The second laugh

Rachel Wong

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Art: Oslo Davis

If you like to call yourself an intrepid traveller, then your fantasy is probably to be alone in Myanmar with your Lonely Planet guidebook, so that no one else can discover the hidden treasures of this unspoiled mythic land. Only Lonely Planet can get you “off the beaten path”, onto “the road less travelled”. It will make you a “traveller, not a tourist”. And if you’ve forgotten yours, as I have, you can get yourself a pirated copy from a Pansodan Street bookstand in Yangon. They’re just 6,000 kyats (or about $5) a pop. I see them peeking, dog eared, from the bags of backpackers. I even saw one trekker perusing his version on an iPad. Whatever their titles — Burma, Birmanie, Birmania — their cornflower blue covers, depicting the sky over Bagan, are all iconically the same.

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