Welcome to Myanmar
Myanmar, that is in abundance with the ancient religious monuments, intricate art works, natural beauties, ancient cities as well as cultural inherits.
Situated on the westernmost part of Indo-China's southeastern part of Asia, Myanmar has an geographical position with its country of area 261228 sq mi (676577 sq km) equivalent to the combined area of France and England. Myanmar with 1760 miles long coast, Rakhine, Bago and Shan Mountain Ranges connected with the Himalayan Mountain Ranges in India, central plains and the residual delta area, is the second largest and widest country in South East Asia.
Whole year round snow-capped Mt. Kha Ka Borazi with altitude of 19296 ft and Phoneganrari and Phangranrazi Snow-capped Mountain can be ventured through hiking trips .
Natural forests, landscapes, springs and waterfalls will give peacefulness, the nature of the naturally living birds and wild animals can also be watched while studying the precious world famous teak, pyinkadoe, thityar, Ingyin and the wooden logs production and exploring the rare plants and orchids. The resource of Ayeyarwaddy, Thanlwin, Chindwin and Sittaung Rivers develop the country in Agriculture and Hydroelectric Production. Myanmar is recognized by UNESCO for the Cultural Heritages that are three ancient Pyu cities- Halin, Beikthano and Srekestra.
The famous author, Rudyard Kipling wrote about Myanmar stated about Shwedagone Pagoda, as one of the wonders of the world and it is quite unlike any land you know about.
Myanmar, abundant with gold, silver, ruby, sapphire, jade, diamond and the minerals such as; metals, tin, lead, bronze, zinc, etc. Sea products, crude oil and natural gases are found in the
ocean and the natural pristine beaches such as, Sea products,crude oil and natural gases are found in the ocean and the natural pristine beaches such as, Ngapali and Ngwe Saung show their natural beauty and Mergui archipelagoes invites for venture travelers. Natural exceptionally beautiful lakes such as; Inndaw Gyi Lake, near Mogaung and Myitkyina, Kachin States and the famous Inle Lake with length 22 kilometers and breadth 10 kilometers at 960 meters above sea level,where the boats are rowed only with one leg by showing their exceptional habitual nature.
Myanmar, with the Chin Nationals some makes tattoos on their faces and Padaungs who put brass rings around their necks as ornamental ware can also be studied during time of rest.
Myanmar is a country with seven states- Kachin, Kayah, Mon, Shan, Chin,Karen, Rakhine and eight divisions- Bago, Mandalay, Sagaing, Yangon, Tanninthayi, Magwe, Ayeyarwaddy and Nay Pyi Taw country’s administrative area are the home for 135 ethnic groups.
Location and Area
Myanmar’s territory lies in the Indo-China Peninsular sharing border with Thailand and Laos at the east, China at the north and northeast, India lies to the northwest and Bangladesh at the west. The Bay of Bengal touches the southwest coast. The fertile delta of the Ayeyarwaddy river in the south contains a network of interconnecting smaller rivers, creeks and nine principal river mouths. Sharing border with China is about 1384 miles (2226.85 km.), with Laos about 146 miles (234.91 km.), with Thailand about 1304 miles (2098 km.), with Bangladesh about 169 miles (271.92 km.), with India about 903 miles (1452 km.). Bay of Bengal is at the west, Gulf of Mataban (Moattama) and Adman Sea is at the south. The coast line from the mouth of Naaf River to Bayintnaung Point (Victoria Point) in Kawthaung is 1385 miles (2228.47 km). The total area of land and inland water bodies of the country is 261,228 square miles (676,581 sq.km.). In terms of area, Myanmar is the largest country in mainland South-East Asia.
Brief history of Myanmar
There are strong factual evidences that many dynasties had reigned for centuries going back to the pre-Christian era. King Okkalapa who built the Shwedagon Pagoda during the lifetime of Buddha( over 2600 yrs ago). The Vesali dynasty of Rakhine during the early Christian era. The Tagaung dynasty (2 AD)at Hanlin and the Pyu dynasty(3-5 AD). There had been kingdoms at Srikshetra & Beikthano near Pyay( 5-9 AD), the Mon
dynasty at Souvanabhumi at the north-west of Thaton. King Anawarahta consolidated the kingdoms and founded the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan at 1044 AD extending up to the Menam Valley in Thailand. Therefore Myanmar's greatness in history began in the mid of 11th century. He tried perpetuation in the line of Theravadas Buddhism, the original text of Buddha’s teaching. Progress with innovation in the cultural field of arts, dance, musical instruments, and masterpieces of architectural designs for the construction of religious edifices that we marvel today. Public utilities dams, roads and education etc. This dynasty reigned for over two centuries, when it was plundered and devastated by the Mongol invaders under Kublai Khan in the 13th century(1287 AD).
