Rich in history, culture, and tradition, in Myanmar (formerly Burma), a bygone Asia still endures. In fact, it must be among the few countries in the world still beyond the clutches of McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and ATM machines. But modernity is rapidly encroaching, and ever since the military regime began shifting power to civilian leaders in 2011, business people, diplomats, and eager tourists are flocking to the country with Yangon (formerly Rangoon) poised to become Southeast Asia’s next boomtown. YANGON Dawn stirs like a sepia-toned fantasy with motes of sunlight streaming through the plantation shutters onto the teak floors, as a chorus of birdsong come from the lavender jacaranda and flaming coral trees. Here, the morning unfolds at a measured, languid pace suited to the tropical climate. Under the twirling ceiling fans on the grand veranda dining room of the restored 1902 mansion, now the Belmond Governor’s Residence, one half expects to glance up from the morning paper and spot the likes of Somerset Maugham or Rudyard Kipling taking tea, or if it’s closer to the cocktail hour, perhaps a shot of Mandalay Rum. Golden pagodas, colonial-era buildings, traditional shop houses and moldering jazz-age mansions form a low-rise fabric unique to Asia, the whole stitched together by tree-lined avenues swarming with buses and cars. On Yangon’s bustling riverfront boulevard, Strand Road, stately buildings like the Customs House, the Central Post Office, and the British Embassy bear witness to the city’s turn-of-the-century status as one of the British Empire’s key commercial hubs. A haven of tranquility, the Strand Hotel, among Yangon’s best-preserved colonial edifices, has cosseted globetrotters almost continuously since the Armenian Sarkies Brothers, owners of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, opened it in 1901.