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A spaghetti western in communist Burma

The Reporter's Notebook


It was a scene that would have made Clint Eastwood laugh.

I had learned that Burma was allowing travelers in on 72-hour visas, and since I would be traveling in the Far East I booked a flight out of Thailand to Rangoon.

The country hadn’t allowed people to travel there and placed a lot of restrictions on those who did.

I stayed at the Strand Hotel. It had been a resting place for the likes of Oliver Stone, David Rockefeller, Mick Jagger, Peter Ustinov, Lord Mountbatten, and Rudyard Kipling, but not while I was there.

It had been one of the jewel hotels in the Orient and was a stopping poi...

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