Traveling Luck for Myanmar
Burma is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand.
Land in Burma is central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands.
Burmese land covers an area of 678500 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Texas
As for the Burmese climate; tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April).
Burmese (singular and plural) speak Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages.
Places of note in Myanmar
Burmese National Map
Regions of Myanmar
Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the ruling junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest, where she remains virtually incommunicado. In November 2005, the junta extended her detention for at least another six months. Her supporters, as well as all those who promote democracy and improved human rights, are routinely harassed or jailed.
Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. The junta took steps in the early 1990s to liberalize the economy after decades of failure under the "Burmese Way to Socialism," but those efforts stalled, and some of the liberalization measures were rescinded. Burma does not have monetary or fiscal stability, so the economy suffers from serious macroeconomic imbalances - including inflation, multiple official exchange rates that overvalue the Burmese kyat, and a distorted interest rate regime. Most overseas development assistance ceased after the junta began to suppress the democracy movement in 1988 and subsequently refused to honor the results of the 1990 legislative elections. In response to the government of Burma's attack in May 2003 on AUNG SAN SUU KYI and her convoy, the US imposed new economic sanctions against Burma - including a ban on imports of Burmese products and a ban on provision of financial services by US persons. A poor investment climate further slowed the inflow of foreign exchange. The most productive sectors will continue to be in extractive industries, especially oil and gas, mining, and timber. Other areas, such as manufacturing and services, are struggling with inadequate infrastructure, unpredictable import/export policies, deteriorating health and education systems, and corruption. A major banking crisis in 2003 shuttered the country's 20 private banks and disrupted the economy. As of December 2005, the largest private banks operate under tight restrictions limiting the private sector's access to formal credit. Official statistics are inaccurate. Published statistics on foreign trade are greatly understated because of the size of the black market and unofficial border trade - often estimated to be as large as the official economy. Burma's trade with Thailand, China, and India is rising. Though the Burmese government has good economic relations with its neighbors, better investment and business climates and an improved political situation are needed to promote foreign investment, exports, and tourism.
Burmese natural resources include petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes
Burmese religion is Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%.
Natural hazards in Burma include destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts.
- You should exercise caution on visits to Burma, and avoid all but essential travel to the Burmese side of the Burma/Thai border.
- You should be aware of the threat from terrorism in Burma.
- Since April 2005, there have been a number of bomb explosions in Burma. Targets have included commercial interests, public transport and places tourists may visit. On 11 and 15 January 2007, four detonators were found wrapped as parcels in post offices in Rangoon. One exploded causing minor injuries.
- If you are visiting or are resident in Burma, you should exercise caution in public places and ensure that you are comfortable with, and regularly review, your own and your family's security arrangements.
- The political situation in Burma remains unsettled. There are stringent restrictions on freedom of movement and speech.
- Typhoons occasionally occur in Burma between April and October. Please see the Natural Disasters section of this travel advice and Hurricanes for more information.
- You should bring enough US Dollars to fund your stay. Credit cards and travellers’ cheques are unlikely to be accepted and there are no ATMs in Burma.
- Around 5,000 British nationals visited Burma in 2005 (Burmese government figure). Most visits are trouble-free. The majority of cases for which British nationals require consular assistance in Burma are due to lack of funds as a result of not being able to use credit cards or travellers cheques.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
You should ask for, and follow carefully, local advice about where it is safe to swim or dive in the sea. You should also be aware that search and rescue facilities are unlikely to meet international standards.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Penalties for drug trafficking range from a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and can include the death penalty.
Homosexuality is illegal.
Malaria is endemic in Burma. More than three quarters of British travellers who have contracted malaria in 2005 did not take preventive measures, such as malaria prevention tablets. However, malaria can occur despite appropriate prevention, and therefore you should promptly seek medical care in the event of a fever or flu-like illness in-country or in the first year following your return from travelling to a malaria risk country. Before travelling you should seek medical advice about the malaria risk in Burma.
You should seek medical advice, before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk.
The cyclone season in Burma normally runs from April to October. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). You can also access http://www.nhc.noaa.gov for updates. Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a typhoon.