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mapMyanmar (formerly Burma) occupies 261,228 sq. miles (676,578 km²), an area slightly larger than France.

Archaeological findings reveal that parts of Myanmar were inhibited some five thousand years ago. The ancestors of present-day Myanmars, the Pyus and the Mons established several kingdoms throughout the country from the 1st century A.D. to the 10th century A.D. From that early beginning, there are today 135 nationalities who call Myanmar home.

Then called Burma the nation, became a sovereign independent state on 4th January 1948 after more than 100 years under British colonial administration. The country name was changed to The Republic of the Union of Myanmar in 1989.

The main religions of the country are Buddhism (89.2%), Christianity (5.0%), Islam (3.8%), Hinduism (0.5%), Spiritualism (1.2%) and others (0.2%).

Most of Myanmar lies within the tropical zone. Myanmar has three seasons: a hot and
wet season from mid-May to October, a cooler season from late October to mid-February, and a very hot season from mid-February to early May. Temperatures are generally lower in mountainous regions.

Myanmar holds the majority of the world’s remaining supply of teak, in addition to being rich in mineral wealth, including jade, rubies, oil, natural gas, iron, copper, and other metals. Under colonial rule, Burma was the world’s largest exporter of rice.

Myanmar jungles contain a variety of wild animals including many tigers and leopards. Also common to the highlands of Upper Myanmar are elephants, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild boar, and several species of deer and antelope. Tamed elephants are used as work animals, particularly in the timber industry. Myanmar is also home to over 1,200 known species of birds, as well as numerous reptiles including crocodiles, geckos, cobras, pythons, and turtles.

Myanmar has a rich literary tradition; Myanmar (Burmese) is a language that is especially suitable for poetry and puns. The first examples of an indigenous literature are found on stone carvings dating from 1113 A.D.. By the 15th century, a rich tradition of historical and religious poetry had developed. Prose works did not become important until the late 19th century, when a proliferation of novels and plays received impetus from a revival of Burmese nationalism. Notable modern writers have included the poet and essayist Thakin Kodaw Hmaine, the novelist and satirist Thakin Thein Pe Myint, and the novelist Ludu U Hla.

A popular form of entertainment is the pwe. A type of folk opera, it combines generally light storylines with music and dance. The texts are taken from local folk tales or the Hindu Ramayana, interspersed with comic or satirical skits; the musical accompaniment comes from an orchestra of tuned gongs, bamboo clappers, bamboo xylophone, cymbals, and hne (a sort of six-reeded oboe).

GEOGRAPHY

Myanmar, a republic in South-East Asia, bounded on the north by Tibet Autonomous Region of China; on the east by China, Laos, and Thailand; on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal; and on the west by the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, and India. It is officially known as the Union of Myanmar. The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles).

A horseshoe-shaped mountain complex and the valley of the Ayarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River system are the dominant topographical features of Myanmar. The mountains of the northern margin rise to 5881 meters (19,296 ft) atop Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The two other mountain systems have northern to southern axes. The Arakan Yoma range, with peaks reaching more than 2740 meters (about 9000 ft), forms a barrier between Myanmar and the subcontinent of India. The Bilauktaung range, the southern extension of the Shan Plateau, lies along the boundary between southwestern Thailand and southeastern Lower Myanmar. The Shan Plateau, originating in China, has an average elevation of about 910 meters (about 3000 ft).

Generally narrow and elongated in the interior, the central lowlands attain a width of about 320km (about 200 miles) across the Ayarwaddy-Sittaung delta. The delta plains, extremely fertile and economically the most important section of the country, cover an area of about 46,620 sq. km (18,000 sq. ml.). Both the Arakan (in the northwest) and the Tenasserim (in the southwest) coasts of myanmar are rocky and fringed with islands. The country has a number of excellent natural harbours.

CLIMATE

Myanmar is an all year round destination. Hilly regions in the north and northeast enjoy cool temperate weather. Rainfall is also very low in central regions the rainy season.

POPULATION

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar has a population of over 60 million. The major racial groups are Bamar, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The people are called Myanmar.

RELIGION

Over 80 percent of Myanmar embraces are Theravada Buddhism. There are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some animists.

LANGUAGE

Predominantly Myanmar (Bamar) and ethnic minorities speaking Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Shan and other 135 hill-tribe dialects and also Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu spoken Chinese and Indian Immigrants. Being once a British colony English is also widely spoken.

CULTURE

Myanmar lies on the crossroad of two of the world’s great civilizations – China and India – but its culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmar. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Myanmars are contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Myanmar has a long history and its greatness dates back to the early 11th Century when King Anawrahta unified the country and founded the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan more than 20 years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the areas of the present day Myanmar and the entire Menam Valley in Thailand and lasted two centuries. The Second Myanmar Empire was founded in 16th Century by King Bayinnaung styled Branginoco by the Portuguese. King Alaungpaya founded the last Myanmar Dynasty in 1752 and it was during the zenith of this Empire that the British moved into Myanmar Wars in 1825. During The Second World War, Myanmar was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 till the return of the Allied Forces in 1945. Myanmar becomes a sovereign independent state in January 1948 after more than 100 years of colonial administration.

CURRENCY

The local currency is the “Kyat” which is divided into 100 pyas. Kyat notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 45, 50, 90, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000.

BUSINESS HOURS

Banks : 09:30 – 15:00           Mon – Fri
Offices : 09:30 – 16:30           Mon – Fri

AIRPORT TAX

10US Dollars for departure at the international gateways.

CUSTOMS

Foreign currencies (above USD 2000), jewellery, cameras and electronic goods must be declared to the customs at the Airport. Exports of antiques and archaeologically valuable items are prohibited.

HEALTH

Ministry of Health has been implementing better health care management system and the international health regulation for the support of health tourism. There are points of entry health services at the international airports and passengers are requested to fill in the health declaration form.

Useful Link

Myanmar Time Zone (GMT +6:30)

17:00:39

Currency Exchange

These rates are from Central Bank of Myanmar

Updated at May 21, 2019, 2:30 pm


  • MMK ( 1 USD ) 1,541.3
  • JPY ( 100 yen ) 1,399.1
  • THB ( 1 Baht ) 48.317
  • AUD ( 1 Australian Dollar ) 1,060.1
  • EUR ( 1 Euro ) 1,718.3

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