Myanmar is situated in Southern Asia and is bordered on the north and northeast by China , on the east and southeast by Laos and Thailand, on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. On the west by Bangladesh and India. It is located between latitudes 09 32 N and 28 31 N and longitudes 92 10 and 101 11 E.
Myanmar ( former Burma ) the legendary “ Golden Land “ – is still the Myanmar of today. Certainly, one of the most exotic countries in the world – a land of astounding beauty & charm that moved Kipling to open these apt words : “ quite unlike any land you will ever know “. Myanmar offers the mystical charms of the orient in all is diversity – rich archaeological sites, glittering pagodas, a wealth of culture, colorful festivals & arts. In Myanmar you will see & feel idyllic landscape, lush fertile plains, vast virgin jungles, majestic snowcapped mountains, white sandy beaches, washed by crystal clear waters, fragrant pine trees & tropical flowers bathed in a abundant sunshine. But most of all, perfectly complemented by the most gracious & hospitable people. Myanmar is located on the south-west corner of the main land South East Asia.
The unique advantage appreciated by visitors to Myanmar is the opportunity of enjoying an unusually enjoyable tour, without embarrassment of a commercialized atmosphere at a best price.
The country covers and area of 677,000 square kilometers 9 261,228 square miles ) ranging kilometers ( 581 miles ) from north to south. It is a land of hills and valleys. In the north, east and west by mountain ranges forming a giant horseshoe. Enclosed within the mountain barriers are the flat lands of Ayeyarwaddy, Chindwin and Sittaung River valleys where most of the country’s agricultural land and population are concerned.
The length of contiguous frontier is 6,159 kilometers. The total length of Myanmar – Bangledesh boundary is 271 kilometers ( 168.7 miles ). The total length of Myanmar – China boundary is 2,204 kilometers ( 1,370 miles ); Myanmar – Thailand 2,107 kilometers ( 1,309 miles ); Myanmar – India 1,338 kilometers ( 831.8 miles ); and Myanmar – Laos 238 kilometers ( 147.9 miles ).
As a whole, the location and topography of the country generated a diversity of climate conditions. Seasonal changes in the monsoon wind directions create summer, rainy and winter seasons. Extremes of temperature are rare. The directions of winds and depression bring rain, and although it is always heavy in the coastal areas during monsoon season, it seldom creates hardships.
The Union of Myanmar is made up of 135 national races, of which the main national races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Populations of the country is estimated at 52.4 million ( July, 2003 ) and the populations growth rate is 1.84 percent.
The main religions of the country are Buddhism (89.2%), Christianity (5.0%), Islam (3.8%), Hinduism (0.5%), Spiritualism (1.2%) and others (0.2%).
Myanmar lies in a meeting place of two of the world’s great civilization – China and India – but its culture is neither that of India nor either China exclusively, but a bland of interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmars.
Myanmar people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, reverence for Myanmar social life and each month has its own festive occasion. Myanmars are known for their simplicity, honesty, generosity, hospitality and friendliness.
Since late 1988, Myanmar has replaced the centrally planned economy with a more liberalized economic Policy based on market-oriented system. In moving towards a more market-oriented economy. Myanmar has liberalized domestic and external trades, promoting the role of private sector and opening up to foreign investment. The Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Commission has been set up. Foreign Investment Law, New Central Bank of Myanmar Law, Financial Institutions of Myanmar Law and Myanmar Tourism Law has been enacted and “Chamber of Commerce and Industry” had been reactivated. 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 and investors.
Agriculture remains the main sector of the economy and measures have been taken to increase productivity, diversification of crop patterns and revitalization of agriculture exports.
Myanmar currency is Kyat which comprises 100 Pyas.
Note: Kyat 1000, Kyat 500, Kyat 100, Kyat 90, Kyat 50, Kyat 20, Kyat 15, Kyat 10, Kyat 5 and Kyat 1.
Coins: Kyat 1, 50 Pyas, 25 Pyas, 10 Pyas and 5 Pyas.
Visitors are not allowed to bring in all take out Kyat.
Foreigners and non-residents can bring into Myanmar any foreign currency not in its equivalent without making a declaration to the Customs on arrival.
All foreign currencies above US $ 2000, jewelry, electrical goods and cameras must be declared to the customs at the airport. Exports of antique and archaeological valuable items are prohibited. Only gems, jewelry and silverware purchased at the authorized shops are allowed to be taken out.
For visitor’s convenience, there are Duty-Free Shops in the airport arrival and departure lounges. Allowance is 2 Liters of liquor, 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars and ½ liter of perfumes.
Airport Departure Tax
US $ 10. It is advisable to reconfirm int’l flight before going out country.
Foreign currencies must be changed only at authorized Money-Changers at the airport, hotels, bank and Myanmar Travels and Tours Offices. For their convenience the Central Bank of Myanmar has issued Foreign Exchange Certificates ( FECs ) in Dollar units. Foreign Exchange Certificates ( FECs ) are issued in four denominations: ( 1 ) FEC equivalent to US Dollar Twenty; ( 2 ) FEC equivalent to US Dollar Ten; ( 3 ) FEC equivalent to US Dollar Five; ( 4 ) FEC equivalent to US Dollar One; They are accepted by hotels, tourists restaurant, and as payment of admission fees or entrance fee at museums and pagodas. US Dollars are accepted in lieu of FECs. Foreign Exchange Certificates are exchangeable with the following currencies: ( 1 ) US Dollar; ( 2 ) Pound Sterling. The fractions of Foreign Exchange of Certificates calculated at the daily cross rate will not be exchanged. These Foreign Exchange Certificates are acceptable by any person in the Union of Myanmar. Foreign Exchange Certificates can only be used within the Union of Myanmar.
Myanmar Time is 06:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean time ( one and half hour difference with Singapore and 30 minutes with Thailand. )
Electrical Power Supply
230 volts, 50 HZ Ac.
- Reconfirm your air tickets before going up-Country. Visitors are requested to ignore touts who may approach you offering guides services, for exchanging Foreign Currency, or for selling gems of a doubtful nature.
- As there are strict Foreign Exchange Control Regulations, tourists are advised to change the foreign currencies only at the authorized private shops where you will be given a legal voucher with a permit for export.
- Always keep your passport, money and other valuable properties in secure places, especially when traveling by train or bus or ship. Report all losses to the nearest police station as will as to your embassy.
- Tourists are requested to dress decently within the precincts of religious places. Footwear is strictly prohibited in pagodas and monasteries. Weather is generally warm and dry. The light clothing and comfortable shoes of sandals are recommended.
Radio & TV
There are two radio channels, Myanmar Radio and City FM. Also 4 TV channels such as Myanmar TV, MRTV 3, MRTV 4 & Myawaddy.
Six border check points were opened on Myanmar – Thailand border and Myanmar – China border in order to attract more tourists. Out of the tourists who visited Myanmar in 2003 – 2003, 26.77 percent of those were individual tourists, 35.96 percent were under package tours, 18.58 percent were business men and 18.69 percent were with other purposes.