Myanmar Information

GEOGRAPHY

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma or the Union of Burma by many organizations until 1989, is also recognized by the world as the "Golden Land" with tens of thousands of pagodas. The country covers an area of 686,577 sq. km., it is sandwiched between Thailand to the east and Bangladesh to the west with India and China bordering on the north. Myanmar, officially Union of Myanmar, is situated in Southeast Asia and is bordered on the north and northeast by China, on the east and southeast by Laos and Thailand, on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and on the west by Bangladesh and India. The central part of the country is marked by wide rivers and expansive plains. Mountains rise to the east along the Thai border and to the north. Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is the commercial capital and largest city. The administrative capital is Naypyitaw. The country has a population of approximately 60 million.

HISTORY

The Great Kings of Bagan

According to historical records, the earliest known Burmese kingdom is that of the Pyus, who established their rule centuries earlier than the mighty kingdom of Bagan (also known as Pagan), but it is with Bagan that Myanmar's history becomes definite. The first Myanmar Empire was founded in early 11th century by King Anawrahta (reigned 1044-1077) at Bagan in Upper Myanmar.

Chaos Follows Bagan

For the next 250 years Myanmar remained in chaos. In the south the Mons' kingdom remained relatively stable, but in the north there was continuous strife. In the second quarter of the 16th century, a new Burmese dynasty emerged from the sleepy principality of Toungoo in central Myanmar, established what became under its third King Bayinnaung ( reigned 1551-1581), a reunified and precariously prosperous state.

The Final Kings of Mandalay

Throughout the years great kingdoms came and went until the third and the last Myanmar Empire were founded by King Alaungpaya in 1752.

The British Period

In the 19th century, during the peak period of colonialism Myanmar fell 1885 in the hands of the British.

Independence

Finally, Burma got independence from the United Kingdom on January 4th ,1948.

RIVERS

Throughout history, the four main rivers in Myanmar have been its lifelines. The longest and most important river called Ayeyarwaddy ( Once called Irrawaddy ) and being long 1,240 miles is running down the centre of the country from its very tip into the sea. Other major rivers are the Sittaung, which flows through Toungoo and meets the sea between Bago and Mawlamyine; the Chindwin, which joins the Ayeyarwaddy between Mandalay and Bagan; and the Thanlwin river, which has its headwaters in China and for some distance forms the border between Myanmar and Thailand before eventually reaching the sea at Mawlamyine. All over the country and especially in the delta, there are natural springs hundreds of streams and rivulets, and canals and dams constructed for farmers.

LAND OF MYANMAR

The Land of Myanmar is a country of indigenous races living along the mountain ranges, which spread down from the northern part of Myanmar to southern delta coast to the west of Indian ocean. The country is also rich in oil, natural gas and mineral deposits. Many places in Myanmar, especially in the deep jungles, have been designated as protected areas, such as Natma Taung ( Mt. Victoria ) National Park, Indawgyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary, Phunganrazi and Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuaries, Hukang Valley Tiger Reserve, Hkakaborazi National Park, Maing Nung Forest Reserve, Nant Yin Forest Reserve, Naung Mung Forest Reserves, Alaungdaw Katthapa National Park, Lumpi Marine National Park in the Myeik Archipelago which has around 1,000 islands, Moe Yun Gyi Bird Sanctuary not far from Yangon and Mount Popa National Park near Bagan.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

For administrative purposes, Myanmar is divided into seven divisions where Bamar are in the majority ( Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing, Bago, Magwe, Ayeyarwaddy, Tanintharyi ); and into seven states where non-Bamar are in the majority ( Shan, Kachin, Chin, Rakhine, Kayah, Kayin, Mon ).

Above all, Myanmar offers visitors with the warmest welcome of the incredibly hospitable & friendly people. While on your visit to our country, you will be able to enjoy the great diversity of cultures, national races and the natural beauty of the country. Myanmar has peace and safety and it has opened up opportunities for exiting tour arrangements. Now is the best to start.

POPULATION & PEOPLE OF MYANMAR

There are over 100 national races in Myanmar by official count. The Bamar are the majority group, comprising about 65 percent of the more than 55.4 million populations. The other main groups are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan with various sub groups that often speak different languages and live in seven states and seven divisions. The name Myanmar embraces all nationalities.

RELIGION

 

Most of Myanmar people are Buddhism.We can see many pagodas and meditation centres for the study and practice of insight-awareness meditation everywhere. Other religions in Myanmar are Christianity, Hinduism or Animism and Islam.

   

LANGUAGE

 

Myanmar Language is the mother tongue of the Bamar. It is also the official language of Myanmar.
There are 135 distinct ethnic groups and dialets in Myanmar. English is widely spoken and understood.
Some Myanmar knows French, German, Mandarin and others languages.

   

CULTURE

 

Myanmar has developed its own distinctive culture. Buddhism has a great influence on the daily lives of the Myanmar people. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for elder and simple native dress. Tolerance and contentment are characteristics of the people, Myanmar hospitality is legendary.

   

CLIMATE

 

Myanmar has three quite distinct seasons, although the effects of the monsoon vary in different parts of the country. These three seasons are: Summer or hot season ( March to May ) with average temperature 30-35 C, Rainy season ( June to October ) with average temperature 25-30 C, Winter or cold season ( November to February ) with average temperature 20-25 C. The best time to visit is the cool dry 'winter' season from November to February. During this time the weather is very pleasant - not too hot during the day, not too cool at night in Yangon and Mandalay. In the hill country or Bagan the temperature can get rather chilly in the evening. After the rainy season, the whole land is green, the rivers full of water and sky brilliant blue. Temperatures are moderate and marvelous, and sunny days are the normal.

CURRENCY

 

Myanmar currency is Kyat, which is divided into 100 pyas. The banknotes are issued by denomination of K1, K5, K10, K15, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000 , K5000 and K10000.

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