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Burma (Myanmar)



Myanmar, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and also known as Burma, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One-third of Myanmar's total area of ​​1 930 km (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The 2014 census of the country revealed a much smaller population than expected, with 51 million people registered. Myanmar has an area of ​​676,578 square kilometers (261,227 square miles). Its capital is Naypyidaw and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).

The earliest civilizations in Myanmar included Pyu speaking city states speaking Tibetan and Burmese in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. In the ninth century, the Bamar entered the Upper Irrawaddy Valley and, after the establishment of Pagano Kingdom in the early 1050s, Theravada language, culture and Buddhism in Burma became increasingly dominant in the country. The pagan kingdom fell due to Mongol invasions and several states in the war rose up. In the sixteenth century, reunited by the Taungoo dynasty, the country was for a brief time the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. The Konbaung dynasty of the early 19th century ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam. The British conquered Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar became an independent nation in 1948, first as a democratic nation, then, after a coup in 1962, into a military dictatorship.

For most of its independence years, the country has been absorbed by the rampant ethnic struggle and the myriad of Burmese ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's oldest ongoing civil wars. Meanwhile, the United Nations and several other organizations have denounced systematic and systematic violations of human rights in the country. In 2011, the military junta officially dissolved after the 2010 general elections and a nominally civilian government was installed. While former military leaders still wield enormous power in the country, the Burmese army has taken steps to relinquish control of the government. This, together with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, improved the country's human rights record and external relations, and led to trade facilitation measures and other economic sanctions. However, he continues to criticize the government's treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority and its limited response to religious clashes. In the 2015 historic elections, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses.

Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its (nominal) GDP amounted to 56.7 billion US dollars and its GDP (PPP) to 221.5 billion US dollars. The income gap in Myanmar is one of the largest in the world, as much of the economy is controlled by supporters of the previous military government. In 2013, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Myanmar had a low level of human development, ranking 150 out of 187 countries.


Since 1992, the government has promoted tourism in the country; however, fewer than 270,000 tourists entered the country in 2006 according to the Myanmar Tourism Promotion Board. Myanmar Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Saw Lwin, said the government receives a significant percentage of revenue from tourism services in the private sector.

The most popular tourist destinations available in Myanmar include major cities like Yangon and Mandalay; religious sites in Mon, Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An; nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, Pyin Oo Lwin; ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U; as well as the beaches of Nabule, Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui. However, much of the country is out of reach of tourists, and interactions between foreigners and the people of Myanmar, especially in border areas, are subject to police scrutiny. They should not discuss politics with foreigners, under penalty of imprisonment and, in 2001, the Myanmar Tourist Board issued an order for local authorities to protect tourists and limit "unnecessary contacts" between foreigners and the Burmese. common.

The most common way for travelers to enter the country seems to be by air. Enter Myanmar is problematic "No bus or train connects Myanmar with another country, or you can travel by car or motorbike Canadians. And states that "It is impossible for foreigners to go to / from Myanmar by sea or river." There are a small number of border crossings to allow the passage of private vehicles, such as the border between Ruili (China) and Mu-soi, the border between Htee Kee (Myanmar) and Phu Nam Ron (Thailand), the most direct line between Dawei and Kanchanaburi, and the border between Myawaddy (Myanmar) and Mae Sot (Thailand). least one tourism company has successfully traded land routes across these borders since 2013. "From Mae Sai (Thailand) can cross to Tachileik, but you can only get to Kengtung, those in Thailand with a visa can cross to Kawthaung. But he can not venture further into Myanmar. "

Flights are available in most countries, although direct flights are limited mainly to Thai airlines and other ASEAN countries. According to Eleven magazine, "In the past, there were only 15 international airlines and an increasing number of airlines started launching direct flights from Japan, Qatar, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany and Singapore. " The expansions were expected in September 2013, but again this is Thai and Asian airlines, according to Eleven, of Eleven Media Group, "Nok Air and Business Airlines based in Thailand and Tiger Airline based in Singapore" .


