December 5th, 2011
07:03 PM ET

Exotic Myanmar

By Foreign Affairs Reporter Jill Dougherty

Myanmar. Burma. No matter what you call it (the United States and some other countries still refer to it as Burma), it’s one of the most exotic places I have ever traveled to.

Technologically in the dark ages–no credit cards, everything in cash, international cell phones like Blackberries don’t work, even the airport in the new capital has no lights for night landings–it once was the jewel of Asia.  On our barefoot visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon I was stunned by its blinding beauty.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip was built on a slender reed of hope that the Myanmar president and some other members of the government really do want to open up, reform the political system, end the ethnic conflicts that have scarred this country for too long.

We moved from the bizarre new capital, Nay Pyi Daw, with its massive government complexes (shades of Pyonyang, North Korea) to the home of Nobel Peace Prize-winner and democracy icon Aun San Suu Kyi in Yangon.  Slender, almost delicate, she nevertheless exudes a deep inner force. Suu Kyi believes the president is sincere about reform.

With Suu Kyi’s blessing Clinton made this trip.  Shaded from the blazing sun they embrace.  My camera captures the moment.  Is it an historic beginning?  Or a hope that that will soon be swallowed by new repression?

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. helenecha

    I should not forget what I had said years before with my surprise about how incredibly unbelievable she had been in the house detention in her country for nearly two decades in which years we couldn't even have another new leaders known in her party. Great, it's that good news now Aun San Suu Kyi is being on the road efforts for her country.

    December 7, 2011 at 3:30 am | Reply
  2. Palash

    Positive move by the west finally!! Hope diplomacy continues and people of this beautiful country get the chance they deserve.

    December 6, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  3. Burma Boy

    Burma unlike any country ever seen, may desired changes come very soon to the fine people, of this pristine land.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:03 am | Reply

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