Inwa Village, Mandalay Division, Burma.
Getting off the beaten track in Burma is sometimes easy. Other times, it's not. A host of factors conspire to keep tourists on the straight and narrow path; touts, tour operators, and the government want to point you towards places where you have to pay a fee on top of another fee on top of another fee just to ride in a horse and buggy around a tiny island while trinket pedlars swarm you at every stop (I'm using a loose example here). That's not my idea of a good time, and that's exactly why I deign to make my own itinerary everywhere I go. I decided against visiting a well-known tourist trap of an island south of Mandalay in favor of visiting a neat little rural village nearby. No touts, no louts, and no other visitors - just me, my travel companion, my camera, and a host of amazing Burmese farmers. I don't need another reason to get off the track.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
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