Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Review

Anthony Bourdain has been our connoisseur to the world in helping viewers learn about the world’s culture’s (by travelling extensively over many years) and the world’s culinary arts.

Episode 1 – Anthony Travels to Myanmar

Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of many countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. The United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, Germany, Norway, China, India, Australia and Japan.

Anthony recently decided to leave the Travel Channel and join CNN to produce his new show “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” the show has Anthony travelling through Burma (Myanmar) as he explores the local cuisines and shows us the beautiful landscape of the country that has been off limits to foreigners for the last couple of decades.

“Holy ****! Almost no one else has SEEN this!” - Anthony Bourdain

Below are some very magnificient views of what he did in Myanmar (The country was renamed as it has over 100 different ethnicities and Burmese people are just one of them). The vast area where these temples are have had a mass exodus of locals because of the army government wanting to turn the area into a tourism hot spot.

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You can catch the show on Sundays at 9pm ET on CNN. We rate this episode 8.5/10 in terms of the quality of the information (politics, gastronomical insights) and the quality of imagery & shooting which kept us very well entertained. Now, don’t forget to plan your next trip to Myanmar through our Itinerary maker.

If this has peaked your interest, here is a bit more history on Myanmar:

British colonialism
There’s not much known about the centuries that followed. History picks up again with the arrival of the Europeans – first the Portuguese, in the 16th century, and then the British, who had already colonised India and were looking for more territory in the East. In three moves (1824, 1852 and 1885), the British took over all of Myanmar. The Burmese king and queen were exiled to India and their grand palace at Mandalay was looted and used as a barracks to quarter British and Indian troops.

The colonial era wrought great changes in Myanmar’s demographics and infrastructure. Large numbers of Indians were brought in to work as civil servants, and Chinese were encouraged to immigrate and stimulate trade. The British built railways and ports, and many British companies grew wealthy trading in teak and rice. Many Burmese were unhappy with the colonial status quo. A nationalist movement developed, and there were demonstrations, often led, in true Burmese fashion, by Buddhist monks. Two famous nationalist monks, U Ottama and U Wizaya, died in a British prison and are revered to this day.

Aung San Suu Kyi: release and election
Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and was finally released from house arrest in July 1995. She was arrested again in 2000 and held in her home until the UN brokered her unconditional release in May 2002. She was rearrested in May 2003 and released in November 2010 by the military authorities. During her arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi continually refused offers of freedom in exchange for exile from the country and, despite an ongoing debate in the pro-democracy movement over future strategy, her stature throughout Myanmar is as great as ever. In moves symbolic of the positive momentum in the country, in 2011 Suu Kyi left Yangon for the first time in eight years, and in May 2012 Suu Kyi entered the lower house of the Burmese parliament as an MP. Much more remains to be done, but the hope is that decades of isolation may be coming to an end.

In case you are interested, here are pictures of the Mandalay Palace in Myanmar

portal-sacred-hill-mandalay-burma mandalay-burma mandalay-palace-yard-burma

 

Most remarkable, I think, was how open people were with us — how willing they were to talk — how not shy they were with our cameras, when only a little more than a year ago, talking with a Western film crew could land you in prison.

The door is opening in Myanmar, and we are very proud to show you some of what’s happening inside. – Anthony Bourdain (Renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning TV host)

7 Interesting Things about Myanmar

  1. New Year celebrations last four days
  2. Myanmar has great beaches along Andaman Sea, Ngapali Beach is Burma’s top beach resort area.
  3. As we witnessed, their train infrastructure needs some serious work, and as such are really bumpy
  4. Mobile phones are more popular then the internet, however there are many internet cafe’s.
  5. Cash is king as there are very few ATM’s or the ability to use credit cards. 
  6. There is a hotel shortage now that the country is stabilizing, rooms went from $25/night to $100.
  7. Chewing betel nut is a favourite pastime, thus giving many red mouth and teeth.

Tune in next week when Anthony tours Los Angeles!

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