Discuss as:

Aung San Suu Kyi and the politics of the vacation

Soe Than Win / AFP - Getty Images

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi poses for a photograph during her visit to Mt. Popa in Kyauk Padaung Township, near Mandalay, Myanmar, on July 6. Suu Kyi attracted a large crowd as she continued her visit to an ancient temple city in central Myanmar, proving her enduring popularity after years of house arrest.

Shortly after her release from house arrest last year, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was asked if she would like to see more foreigners traveling to Myanmar. Large group tourism was not something she would encourage, she said, but "individuals coming in to see, to study the situation in the country might be a good idea," she told the AP.

This week Suu Kyi is on a vacation of her own, traveling upcountry with her son. It is her first trip out of Yangon since 2003, when her motorcade was attacked by supporters of the military junta that controls Myanmar and 70 of her followers were killed.

"I am very happy. This is my first vacation with my son in twenty years," Suu Kyi told reporters after praying at one of Bagan's temples on Tuesday. "I never have enough sleep at home but now I want to sleep all the time. I have time to rest."

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) were careful to describe her trip as a private pilgrimage which would not involve political rallies or high-profile public events.

Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters

Aung San Suu Kyi and her son Kim Aris visit the Mount Popa Botanical Garden and Museum on July 6.