Myanmar is the name which has long been use by its people to describe their home land which the British call Burma. It is also known as the Golden Land not only for is golden pagodas but for its rich land and the wealth of its agriculture and precious minerals. Geographically, Myanmar is the largest country in South East Asia Peninsular sharing borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. It has a total area of 675, 577 square kilometers and is twice the size of Vietnam and about the size of United Kingdom and France combined.
Myanmar has three seasons. The cold season is from October to February with average temperatures of between 20- 24 C. The hot season is from March to May with average temperatures of between 30- 35 C. The wet season is occurs from June to September with average temperature of between 25- 30 C- Yangon normally receive early morning and afternoon showers while rain fall in Bagan and Mandalay is very low. The weather around Inle Lake and Shan State is pleasant year round, but cold at night from December to February.
Teravada Buddhism is the predominant religion with over 80% of the people embracing it. There are also Christian, Muslims, Hindus and some animists.
Myanmar lies on the cross- road of two of the world's great civilization – China and India, but its culture is neither that of India nor China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. The people have preserved the traditional close family ties, respect for the elders and reverence for Buddhism. Myanmar are contented and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.
The same precautions are the same as anywhere else- Drink only bottle and do not eat raw vegetable, only eat fruits that you can peel of cut your self. Be wary of eating food from streets stall. Use insect repellent when necessary and use sunscreen liberally when exposed to the intense, tropical sun.
Cotton clothing and a light wrap for the evening during the cool season are recommended. Do not wear shorts, tank tops or sleeveless blouses when visiting temple. Dress modestly at all times- revealing clothing is frowned upon in Myanmar. Footwear must be removed before entering a temple.
Tourist and business visa are valid for 28 days. Tourist visa is non-extendible; business visa may be extended for 28 days. Transit visa is valid for 24 hours. Apply to a Myanmar embassy or consulate, with four photos and your passport. Visa fees are USD 40 for a tourist and USD 50 for business.
Besides personal effects visitors are allowed 400 cigarettes (100 cigars or 250g of unrolled tobacco), two quarts of liquor and 500ml of cologne or perfume. Cameras, radios, cassette players, calculators etc must be declared at Customs on arrival and taken out on departure. Foreign currency in excess of US$ 2000 must be declared. Retain a copy of the Customs declaration form to be presented when you leave Myanmar.
Myanmar Standard time (MST) is six hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC).
220 Volt 50 Hz
Government and business- 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Shops- 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, usually Monday to Saturday.