At the end of Wuthering Heights, that novel of untamed passions that reach beyond the grave, the narrator lingers by the tombs of the lovers, Cathy and Heathcliffe, as he watches moths flutter around the heath. He wonders “how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers in that quiet earth.”
In the bad old days of iron-fisted military rule, when I first arrived in Burma, tourists were restricted to seven-day visas, shunted into badlyrun government hotels and along a well-trodden, easily-monitored circuit. That consisted of Yangon, then the capital city, the wondrous temples of Bagan, the mystical Inle Lake, and the one-time royal seat of Mandalay.
Years ago, I was certain I had found what every man or woman should seek: my own Shangri-La. On a whim, two of us—young and dashing U.S. Army lieutenants—headed for the hills of northern Thailand, to Chiang Mai. We were snatching a much longed-for leave from the wars and turmoil then storming across Asia.