Geography and Climate
The union of Myanmar is 2,61,228 square miles (676,577 square kilometers). It stretches for 582 miles (936 kilometers) from east to west and 1,275 miles (2,051 kilometers) from north to south. The length of contiguous frontier is 3,828 miles (6,129 kilometers), sharing 1,370 miles with China, 1,310 miles with Thailand, 832 miles with India, 1,687 miles with Bangladesh and 148 miles with Laos respectively. The length of the coastline from the mouth of Naaf River to Kawthaung is approximately 1,385 miles. The People’s Republic of China borders Myanmar on the north and northeast on the east and southeast by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Thailand, on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal and on the west by the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India.
States and Divisions of Myanmar
The climate of Myanmar is roughly divided into three seasons: summer, rainy and cold season. From March to mid-May are summer months; the rain falls from mid-May to the end of October and the cold season starts in November and ends in the end of February. Generally, Myanmar enjoys a tropical monsoon climate. However, climatic conditions differ widely from place to place due to widely different topographical situations. Central Myanmar has an annual rainfall of less than 40 inches while the Rakhine coast gets about 200 inches. Temperature of towns varies according to their location and elevation. Mountain ranges of Myanmar created different climatic condition, rain forest that makes regular rainfall for the rice farmers and also acting as natural barrier which protecting the mainland from typhoon and hurricane.
Population and National Races of Myanmar
The Union of Myanmar has divided into seven States and seven Divisions and made up of 135 national races of which the main ethnic groups are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. According to the statistics of 1998-99, the population of the country is estimated at 47.25 million and the population growth rate is 1.84%. Males constitute 23.46 million, forming 49.66% and females constitute 23.79 million, forming 50.34%. It is expected that the population will reach 52 million by the year 2003.
Valid passport is needed for the visa application. Tourist and business visa are valid for 28 days; apply to any Myanmar Embassy or Consulate, with four photographs. Visa shall be issued by representatives of Myanmar in: Australia (Canberra), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Canada (Ottawa), People’s Repl of China (Beijing, Kuming), C.I.S. / former U.S.S.R. (Moscow), Egypt (Cairo), France (Paris), Germany (Bonn), Hong Kong, India (New Delhi). Indonesia (Jakarta), Israel (Tel Aviv), Italy (Rome), Japan (Tokyo), Laos (Viangchan), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Nepal (Kathmandu), Pakistan (Islamabad), The Philippines (Manila), Singapore, South Korea (Seoul), Sri Lanka (Colombo), Switzerland (Geneva), Thailand (Bangkok), United Kingdom (London), U.S.A (New York, Washington), Vietnam (Hanoi) and Yugoslavia (Belgrade).
Passengers arriving without a visa, if required, will be deported. Children over 7 years mentioned in the passport of a parent must hold a separate visa; A tourist visa and Business visa are valid only for a maximum period of 28 days. The passenger must hold confirmed return or onward tickets. A transit visa is valid for a period of 24 hours only. Travel to certain areas in Myanmar is restricted. Contact to Shan Yoma Travel & Tours Co., Ltd. for special permit.
For more information click here: www.visa.gov.mm
Besides personal effects visitors are allowed 400 cigarettes (100 cigars or 250 gms of unrolled tobacco), a quart of liquor and 500 ml of cologne or perfume. Camera, radios, cassette players, calculators etc. must be declared at the customs of arrival and taken out on departure. Foreign currency in excess of US$ 2000 must be declared. Retain a copy of the Customs declaration form to be presented when you leave Myanmar.
200FEC not require to compulsory exchange. US Dollar is the accepted foreign currency in Myanmar. Traveller’s cheque and major credit cards are not available around the country. It is recommended to bring US$ cash for shopping and general purposes.
The currency is kyat pronounced (chat) and is divided into 100 pyas. At present the following kyat bank notes are in use: K1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 45, 50, 90, 100, 200, 500, 1,000.
The same precautions as anywhere else. Drink only bottled water. Do not eat raw vegetables’ only eat fruits that you can peel or cut yourself. Be wary of eating food from street stalls. Use insect repellent to keep malaria, dengue fever and the like at bay. Use sunscreen liberally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.
Airport tax is US$ 10 per head to be paid on departure.
Myanmar Standard Time (MST) is six hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 30 min shorter than BKK Time.
Government and business 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Monday through Friday. Shops – 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Usually Monday through Saturday.
Light summer wear is ideal. Rubber slippers or sandals are recommended as footwears are strictly prohibited at Pagodas, temples and monasteries. A sweater and a raincoat will be useful if tour includes Taunggyi (4,675 feet above sea-level), the Inlay Lake and Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)3,600 feet above sea level.
There are literally hundreds of colorful festivals and temple fairs celebrated throughout Myanmar during any year, many of them religious or featuring traditional sports.
While department stores, supermarkets and mini-markets in Yangon offer a wide choice of products, both foreign and local with fixed prices, the real magic of shopping is to be found mainly in the Bogyoke Aung San Market where shopping is fun and easy; and bargaining is acceptable.
Self-drive and chauffeur-driven cars are not allowed in Myanmar. Car Rental Companies have desks at Yangon International Airport and have also so many hotel in Yangon.
None are required unless travelers come from yellow fever zones.
Electric current is usually 230 Volts A/C. Various plug socket are in use.