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).
Myanmar has a population of over 50 million with the Bamar, the majority race, making up about 70 percent. The other major national races consist of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Myanmar is a union of 135 ethnic groups with their own languages, dialects and culture. The overall population density is about 70 persons per sq km, one of the lowest in East Asia. The population is more than 75 percent rural, with almost half the urban population found in the three largest cities: Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay and Mawlamyine. Communities of Chinese and Indian Muslim minorities dwell in large towns and cities in peaceful coexistence with the Myanmar nationals.
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.
Out of the entire population, 85% are Theravada Buddhists, followed by Christians 6.2%, Muslims 4.8%, Spirit Worshippers and Animists 2.5% and Hindus 1.5%.
The Kyat is the currency of Myanmar/Burma. It is often abbreviated as “K”, which is placed before the numerical value.
Credit card/Visa card NOT available there. Tourist should bring money (US dollar or Euro while traveling in country.
Electricity in Myanmar is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second.
Outlets in Myanmar generally accept three plug types: three round pins arranged in a triangle, two round pins & two parallel flat pins with ground pin.
Although not obligatory, tipping is widely practiced in hotels and restaurants. In addition to the service charges shown on bills, most people would leave some extra in the tray.
Since foreigners are only allowed to enter Myanmar by air, getting into the country overland isn’t an option. Visitors can however get a day pass to explore any of the border towns next to Thailand, but travel into the country overland isn’t permitted. To get around Myanmar, air travel is the most convenient method. Most of the main cities in the country have small airports with daily flights to the capital.
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.
There are seven TV stations in Myanmar, of which, MTV1 and MTV2 are the main channels. And another channel by government is MRTV. MRTV-3 is an English language channel aimed at an international audience.
Post offices are open Mon to Fri, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Letter to Europe/USA take 10/14 days.
It is easy and cheap to access the Internet and email in Myanmar. There are a plenty of Internet cafes and many are open until late at night. Currently the charge is 50cents round about U.S dollars per hour, and falling.
Telephone & Mobile
Local and domestic long-distance calls can usually be made from hotels/restaurants/cafes and on street in major city.
Airport Tax is levied on all passengers leaving Myanmar on international flights: USD 10.-.
Local time is GMT + 6.5 hours.