A fascinating corner of Asia teeming with dense forests, captivating mountains, warm people, and a rich culture, Myanmar is a time-warped, laidback, yet beautiful country where little has changed since the British colonial times. Officially known as Republic of the Union of Burma, and previously known as Burma, Myanmar is an Asian state sharing land borders with India, Bangladesh, China, Laos, and Thailand. On its southwest, it has a coastline that runs along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Myanmar’s history has seen invaders and settlers coming in from all fronts – the Mon and Pyu from India, the kingdom of Bagan set up by the Burmans who migrated through Tibet, and eventually the British, who conquered Burma after the three Anglo-Burmese Wars during the 19th century. Thereafter, the country became a British colony. Burma became independent in 1948, first as a democratic state, but the democratic government was ousted by a coup in 1962 led by military dictator General Ne Win. The military dictatorship finally ended in 2011, with a new constitution being formed.
A major bulk of Myanmar’s population follows Theravada Buddhism (80-89%), while the other minority religions include Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and animist. Burmese is the official language of Myanmar, however, a few other languages and dialects are also spoken across the country. There are three main seasons in Myanmar – The hot summer season that runs during March-April, the rainy season that lasts from May until October, and the cool months from November to December, which is the peak season for tourism.
Be it the 4000 sacred stupas dotted across the plains of Bagan, the smiling monks and elderly local women going about with their daily lives, the vibrant local markets and charming villages, the lip-smacking Burmese cuisine from mohinga noodles to the rustic teahouses, Myanmar is home to a plethora of sights, sounds and smells that are bound to leave you astounded.
A fascinating corner of Asia teeming with dense forests, captivating mountains, warm people, and a rich culture, Myanmar is a time-warped, laidback, yet beautiful country where little has changed s...