Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Its population of over 60 million makes it the world’s 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world’s 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.
Myanmar’s culture is largely a result of heavy Indian influences intertwined with local traditions and some Chinese influences. This can be seen in the various stupas and temples throughout the country, which bear a distinct resemblance to those in northern India.Like neighbouring Thailand, Theravada Buddhism is the single largest religion, and even some of the most remote villages will have a village temple for people to pray at. Other religions which exist in smaller numbers include Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
The dominant ethnic group in Myanmar is known as the Bamar, from which the original English name of the country, Burma, was derived. Besides the Bamar, Myanmar is also home to many minority ethnic groups and nationalities which have their own distinct cultures and languages.In addition to the native ethnic minorities, Myanmar is also home to ethnic Chinese and Indians whose ancestors migrated to Myanmar during the colonial period, most visible in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay.
Generally speaking, most Burmese people are incredibly friendly and polite, and will do their best to make you feel welcome in their country.
Burmese is the mother tongue of official language in Myanmar. Some of the races have their own language. They are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan, Mon, Chin and so on.
- Buddhism 98%
- Islam 4%
- Christianity 4%
- Others 2%
- Traditional Animistic 1%
55.7 Millions (2014)
- 4thJanuary – Independence day
- 12thJanuary – Karen New Year
- 12thFebruary – Union Day of Myanmar
- 2nd March – Peasants Day
- 26thMarch – Full Moon Day of Tabaung
- 27thMarch – Armed Forces Day
- 12th-21st April – New Year Water Festival
- 1st May – Labor Day
- 24thMay – Full Moon Festival
- 19thJuly – Martyrs’ Day
- 22thJuly – Full Moon Day of Waso
- 19thOctober – Full Moon Day of Thadinkyut
- 18thNovember – Full Moon Day of Dasoungmone
- 27thNovember – National Day of Myanmar
- 25thDecember – Christmas
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Myanmar Travel Guide
Once a pariah state, Myanmar – previously known as Burma – is fast becoming the must-see destination in Southeast Asia, helped by an incredible array of tourist sights: golden stupas as tall as skyscrapers, ancient ruins, fascinating hill tribes, unexplored jungles, peaceful beach resorts, legions of monks, and mesmerising cities made legendary by writers like Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell.
Ruled by a secretive military junta, Burma was closed for decades to the outside world. When it finally opened, travellers were initially restricted to a handful of locations: the magnificent temples of Bagan, the floating villages of Inle Lake, the monasteries of Mandalay, and Yangon, the former capital, with its colonial relics and towering pagodas.
That was then. With the end of the travel boycott called by Aung San Suu Kyi, travellers are queuing up to visit Myanmar, captivated by the idea of seeing what Asia was like before the tourists arrived. Nevertheless, the government still controls where visitors can go and what they can see, and many people have qualms that their tourist dollars help fund the military regime, which stands accused of widespread abuses.
Those who do visit discover a fascinating, and famously friendly culture on the threshold between tradition and modernity. Monasteries are the foundation of Burmese society and even in rapidly expanding Yangon life is focused on Buddhist rituals. The sense of devotion is tangible at the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Paya, which towers over Yangon like an enormous golden pillar.
As Myanmar has opened up to the outside world, travellers have pushed beyond the Bagan-Inle-Mandalay triangle, visiting peaceful outposts like Kalaw, Hsipaw and Kengtung and trekking to remote tribal villages. Smaller numbers make it to the jungles of northern Myanmar or the rain-drenched ports of the far south and west. Myanmar even has its own patch of the Himalaya, accessed from remote Putao in the far north.
Through it all, the mighty Irrawaddy River snakes like a twisting Burmese python, offering some of the most atmospheric river journeys in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, Myanmar remains a controversial destination, promising significant challenges as well as rewarding experiences.
Whatsoever, Welcome to Myanmar (Burma)!
Myanmar has many different faces and is certainly offering something special for any traveler to whom traveling is more than staying at a beach resort (although that’s possible as well). It is a country with a very rich culture, unspoiled nature and, to some visitors’ surprise; it’s also a country with a genuine friendly population who very much want to be in contact with foreign visitors. People are open-minded, easy going and interested to learn more about anything.
It’s the people that make the country and that’s certainly true for Myanmar. Hundreds of ethnic tribes have been living in the area for thousands of years and many have continued their centuries old, local way of life till now. This diversity is generally celebrated — Myanmar has official public holidays for almost every world religion, and sometimes joked about — with some healthy feeling of “competition and envy” for the better food, costumes, jewellery or other cultural differences from the various states.
Myanmar people (ethnic Burmese are called Bamar, as well as Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Karen, Mon, Rakhine and Shan) LOVE to try the food from other states (Shan and Rakhine food is very popular in Yangon). Whenever people travel through the country, they will always bring food from the area they visited as a present for family and friends who stayed at home.
Golden Myanmar Guide wants to showcase you the best the country has to offer: from the highlights like Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake, to the less visited places like Northern Shan State, Mrauk U, Mon & Kayin State, Golden Myanmar Guide team is ready to showcase travelers the real country.
We do hope to see you soon in Myanmar – Myanmar is a dream destination for real travelers who want to experience a different country with a very welcoming population. In Myanmar language there is no word for “tourist” – there is only a word for “guest.”
Warmly Welcome to The Golden Land – Myanmar (Burma),
The Golden Myanmar Guide Team