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The Strand/Yangon/50% government ownership?!!!

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The cover feature of this Sunday's NYT Travel Section is about the ethical complications of traveling in Burma/Myanmar these days. It seems to be a reasonably well-researched article by Joshua Hammer who has travelled to Myanmar 3 times over the past 30 years. The main thrust of the article is to point out the ambiguities Burma presents to tourists who want to avoid contributing to the government treasure--or to any of those who played a large role in sacking the country and human rights violations . Many of these, supposedly, have turned a new leaf and no longer participate in "gangster activities" and h.r. violations, and the opposition is now encouraging tourists not to hold grudges.

Most Fodorites, I believe, prefer not to stay in hotels associated with the government. Therefore, it was quite disturbing to see The Strand singled out as a hotel to avoid. It, apparently, is a joint venture by the Myanmar government and a Singapore company. In early March we booked The Strand for our November/December Yangon dates. I'm not very hopeful that at this date, we'll be able to switch to a decent hotel free of the government affiliation, but I'm going to ask Santa Maria to look into The Savoy or another hotel a friend has referred. I'm not very optimistic about the possibilities.

Thought others now planning a trip to Burma would be interested in this information.

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