Jon Gadsby visits Myanmar (formerly Burma) and discovers an achingly beautiful country. But behind endless golden temples and scenes from Kipling, Gadsby finds "a place of contradiction" where many live in abject poverty, controlled absolutely by their military government (most famously the ongoing house arrest of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi). When Gadsby visits, it is not a country to be travelled to lightly. He finds the locals to be open and willing to play host; yet he is struck overall by their "sad beauty".
It's a beautiful country, this Myanmar, full of beautiful people. They make you want to cry — whether it's out of joy or frustration, I don't know. Above all it's a place of contradiction. I think contact, rather than isolation will provide the much needed forces of change; that the free flow of commerce, ideas and people will be the things that untangle this knot.– Jon Gadsby