Myanmar Explorer

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Bangladesh and India to the northwest, China to the northeast, Laos to the east, Thailand to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the west. The geographic coordinates of Myanmar are approximately 21.9162° N latitude and 95.9560° E longitude.

Geography

Myanmar’s geography is diverse and varied, encompassing mountains, plains, rivers, and coastlines.

Climate

The climate varies from tropical monsoon in the coastal regions to temperate in the highlands. Myanmar experiences a wet season from May to October and a dry season from November to April, with temperatures ranging from hot and humid in the lowlands to cool and pleasant in the mountains.

Fauna

Myanmar is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and a diverse array of bird species. The country’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, such as Hlawga National Park and Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park, offer opportunities for wildlife viewing and conservation.

Longest Rivers

The Irrawaddy River is Myanmar’s longest river, flowing from north to south through the central part of the country and emptying into the Andaman Sea. Other significant rivers include the Chindwin, Sittaung, and Salween rivers, which play important roles in the country’s agriculture and transportation.

Highest Mountains

Myanmar is home to several mountain ranges, with the highest peak being Hkakabo Razi in the eastern Himalayas, standing at 5,881 meters above sea level. Other notable mountains include Mount Saramati and Mount Victoria, which offer breathtaking views and opportunities for trekking and mountaineering.

History

Myanmar’s history is a tapestry of ancient civilizations, colonialism, and struggles for independence.

Prehistory

The earliest evidence of human habitation in Myanmar dates back to the Paleolithic era, with archaeological sites revealing traces of early hunter-gatherer societies and Neolithic settlements. Over the millennia, various ethnic groups migrated to the region, shaping its cultural and ethnic landscape.

Ancient Kingdoms

Myanmar was home to several powerful kingdoms and empires, including the Pyu, Mon, and Bagan civilizations. The Bagan Empire, in particular, flourished between the 9th and 13th centuries, leaving behind thousands of temples and pagodas that still stand today as testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Colonial Period

Myanmar was colonized by the British in the 19th century, becoming part of British India. The colonial era saw the exploitation of natural resources and the imposition of British rule, leading to widespread poverty and social unrest among the indigenous population.

Struggle for Independence

The mid-20th century witnessed the rise of nationalist movements seeking to end British colonial rule. The struggle for independence culminated in the Panglong Agreement of 1947, which paved the way for Myanmar’s independence in 1948.

Modern Age

Since gaining independence, Myanmar has experienced periods of political instability, military rule, and ethnic conflict. The country’s transition to democracy in recent years has been marked by both progress and challenges, as it seeks to reconcile its diverse ethnic and religious communities and embark on a path of inclusive development.

Demographics

Myanmar is a culturally diverse country with a population of approximately 54 million people.

Ethnic Composition

The population is ethnically heterogeneous, with the Bamar ethnic group comprising the majority. Other significant ethnic groups include the Shan, Karen, and Rakhine, among others. This diversity contributes to the country’s rich cultural tapestry and vibrant social fabric.

Religion

The majority of Myanmar’s population practices Theravada Buddhism, with significant minorities of Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. Buddhism plays a central role in Myanmar’s culture and society, influencing various aspects of daily life, including rituals, festivals, and social customs.

Language

The official language of Myanmar is Burmese, spoken by the majority of the population. However, there are also numerous indigenous languages and dialects spoken across the country, reflecting its diverse ethnic and cultural heritage.

Economy

Myanmar’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, manufacturing, and natural resources. The country is rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, and minerals, and has significant potential for economic growth and development.

Administrative Divisions

Myanmar is divided into 14 states and regions, each with its own local government and administrative structure. The largest states and regions by population include Yangon, Mandalay, and Ayeyarwady.

List of Administrative Divisions:

  1. Yangon Region – Population: 7.4 million
  2. Mandalay Region – Population: 7.5 million
  3. Ayeyarwady Region – Population: 6.2 million
  4. Sagaing Region – Population: 6.8 million
  5. Bago Region – Population: 5.4 million

10 Largest Cities by Population

Myanmar’s largest cities by population include Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw. These urban centers serve as economic, cultural, and administrative hubs, playing a central role in the country’s development and growth.

  1. Yangon – Population: 7.4 million
  2. Mandalay – Population: 1.2 million
  3. Naypyidaw – Population: 1.2 million
  4. Mawlamyine – Population: 450,000
  5. Bago – Population: 370,000

Education Systems

Myanmar offers free and compulsory education for children aged 5 to 15, encompassing primary and lower secondary education. Higher education is provided through universities and colleges, with Yangon University and Mandalay University being among the top institutions.

Top Universities:

  1. Yangon University
  2. Mandalay University
  3. University of Medicine 1, Yangon

Transportation

Myanmar has a developing transportation infrastructure that includes airports, railways, highways, and ports, facilitating domestic and international travel and trade.

Airports

Myanmar has several international airports, with Yangon International Airport and Mandalay International Airport being the largest and busiest.

Railways

Myanmar has a total railway length of approximately 5,000 kilometers, with connections to major cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw.

Highways

Myanmar has an extensive network of highways totaling approximately 35,000 kilometers, including the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway and the Naypyidaw-Mandalay Highway.

Ports

The Port of Yangon is the largest seaport in Myanmar, serving as a key transportation hub for maritime trade and commerce.

Country Facts

  • Population: 54 million
  • Capital: Naypyidaw
  • Language: Burmese
  • Religion: Theravada Buddhism
  • Race: Multicultural
  • Currency: Burmese Kyat (MMK)
  • ISO Country Codes: MM, MMR
  • International Calling Code: +95
  • Top-Level Domain: .mm