MYANMAR IN BRIEF

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Myanmar historical dates back to the early 11th Century when King Anawrahta unified the country and founded the first Myanmar Empire in Bagan more than 20 years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the area of present-day Myanmar and the entire Menan Valley in Thailand & lasted two centuries. The second Myanmar Empire was founded in mid 16th Century by King Baying Naung, King Alaung Phaya, founded the last Myanmar Dynasty in 1752 and it was during the zenith of the empire when British moved into Myanmar. Like India, Myanmar became a British colony but only after Anglo Myanmar Wars broke out in 1825, 1852, & 1885. During the Second World War, Myanmar was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 till the return of the Allied Forces in 1945. Myanmar has became a sovereign independent state since 4th January 1948 after 62 years under the colonial administration. It is remarkable to note that Myanmar is the country that regained her independence first though she was the last country occupied by the British in the region.

GEOGRAPHY

Myanmar has a total area of 676,577 sq. km, it is twice the size of Vietnam and about the size of United Kingdom & France combined. Geographically, Myanmar is the largest country of the South East Asian Peninsula sharing borders with Bangladesh, China, Laos & Thailand.

CLIMATE

Myanmar has the effects of the monsoon in different parts of the country. Temperature varies from 38 ℃ to 19 ℃; humidity from 82.2% to 66 %.

SEASONS

Myanmar has three distinctive seasons; namely, hot ( March to May ), rainy (June to October ) and cool ( November to February ).

The temperature in Myanmar by months.

CITY JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
YGN 24.3 25.2 27.2 29.8 29.5 27.8 27.6 27.1 27.6 28.3 27.7 25.0
MDY 20.2 23.0 27.5 31.8 20.9 29.6 29.5 28.8 28.8 28.1 25.1 22.2
INLAY 13.9 16.2 20.3 23.2 22.0 21.1 20.8 20.7 20.9 20.2 16.7 14.3

MYANMAR WEATHER BY THE FAMOUS CITIES

Myitkyina

The capital of Kachin State. Lies in Northern Myanmar. 26 miles to the south of the confluence of May Kha & Maylikha rivers. The hottest months are April, May & June. The average maximum temperature is 36 ℃. Rain starts in May and rain falls most in July, August. Last year's maximum rainfall: 21.5" (in July)

Taunggyi (Southern Shan State)

The capital of Shan state, 5,000 ft above sea level. March, April and May are the hottest, and November, December and January are the coldest at average 8 ℃. Rain starts in May and falls most in July/ August. Last year's maximum rainfall: 16.0" ( in September)

Lashio (Northern Shan State)

The hottest time is April and the coldest ( average 8 ℃.) is December or January. Rain starts in June, and July gets the highest rainfall. Last year's maximum rainfall: 10.4" (in July)

Mandalay (Upper Myanmar)

The capital of Mandalay division. April is the hottest and January is the coldest. Max. Temp..39 ℃. Min. Temp.: 14 ℃.. Rain usually starts in June. Last year's maximum rainfall: 11:35" (in May)

Pyin Oo Lwin (May Myo)

A pleasant hill resort over 3,000 ft above sea level, just 2 hours drive from Mandalay. In April average temperature is 24 ℃: January- the coldest at 15 ℃..

Last year's maximum rainfall: 14.3" (in May)

Magwe

Capital of Magwe Division, Central Myanmar. April is the hottest ( average 41.4 ℃.) & January is coldest ( average 10.9 ℃.) There is much difference in temperature between the hot season and cold season. It starts to rain in May. Last year's maximum rain fall: 8.62" (in May)

Sittwe

The capital of Rakhine state. Only 15 ft above sea level: Lies at the mouth of Katalan River. April is the hottest ( average 33.8 ℃.) and January the coldest ( average 15.7 ℃ ). Rain starts in June. Rain falls most in June, July, August. Last year's maximum rainfall: 54.95" (in July)

Pathein

The capital of Ayeyarwady Division ( Lower Myanmar ) Much is the hottest month ( average 35.3 ℃) and January the coldest ( average 18.4 ℃ ). Rain starts in May and its rainy season lasts about 6 months. Last year's maximum rainfall: 27.38" (in June)

Yangon

The capital of Myanmar, situated at North Latitude 16°46" and East Longitude 96°10" March is the hottest ( average 36 ℃) and December the coldest ( average 17.2 ℃ ).Generally rain starts in June. Last year's maximum rainfall: 22" ( in April )

Mawlamyaing

The capital of Mon State. It lies on the left bank of the Than-Lwin River , 28 miles away from the sea. The hottest month is March (average 35 ℃) and the coldest is December (average 17.2 ℃). Rain starts in May. Last year's maximum rainfall: 75.6" (in July).

Dawei (Lower Myanmar)

The capital of Taninthayi Division. March is the hottest ( average 35 ℃ ) and December the coldest ( average 15.9 ℃ ). Rain starts in May. Last year's maximum rainfall: 62.75" (in July).


  • LANGUAGE

    Myanmar is the lingua franca. English is widely understood in cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan etc. Cantonese, Fukienese, and Madarin can be used in the business circles here.

  • RELIGION

    Over 80% of the Myanmar peoples are Buddhists. There are also Christians, Muslims, Hindus and even some animists. However, there is full freedom of worship for follows of other religions. Christian missionaries have been active in Myanmar for over 150 years. Among them, the American Baptists were first on the scene.

  • CULTURE

    Myanmar lies on the cross-roads of two of the world's great civilization- China and India. Its culture is a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmar. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Myanmar are known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.

  • PEOPLE

    Myanmar is a union of many nationalities; speaking over one hundred languages and dialects. The term ' Myanmar' embraces all nationalities. The major races are the Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine & Shan. There are 7 states & 7 divisions in Myanmar.

  • POPULATION

    The population of Myanmar is at the present over 42,642,000. The average household size is estimated at 3 or 4 people. As regards education in Myanmar (according to the figure of 1993) , the literacy rate stood at 81%. Yangon ( formerly known as Rangoon ) is has a population of nearly 5 million. Other cities with a large population are Mandalay, Bago, and Pathein.

GENERAL INFORMATION

SHOPPING

Bargaining is an art long practiced in Asian countries including Myanmar. So feel free to ask for a proper discount when shopping in places where prices are not marked . Be careful in dealing with side walk vendors who may not offer genuine goods at fair prices. Myanmar arts and craft s , mostly pure handmade , are best souvenirs and prices are very reasonable lacquerware, cotton fabrics and shoulder bags are some of the favorites items. For jewelry , there are Myanmar Ruby, Sapphire, Jade & pearl available at Myanmar gems shops.

ELECTRICITY

220 VOLTS 50 CYCLES

TIME

Myanmar time is 6:00 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

WATER

Drink only bottled or boiled water.

CURRENCY

Myanmar currency is Kyat.

Notes: Kyats 10000, Kyats 5000, Kyats 1000, Kyats 500, Kyats 200, Kyats 100, Kyats 50.

ECONOMY

Since late 1988, Myanmar has replaced the centrally planned economy to a more liberalized economic policy based on market oriented system. In moving toward a more market oriented economy, Myanmar has liberalized domestic & external trade, promoting the roll of private sector and opening up to foreign investment.

Myanmar is richly endowed with renewable and non-renewable energy resources which are being exploited by the state sector with the participation of local & foreign investors.

Agriculture remains the main sector of the economy & measures have been taken to increase productivity, diversification of crop patterns , and revitalization of agriculture exports.

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