Myanmar, short for the Union of Myanmar, is an old country boasting a long history of civilization in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the west of Indochina Peninsula, between Tibetan Plateau and Malay Peninsula. It faces Andaman Sea in its southwest, borders India and Bangladesh in its northwest, the republic of China in its northeast and Thailand and Laos in its southeast. Myanmar covers a total area of about 676,581 square kilometers and stretches over 2,090 kilometers from north to south and more than 925 kilometers from east to west. It has a long coastline of 2,832 kilometers.
Myanmar has splendid cultural and historical heritage. It is a famous Buddhist country with the long history of Buddhism for over 2,500 years. Myanmar has a total population of about 53,000,000, among which over 80％ of the total population believes in Buddhism. In Myanmar, every man must shave his head and become a monk for a certain period of time during his lifetime. Otherwise, he will be scorned by the society. The Buddhists in Myanmar believe that building Buddhist pagodas can increase their virtue and benefit their whole lives. The Buddhists respect temples and pagodas and numerous Buddhist pagodas have been built every where in Myanmar. According to statistics, there are more than 100,000 Buddhist pagodas in the whole country. Thus, Myanmaris also known for “the country of Buddhist pagodas”. The magnificent and resplendent Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar attract numerous tourists all around the world every year.
Among all these pagodas, the golden Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which began to be built 2,500 years ago, is the country's holiest shrine and the most valuable masterwork of the Buddhist buildings in the world with the longest history. It is several hundred meters tall and is surrounded by 64 small pagodas. The whole golden Shwedagon Pagoda is covered with gold leaf and the top of the pagoda is cast in gold and jewelled with numerous diamond and precious stones, making the pagoda look resplendent and splendid.
Myanmar enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with the annual average temperature of about 27 ℃. It has a moderate climate and beautiful natural scenery, such as the thick forests, magnificent mountains, the rivers flowing peacefully among the mountains, showing the simplicity and natural beauty of the country. Myanmar has four pleasant seasons with distinctive natural scenery. The forest coverage occupies over 50％ of the total area. The lowest temperature falls in January with the average temperature of over 20 ℃. April is the hottest month of the year with the average temperature of about 30 ℃. The rainfall ranges from 500 to 1,000 mm in inland regions and the rainfall ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 mm in the mountainous regions and the coastal areas.
Best Visiting Time
As Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate, it is generally hot and humid. The weather in the mountainous areas is relatively cool. The cool seasons last from October to the following February with the temperature ranging from 15℃ to 24℃. The hot seasons fall from March to May with the temperature ranging from 25℃ to 33℃. The rainy seasons are from June to September.
1. Never touch others’ heads because heads are regarded as the most holy part of the bodies by the local people.
2. Remember to hold things with the right hand, such as food, gifts and money. Put the left hand under the right elbow.
3. Pay attention to dress. Never wear shots, tights or sleeveless coats in places of worship.
4. Remember to take off your shoes while visiting the temples, even on the steps leading to the pagodas on the top of the mountain, showing the respect to the Buddha.
5. As Myanmar doesn’t open Global System for Mobile Communications, mobile phones can’t be used there. There are phone booths in the street of Yangon and Mandalay, with which you can only make local phone calls.
6. Dollars are available in Myanmar. However, only the clean dollars are acceptable.