Myanmar Facts – Interesting Tidbits About This Southeast Asian Country

Nancy B. Alston

Myanmar is a country located in Southeast Asia with China to its north along with Laos and Thailand to the east and southeast. It is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, being a little smaller than the state of Texas. It was once referred to as Burma, but the name was changed in 1989. The first of the many interesting Myanmar facts is that it is rich in many natural resources. These include but are not limited to zinc, copper, lumber, tungsten, coal, limestone, natural gas, marble and precious stones. The climate in Myanmar is humid, though it receives relatively little rainfall, but the temperatures are pleasant all year round. Three distinct seasons still exist, which are the hot season, rainy season and cold season.

The largest export out of Myanmar is rice, despite the plethora of other valuable natural resources. Just as the United States has a section known as the “breadbasket” because of its fertile soil and ability to grow grain, Myanmar is part of the “rice basket” of Southeast Asia. Another of the interesting Myanmar facts is that it exports million of tons of rice per year to other countries around the world. Also like the United States, Myanmar has an independence day, but they celebrate their independence on January fourth.

Some more interesting Myanmar facts include that it is not divided in the same way that the United States is. There are states, but the divisions also include townships, wards and villages. There has not always been one set capitol city, either. In 2006, the capitol changed from Yangon, which was formerly known as Rangoon, to Nay Pyi Taw. Before that, Mandalay was the capitol when the country was referred to as the Myanmar Kingdom. Today, Mandalay is still considered the cultural center of the country.

If you are visiting the country soon, important Myanmar facts for you include the reality that many major credit cards are not accepted there, so it is always wise to have some cash on you. The United States dollar is often accepted, but the national currency of Myanmar is Kyat. If you are concerned about how you will get around Myanmar, know that taxis are available almost everywhere. Also, more than 250 bus lines run through Yangon daily. If you want another form of transportation, you could always rent a car from one of the many rental services available to you in Myanmar.

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