The best way to know a country is to know its people. Talk to the locals, observe them, follow cultural practices, and taste their food. Until it was open to travelers in mid 2011, Myanmar (Burma) has remained the most mysterious country in Southeast Asia. “This is Burma”, wrote Rudyard Kipling. “It is quite unlike any place you know about.” How right he was: more than a century later Myanmar remains a world apart. While I can’t immerse the travel experience until I’m physically there, on my own preferably, to break new cultural connection, I can read up on the country, its people, the literature, and history. Until I make the trip in January 2015, these books would contribute to a great introduction to the country—surreal and traditional Myanmar. I want to know the basic history and facts behind the sights, not just treating it another Kodak moment.