Aung San Suu Kiy

There can hardly be a foreign visitor to Myanmar who has not heard of Aung San Suu Kiy and her long-drawn and courageous fight against a military dictatorship. Even before she won a Nobel prize, people were beginning to compare her peaceful battle with Nelson Mandela’s. Every tourist here knew about her long house arrest. I’d read accounts of people trying to walk past her house and not exactly feeling comfortable about it. It is completely different now, of course.

Gate of Aung San Suu Kyi's house

Every local I talked to had a very high regard for the General Aung San’s daughter. On my last day in Yangon, I told my day’s guide, Ne Lin, that I was looking forward to seeing the house where she had been under arrest for a couple of decades. We drove there. I stood on the road and looked at the bland walls and the gate with her party’s flags, surmounted by a photo of her father. Nothing happened. Eventually a man in a longyi walked past (featured photo). Soon a little door in the gate opened and someone peeped out (photo above). The door closed, and again nothing happened. We decided that we had soaked in the atmosphere of this place which was once a prison, and we could leave. Tourists do strange things.

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