pessimistic notion about the state of the country.

If you watched the German TV series “Traumhotel Myanmar” last week (, the impression you get about the country is a very different one. Some protagonists, German ladies,  stalk in high heels through the country, discovering all its beauties, culture and state-of-the-art luxury hotels. A seemingly unlimited supply of monks, colourful umbrellas and elephants populate the screen as a background of this soap opera. Had the TV series offered the opportunity to book a holiday in Myanmar, a large percentage of viewers would have secured their place.

It is hard to believe that both the magazine and the film talk about the same country. When tourists eventually travel to Myanmar, they probably won´t find either description true but will form their own opinion – it´s all a matter of perspective.

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