Luxury cars and artisanal cheese: Burma opens up, but true democracy still elusive

By Annie Gowen, July 18, 2014

RANGOON, Burma – On a recent rain-soaked night, the ancient gold Shwedagon Pagoda, believed to contain relics of the Buddha, glowed through the mist in Rangoon.

Not far away, a more modern scene was unfolding at one of the city’s newest shopping malls, where middle-class families sipped lattes and dined on hamburgers and French fries. Just a few years ago, such cuisine was affordable only for the elite or Western travelers.

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