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    ...HERE IS THE CORNER WHERE YOU CAN LEARN SOME FUNDAMENTAL FACTS ABOUT MYANMAR, AND A WORLD TRAVELER CAN HOPEFULLY REFER AS A GUIDANCE BEFORE KICKING OFF A TRIP TO MYANMAR...

    Myanmar Outline

    Famous Of Myanmar MapMyanmar is the country, which was formerly known as “Burma”. The name “Myanmar” has long been used by its people to describe their homeland. In British Colonial times, it was mispronounced as “Burma”, but in 1992, the original name “Myanmar” is again used officially. The official name is the “Union of Myanmar”. It is also known as the “Golden Land” not only for its glistening Temples and Pagodas but also for its rich land and the wealth of its agriculture and minerals.

    Myanmar lies between Latitudes 4’31’ and 28’31’ North and Longitudes 92’10’ and 101’11’ East. Myanmar is bounded by Bangladesh and India on the Northwest, by China on the Northeast, by Laos on the East and by Thailand on the Southeast. The total length of the International borders is 5858 Km (3640 miles) long.

    Myanmar is the largest mainland country in South-East Asia. It has a total area of 676,577 square kilometers (261,610 square miles). The country stretches 2090Km (1299-miles) from North to South and 925Km (575 miles) from East to West at its widest points. It also has a total length of 2832 Km (1760 miles) of coastlines facing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

    SPDC (State Peace & Development Council) who assumed the power after coup d' etat took placed in 1998.Senior General Than Shwe, the chairman of SPDC and prime minister. The former constitution was ended after 1998 coup d' etat, and the new one is in a position of being discussed. 7 divisions: Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Magwe, Mandalay, Sagaing, Thanintharyi, Yangon are surrounded by 7 states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, rakhine, Shan. Probably one of the largest per capita in Asia with around 300,000 men.

    Nay Pyi Taw is the capital city of Myanmar and Yangon is the Commercial City of Myanmar. It has direct air links with Bangkok, Chiangmai, Singapore, Kualalanpur, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kunming, Dhaka and Calcutta. Ocean-going vessels can also reach up to Yangon Port through the Yangon River. Visitors from neighboring countries of China and Thailand can enter through the border-checkpoints.

    Historical Background

    Myanmar has a long history and its greatness dates back as early as the early 11th century A.D. King Anawratha (1044-1077A.D) had consolidated the whole country into the “First Myanmar Empire” at Bagan. It lasted about two centuries. King Bayintnaung (1551-1581A.D) had founded the “Second Myanmar Empire” at Hanthawaddy (Bago). The “Third Myanmar Empire” was founded by the King Alaung Paya in A.D.1752. After that, British moved into Myanmar and it became a British Colony after three “Anglo-Myanmar Wars” that had taken place in 1825, 1852 and 1885 respectively.

    During the World War II, the Japanese troops had occupied Myanmar from 1942 to 1945. Myanmar became a sovereign independent country on 4th January 1948.

    Climate
    Myanmar has a tropical climate, generally hot and humid, and can be visited throughout the year. The rainy season lasts from mid-May to mid-October. From mid-October to mid-February is the cool season and from mid-February to mid-May is the hot season. The most pleasant time to visit Myanmar is the open season from mid-October to mid-May during which temperatures are moderate. Temperature ranges from 21 degree Celsius in the dry cold season and 35 degree Celsius in the hot season.

      Yangon     Mandalay  
    Yangon Temperature
    Mandalay Temperature
    Myanmar Population & PeoplePopulation & People
    Myanmar’s population is about 59 millions in 2011. It is a Union of many nationalities. There are as many as 135 tribes living in Myanmar harmoniously, with their own languages and dialects. The term “Myanmar” embraces all nationalities. The major races are the Burma, the Chin, the Kachin, the Kayah, the Kayin, the Mon, the Rakhine and the Shan. The Bamars make up about 69 percent of the total population. The population growth rate is 1.88 percent.

    More than 135 different ethnic groups, each with a heritage of its own, have lived together for hundreds of generation and contributed to the country's rich and unique culture.
    Religion
    Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion in Myanmar. About 89 percent of the population are Theravada Buddhists, mainly are the tribes of Bamars, Shans, Mons, Rakhines, and some Kayins. There are also Christians, Muslins, Hindus and some animists. The Christian population is composed mainly of Kayins and mountain tribes such as Kachin and Chins. People of Indian Origin practice Islam and Hinduism.
    Language
    Bamar is spoken by 70 per cent of population. There are several hundreds of languages and dialects classifiable into four main language families: Tai (Shan people), Austro-asiatic (Mon, palaung, wa) Malay-Polynesian (salon or Moken spoken in the islands of the Myeik Archipelago), Sino-Tibetan (Bamar, Kachin, lahu, Akha, Lisu and others). Official language is Bamar and English is widely understandable in big cities and towns.
    Culture
    Myanmar is situated between the China and the India, which are the two of the world’s great civilizations. But Myanmar’s culture is neither that of Indian nor China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Theravada Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmars. Myanmar people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress.

