People

Although the official census shows smaller numbers, Burma has a population of approximately 56 million people due to the vast number of illegal immigrants. The country has a low density, with 75 inhabitants per square kilometer. Its population is considered to be among the lowest in Asia.

Geography

Burma covers a total area of 679,000 square kilometers and is the largest country in Southeast Asia. It borders Bangladesh, India, Tibet and Yunnan of China. It is bordered by Laos and Thailand to the southeast and has a long coastline along the Bay of Bengal. The biggest cities of Burma Myanmar are Naypyidaw, which is the current capital city of the country, Yangon, a city known for its pagodas and colonial architecture and Bago and Mandalay that used to be the former capital city of the country. A large part of the country lies between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator.

History

The history of Burma dates back to the ninth century when several battles and riots of the Himalayan people took place. The most distinctive part of the Burmese history refers to the British rule of the region that started in 1853, when Burma was incorporated into British India. The country became an independent colony in 1937 and became an independent country in 1948, when it became known as the "Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma." In 1989 the country adopted the name "Union of Myanmar," however the name is not accepted by several countries, among which are the UK and the USA.

Famous Attraction

Burma features a large number of sights and landmarks to visit, both in the main cities and the rural areas. Bagan is a much known archaeological zone featuring thousands of pagodas close to the banks of the Ayeyarwady River.

Inle Lake is a large and very shallow lake, ideal for small boat trips and excursions. Many tourists visit the floating settlements and villages or just go hiking on its banks.

Kengtung is a small town that features settlements and relics from local tribes, such as the Akha and Ann. It is part of the Golden Triangle with Mong La and Tachileik. Mount Popa is also a must see; it is a volcano that is considered to be a local oasis, rising above huge plains. If you are at Bagan, you can go on a day trip to the area. Ngapali is a famous beach resort that spills into the Bay of Bengal, while Kyaiktiyo is a very popular and known pilgrimage site.

A large part of the country is closed to foreign travelers due to the strict restrictions imposed by the current regime. Travelers are advised to take trips within the country only if they have a guide or if they follow instructions and guidelines given by authorized guides in the country. Theoretically, tourists can apply for permits to travel all over the country, but these permits are rarely given to foreigners.