Under the former ruling military junta, Myanmar had a reputation for jailing anyone who dared voice opposition; that included many in the media. Last year was the first year since 1996 that no journalists were jailed.
Burmese journalists who fled the country and were forced to live in exile are slowly returning.
April 1 was a landmark for the country's media. For the first time since 1964, daily newspapers were permitted. It's a big step for press freedom, but there are concerns that some of the popular weekly newspapers will struggle to make the transition to daily circulation.
11. The people with red teeth aren't vampires
Chewing betel nut is a national pastime. Small street stalls selling the palm-sized green leaves are everywhere.
The leaves are filled with hard squares of betel nut, spices and sometimes a pinch of tobacco and then folded up and popped in the mouth and chewed.
You have to chew a while before you feel the mild narcotic effect of the betel nut.
At about 6 cents a wrap it's a cheap hit, but there's a downside. Not only does betel nut stain your teeth a reddish-brown, the little packages are spat out on the floor when finished -- making for messy sidewalks.
It's also highly addictive.