(Bloomberg): It was only after my father died, in 1972, that I learned he had been born in Burma. Thus began, for me, a decades-long fascination with the country that is now officially called Myanmar.
I first visited in 1981, when the communist government restricted tourist visas to one week and only about half a dozen cities were open to foreigners. It was like entering a time warp. The broken streets of the capital of Rangoon (now Yangon) were lined with decaying colonial-era buildings and people got around in ancient buses like transport-museum pieces.
I stayed at the once-grand Strand