The dominant ethnic group in Myanmar is known as Bamar, hence the country's original English name, Burma, is derived. In addition to Bamar, Myanmar is also home to many minority ethnic groups and nationalities who have their own cultures and languages. In addition to indigenous ethnic minorities, Myanmar is also home to Chinese and ethnic Indians whose ancestors emigrated to Myanmar during the more visible colonial period in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay. In general terms, the regions of Myanmar are dominated by Bamar, while the states are dominated by the respective ethnic minorities.

In recent years, the government has received numerous international accusations of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State on the Bangladesh border. The government does not recognize them as citizens of Myanmar, but says they are Bangladeshi. Forced to flee to Bangladesh in large numbers, they are also considered strangers in Bangladesh, and many have lost their lives trying to seek refuge and work in Malaysia. It is not entirely clear how the NLD would like to handle this problem.

In general, most Burmese people are incredibly kind and polite, and will do their best to make you feel welcome in your country.


Myanmar is considered to have 3 seasons. The heat season is usually from March to April. Temperatures are then cooled during the rainy season from May to October. The high season of tourism is the cold season from November to February. Temperatures can rise to 36 ° C in Yangon during the warm season, while during the cold season, mid-day temperatures are generally more bearable at 32 ° C, with night temperatures falling around 19 ° C. C. slightly cooler during the cold season, with temperatures falling to 13 ° C, while temperatures during the hot season can reach 37 ° C. In general, Lower Burma, the region around Yangon, receives more than rain as the driest of Myanmar (around Mandalay).

In mountainous areas, such as Inle Lake and Pyin U Lwin, winter temperatures can drop below 10 ° C at night, while daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant. Even in summer, temperatures rarely exceed 32 ° C. Near the Indian border, in Kachin State, there are snow-capped mountains all the time.


Myanmar has a total area of ​​678,500 square kilometers (262,000 square miles). It lies between latitudes 9 ° and 29 ° N, and longitudes 92 ° and 102 ° E. February 2011, Myanmar is composed of 14 states and regions, 67 districts, 330 municipalities, 64 sub-municipalities, 377 cities, 2.914 neighborhoods, 14,220 village districts and 68,290 villages.

Burma is bounded to the north-west by the Chittagong Division in Bangladesh and the Indian states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Its northern and northeastern border of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province with the Sino-Burmese border totals 2,185 km (1,358 miles). It borders with Laos and Thailand to the southeast. Burma has 1,930 km (1200 miles) of adjacent shores along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to the southwest and south, which forms a quarter of its total perimeter.

To the north, the Hengduan Mountains form the border with China. Hkakabo Razi, located in the state of Kachin, at an altitude of 5881 meters (19,295 feet), is the highest point of Myanmar. Many mountains, such as Rakhine Yoma, Bago Yoma, Shan Hills and Tenasserim Hills exist in Myanmar, all from the north to the south of the Himalayas.

Mountain ranges divide the three river systems of Myanmar, namely the Irrawaddy, Salween (Thanlwin) and Sittaung rivers. The Irrawaddy River, the longest river in Myanmar, nearly 2,178 kilometers (1,348 miles) long, empties into the Gulf of Martaban. The fertile plains exist in valleys between mountain ranges. The majority of Myanmar's population lives in the Irrawaddy Valley, located between Rakhine Yoma and Shan Plateau.


Myanmar's slow economic growth has contributed to the preservation of much of its environment and ecosystems. Forests, including dense tropical growth and precious teak in Myanmar, cover less than 49% of the country, including areas of acacia, bamboo, steel wool and Magnolia champaca. Coconut, betel palm and rubber were introduced. In the northern highlands, oak, pine and several rhododendrons cover much of the land.

