"Burma ( Myanmar )" kyaw.tropico's Profile
Myanmar, known as The Land of Smiles or the Pagoda Land , is the largest contry in the South-east Asia Penisular sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laso and Thailand. With a total land area of 676,557 sq. km, it is about the size of United Kingdom and France combined. The country stretches over 2090 km from north to south and over 925 km east to west. It has a 2832 km long coastline on the indian Ocean. Over 50 percent of the total land area is covered with forests. There are four majour rivers flowing from north to south. The most famous river is called IRRAWADDY RIVER and it support transportation, fresh water, fishing and plantation for the people.
Early civilization in Myanmar dated back to the 4th century B.C with archaeological evidences of the Pyu Kingdomsof Sri Ksetra ( near Pyay ), Beithano ( near Taung Twin Gyi ) and Hanlin ( near Shwe Bo ). But those cities were destroyed in 9th century and people move near Bagan to build new city. Bagan was famous and became kingdom in early 11th century by King Anawrahta who unified the country through his strong leadership and intellect. The Empire with its capital at Bagan lasted united the end of 13th century with the invasion of the Mongols. The Second Myanmar Empire with its capital in Bago (Pegu) was founded in mid - 16th century by King Bayinnaung. The Third and the last Myanmar Empire was founded by King Alaungpaya in 1752. In the 19th Century, during the peak period of colonialism, Myanmar was annexed in three stages by the British after three Anglo-Myanmar Wars in 1824, 1852 and 1885. During the SecondWirld War, Myanmar was occupied by the japanese for nearly three years until the Allied Forces' reoccupation in 1945. Because of the war, a lot of ancient monuments were destroyed by bombs and fire. Myanmar became a sovereign independent state on January 4, 1948.
Myanmar is a union of 135 ethnic with their own languages and dialects. Majourity of ethnic people are Kachin,Shan, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, and Rakhine ( Arakanese ). The population of Myanmar is about 55 million with the Bamar, the majority race. making up about 70 percent
Myanmar lies between two great civilization, India and China, but it has developed its own distinctive culture. Buddhism has a great influence on the daily lives of the Myanmar people. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for elders and simple native dress. Myanmar hospitality is legendary even struggling with their daily life.
Perdominantly a Buddhist country with more than 80 percent of the people believe Theravada Buddhism. There are also Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some animists.
The official language is Myanmar. English is widely spoken and understood. In rural places, ethnic people use their own languages.
Generally, myanmar has three seasons. The monsoon or rainy season is from May to October, the cool dry season from November to February, and the hot season from March to May. During the rainy season, rainfall varies in coastal region to the central dry zone. But it rains about 15 min to 1 hour in normal condition but if there is a storm or cyclone, it keeps raining for about one week straight. Average temperature ranges from 35*C in central and lower areas to 21º C in the northern highlands. In April and May, the temperature in central part ( Bagan, Mandalay ) will be more than 40*C. In summer time, the best places are Kalaw and Pyin Oo Lwin because of pleasant temperature.
Yangon International airport is the main gateway to Myanmar and there are regular daily flights to Yangon from Bangkok and Singapore. The domestic airlines, Air Bagan, Yangon Airways and Air Mandalay regularly connect Yangon to Mandalay, Bagan, Heho ( Lake Inle ), Thandwe, Sittwe, Kengtung and to other tourist destinations.
Now a lot of international airlines fly to Yangon from different locations and there are
Thai Airways International
Biman Bangladesh Airline
A valid Passport with Entry Visa is required of all visitors. A Tourist Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extendible for an additional 14 days. A Business Visa allows a stay of 28 days, extendible up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis. Visa on Arrival is granted on prior arrangement.
Overland entry is permitted for tourists with visa at Tachilek, and Kawthaung check points along Myanmar-Thai Border.
Tourists with visa can pass through Muse along Myanmar-China Border but need to obtain permission in advance.
There are no overland passages for tourists to Laos, India and Bangladesh.
Visa on Arrival ( pre-arranged visa ) can be obtain for those who has difficulties to contact Myanmar embassies abrord. To have Visa on Arrival, tourists must contact to local Myanmar travel agency via email and check conditions and cost. Travel agency must take all the responsibilities if there is something wrong with tourists; accident, involve in politic or religion. Agency will ask tourists to send personal particulars and photo via email. Normally it takes about two to three weeks time to obtain. After agency will email scaned paper to tourists and airlines. Tourists need to print scaned paper in case of boarding officer ask for it. A man from locay travel agency will meet tourists at the airport to clear immigration and to collet the cost. Immigration officer will charge twenty dollars per person for the visa and processing fee of the agency will vary; ( 20 to 30 dollars per person).
1. All kinds of credit cards and travellers cheques cannot used in Myanmar.
2. Bring enough cash in hand. Preferably in US dollars because all the hotels will charge in USD. Dollars can change almost all the places but Euro can be changed in big cities. Some departments and banks do not accept notes with stain,inked, torn or worn-out notes. Carrying money is not dangerous in Myanmar as in other countries.
3. Try to support people who are facing great difficulties. Bring medicine or school books if you can. Talk them , visit them, photo them and people are very happy to meet tourists.
4. Never involve politics because it can be dangerous to people around you but not you!
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