Myanmar, previously known as a Burma, sits between the western coasts of Bangladesh and Thailand and has a population of roughly 48.7 million.
It was long considered a pariah state while under the rule of an oppressive military junta from 1962 to 2011.
The generals who ran the country suppressed almost all dissent - symbolised by the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi - and stood accused of gross human rights abuses, prompting international condemnation and sanctions.
A gradual liberalisation process has been under way since 2010. Htin Kyaw was sworn in as president in March 2016, ushering in the first democratically elected government into office after decades of military rule.
Rightfully, the job belonged to Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, but Suu Kyi was barred by the constitution from becoming president, and she made it clear that whoever sits in that chair will be her proxy. She has said repeatedly she will run the government from behind the scenes and this does indeed seem to be the case.
In a nation so new to democracy but still heavily controlled by the military and a country experiencing rapid growth in both trade and tourism, it will be very interesting to see how the old blends with the new.
I hope you enjoy sharing our journey with us over the next month.
Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay....