1. Burma Opens Up

Military rule loosens, unveiling cultural treasures

Burma is open for business.

Burma is open for business.     Photo: Esme_Vos/flickr

Burma’s recent liberalizations have freed Nobel Prize Winner and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and allowed Hillary Clinton to become the first high-profile U.S. official to visit Burma in five decades. Travel companies like Geographic Expeditions that boycotted the region for years are now returning en masse. And while rights abuses have not ended—fighting and atrocities are still heavy along the northern border—the country is known for it’s gracious population and cultural masterpieces, like the Schwedagon Temple, which Rudyard Kipling once called “a golden mystery…a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun.”

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