Myanmar — or Burma as it was once known — has long been recognised as one of the most beautiful and resource rich countries in the world. It also borders India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Loas and China, putting it right in the middle of the Silk Road trading routes.

Since the conflicts of the early civilisations to British and Japanese occupations, Myanmar has been prized for its teak, gold, jade, gems, precious metals and vast areas of untapped oil reserves.

After the Second World War, an independent Myanmar emerged but its victorious leader General Aung San was assassinated by political rivals and thus the country unfortunately fell into disrepair. Secessionist tribes began to arm themselves and civil wars raged on whilst the fragile Union came under the rule of military dictatorships and a socialist regime.

Myanmar retreated from the developing world around them until democratisation began to take root with a long fight for freedom led by Aung San Suu Kyi, General Aung San’s daughter. ‘The Lady’ as she is known, returned to her country from exile to liberate her people from oppression. She became a political prisoner and a symbol of hope for the Burmese, who longed for freedom and economic empowerment — and she succeeded.

In the past decade, the country has seen an incredible boom in economic development. Foreign investment and corporations have been pouring in to do business in South East Asia‘s newly opened frontier market. Tourism has by no means been immune to this, as the world explores these ancient and untouched lands. From bars, beaches and cruises, here are some reasons why you should pencil in Myanmar for your next luxury holiday.