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October 11, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
It's a new era in Myanmar as the country opens up to political reforms - and to a growing number of  tourists. Long isolated and little known to Westerners, the country once known as Burma offers a window on life in Asia before the advent of Starbucks and W hotels. Friendly Planet Travel offers a 13-day tour called Mystical Myanmar with airfare from Los Angeles for $3,299 per person -- and an extra $100 discount for those who book soon. The tour starts with a flight to the former capital Yangon via Taipei, Taiwan.
June 19, 2011 | A Times Staff Writer
It's a sweltering afternoon, but crowds at the Yankin shopping center hardly notice, transfixed by the models parading along a makeshift runway in white boots, hot pants and short skirts. Myanmar's repressive regime may have a tight grip on power, but it's losing the fashion war. "Hemlines are changing a lot faster than the political system," said one Yangon fashionista, adding, "That was definitely off the record. " For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has tried to keep its people isolated from the outside world and its dangerous ideas about freedom.
December 29, 2013 | Los Angeles Times
We enjoyed the article on Myanmar ("End of an Era?" by Amanda Jones, Dec. 15), and we were glad to see that the traveling was slightly off the beaten path. We recently spent two weeks there and recommend seeing this newly opened culture. I beg to differ on not visiting the very important sights in Yangon and Mandalay. It would be like visiting Louisiana but skipping New Orleans because it is too crowded. The thousands of acres of floating crop fields at Inle Lake deserve particular note.
June 26, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
If an African safari, Peru's Machu Picchu or the temples of Myanmar have been on your bucket list, here's a sale to consider. Luxury outfitter Abercrombie & Kent is offering up to half off on small-group trips to Africa, Latin America, and Asia this fall and winter. The deal: Luxury Small Group Journeys , as the company calls them, feature top lodgings - whether that's a historic hotel in the city or at a wilderness camp - generally closed to larger groups. The accent is on a more personal, intimate experience with as few as two participants.
December 31, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
To end a year charged with change, Myanmar enjoyed yet another first:  a public countdown to the New Year. Such gatherings were heavily restricted under the military government that once ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma . But as the country emerges from totalitarian rule, gradually embracing reforms until recently unthinkable, Myanmar celebrated the new year as never before. “This is very exciting. … We feel like we are in a different world,” university student Yu Thawda told the Associated Press at the Monday countdown.
March 6, 2011 | By Karin Esterhammer, Special to the Los Angeles Times
As I sat on a high ledge of the 734-year-old Mingalarzedi Temple, looking out over the hundreds of ancient temples around Bagan, I wondered how long it would take a visitor to see them all. Archaeologists say there once were about 5,000 temples, but earthquakes, decay and long-ago looters have destroyed more than half of them. Still, that's a lot of temples to explore in this 16-square-mile archaeological treasure trove. We visited Myanmar in February 2010 and, yes, I did feel a twinge of guilt when booking the trip.
April 6, 2013 | By Kari Howard
Some people wonder if I can really work with music blaring on my headphones--especially music with distracting lyrics. But my brain is hard-wired a different way: The lyrics inspire me, and help the creativity kick in. It's like this amplification effect: Most of the Column Ones take emotions to a higher level, be they joy, or grief or amusement. To borrow from “Spinal Tap,” the music turns the volume of feelings up to 11. This week, though, a story-song combo for an upcoming Column One was almost too much.
September 19, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Danielle Ryan, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, met privately with President Obama after accepting Congress' highest honor in an emotional ceremony Wednesday, signs of the stunning shift in U.S. relations with the onetime pariah Asian nation over the last year. The Obama administration not only welcomed the former political prisoner and Nobel laureate, but it offered a gesture of goodwill by easing sanctions against Myanmar's leaders, as Suu Kyi has urged since she arrived Monday on a 17-day U.S. tour, including a visit to Los Angeles.
It wasn't your everyday picnic. Instead of shorts and jeans, some of the women wore sarongs. Tables were covered with exotic Asian fabrics. And the food was even more exotic--chicken smothered in spices, noodle salad with mango dressing, jasmine rice flavored with coconut and served in an antique silver bowl from northern Thailand. Although the look and the flavors were tropical, the location was South Pasadena, the home of Molly Kellogg and her husband, landscape designer Mark Brownstein.
August 1, 2009 | Mark Magnier and Charles McDermid
A court's decision Friday to postpone the much-awaited verdict in a politically sensitive case against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi fits into a broader pattern of Myanmar's military rulers using timing, leverage and blunt force in the interest of political survival, analysts said. Suu Kyi, 64, faces up to five years in prison on charges of harboring an American who swam across a lake in May and stayed for two days at her home, where she is under house arrest.
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