Great Tourism; Bad Journalism

As we approach the last night of our three-week stay in beautiful Myanmar, we’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful Myanmar people who graciously made our stay so wonderful . We very much appreciated their  “Warmly Welcome” slogan posted all over the country and the people of Myanmar should be recognized as the industry standard all over Southeast Asia for how to properly treat visitors and foreigners.

imageHaving said that, an interesting thing happened after my last post. In my 18 months of blogging nobody’s ever felt so insulted by my comments to go as far as slandering me in the online media. Acting obnoxiously high and mighty, this person decided how readers should decipher my words in a way similar to many American media outlets that often inject “news stories” with loaded innuendo that tells their audience how to interpret what they hear instead of deciding for themselves. Regular readers know I often inject my stories with personal opinions and occasionally sarcasm which I think sets my blog apart from travel posts  filled with “we did this: we went there”. Sometimes readers agree, sometimes not.

Setting them apart from the professional media, personal blogs are just that; one person’s opinion. Nobody deserves to be singled out and unfairly targeted by someone who disagrees strongly with a post. Taking advantage of their obviously uninteresting job writing stories about Yangon and environs, the article I’ve cited below is a seriously unprofessional attempt to undermine my observations and either bully me into apologizing or make someone feel good about themselves. Even the proprietor of my work exchange encouraged us to “stay away from smelly downtown”. Denying it’s in need of a drastic upgrade and cleanup is simply irresponsible writing but that has nothing to do with the people or my fascination with the vibrant and lively city life.

Interestingly, most people who commented on this person’s attack understood that I very much respected and loved the people of Myanmar for their warmth, graciousness and good-natured personalities. Naturally, the writer conveniently forgot to include all the good things. Because I mentioned the garbage and poverty that’s an unfortunate reality of Myanmar, this person decided to dictate their morality on me by publishing what amounts to a childish flame. Disappointed that they have nothing better to do, I offer no apologies for not sugar-coating a post about a developing nation. Sadly, Myanmar ranks 148 out of 190 on the quality of life scale but as evidenced from my words, it’s easy to forget this thanks to the people. Nowhere did I insult or belittle anyone or “glorify poverty”. In fact , I praised almost everything about the country despite its problems. Descriptions of dilapidated buildings and garbage don’t constitute “egregious insults” as one of this person’s fans gracefully put it.


Flame wars are not my thing and I’m one person trying to enjoy my early retirement so if you believe slandering someone because you disagree with something they write is acceptable, click the link below and join the party. Or maybe you think the Internet is a big place and if someone doesn’t like the opinions, they can read something else. Ironically, I received triple the hits and a bunch of new followers from this person’s unfair and unprofessional post, proving once again that negativity sells. Just look at the Republican presidential nominee. Either way, we loved our trip and maybe I should feel honored that my writing is so good someone felt compelled to try to ruin my blog’s reputation (as if a small blog with 300 followers carries a reputation worth ruining). Once we return I’ve got lots of great stories and pictures from one of the world’s most fascinating countries so I hope you keep reading and understand that offending people is Trump’s job, not mine.

Here’s the slanderous link if you feel compelled to read it.

Cheers from Yangon and thanks to those that appreciate my insights. As I said before, Myanmar is a fascinating contrast of old and new that’s just been handed a golden opportunity for a bright future. Beautiful, interesting and worth your visit, we hope to return again once they’ve had a chance to mature financially and economically.

Comments are always welcome including negative ones but disrespecting my opinion by inciting others to interpret my viewpoints as negative stinks like the Trump campaign so please don’t do it. 

11 thoughts on “Great Tourism; Bad Journalism

      1. Jeff Bell

        I give you props for writing something original. Reading about 98% of travel blogs is a painful experience since everyone does the same top 10 lists with crap photos and generic descriptions.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Annathrive

    You write one of the most intelligent, balanced, and informative travel blogs around. You always take care to list the positives. I am an educated adult: I can deal with both the negatives and the positives in a description of a place. I don’t wish to read uncritical torrents of praise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Well, thanks so much for the awesome comment. You made my day, I do try to be honest and as we’re finding out in the American presidential joke, the truth often hurts. At least I’m confident they won’t turn into a nation of closet racists whose hatred has now been legitimized by one asshole. Thanks to the diversity and Buddhism, they have the potential to become a model for SE Asia but there’s lots of growing pains.


  2. Mike

    From a quick look, it seems coconuts Yangon has as much journalistic credibility as Coconuts Bangkok, which is close to zero, so I would not worry too much about their selective cut and paste “journalism”.


    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Thanks Mike. Sounds like one of those loser young generation kids that scour and troll the Internet looking for something to spam or flame because they’re too untalented or lazy to do anything constructive. What a shame that journalism list all its integrity


  3. Young

    I have never felt whatever you said in your blog that were inappropriate or insulting. You have described everything just as you saw, and opined in a such polite way. You’re humble man in my opinion.



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