Tuesday, May 27, 2008

History Geography and Climate:: Myanmar: the Country

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is recognized by the world as the Golden Land. It is one of the earliest homes of mankind, where one can have exclusive experiences of a life-time.

Myanmar’s Golden Age dates back to the 11th century when King Anawrahta united the whole country into the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan well before the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The Bagan Empire encompassed the entire Menam valley in Thailand and lasted about 250 years, before it collapsed with the invasion of the Mongols under the leadership of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. The Second Myanmar Empire was founded in the middle 16th century by King Bayinnaung. King Alaungpaya founded the Third Myanmar Empire in 1752. It was during the zenith of the Konbaung dynasty, that the British colonized 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.

On January 4, 1948 at 04:20am, the nation became sovereign, as the Union of Burma, with U Nu as the first Prime Minister. Democratic rule ended in 1962 with a military coup d'├ętat led by General Ne Win. Ne Win ruled for nearly 26 years, bringing in harsh reforms. In 1990 free elections were held for the first time in almost 30 years, but the landslide victory of the NLD, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi was voided by the military, which refused to step down.

One of the top figures in Burmese history in the 20th century is Army founder and freedom figure General Aung San, a student-turned activist whose daughter is 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate and worldwide peace, freedom and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi of the NLD, now under house arrest. The third most recognized Burmese figure in the world is U Thant, who was UN Secretary General for two terms and highly respected throughout United Nations' history.

In November 2005, the military junta announced that the national capital would be moved from Yangon to Pyinmana.

Geography:
The country covers an area of 677,000 square kilometers (261,228 square miles) ranging 936 kilometers (581 miles) from east to west and 2,051 kilometers (1,275 miles) from north to south. It is a land of hills and valleys and is rimmed in the north, east and west by mountain ranges forming a giant horseshoe. Enclosed within the mountain barriers are the flat lands of Ayeyarwaddy, Chindwin and Sittaung River valleys where most of the country's agricultural land and population are concentrated.

The length of contiguous frontier is 6,159 kilometers. The total length of Myanmar-Bangladesh boundary is 271 kilometers (168.7 miles). The total length of Myanmar-China boundary is 2,204 kilometers (1,370 miles); Myanmar-Thailand 2,107 kilometers (1,309.8 miles); Myanmar-India 1,338 kilometers (831.8 miles); and Myanmar-Laos 238 kilometers (147.9 miles).

Climate:
As a whole, the location and topography of the country generated a diversity of climate conditions. Seasonal changes in the monsoon wind directions create summer, rainy and winter seasons. Extremes of temperature are rare. The directions of winds and depression bring rain, and although it is always heavy in the coastal areas during monsoon season, it seldom creates hardships.

The most pleasant season for travelers is from November to February. During this season the climate resembles a fair European summer. However, in some mountainous areas the temperatures can drop to 0 centigrade. For this time period a jacket, pullover, socks, warm pajamas are needed.

The hot season starts in March and lasts until May. During this season temperatures easily exceed 40 centigrade, even in Yangon.

The rainy season starts in May and lasts until November. However the amount of rainfall differs according to the area. And indeed, it's wonderful to travel with fewer travelers around – and after every rainfall the temperature cools down!

Generally, most of the year will have daytime temperatures around 30°C (86°F) and mid-20s (high 70s) temperatures at night. During the cool season, however, you can expect temperatures closer to 25°C (77°F) and 15°C (59°F). Coastal areas are usually cooler but more humid.

No comments: