Myanmar is geographically the largest country in Southeast Asia. Rich not only in traditions, cultures,Buddhism, but also in natural resources.
Myanmar (Burma) is an untold story in Asia. After a long time isolated from the globalized world, now beautiful Myanmar is stepping out of a chequered past into a new era of hope and optimism. In the nation also known as Burma, in the past, visitors can expect to be dazzled by shimmering cities of gilded temples, enlivened by emerald green landscapes and humbled by the warm smiles of gracious villagers.
This is an agrarian country with a population of more than 50 million, 90% of whom live in rural areas. More than 100 different national groups live within the country’s borders. The Bama or Myanmar are the majority group inhabiting the central zone, while the Shan, Kayin, Kachin, Kayah, Chin, Rakhine and Mon and their sub-groups live in mountainous regions closer to the borders or along the coast.
With more than 130 national groups, Myanmar has a wealth of different cultures. Most groups live in the mountains surrounding the central plains, many in villages reached by hours of walking through jungles and deep valleys.
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Myanmar is situated on the western-most part of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia between Indian and Pacific oceans: from North Latitude 9.30 to 28.30 degrees and from East Longitude 92 to 101 degrees 11 minutes. The Tropic of Cancer is closely stretching with the northern Myanmar towns of Tiddim, Kyunhla and Theinni. Myanmar is the second largest country after Indonesia on the Southeast Asian Peninsula.
Myanmar is not a landlocked country. It has a way-out to the sea from its southern part. Its three other parts have common borders with its neighboring countries – 1,384-mile-long boundary with China in the north and northeast, 146 miles in the east with Laos, 1,304 miles in the southeast with Thailand, 169 miles in the west with Bangladesh and 903 miles in the northwest with India. Therefore, the total length of land boundary with neighboring countries is 3,906 miles. As for the length of coastline boundary, Rakhaing coastline has 443 miles, the Ayeyarwaddy delta coastline 272 miles and Mon-Taneintharyi coastline 670 miles – totaling 1,385 miles.
Historically, Burmese art was based on Buddhist or Hindu cosmology and myths. There are several regional styles of Buddha images, each with certain distinctive characteristics. For example, the Mandalay style, which developed in the late 1800s, consists of an oval-shaped Buddha with realistic features, including naturally curved eyebrows, smaller but still prominent ears, and a draping robe. There are 10 traditional arts, called pan sèmyo,listed as follows:
In addition to the traditional arts are silk weaving, pottery, tapestry making, gemstone engraving, and gold leaf making. Temple architecture is typically of brick and stucco, and pagodas are often covered with layers of gold leaf while monasteries tend to be built of wood (although monasteries in cities are more likely to be built of modern materials). A very common roofing style in Burmese architecture is called ‘pyatthat’ which is a multi-tiered and spired roof.
The width from east to west is approximately 600 miles (936 kilometers) and north-south approximately 1,300 miles (2,051 km). Therefore, the total area is approximately 261,228 square miles (676,577 square km). Water territory from the basic line is 12 miles, the connected zone from the basic line is 24 miles and 200 meters in the shallow waters. Separate economic zone is 2,000 knots. .
The size of Myanmar is two times bigger than Germany (Europe) or Vietnam (Asia).
There are mountainous regions in the east, mountain ranges in the west and flat lands in the middle of the country. Various mountain ranges, high and low, are stretching from north to south. Big rivers are flowing down from north to south between these mountain ranges.
Best-known rivers in Myanmar are Ayeyarwaddy, about 2,092 kilometers long, Chindwin, about 1,000 kilometers, Sittaung, 560 kilometers, and Thanlwin, flowing within Myanmar, about1,100 kilometers, respectively.
The highest mountain of Myanmar is called Khakaborazi, which is situated in Kachin State in northern Myanmar, is about 5,881 meters (over 20,000 feet) high.
There are three seasons in Myanmar, namely: summer, winter and rainy. Summer is from March to June and has the maximum temperature up to 45 degrees Centigrade (113 degrees F). Rainy Season is from July to October and the yearly rainfall will be more than 200 inches in some places where rains fall more heavily. Winter is from November to February (cool and dry season). Temperature is between 21 and 28 Centigrade (70-82 degrees F).
The majority of Myanmar population is Buddhists. There are also Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Animists.
The official language is Myanmar (office use). English and other ethnic dialects are also widely used in different regions throughout the country.
Popular destinations in Myanmar
Bagan: The brick-red, gold and white spires and stupas of Bagan rising out of a sun-baked, ochre landscape during dry season, or sea of green vegetation during monsoon, is not only one of Burma’s, but one of Southeast Asia’s, most evocative and memorable sights.
Inle Lake: Serene and scenic Inle Lake lies nestled among the rugged mountains of southwestern Shan State and is dotted with picturesque stilt villages and floating gardens.
Yangon: The commercial capital of Burma, Yangon is a compelling mix of golden pagodas, colonial architecture, hastily-erected scaffolding and history-stained streets. As the country shifts towards a democracy, with the military government softening the controls they brutally exercised over the last half-century, massive change is underway.
Mandalay: The evocative name of Burma’s present-day northern capital rolls satisfyingly off the tongue. Made famous in a host of films, popular songs and books by Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, Frank Sinatra and more recently even Robbie Williams, Mandalay has become a household name, even if most people don’t actually know where it is.
Mawlamyine: “By the old Moulmein pagoda lookin’ lazy at the sea…,” wrote Rudyard Kipling on his 1889 visit and we reckon probably not a lot has changed in sleepy, charming Mawlamyine since.
Kalaw: Sitting atop the misty blue mountains of Burma’s Shan State, Kalaw was once a favourite among British colonialists, as seen by its crumbling period architecture. It also serves as an excellent starting point for a trek through what could easily be considered Burma’s most picturesque region.
Hsipaw: As with Kalaw further south on the Shan Plateau, Hsipaw is a developing trekking centre, with travellers coming to do treks into the surrounds. Some minor points of interest include temples and stupas to the south of town and the Shan Palace, the one must-see in downtown Hsipaw.
Kentung: The largest town in eastern Shan State, Kengtung is a former British administrative outpost and was once known as the capital of the Golden Triangle. Today it is one of the more remote parts of Burma that tourists are permitted to visit.
Kawthaung: As an introduction to Burma, the little town of Kawthaung is delightful, with rambling narrow streets lined with old houses trickling down steep hillsides to the lively market and waterfront. Today it displays an eclectic mix of crumbling old wood and brick houses plus some old and new concrete ones. Little rises more than four or five storeys.
Hpa-an: What passes for downtown Hpa-an still displays far more wood and corrugated iron than concrete, but the narrow, winding and cluttered lanes do give it charm in spades.
At Countryside Adventures , We are happy to show you the real Myanmar by some of our outdoor activities such as Cycling,Kayaking and Motorbiking.
Please choose one of the package tours as bellow to experience the real Burma.
Countryside Adventures Team.