General Information

Myanmar

The legendary "Golden Land" - this is still the Myanmar of today. Certainly one of the most exotic countries in the world-a land of astounding beauty and charm that moved Kipling to pen these apt words: "quite unlike any land you will ever know".

History

The history of what is now Myanmar has been made by a succession of peoples who migrated down along the Ayeyarwaddy River from Tibet & China, and who were influenced by social and political institutions that had been carried across the sea from India. First came the Mon, perhaps as early as 3000 BC. They established the centers of settlement in central Myanmar, in the Ayeyarwaddy delta, and farther down the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal.

The first unified Myanmar state was founded by King Anawrahta in the 11th century. It was the zenith period of Myanmar. In 1287, Bagan was conquered by the Mongols under Kublai Khan. In the second quarter of the 16th century, a new Myanmar dynasty emerged from the sleepy principality of Taungoo in central Myanmar by King Bayinnaung. After his death, the invasions of Portuguese, Thais, and Manipuri horsemen brought on the decline of the period. The dynasty was finally toppled by a Mon rebellion in 1752.

In 1752, Alaungpaya founded the Konbaung dynasty by restoring Myanmar rule first at Ava and later in the delta. Then, Myanmar was occupied by the British after three Anglo-Myanmar Wars in 1824, 1852 and 1885 with the last capital of Myanmar Kingdom-Mandalay. During the Second World War, Myanmar was conquered by Japanese and the British returned back after the war. In 1948, Myanmar gained back her independence.

Myanmar is now moving forwards to market-oriented economic system and most of the business is handed over to private sectors and foreign investments are warmly invited.

Geography

Myanmar, a republic in South-East Asia, bounded on the north by Tibet Autonomous Region of China; on the east by China, Laos, and Thailand; on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal; and on the west by the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, and India. It is officially known as the Union of Myanmar. The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles) and it is the largest country in South East Asia Peninsula, it is divided into seven States and eight Divisions, containing snow-capped mountains ranges, rise to 5881 meters atop Hkakaborazi, the highest peak in South East Asia, high plateaus, fertile central plains of rice fields along the artery of Ayeyarwaddy River (the biggest river with the length of 2000 km), islands, beaches and many others more.

Administrative Divisions

The country is divided in seven States and eight Divisions. In seven States, the majorities- Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine & Shan are living in their respective States. In eight Divisions, the majority of Myanmar peoples living- Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Magwe, Mandalay, Naypyidaw, Sagaing, Thanintharyi and Yangon. Each state and division is subdivided into villages, village tracts, township and district.

The Names of the Country

In 1989, the colonial names were changed to the real names with Myanmar ascents. Those new names are not new for Myanmar peoples.

Climate

Myanmar has the effects of the Monsoon in different parts of the country. Temperature varies from 38C to 19C; humidity from 82.8% to 66%. The ideal time to visit Myanmar is during the cool season. However, rainfall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low, even in the rainy season.

Myanmar has three distinctive seasons; namely, hot (March to May with average temperatures 30-35C), rainy (June to October with average temperatures 25-30C) and cool (November to February with average temperatures 20-24C).

Temperatures are generally lower in mountainous regions. The country receives practically all its rainfall between mid-May and October, the period of the Southwest Monsoon. Annual precipitation in most of Upper Burma averages about 890 mm (about 35 in) and in Lower Burma about 5080 mm (about 200 in).

Natural resources

Myanmar is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower.

People

Myanmar is made up of 135 national races, of which the main national races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Population is estimated to be over 60 million. The nationality is Myanmar. There are more than 100 ethnic groups in Myanmar.

Some of the Ethnic groups are listed as Akha, Palaung, Padaung, Naga, Taron, Eng and many more near extinct tribes. The relig ions are Buddhist, Christian and Muslim. The major language is Myanmar, but minority ethnic groups have their own languages. English is widely spoken and understood.

More information at People & Life Style Section.

