The last frontier of unspoiled land coupled with dynamic booming economy, Myanmar formerly known as Burma is the capture of travellers’ attention. A series of glittering pagodas, native people’s nature of smiles, and the striking history of the country eventually topped up the list for a desired destination. The capital of the country is Nay Pyi Taw, and the former capital Yangon (Rangoon) remains the main business and commercial city.
Myanmar has been in existence for centuries, and been passed through shine and gloomy periods. The country had begun its history in the early 11th century by King Anawrahta, also known as the First Union of Myanmar. Again, in the middle of the 16th Century, King Bayintnaung established the second Union of Myanmar which reportedly to be one of the mightiest countries in Asia. In AD 1752, King Alaungphaya unified and founded the last dynasty of Myanmar called Third Empire of Myanmar. During the peak of British Empire, Myanmar was occupied by British, and gained Independence in 1948.
The Union of Myanmar (Burma) is located in Southeast Asia and sharing the border by China on the north and northeast, Thailand and Laos on the east and southeast, and also Bangladesh and India on the West. Uninterrupted coastline along Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengel on the south and west stretches about 1,930km. The country is located between latitudes 09 32’ N and 28 31’ N, and longitudes 92 10’E and 110 11’E.
The Union of Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia. The total land area covers 677,000square km in size, ranging 936 km from east to west, 2,051km from north to south. The country is formed with total 14 States and Divisions, 7 respectively.
Myanmar is a “River State” based on four main rivers; Ayeyawaddy, Chindwin, Sittaung, and Thanlwin. These rivers flow along valley which is almost enriched with mountain ranges and open towards the sea in the south. The mountains are higher in the north reaching over 10,000ft and lower in the south with an average elevation of 3,000ft. The highest peak, Mount Khakaborazi is 19,296 ft, and the second highest Ganlang Razi is 19,142ft are located in the far northern tip of Myanmar.
Located in the tropical region, Myanmar is set to have Monsoon with 3 distinct seasons; Summer from mid-February to mid-May, Rainy from mid-May to mid-October, and Winter from mid-October to mid-February. Annual rainfall rises from 500 cm in the coastal regions to 75 cm in the dry zone.
Myanmar proudly owns unique culture in Southeast Asia, has a real strong influence of Buddhism and Mon cultures. Neighbouring Indian and Chinese cultures can also be seemed to shape the country’s diverse cultures.
Myanmar is a wide ethnically diverse society, and the home to over 51 million inhabitants. Many ethnics groups living throughout the country can be divided into four main groups; Tiberto Burmese, Mon-Khmer, Karen and Thai-Chinese. The first group belonged to a majority of the main Burmese people with more than 30 smaller tribes. The other three groups are less diverse, but certainly not homogenous. Myanmar people are famous for their cheerful, friendliness, and helpful behaviours.
The official language is Myanmar, and the majority of people speak Myanmar language with several dialects depending on the region. Other local languages are used within the country among tribes. English is considered as a second language among educated community in urban areas.