Intensive logging since the new Forest Act of 1995 came into force has significantly reduced forest area and wildlife habitat. The land along the coast supports all varieties of tropical fruits and once had large areas of mangroves, although much of the protective mangroves have disappeared. In much of central Myanmar (dry zone), vegetation is sparse and wobbly.

Typical jungle animals, especially tigers and leopards, are rare in Myanmar. At the top of Myanmar, there are rhinos, wild buffaloes, wild boars, deer, antelopes and elephants, which are also tamed or bred in captivity for use as working animals, especially in the timber industry . The smaller mammals are also numerous, gibbons and monkeys flying foxes and tapirs. The abundance of birds is remarkable, with more than 800 species, including parrots, peacocks, pheasants, crows, herons and paddybirds. Reptile species include crocodiles, geckos, cobras, Burmese pythons and turtles. Hundreds of freshwater fish species are very diverse, abundant and are very important food sources.


The provisional results of the Censuss of Myanmar 2014 show that the total population is 51,419,420. This figure includes about 1,206,353 people in parts of northern Rakhine State, Kachin State and Kayin State that were not counted. Persons who were outside the country at the time of the census are not included in these figures. There are more than 600,000 registered migrant workers from Myanmar in Thailand and millions more are working illegally. Burmese migrant workers account for 80% of migrant workers in Thailand. The population density is 76 per square kilometer (200 / sq mi), among the lowest in Southeast Asia.

The fertility rate in Myanmar since 2011 is 2.23, which is slightly above the replacement level and is low compared to South Asian countries with a similar economic status, such as Cambodia (3.18). ) and Laos (4.41). Fertility dropped considerably, from 4.7 children per woman in 1983 to 2.4 in 2001, despite the absence of a national population policy. The fertility rate is much lower in urban areas.

The relatively rapid decline in fertility is attributed to several factors, including extreme delays in marriage (almost unprecedented in developing countries in the region), the prevalence of illegal abortions and the high proportion of single women and single women of childbearing age, with 25.9% of women aged 30 to 34 and 33.1% of men and women aged 25 to 34.

These models come from various cultural and economic dynamics. The first is the economic difficulty, which is reflected in the delay of marriage and the construction of the family; The average age of marriage in Myanmar is 27.5 years for men and 26.4 years for women. The second is the social acceptability of celibacy among Burmese, who are mainly Buddhist and value celibacy as a means of spiritual development.

Ethnic groups

Myanmar is ethnically diverse. The government recognizes 135 different ethnic groups. There are some, including Rohingya, that are not recognized by the government. Although it is extremely difficult to verify this statement, there are at least 108 ethno-linguistic groups in Myanmar, which consist mainly of various Tibeto-Burman peoples, but with significant populations of Tai-Kadai, Hmong, and Austro-Asian ( Mon-Khmer)

The Bamar form about 68% of the population. 10% of the population is Shan. The Kayin represent 7% of the population. The inhabitants of Rakhine represent 4% of the population. Overseas Chinese represent about 3% of the population. Ethnic minorities in Myanmar prefer the term "ethnic nationality" to "ethnic minority" since the term "minority" reinforces their sense of insecurity about what is often described as proliferation and domination "Burmanización" Culture Bamar cultures dominant minority.

My, who represents 2% of the population, is ethno-linguistically related to the Khmers. Overseas Indians are 2%. The others are Kachin, Chin, Rohingya, Anglo-Indian, Gurkha, Nepalese and other ethnic minorities. Included in this group are Anglo-Burmese. Once formed an important and influential community, it left the Anglo-Burmese country in continuous flow from 1958, mainly in Australia and the United Kingdom. An estimated 52,000 Anglo-Burmese live in Myanmar. In 2009, 110,000 Burmese refugees were living in refugee camps in Thailand.

Refugee camps exist along the borders of India, Bangladesh and Thailand, while several thousand are in Malaysia. According to conservative estimates, there are more than 295,800 Myanmar refugees, most of whom are Rohingya, Karens and Karennis, mainly along the Thai-Myanmar border. There are nine permanent refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border, most of which settled in the mid-1980s, with refugee camps under the tutelage of the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium (TBBC). Since 2006, more than 55,000 Burmese refugees have been resettled in the United States.

