Opium and the Golden Triangle

Opium and the Golden Triangle

The linked article below is a fascinating read about some history behind the opium trade in South East Asia, especially in Burma and Laos. Opium is very cheap to buy and quite easy to find in Upper Burma and very, very easy to get in Laos. Any Tuk Tuk driver in Vientiane will have a…
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Scenes of life in Myanmar (after some thoughts about other things)

by Daniel Opacki Since leaving Myanmar, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and put into context the many beautiful and amazing experiences I’ve had. Looking through the thousands of photographs I have has taken time. I’m not nearly finished. One is that when considering the wide differences in regions and cultures, people and…
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Will Myanmar’s Reforms Sideline Suu Kyi’s Political Influence?

Will Myanmar’s Reforms Sideline Suu Kyi’s Political Influence? (Published on Democratic Voice of Burma online edition & Dissident Voice.com) By Daniel Opacki Myanmar’s military rulers have wised up since 1990. After Aung San Suu Kyi got elected in a landslide victory the military leaders quickly discovered that Democracy threatened control over their self-interests. They promptly…
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Scenes from moving vehicles in Rangoon from 2010 – 2011

Pre-reform Rangoon was mostly a quiet pedestrian city with a fair amount of cars and tri-shaws during the daytime and few cars at night. One never heard the ornery sound of blasting car horns. These scenes were taken in 2010 and early 2011. The roads then weren’t jammed with cars and trucks and massive SUV’s…
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A Sunday morning walk in Rangoon on 4 September 2011

by Daniel Opacki When I lived downtown in Rangoon, or Yangon if you prefer, I arose early on weekends a few times a month and took long meandering walks. I’ve often said that Burma is full of surprises each and every day and 4 September 2011 was no different. There was something special about how…
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2010 Burma Drought Relief Water Donation

There was an extended heatwave and drought in 2009 and worse in 2010 in Burma. Many students from Yangon, often with few to no resources or income of their own, would raise money to buy water and deliver it to villages a bit far beyond Rangoon. The drought was devastating to elderly and children and…
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The Gap in Myanmar

How much does a pair of men’s blue jeans cost at the Gap? Starting at around $50.00 as I recall from a glance at prices when I visited a Gap in Massachusetts. A check just now on Gap.com just showed a sale for men’s jeans going for $36.37 down from 59.95 so, what a great…
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Scenes along a road from Mandalay

During the hot season of 2012 we ventured out onto a random road outside of Mandalay, along the Dotawaddy River, into the hills where it was slightly cooler. On the Mandalay plain it was over 110 F, dry and dusty. In the hills it was a bit cooler. Traversing the sandy and rocky paths with…
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New work of fiction: It all started in Mandalay by Michael Allan Charles

The author and pal Michael Charles recently published it. Michael just alerted me to it via email. It’s his first published work of fiction. It was also quite a surprise to learn about it. I was about to send him a message to find out what he’s been up to lately. But, now I know. He’s been busy…
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Censorship in the days of shackles and fetters

My piece published today on DVB online. https://www.dvb.no/news/censorship-in-the-days-of-shackles-and-fetters-burma-myanmar/40997  24 May 2014  In 2010, when the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visited Burma with Chargé d’Affaires Larry Dinger, all publications in the country were heavily censored and journalists were subject to arrest for any infraction. Censorship from the…
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