King Bayinnaung struggled to re-consolidate the kingdom in the 16th century and founded the Second Myanmar Empire Homsavady dynasty. The Second Myanmar Empire stretched from the borders of India to parts of Thailand and Laos. The King built a new capital city called Homsavady today it is at Bago. The King, Bayintnaung had a grand palace built in 1553 AD named Kanbawzathadi. He reigned for 30 years. The Second Myanmar Empire collapsed in 1599 during the reign of King Nanda, his son and successor when King Bagyi of Rakhine and King Thihathu of Inwa allied together and fought against him. Hence King Alaungplaya had to re-unify and founded the Last Myanmar Empire, Konebaung dynasty in 1752. In the 133 years of reign, three Anglo-Myanmar Wars were fought in 1824, 1852 and 1885. Parts of the land were ceded and finally the whole country was annexed as a colony under the British. During the Second World War the Japanese Forces invaded and occupied Myanmar in1942 to mid 1945, when they were defeated to retreat. After two and a half years of re-occupation by the British, Myanmar gained independence as a sovereign state on 4th January 1948.
Total population is over 51 million made up of 8 major races – Kachin , Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan those who have their own languages, dialects and traditional believes and customary. Each major races formed into 135 kinds of ethnic and sub-ethnic. Kachin comprises 12 ethnic minorities, Kayah has 9, Kayin has 11, Chin has 53, Bamar has 9, Mon has 1, Rakhine has 7 and Shan has 33.
STATES AND DIVISIONS
Union of Myanmar consists of seven states and eight divisions. They are Kachin State, Kayah State, Kayin State, Chin State, Mon State, Rakhine State, Shan State. The divisions are Ayeyarwaddy Division, Bago Division, Magway Division, Mandalay Division, Sagaing Division, Tanintharyi Division, Yangon Division, and Nay Pyi Taw division.
ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL – Nay Pyi Taw City ( near Pyinmana)
COMMERCIAL CITIES : Yangon and Mandalay
CURRENCY - Monetary unit is ‘Kyat’ .
The currencies basically circulating in Myanmar are US Dollar & Kyat.
Myanmar currency ‘kyat’ circulates in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000 notes.
CLIMATE : There are three seasons in Myanmar.
Hot season : March to May (Average Temp: 35°-38° C )
Rainy season : June to September (Average Temp:25°-30° C )
Cool Season : October to February (Average Temp:20°-25° C )
LANGUAGE - Official Language is Myanmar. English is widely spoken and understood.
RELIGION - Myanmar respects all religions but 85 % of total population is Theravada Buddhists, 9 % is Christians, 4 % is Muslims, 1 % is Hindus and 1 % is Animists.
FOOD - Myanmar cuisine represents an intriguing blend of Mon, Indian, Bhama and Chinese influences. The core of Myanmar meal is ‘Rice’ eaten with main course curry dishes mostly would be fresh vegetables, fish, chicken, prawns and mutton. Beef and pork are of little eaten by Myanmar people.
LOCAL TIME ; The Myanmar Standard Time (MST) is based on 97`,30’ East longitude, is six hours and thirty minutes ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
ELECTRICITY -220- 240 V, 50 Hz
HOW TO GET
There are air accesses to Myanmar; Yangon-the commercial city, Mandalay-the second commercial city.
Myanmar Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Thai Air Asia, Silk Air, Jet Star, Malaysia Airlines, Indian Airlines, Air China, Air Bagan, Mandarin Airlines, Vietnam airline fly between Yangon & Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Calcutta, Kunming, Chiang Mai, Doha and Taipei.
China Southern Airlines flies between Mandalay & Kunming four days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday)
Some of the borders are open to foreign visitors. Following are currently working.
FROM CHINA (RUILI-MUSE)
Originally built to supply the Chinese forces in its struggle against the Japanese, the famous “Myanmar Road” runs from Kunming in China’s Yunnan province to the city of Lashio. Nowadays the road is open to travelers carrying permits, from the Chinese side (Ruili) into Myanmar via Muse.
Three hours drive (90 km) from Kyaing Tong is another Myanmar-China border, Mine Lar. This access will bring us to China-Xishaungbanna province. The permit has to be asked at both sides, Myanmar and China.
The permits from Myanmar can easily be arranged but only if the travelers book the whole arrangements with local tour operators and travel agents in Myanmar.
FROM THAILAND (MAE SAI-TACHILEIK)
The bridge spans the Sai River between Myanmar’s Tachileik & Thailand’s Mae Sai. The border check-point opens from 6 am to 6 pm, weekdays and from 6 am to 9 pm weekends and holidays. We just have to cross the bridge on foot for five minutes then, the border check-points of both Myanmar & Thailand sit in each side.
FROM THAILAND )MAE SOT-MYAWADDY)
Fom the Thai town of Mae Sot, take a songthaew or other transport to the border crossing at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge over the Moei River; Myawaddy is immediately on the other side of the bridge.
It is aimed to become a full international border crossing as part of the Asian Highway Network route .At that time the Mae Sot - Myawaddy border crossing will probably become the main overland entry point for foreign travellers wishing to get from Bangkok to Yangon (and vice-versa) overland. Currently however foreigners may only enter on foot, are not allowed to travel further overland into Myanmar from Myawaddy, and are not permitted to stay in Myawaddy overnight, hence they must head back to Mae Sot before the border closes at 18:00. There are several buses plying from Myawaddy to Pa-an and Mawlamyine however a Myanmar or Thai passport is required.
FROM THAILAND(SANGKHLABURI-THREE-PAGODAS, PAYATHONEZU)
This is one of the most interesting and accessible of the border crossing points. Now there is also legal trade going on at Three Pagodas Pass-Payathonezu. Travellers have been allowed to go inside the country but the road is quite bad.