Early civilization in Myanmar dates back to the 1st century with archaeological evidences of the Pyu Kingdoms of Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra), Beithano (Vishnu) and Hanlin established in the central, coastal and delta regions of the country.
Myanmar has a long history with greatness which dates back to the early 11th Century when King Anawrahta unified the country and founded the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan more than 20 years before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the areas of the present day Myanmar and the entire Menam Valley in Thailand and lasted two centuries.
The Second Myanmar Empire was founded in 16th Century by King Bayinnaung and Subsequently King Alaungpaya founded the last (Third) Myanmar Dynasty in 1752 and during its zenith of his Empire, the British waged a series of wars into Myanmar in 1825, 1852 and 1885 which led to the British colony thereafter.
During The Second World War, Myanmar was occupied by the Japanese in 1942 till the return of the Allied Forces in 1945. Myanmar became a sovereign independent State in January 1948 after living more than 100 years of British colonial administration.
The geographical position of Myanmar is strategic for having located in and the largest main land of Southeast Asia. Besides it is sandwiched between China and India, the world’s two most populous nations, representing as a buffer country to link among the member countries of ASEAN and BIMSTEC.
Myanmar borders on the north by Tibet Autonomous Region of China; on the east by China (1357 miles), Laos (128 miles), and Thailand (1314 miles); on the south by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal; and on the west by the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh (152 miles), and India (857 miles).
The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles). The country stretches over 2051 km from north to south and 936 km from east to west.
A horseshoe-shaped mountain complex and the valley of the Ayarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River system are the dominant topographical features of Myanmar. The mountains of the northern margin rise to 5881 meters (19,296 ft) atop Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The two other mountains stretch from northern to southern axes. The Arakan Yoma range, with peaks reaching more than 2740 meters (about 9000 ft), forms a barrier between Myanmar and the subcontinent of India. The Bilauktaung range, the southern extension of the Shan Plateau, lies along the boundary between south-western Thailand and south-eastern Lower Myanmar. The Shan Plateau, originating in China, has an average elevation of about 910 meters (about 3000 ft).
Generally narrow and elongated in the interior, the central lowlands attain a width of about 320km (about 200 miles) across the Ayarwaddy-Sittaung delta. The delta plains, extremely fertile and economically the most important section of the country, cover an area of about 46,620 sq. km (18,000 sq. ml.). Both the Arakan (in the northwest) and the Tenasserim (in the southwest) coasts of Myanmar are rocky and fringed with islands. The country has a number of excellent natural harbours.
The physical feature of Myanmar can be divided into three parts. The snow capped mountain in northern part of Myanmar is one of the most famous tourist attractions. Besides the breath taking view of the sky-rocketing Mt. Kakaborazi with its flora and fauna along the high mountain ranges serve as unforgettable memories of tourists’ locals and foreigners.
Myanmar is known as the Golden Land for its uniquely abundant pagodas over the world. There lies productive fertile land and rich natural resources with a variety of precious stones and different types of gems.
Generally, Myanmar enjoys three seasons. The monsoon or rainy season is from May to October, the cool and dry season from November to February, and the hot season from March to May.
Myanmar is a country of an all year-round tourist destination. As she is large and diverse with many mountainous regions and forests, temperature varies from region to region. Hilly regions in the north and northeast enjoy cool temperate weather. Rainfall is also very low in central regions during the rainy season.
Furthermore, Myanmar is situated in the economically strategic position where it can enjoy three different seasons with different rain falls from region to region, providing the condition to grow a variety of crops.
Myanmar is home to 135 national races with a population of over 60 million. Myanmar comprises eight major national races they are the Kachin, the the Kayah, the Kayin, the Chin, the Mon, the Bamar, the Rakhine and the Shan.
Myanmar is a multi-religious country and enjoys religious tolerance since times immemorial. Myanmar exercises policy of non discriminatory of religious belief regardless of colour of skin. The religious edifices and religious orders have been in existence and religious festivals are held on a grand scale. Majority of the population, over 80 percent of Myanmar (Bamars) are Theravada Buddhists.
The Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some animists are as well freely practised across the country.
Predominantly Myanmar (Bamar) is most widely spoken and enjoys as the official language while dialects of major indigenous races largely are used in their own communities. Besides, being a multi-racial nation, languages like Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani and Urdu are spoken partly as well.
English is also widely spoken throughout the country.
Being sandwiched between two of the world's great civilizations - China and India, Myanmar’s culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, however, a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, regard to men of same age, sympathy toward younger ones, reverence for Buddhism and wearing simple native dress.
Myanmar people are good natured, contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple and cordial hospitality and friendliness.