    Myanmars are known for their simplicity, honesty, generosity, hospitality and friendliness. Myanmar people are fun loving and festivals form the center of Myanmar social life. Each month has its own festive occasion.  Myanmar people wear light and casual dress almost all year round except in mountainous areas. Thin cotton is the best in summer and open season.

    The basic Myanmar Food is mainly rice and curry with meets or fish usually served with salad and variety of vegetables with fish paste. Some Myanmar curries are spicy, but tend to be less chilly-hot than Thai cuisine. "Mohinga", rice noodles with fish gravy is favorite for breakfast, and "Ohn-no-Khaukswe, noodles with coconut and chicken curry is the most popular among Myanmar Food.

    Myanmar is not only a country of fruits and vegetables but also a country of seafood. Anyone who has experienced Myanmar seafood will readily agree to its great variety and its savory taste and sweet smell. Well-preserved crabs, prawns, lobsters and other shellfish are prepared and seasoned with various sorts of flavor and spices. Seafood is available wherever you are in Myanmar. Chinese food both Cantonese and Fukienese are popular among Myanmar people. There are Chinese restaurants in almost every town in Myanmar. Indian food like Kebabs and Biriani are also popular with Myanmar palate. European, Thai, Japanese, Korean and Singapore cuisine are available only at hotels and specific restaurants.
    Local Standard Time
    Local Standard time is (6) hours (30) minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
    Office Hours

    Most Government offices are open Monday to Friday from 09:30 AM to 04:30 PM, Banks are open from 09:30 AM to 03:00 PM on weekdays only. Private shops are generally open from around 10:00 AM till 09:00 PM.

    Electricity
    Domestic Power 220-250 volt, 50 HZ. Power Line 440Volt.
    Currencies
    Myanmar MoneyMyanmar currency is Kyat, which comprises 100 pyas, but pya is almost no use in practical. Paper Notes are; Kyat 5000, Kyat 1000, Kyat 500, Kyat 200, Kyat 100, Kyat 90, Kyat 50, Kyat 45, Kyat 20, Kyat 15, Kyat 10, Kyat 5 and Kyat 1.Visitors are not allowed to bring in or take out Kyat.

    Although there are some foreign currencies such as English pound, French franc, Germany mark, Japan Yen, S' pore dollar, Switzerland franc which may be changeable in market we would strongly recommend to bring in American dollar in cash.

    The government puts a stop to FEC system and so Individual travelers (FIT) need not to exchange US$ 200 into FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificate) anymore upon arrival at Yangon airport. It is strongly recommended to bring US$ in cash in small denominations. Many hotels accept only payment in US$, and Kyat are accepted in restaurants and shops. International credit cards and traveller cheques are not widely used so far. Only leading hotels will accept American Express and Visa Card. Master Card is not accepted in Myanmar.
    Post & Communications
    Myanmar Post and Telecommunication office has been implementing effective systems of delivering in time services. There is at times some missing stuff of mails and it is therefore advisable to register your mails or parcel. It is much more convenient to use the private services like DHL, OCS. Your parcels as well as cassette, video tapes, CDs and some peripherals of the electrical accessories like iPod , MP3 and USB may be inspected or confiscated if necessary. The business hours start from 09:30 to 16:30 through weekday.

    Telephone The public Phone services are now well equipped and easy to connect to everywhere not only in any area of Local but in overseas. Calls make as easily access at the PCO stands and some places of downtown area as the public phone stand may cost one call - approx 3-minute - ranges from 100~200K and some places around downtown area has available 24 hours service PCO stands . Fax and E-mail may also available at telecom department quite close to Sule Pagoda downtown and some of the PCO's stands. 1 page of A4 size costs approx US$ 4 and the rate may vary to Asia and Europe. Myanmar Country Code is 095 and the district code begin from 01~.

    Some overseas-call-charges
    Duration Thai Singapore Japan America Europe
    1 minute US 1.4 US 1.75 US 2.7 US 3.2 US 4
    Internet E-mail service has been established in 1997 yet internet service is not widely used except a couple of Cyber Cafes in Yangon for public use before. But now E-mail service and internet access are handily and widely using at Cyber Cafes that the number has been increasing for the user demands day by day and charges for service are cheaper than before.
    Re-changed Names Former Present   Former Present

    Burma which is the name known widely abroad was renamed as Myanmar in 1989. Some names that were in English were re-changed into Myanmar in accordance with Myanmar pronunciation. Please see below for some re-changed names:

    Burma Myanmar Rangoon Yangon
    Arakan Rakhine Pegu Bago
    Karen Kayin Moulmein Mawlamyaing
    Irrawaddy River Ayeyarwaddy Pagan Bagan
    Salween River Thanlwin Sandoway Thandwe
    Tanessarim Taninthayi