Many may ask "Why Burma?" We have selected Burma as our observation point for this rare and unusually long eclipse - After extensive research of the country, the infrastructure, the weather and the alternatives, the attractions and countryside fitting what Rudyard Kipling termed as a "golden mystery". There are not too many countries in the world with the allure of Burma (Myanmar). Through years of isolation, it has managed to retain many of its cultural traditions and preserved much of its historical heritage. As such, a visit to Burma is in many ways similar to a journey back in time, to an Asia from a bygone age.
After examination of all locations for this eclipse we feel that this is a much safer destination than almost all other observation points. The population of Burma are practicing pacificst Buddists. We are very excited about this destination and offer this program with great pride in it's features. While the US government has political differences with the government of Burma (Myanmar) similar to that of Libya, Astronomical Tours will not take any political position on countries visited. Neither the Burmese Government nor the local people have a history of adverse treatment of international tourists*.
Many eclipse chasers really miss out if never chasing an annular eclipse. If you only see ONE annular eclipse, this is the one! This eclipse is incredibly long; among the longest annular eclipses even possible. Weather odds of 85-90% chance of success provide sufficient reason to make this the one. This will be the longest annular eclipse until the year 3043!
Not often does an eclipse path offer odds such as 80-90% chance of clear skies within the path of annularity or totality. This is very rare, indeed.
Scenic location at Bagan:
Our observing location at Old Bagan (Pagan) is a fantastic landscape with over two thousand scenic foreground objects as subject matter for eclipse photos. An entire ancient city of stupa's, we will enjoy a valley full of thousands of enigmatic and scenic ruins from horizon to horizon under annularity.
How many destinations can offer 4 star hotel properties, access to eclipse observing and world class attractions for $2020?
A long established tourism area, serving tourism since the time of Rudyard Kipling, Burma offers high quality western standard hotels throughout. In a depressed economy, our hotel costs for high end accommodation are disproportionately inexpensive. This is not a camping or roughing-it expedition. 4-5 star hotel properties are used throughout. We even stay at a 4 star hotel inside the walls of Old Bagan, inside the path of annularity.
Exotic sites around Burma:
Each photo of Burma inspires new images of an undiscovered treasure. Is it a Movie or is it real? It is very real. Underground caves, mountaintop sanctuaries, spiraling stupas, mystic ruins and pyramid-like holy sites are everywhere. Burma is also home to an astounding135 indigenous friendly tribal cultures. Many of these are found nowhere else on earth. It is as-if the entire country was a long-lost secret, waiting for vines to be cut away to be re-discovered by explorers.
Astronomical Tours takes the issue of Ethical Tourism seriously. It is important in considering a tour to a country in controversy such as Burma (Myanmar), that one makes a distinction about how tourism dollars shall be spent and how those dollars will impact the local peoples of nations to be visited. In this instance, Astronomical Tours is interested in a support of the local populations in Burma to improve the standard of living and aid in the livelihood of its citizens. Our company and many others feel this can happen through responsible tourism. Astronomical Tours has carefully selected a supplier which will help us support the population of Burma. Our tourism funds will not be paid through the government. Instead, tourism dollars of participants will be routed through the private sector, maintaining the livelihood of the people of Burma in this difficult time. Our advisors on the topic of ethical tourism have confirmed this supplier's position on support and trade with local population.