The persecution of Burmese Indians, Burmese Chinese and other ethnic groups after the military coup led by General Ne Win in 1962 led to the deportation or emigration of 300,000 people. They emigrated to escape the racial discrimination and nationalization of all private companies that Anglo-Burmese took place in 1964, at that time fled the country or changed their names and mixed with Burmese society in general.

Many Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar. Many refugees traveled to neighboring Bangladesh, including 200,000 in 1978 following Operation King Dragon in Arakan. 250,000 remaining in 1991.


Many religions are practiced in Myanmar. Religious buildings and orders have existed for many years. Festivals can be celebrated on a large scale. Christian and Muslim populations, however, face religious persecution and it is difficult if not impossible for non-Buddhists to join the military or obtain government jobs, the main route to success in the country. Persecution and attacks against civilians are particularly notable in eastern Myanmar, where more than 3,000 villages have been destroyed in the past decade. More than 200,000 Muslims have fled to Bangladesh in the last 20 years to escape persecution.

A large majority of the population practices Buddhism; estimates range from 80% to 89%. According to the 2014 census in Myanmar, 87.9% of the population identifies as Buddhist. Theravada Buddhism is the most widespread. Other religions are practiced largely unhindered, with the notable exception of some religious minorities such as Rohingyas, who are denied citizenship status and are treated as illegal immigrants, and Christians in Chin State. .

According to the 2014 census, 6.2% of the population identifies as Christian; 4.3% as a 0.8% Muslim as followers of tribal religions; 0.5% as Hindu; 0.2% as followers of other religions; and 0.1% do not follow any religion According to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates, 7% of the population is Christian; 4% is Muslim; 1% follow traditional animist beliefs; and 2% follow other religions, such as Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and the religions of East Asia. Jehovah's Witnesses have been around since 1914 and have about 80 congregations across the country and a branch in Yangon published in 16 languages. A small Jewish community in Rangoon had a synagogue but not a resident rabbi to provide the services.

Although Hinduism is practiced by 0.5% of the population, it was an important religion in Myanmar's past. Various Hindu tensions existed with Theravada and Mahayana in the period of Monday and Pyu in the first millennium and in the period Pagano (IX centuries XIII) when elements Saiva and vaishana enjoyed a greater influence than elite they would later on "Religion Popular Burma is practiced by many Bamar with Buddhism.


Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement and isolation. The lack of an educated and skilled workforce in modern technology hampers Myanmar's economy, although recent reforms and developments by the new government, in collaboration with countries and international organizations, have for the purpose of doing a thing of the past.

Myanmar lacks adequate infrastructure. The goods travel mainly across the border between Thailand (where most illegal drugs are exported) and along the Irrawaddy River. The railways are old and rudimentary, with few repairs since their construction at the end of the 19th century. Roads are usually unpaved, except in major cities. Energy shortages are common throughout the country, including Yangon, and only 25% of the country's population has electricity.

The military government has the majority of stakeholders in all major industrial enterprises of the country (production of petroleum products and consumption for transport and tourism).

The national currency is Kyat. Inflation averaged 30.1% between 2005 and 2007. Inflation is a serious problem for the economy.

In 2010-2011, Bangladesh exported $ 9.65 million worth of products to Myanmar, compared with $ 179 million in imports. The annual import of medicines and medical equipment in Myanmar during the 2000s amounted to $ 160 million.

In recent years, China and India have tried to strengthen their ties with the government for economic benefits. Many nations, including the United States and Canada, and the European Union have imposed trade and investment sanctions in Myanmar. The United States and the European Union eased most of its sanctions in 2012. Foreign investment mainly from China, Singapore, the Philippines, South Korea, India and Thailand.

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Burma (Myanmar) - Travel guide