Out of bounds
That Burma contains so many ethnic groups (Karens, Kachins, Wild Wa and more) is both a source of cultural richness and huge political problems. Most groups want either independence or some form of federalism and many are armed. Several regions are therefore closed to tourists. Most recently, problems in Rakhine state made global headlines. In June last year, clashes between the minority Muslim Rohingyas, and Rakhine Buddhists escalated to the point where the Foreign Office (fco.gov.uk) issued advice against all but essential travel to Rakhine state, which includes two significant tourist areas: the archaeological zone of Mrauk U; and the white-sand beach of Ngapali.
Many travellers wanting a beach addition to a Burma holiday now head to Ngwe Saung (pictured), an undeveloped coast that’s about a five-hour drive from Yangon.