Would you like to experience the Myanmar Discovery Tour and discover the top historical, cultural and natural landmarks of Burma? Burma is an amazing country with its gentle and supremely welcoming people. It is also a country of many incredible and sometimes surreal sites. View the spectacular4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan. Stare in disbelief at the Golden Rock teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. Ride a horse cart past colonial-era mansions. Meet multi-talented monks who have taught their cats acrobatics. Burma hides many interesting socio-cultural, historical and natural features that require a long stay to experience and there are many interesting facts of this country that are worth discovering. Because of Burma’s exciting and intriguing culture, history, and people, a tour of Burma will leaveupon you a lasting impression. A few exciting facts about Burma are depicted here.
- Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of 678,500 square kilometers. The country is bordered on the northwest by India and Bangladesh, on the northeast by Tibet and China, by Laos and Thailand to the southeast, and by the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to the south. Myanmar’s coastline is about 1,930 kilometers.
- Burma was home to some of the earliest civilizations of Southeast Asia including the Pyu and the Mon. In the 9th century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the Burmese language and culture slowly became dominant in the country. During this period, Theravada Buddhism gradually became the predominant religion of the country.
- In the second half of the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Burma. The British conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century. Since independence in 1948, the country’s myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running unresolved civil wars.
- Burma was part of Britain’s Indian Empire until 1937, when it became a self-governing colony. Burma gained its independence from Britain in 1948. Myanmar’s tumultuous history has included the Imperial era (849-1885), the Colonial era (1886-1948) under the British rule, the Democratic republic (1948-1962), Military rule (1962-2011), SPDC rule (1988-2011) and then elections and reforms (2010-present).
- The outlawed opposition party, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, is led by Aung San SuuKyi, who won an abortive democratic presidential election in December of 1990.
- In 1989, the military government officially changed the name of the country to Myanmar. In 2006, the capital moved from Yangon (formerly Rangoon) to Nay Pyi Taw.
- The majority of Myanmar’s people are ethnic Burmans, and other ethnic groups (including Shans, Karens, and Kachins) add up to some 30 percent of the population. Ethnic minorities are dominant in border and mountainous areas: Shan in the north and northeast (Indian and Thai borders), Karen in the southeast (Thai border), and Kachin in the far north (Chinese border).
- One of the most fascinating aspects of travel in Myanmar is the opportunity to experience a corner of Asia that, in many ways, has changed little since British colonial times. Myanmar, for instance, has yet to be completely overwhelmed by Western clothing. It is the country where holy men are more revered than rock stars.
- The most popular available tourist destinations in Burma include big cities such as Yangon and Mandalay; religious sites in Mon State, Pindaya, Bago and Hpa-An; nature trails in Inle Lake, Kengtung, Putao, PyinOoLwin; ancient cities such as Bagan and Mrauk-U; as well as beaches in Ngapali, Ngwe-Saung, Mergui.
- The official language of Myanmar is Burmese, a Sino-Tibetan language that is the native tongue of slightly more than half of the country’s people.
- The government of Myanmar officially recognizes 135 ethnic groups. By far the largest is the Bamar, at about 68%. Significant minorities include the Shan (10%), Kayin (7%), Rakhine (4%), ethnic Chinese (3%), Mon (2%), and ethnic Indians (2%). There are also small numbers of Kachin, Anglo-Indians, and Chin.
- Myanmar is primarily a Theravada Buddhist society, with about 89% of the population. Most Burmese are very devoted, and treat monks with great respect.
- Many religions are practiced in Burma. Religious edifices and orders have been in existence for many years. Festivals can be held on a grand scale.
- A diverse range of indigenous cultures exist in Burma, the majority culture is primarily Buddhist and Bamar. Bamar culture has been influenced by the cultures of neighboring countries. This is manifested in its language, cuisine, music, dance and theatre. The arts, particularly literature, have historically been influenced by the local form of Theravada Buddhism.
- In a traditional village, the monastery is the centre of cultural life. Monks are venerated and supported by the lay people. Burmese culture is most evident in villages where local festivals are held throughout the year, the most important being the pagoda festival.
- The country’s slow economic growth has contributed to the preservation of much of its environment and ecosystems. Forests, including dense tropical growth and valuable teak in lower Burma, cover over 49% of the country, including areas of acacia, bamboo, ironwood and micheliachampaca. Typical jungle animals, particularly tigers and leopards, occur sparsely in Burma. In upper Burma, there are rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild boars, deer, antelope, and elephants, which are also tamed or bred in captivity for use as work animals, particularly in the lumber industry. Smaller mammals are also numerous, ranging from gibbons and monkeys to flying foxes and tapirs. The abundance of birds is notable with over 800 species, including parrots, peafowl, pheasants, crows, herons, and paddybirds. Among reptile species there are crocodiles, geckos, cobras, Burmese pythons, and turtles. Hundreds of species of freshwater fish are wide-ranging, plentiful and are very important food sources.
- The best time to visit in Burma is between November and February when it rains the least. The months of March to May can be extremely hot with temperatures exceeding 40c. Then from July to September is the monsoon period with plenty of rainfall.
7 Quick facts of Burmese people
- Men in Burma wear dress called Longyi.
- In Burma, no one cuts theirhair on Monday, Friday and or their birthday.
- Pregnant women are not married and do not have a funeral.
- Boxing in Burma is very violent. The victor is the one who draws blood first.
- In Burma wedding dates are chosen by an astrologer for good luck.
- Using water for foot and head washing is considered rude and against Buddhism in Burma. Touching a head of a child and touching any part of awoman in public is considered to be rude.
- Horse–drawn cartsarea popular means of transportin certain areas and wearing sandalsaremore commonthan shoes.
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