The Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, formed with 7 states and 7 divisions is situated in South East Asia. The largest country by geographical area in Indochina is bordered by China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and the Bay of Bengal to the south-west with the Andaman Sea defining its southern periphery. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter, 1,930 kilometers (1,200 mi), forms an uninterrupted coastline.
The denizens of Myanmar are made up of over 100 ethnic groups and the major ethnic groups are Burma, Kachin, Chin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, akhine and Shan. In each, there are sub-groups that speak different languages. The Burma is the largest group forming 70% of the total population of 60.28 million. Second largest majority is the Shan, 9% and the third is Kayin, 6%.
Myanmar, which has a total area of 676,578 square kilometers (261,227 sq mi), is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world. It is bordered to the northwest by Cittagong Division of Bangladesh, Manipura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh of India to the northwest. It shares its longest borders with Tibet to the north and Yunnan of China to the northeast for a total of 2,185 kilometers +(1,358 mi). It is bounded by Laos and Thailand to the southeast. Burma has 1,930 kilometers (1,200 mi) of contiguous coastline along the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea to the southwest and the south, which forms one quarter of its total perimeter.
The topography of Myanmar can roughly be divided into three parts: the Western Hill Region, the Central Valley Region and the Eastern Hill Region. The Himalayan Range has a link with Myanmar and is known as the Western Yoma that runs to the South, the country’s highest point at the 5,881 m (19,295 ft) Hkakabo Razi. The Western Yoma Range serves as a well that separates Myanmar fro India. The Central Valley Region consists of the broadest valley of the Ayeyarwaddy. The Eastern Hill Region is the Shan Plateau.
The Irrawaddy River, flows for more than 2,000 km through Myanmar, before fanning out in a delta on the south coast. Yangon stands beside one of its many mouths. Central Myanmar is dominated by the Irrawaddy basin which is shielded by the Rakhine, Chin and Naga Mountains and the Patkai Hills to the west, the Kachin Hills to the north, and the Shan Plateau to the east – which include peaks rising to over 3,000m, influencing the local climate. The river’s valley and delta are considered one of the most fertile agricultural regions in Asia. Fruit, vegetables and citrus crops grow abundantly on the Shan Plateau. Forest covers more than 50% of Myanmar’s land area.
Population of the country is estimated at 60.28 million. Roughly three quarters of the population are rural inhabitants, with the remaining population living in urban Yangon, Mandalay and Moulmein. About two thirds of Myanmar’s population is Burman (ethnically close to Tibetans and Chinese) with other minorities making up the other third.
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country with Buddhism of the Theravada school being practiced by nearly 90% of the population. Buddhism has a great influence on the daily lives of people in Myanmar, easily seen in the respect shown to elders and the devotion shown to the Buddha at the many pagodas throughout the country. However, there are also significant population of Christians (6 %), Muslims (4 %), and Hindus (nearly 1%) and Animists in many areas.
Myanmar language is the official and the majority of the people, approximately 65% of the population speak this language. And also there are many different ethnic groups with their own language and 107 languages are spoken in all over the country. English is widely understood.
Myanmar is a union of 135 ethnic groups with their own languages and dialects. The major races are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine, and Shan. The name Myanmar embraces all the ethnic groups.
Myanmar’s Standard time is UTC+0630 of GMT. During the months from November until March, sunset is always around 17:30.