Burma with Simon Reeve

Burma with Simon Reeve

Burma with Simon Reeve: Adventurer and broadcaster Simon Reeve heads to beautiful and troubled Burma – or Myanmar, as it is now officially called – for a new two-part series. Cut off for decades under military rule, the country now has a democratically elected government led by world-famous Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. But in August 2017, the world was left stunned when a brutal military operation drove hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims from their homes.

Burma with Simon Reeve episode 1

In this first episode, Simon travels to Burma to find out the roots of this crisis – as well as heading to Bangladesh to witness the drama that is still unfolding. He begins his journey in the biggest city in the country, Yangon, and drives north into Burma’s Buddhist heartlands and the stunning ancient capital of Bagan – a sight that rivals the great wonders of the world.

He meets the monks who supported the people through the darkest days of dictatorship. And he is granted an audience with some of the most contentious figures in the country – ultranationalist monks preaching hate against the country’s Muslim Rohingya. Stopped from visiting the scene of the military crackdown against the Rohingya, Simon travels to Bangladesh to meet the refugees traumatised by the violence.

Burma with Simon Reeve episode 2

The second of a two-part series, in which adventurer and broadcaster Simon Reeve travels deeper into beautiful and troubled Burma. Simon journeys up the vast Irrawaddy River to the old royal capital of Mandalay, home to an exotic market for precious jade. In Burma’s mountainous highlands, he experiences the country’s vibrant ethnic heritage at an extraordinary and explosive fire-balloon festival, Burma is a melting pot of different ethnic groups, and having seen first-hand the suffering of the Rohingya people on the first leg of his journey, Simon now travels secretly into one of Burma’s many other conflict zones to meet a huge rebel army who have been fighting the Burmese military for decades.

Exploring the Heart and Soul of Burma with Simon Reeve

Myanmar’s Enigmatic Beauty

Burma, now officially known as Myanmar, has long captivated travelers with its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultural tapestry. The nation’s journey from a country long isolated under military rule to one embracing a democratically elected government underscores a complex transition. The Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership marks a significant turn in its political saga, yet the path ahead remains fraught with challenges.

The Rohingya Crisis: A Stain on Burma’s Tapestry

In August 2017, the world watched in horror as a brutal military crackdown forced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya Muslims to flee their homes, seeking refuge from unimaginable atrocities. This humanitarian crisis underscored the deep-seated ethnic tensions and highlighted the plight of the Rohingya, propelling Myanmar into a global spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Simon Reeve’s Journey Through Burma

From Yangon to the Heartlands

Simon Reeve’s adventure begins in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, before venturing north into the Buddhist heartlands and the ancient capital of Bagan. His journey through these historic regions offers viewers a glimpse into the country’s soul, marred by its troubled past yet standing resilient and magnificent.

Encounters with the Monks

Meeting with the monks who stood by the people during the dictatorship, Reeve delves into the complex weave of faith and politics. His interaction with ultranationalist monks, who preach hate against the Rohingya, opens a window into the divisive narratives shaping Myanmar’s social and religious fabric.

Beyond the Borders to Bangladesh

Prevented from visiting the scenes of the crackdown, Reeve’s travels extend to Bangladesh, where he meets with the Rohingya refugees. These encounters bring to the forefront the human stories behind the headlines, painting a picture of loss, resilience, and hope for a displaced community.

The Saga Continues

Up the Irrawaddy River

The second part of Simon Reeve’s series takes the audience up the majestic Irrawaddy River to Mandalay. This segment of the journey explores the market for precious jade and delves deeper into Burma’s complex identity, shaped by its diverse ethnic groups and the natural beauty of its landscapes.

The Fire-Balloon Festival

Highlighting Burma’s rich cultural heritage, Reeve’s experience at the fire-balloon festival in the mountainous highlands showcases the country’s spirit of celebration and community, contrasting sharply with the darker aspects of its recent history.

Secret Journeys to Conflict Zones

Reeve’s bold foray into Burma’s conflict zones to meet with rebel armies fighting the military government reveals the ongoing struggles within the country. These encounters underscore the persistent challenges to peace and stability in Myanmar.

F.A.Q. Burma with Simon Reeve

Q: Why is Burma now called Myanmar?

A: The name change to Myanmar was officially adopted by the military government in 1989, aiming to better reflect the country’s diverse ethnic makeup beyond the Burman majority.

Q: What sparked the Rohingya crisis?

A: The Rohingya crisis was triggered by a military crackdown in response to attacks on police and military posts by Rohingya insurgents, leading to widespread violence and the mass displacement of the Rohingya population.

Q: Can tourists visit Myanmar?

A: Yes, tourists can visit Myanmar. However, certain areas, particularly those affected by conflict or ethnic tensions, may be restricted.

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