Stories about Burma or Myanmar

star.gif (1139 bytes) new3.gif (284 bytes) MYANMAR REVOLUTION - For decades, a draconian regime kept Myanmar closed off, one of Asia's most isolated nations. Reforms launched a few years ago began to change almost everything, but now Burmese are poised to take another great leap into the mainstream, with a revolution in telecoms.

star.gif (1139 bytes) new3.gif (284 bytes) MYANMAR'S CLEAN TYCOON  - As Myanmar continues its surprising reforms, foreign companies freed from the sanctions that bankrupted former Burma are returning in force. And everyone wants to partner with Moe Myint, a former airline pilot who refused to bribe or cavort with the old cronies. 

star.gif (1139 bytes) new3.gif (284 bytes) FROM CENSORSHIP TO CELEBRATION - A landmark literary festival unfolded recently in what has been one of the world's most repressive nations. But before that, Burma was one of the most literate. Hence, there was much to celebrate at Burma's first free literary festival.

star.gif (1139 bytes) new3.gif (284 bytes) BURMA REBOOTED - Hillary Clinton was only the headline act, as Myanmar's startling reforms put the country center stage in the world's attention when the new president pushed a bold series of reforms. Longstanding opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from arrest, and re-entered politics. All the change suggests that, at last, we are on the verge of a Myanmar Spring.

OUTPOSTS OF DECADENCE - Reform has brought new business to Burma, at least along the borders, if you tally the copy CDs, drugs and gambling. The Golden Triangle warlords want to climb the investment food chain, moving to resorts and tourism, but the result looks less Las Vegas than Thailand's Tijuana.

TROUSER PEOPLE - Burma has been in a terrible slump, on and off the soccer pitch. A new book traces the arrival of the sport a century ago, showcasing along the way not only Burma's modern misery, but decades of headhunting and good old-fashioned colonial repression.

  BOYCOTT BURMA? That's the word from Britain, where hardliners take a tough stance that includes pressuring backpacker publisher Lonely Planet to pull its guidebook. Take a tour of Burma with Lonely Planet's Tony and Maureen Wheeler to find out why they refuse to blindly bow to book-ban bullies. 

BURMESE DAZE - Should you stay or should you go? Boycotters say stay at home. If you do, you'll miss some of Asia's most evocative and satisfying scenery, in the Land of the Golden Pagodas.

THE MOST WONDROUS SIGHT in Southeast Asia, say the guidebooks. And it's no idle boast. Many are awestruck at the first views of Bagan, where thousands of ancient temples stretch out on a stunning Burmese plain.

STRANDED IN TIME - Everyone knows the Raffles in Singapore and the Oriental in Bangkok. But the Sarkies Brothers, who built them, crafted another hotel in Burma, and many believe it's the pick of the lot. You can bunk down in history as the Strand celebrates its centennial.

A regime ready to fall, or an over-hyped democracy movement? Despite the hopes of  western advocates and reformers in the country, life is neither black and white nor living color in a  reclusive land. Everything continues go up and down in Myanmar

One bright light in gloomy Burma has been Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of the national hero, a courageous democracy advocate who has been held in house arrest for years. We visit at home with Aung San Suu Kyi and also take an inside look at Burma's politics during a recent crackdown campaign against Suu Kyi and her supporters.

tbopium.jpg (3141 bytes)Where have all the opium poppies gone in the infamous Golden Triangle? Easy, they have been silk-screened on T-shirts for the hordes of tourists. Once a no-man's land at the corners of Laos, Burma and Thailand, the Golden Triangle is now a hip-hopping tourist spot.

Take a train trip to the farthest north of Burma, where few foreigners have ever been and even Burmese rarely are allowed to go in Tracking Myanmar.tbburmk.jpg (4331 bytes)

Should tourists boycott the bloody place, hmmmm, Why Visit Myanmar?

But if you decide to go, be ready to rock and roll in Rangoon, because Burma's music scene is revving up with a whole new generation who are talking about a revolution.

      Scott picture from "Trouser People"/Cambridge University Library.
        all other photos by Ron Gluckman