 


Language & Religion

Predominantly Myanmar (Bamar) and ethnic minorities speaking Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Shan and other 135 hill-tribe dialects and also Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu spoken Chinese and Indian Immigrants. Being once a British colony English is also widely spoken. More than 86% of the people of Myanmar are Buddhists; most of them adhere to the school of Buddhism, as Buddhists in neighboring Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The everyday practice of Buddhism is a well-developed culture of animism, the worship of spirits known as Nats. This culture provides a basis for many Nat festivals and for much of traditional medical practice. Christians (mostly Baptists) have also long formed a part of the population (about 15%) and there are a significant number of Muslims as well.

Culture

Myanmar lies on the crossroad of two of the world's great civilizations - China and India - but its culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, but 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 contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.

Economy

Since 1988, Myanmar has moved from a centrally planned economy to a market oriented economy and has liberalized domestic and external trade, promoted the development of the private sector and thus opened up to foreign investments. Agriculture remains the main sector of economy and Myanmar is also rich in tourist attractions and there is enormous potential for the tourism industry.

Currency

We recommend visitors to bring brand new US Dollars cash. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Myanmar and are easily exchangeable for the local Kyat currency.

Myanmar currency is known as " Kyat " which comprises 100 pyas. Kyat notes are issued in denominations of 1,5,10,15,20,45,50,90,100,200,500,1000,5000 and 10000.

Drinking Water

Only drink purified bottled water. Bottled water is readily available and some hotels provide it complimentary.

Culinary

The basic Myanmar food is mainly rice and curry. Rice is served with meat or fish, soup, salad and vegetables all cooked in different ways, and some relishes to complement the meal.

The most common method of preparation is to cook meat or fish in oil, seasoned with pounded onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili and spices, and simmer. Many Myanmar curries are spicy and therefore soups mostly made of seasonal vegetables in water are taken together with rice and other curry dishes.

Favorite desserts are sanwin-ma-kin (Myanmar sweet cakes made with semolina, sugar, egg, butter and coconut), Myanmar style banana cakes, Kyaukchaw (sea weed Jelly) and jiggery.

 

Health

No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless coming from or passing through an infected area.

Clients should bring sufficient medication with them if required and should check for updated health recommendations before your departure to Myanmar regarding hepatitis, malaria, typhoid, etc.

Please contact us if you would like detailed information.


 

 

Transportation

In general, travelling around Myanmar can be unpredictable and uncomfortable. The roads are spotty in places. Travelling by boat is a great way to see another side of the country while moving between riverside towns. The Bhamo-Mandalay and Mandalay-Bagan routes are particularly popular and scenic, and trips are available in a number of price ranges and comfort levels.

Myanmar Railways offer another interesting means of travel. Trains connect Yangon to the rest of the country, with daily runs connecting the capital and Mandalay. Further services go to Bagan and Inle Lake. The train schedules are not very convenient, with many trains departing in the early hours of the morning.

Buses services are widely use among local people as well as Foreigners. Nowadays, local buses service are good and comfortable to travel except road condition.

There are several domestic private airlines in Myanmar. Myanmar Airways (Government airline) is used only for the off beaten places, where private airlines don't go due to its poor services, less punctuality and not so reliable. The other private airlines operate with modern aircraft F- 100, ATR 72, ATR 42 with good services, reliable and punctual.

Mobiles Phone

Your mobile phones could not be used in Myanmar as Myanmar still do not have network yet. But there is international phone service counter at the airport where you can rent mobile upon your arrival to be convenience during your trip. Anyhow, we can arrange phone service upon your request.

Email service is available at most of the hotels during your trip or at internet cafe shop at downtown area in each destination.

Local Time

Myanmar is about 6 and a half hour ahead of GMT.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V throughout the whole country.

Customs

Jewellery, electrical goods and cameras must be declared at the airport. Antiques and archaeological valuable items are not allowed to be taken out of the country.

Duty free allowance are 2 bottles of liquor, 2 cartons of cigarettes, 100 cigars, 1.5 lb of tobacco, one pint bottle of perfume or eau de cologne.

Receipt of purchase and an export permit voucher for locally bought goods such as gems and jewelry may be required upon departure.


 

Insurance

We recommend all clients to obtain the necessary personal baggage, medical and accident insurance before arrival as our agent is not included any insurance services in Myanmar.