Lying on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea coast with Bangladesh and India to the west, China to the north, Laos and Thailand to the east, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is a land of beauty and promise.
The Land and People of Myanmar
Like most of Southeast Asia’s countries, Myanmar’s people and history is a glorious mishmash of settlers and invaders from all fronts. The Mon and the Pyu are thought to have come from India, while the now dominant Burmese migrated through Tibet and by 849 had founded a powerful kingdom centered on Bagan. For the next millennium, the Burmese empire grew through conquests of Thailand and India, and shrank attacks from China and internal rebellions. Eventually, Britain conquered Myanmar over a period of 62 years and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Independence from the British under the name Union of Burma was finally attained in 1948.
The country consists of 14 provinces: 7 states representing the areas of 7 main ethnic races and 7 divisions – namely Chin State, Kachin State, Kayah State, Kayin State, Mon State, Rakhine State, Shan State and Ayeyarwady Division, Bago Division, Magway Division, Mandalay Division, Sagaing Division, Tanintharyi Division, Yangon Division, Naypyidaw Division. States are characterized by mountains while divisions by plains.
Myanmar is proudly granted the beauty of nature and people. In the beautiful patchwork created by attractions, Inle Lake emerges as a distinguished fragment. Located in the Shan Hills, Inle is a freshwater lake with numerous villages against the foggy mountain ranges. It ranks among Myanmar’s top five tourist attractions with a pretty beautiful setting including mountains tumbling down to the lake and all of life going on and around the lake, plus the majestic sunsets with the sun disappearing behind the mountains and a chill settling down itself on the lake. Other significant sceneries that one can expect to see in Inle Lake are floating tomatoes fields around the lake, gardens of flowers properly anchored to the lake bed with bamboo poles.
Once visiting Myanmar, you should not miss Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar. It is known for colonial architecture, which though decaying, remains an almost unique sample of a 19-century British colonial capital. Shwedagon, the heart of Yangon, is the most profoundly honored pagoda in the country and interesting history behind. According to the legend, the Shwedagon pagoda was constructed during the time of the Buddha which is more than 2500 years ago and where the holy hair lyrics of Buddha were enshrined. It is one of the wonders of the world and the most revered pagoda in the Southeast Asia.
Another destination is Mandalay, which is located between one of the historical Ayeyarwaddy River and Shan state. In other words, the location itself is the central of Myanmar geographically which leads the city to become the economic hub of Upper Myanmar and considered the center or Myanmar culture. The unique culture of Mandalay city is the transportation method of how people travel – in which Mandalay citizens prefer to travel on bikes rather than relying on other transports. Visitors often go to Mandalay when they are in Myanmar not only for sightseeing purpose but for observing different cultures and traditions of Myanmar in one place.
Coming to Myanmar, travels hardly forget the memories with people here. Over a hundred ethnics are residing in different parts of Myanmar. Different topographical features separate the ethnic tribes and they become totally exclusive from the mainland Myanmar. This diversity is rendering the major attraction to those travelers who are keen on seeing these minorities living in hidden areas. Myanmar is composed of rich in natural resources, beautiful scenery, and above all, exotic people with their remarkable traditions. The ethnic groups and people with various traits and customs live in great harmony, creating a peaceful land.
Myanmar has long history of making products like bamboo stuff, silver ware and lacquer ware. There are over 200 kinds of Myanmar bamboo. It is the raw material to make paper and decorate gardens. In Pathin Township, Ayeyarwady Division, there are umbrella workshops with ribs and handles of the umbrella made of bamboo. These are very famous product and draw foreigners to buy. Besides, Myanmar has long used the silver ware since 15 sanctuaries. Silver smith is one kind of Myanmar 10 kinds of flower arts. Also, silver ware products have long history, attributing a remarkable feature for Bagan diversity. Currently, Bagan area is among the most famous product sites of Myanmar.