Looking for where is Myanmar Located? Here are amazing Myanmar Facts You probably Don’t Know. Myanmar or Burma is pretty much the bridge that links the Indian subcontinent to China and Southeast Asia and it’s interesting to see the role that they play in the geopolitical atmosphere. First of all, the country is located in Southeast Asia bordered by five other countries with a coast along the Andaman Sea and broader Bay of Bengal. They even have a long slice of the Kra Isthmus part of the peninsula that is shared by three countries here the southernmost mainland area Kawthaung can be found.
On the coasts Burma has over 800 islands and the territory extend further south. The southernmost point is the Christi Island. If you go just a bit north, the largest island Kadan Kyun is located. Note that these small islands known as the Cocos just off the Andaman Islands belonging to India are also Myanmar’s territory. The country is divided into twenty-one administrative divisions. First there are seven states and seven regions considered equivalent and the only distinction is that the states typically have an ethnic minority whereas regions have the largest majority group the Bamar Burmese people. Within these two areas the Shan State in the Sagaing Region, five self-administered zones and one self-administered division exist. These are strange areas that are led by a chairman nominated by the Armed Forces. Finally, the newly moved and constructed capital of Naypyidaw the third largest city in the country acts as its own Union Territory. The largest city is actually Yangon in the south which was the capital for the longest time. It even holds the largest international airport Yangon International Airport as well as the largest seaports the Myanmar Port Authority
largest city in Burma is Mandalay located up north which has the last royal capital and the second busiest airport lies here the Mandalay International airport. Apart from all that Myanmar actually has a pretty well interconnected rail system that goes to virtually every corner of the country. The vast majority of the people live along the Irrawaddy River and River Delta that flows into the ocean to the south where Yangon lies. The capital Naypyidaw which means the abode of the king is actually a young planned City. At over 4,800 square kilometers in size the capital city is huge but in return it has a pretty low population density and has this eerie looking empty 20 lane highway.
Talking of places that stands out in Myanmar some spots you might want to check out if you visit the country include the in Inwa ruins, the pagoda of holy snakes, the second largest bell in the world the Mingun Bell, the reclining Buddha “Win Sein Taw Ya”, the Shwenandaw Kyaung temple, Nyaung Ohak jungle temple village, the Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay, the world’s largest book carved in stones, Bogyoke market, Taukkyan War Cemetery, the independence monument, the Golden Rock, Schwegadon Pagoda and probably the most famous landmark of the ancient city of Bagan with over 2,200 temples.
Myanmar is basically surrounded on all sides from their neighbors by various mountain chains. You have the Arakan Yoma and Chin hills in the southwest, the Naga Hills and Hengduan mountains part of the larger Himalayas in the north where the tallest peak in all Southeast Asia Hkakabo Razi can be found, then there’s the Shan plateau, the Karen hills as well as the Dawna and Tenasserim hills in the south.
The central interior of Myanmar is generally flat with incredibly lush valleys fed by the longest and most important river of the country the Irrawaddy sourced by the snowmelt and springs of the Himalayas up north. The largest natural lake in the country is the Indawgyi Lake. Unfortunately, Myanmar is kind of smashed right in between the Sunda and Indian plates right off the Burma microplates in the ocean and the entire lush center of the country lies on the Sagaing fault line which is subject to occasional earthquakes. An earthquake was in 2016 that destroyed and damaged over 170 ancient temples in Bagan. In addition, this also gives Myanmar some geothermal activity. The country contains some of the few rare mud volcano spots in the world mostly near the town of Minbu.
Production-wise beyond Myanmar is loaded with various resources industries. More notably they are known for producing precious stones like high-quality sapphires, pearls, Jades and rubies. The country alone one supplies about 90% of the world’s rubies mostly found in high concentrated deposits around the north area of Mandalay. Myanmar has an incredibly diverse flora and fauna, over 300 mammals including the famous Burmese white elephant, 100 bird species including the national bird the peacock and 300 species of reptile.
Myanmar is part of the broader region known as the Golden Triangle. In a nutshell this is basically the largest drug production region of Southeast Asia most of it lies in the Shan States. To this day Myanmar is actually the largest producer of methamphetamines in the world use in both medicine and illegal recreation in addition they’re also the second largest producer of opium after Afghanistan. According to the Bangkok Post this illegal trade is estimated to produce about two billion dollars annually or somewhere around 40 percent of their foreign exchange alone which is pretty high and finally some dishes you might find in Myanmar include dishes like Lahpet, Mone-ti, Coconut noodles, Pae Pyote Htamin, and so many different curries and of course the national dish you can find pretty much anywhere Mohinga.
Myanmar’s people are some of the most fascinating in the world because there’s over a hundred and thirty ethnic groups in the country and each one kind of retains some kind of unique trait untouched by contemporary values. First of all, the country has somewhere around fifty-six million people and has one of the lowest energy consumption rates per capita in all of Asia. Out of the many ethnic groups the largest ones are the Burman or Bamar at about sixty eight percent, next are the Shan at about nine percent, the Karen at about seven percent, the Rakhine at about four percent and the rest are made up of the remaining 130 groups with a noticeable Chinese and Indian community. For their currency they use the Kyat and use the type C, D, F, N, G plug outlets and surprisingly even though they’re a former British colony they actually drive on the right side of the road but it’s weird because most of their cars still have right-hand side steering.
Most people from Myanmar are Burmese which is just another name for the Burma majority people group this is also why the country was called Burma in the past however not everybody in the country is Burmese ethnically so if you meet somebody from Myanmar that is not Burmese you can call them by whatever group they belong to you like the Karen or the Shan or if you really want to play it safe the general title for anybody from Myanmar is Myanmar. They however, speak the language of the majority group “Burmese”. The Burmese language is a unique tongue unrelated to any of their neighbors however, linguists say that maybe it’s a distant cousin of Tibetan.
Faith wise Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist at somewhere around 88% with most adhering to the Theravada branch of teaching and Buddhism plays a huge role in the culture as you see it literally everywhere i.e. monks’ temples, the pagodas statues in fact it’s incredibly Buddhist. Nonetheless, about 6.2 percent are Christians mostly among the Kachin, Chin and Kayin people. Islam is practiced by about 4% mostly by the Kamein, Panthay and Pashu Malays and also the most notable one that makes up the news articles the Rohingya. Myanmar have a long history of keeping things to themselves and maintaining their own way of life minimizing outside influence and perhaps are one of the only three countries that doesn’t completely use the metric system. Today they still use the traditional Burmese measuring units in many parts of the country which are hard to explain. In 2013 the country’s Minister of Commerce announced that they would prepare the country to adopt the metric system over time.
Culturally is speaking there are too many things to list with the various ethnic groups of Myanmar, you have things like the silver jewelry of the Jingpo people, flowery headdresses of women from Malaya Hill Lisu tribe, the Kaya people and their sessions, the Mon people and their music, the Austronesian Moken people, the Rakhine and their coastal flare, the Shan and their cuisine and costumed performances, the Pa O and their fire rocket festival, the Wa people and their water buffalo sacrifice tradition and the Taron people which are only about five left in the world and they are only about four feet tall and finally you’ve probably seen pictures of the famous Padaung people with their brass rings long necked woman that stretched their collarbones to give off the image of a long neck traditionally seen as a sign of beauty.
Some nationwide shared aspects amongst the people might include things like Chinlone considered one of the nation’s sports. It’s like a wicker ball hacky sack type of game with six players. There’s also Lethwei where the fighter uses their head when fighting. Many people wear their traditional longyi on a daily basis, it can be folded and used in many ways like pants or even an umbrella. Today Myanmar is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic. 2011 was a big year for political restructuring however, the military-backed party still holds a high level of power to this day making things a little bit complicated. Historically though there were many kingdoms and royal Burmese households, although the royal throne was abolished in 1885 the descendants of the throne are still alive today and known as monarch pretenders.
Edward Taw Phaya is the head of the royal house of Konbaung currently the heir to the throne of Burma. The quickest way we can condense the history of Myanmar, Hindu and animist kingdoms, Buddhism comes in, the Pyu people, the little Bagan Kingdom, big Bagan Kingdom, Mongol invasion, Taungoo Empire, Small kingdoms, Kongbaung dynasty, Sino Burma Wars, a lot of Burma-Siam wars, Big Kongbaung kingdom, British wars, Colonial time, World war II, Japan war etc.
Some notable people either from Myanmar or Burmese Myanmar descent might include people like these King Anawratha, King Alaungpaya, King Bayinnaung, Bo Gyoke Aung San, Nay Toe, Ba Nyan, Ba Gyan, Suk Bahadur, Wutt Hmone Shwe Yi, Aung La N Sang, Sai Sai Kham Leng and of course everyone has now heard of Aung San Suu Kyi. People with known Burmese heritage abroad include celebrities like Bollywood actress Helen, Peter Barakan, Jamie Cullum, Zuleikha Robinson, Morisaki Win, Wendy Law-Yone and Richard Beckinsdale and Kate Beckinsdale.
Myanmar is funny because politically speaking they are little intense with domestic policy but they have lots of business and trade so they always kind of end up interacting with the outside world no matter. China and India have both had their ups and downs with Myanmar. For India things started great as they work together to fight drug trafficking and many of the same tribes of the northern states share family across the Indian border where roads were built to connect the isolated provinces and trade is pretty strong as India were the fourth largest trading partner and second largest export market. However, things got a little strained when India supported the Democratic Movement and condemned the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi but today things are better. With China there were some border wars in the past and Myanmar doesn’t really like the whole Tibet annexation thing, there were some anti-Chinese riots in the 60s but then in the 80s they gave lots of money and supplies to the ruling military Hunta.
They also agreed to build a Chinese intelligence based in great Coco Island and now Myanmar acts as kind of like China’s closest eyes and ears to help monitor activity in the Indian Ocean which is kind of like a slap in the face to India as they kind of gave Myanmar those islands. As a member of ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations they generally get along with all their other Southeast Asian neighbors. Historically Thailand is like this sister that they always kind of get into fights with and argue over small things, they used to hate each other but today in modern times they realize that when they work together, they can make tons of money and cooperate well. They are the largest trading partner as about 80% of Thailand’s migrant workers are from Myanmar and trade is important between them.
Japan is considered their best friend as tons of Japanese companies have opened up in Myanmar giving them jobs and education opportunities. Tons of Japanese volunteers come over to help the poor and orphan kids building schools and hospitals and in general Japan has kind of acted as like the mediator that has never really had any crazy drama with them. Everybody in Myanmar generally has high regards for the Japanese. In conclusion, Myanmar is a place where Buddhism and beauty meet earthquakes and conflict, vibrant colors, sounds and taste but with a slight stressful twitch in their eye either way they are Myanmar.