Burma facts & history in
The ruling military
Burma's name to the Union
of Myanmar in 1989 and the
capital and largest city
Rangoon to Yangon, the changes
recognised by the UN, but
not by all governments.
It is in South East Asia,
bordered by China, on
Laos, Thailand, the Andaman
Sea, the Bay of Bengal,
Bangladesh and India.
Some larger mountains and
the Irrawaddy river are the main
features of Burma.
The main resources are its soils
and forests, and the biggest
earner are it's teak forest.
A great variety of wild animals
found in its forest and jungles,
such as the tiger and leopard,
elephant, rhinoceros, wild buffalo,
wild boar, and several species
of deer and antelope.
The population is around 45
million mainly Buddhist
of Mongol or Chinese origin,
speaking a monosyllabic and
polytonal dialect, similar
to those of Tibet and China and
is the official language and
based on the Sanskrit alphabet.
It is ruled by the military since 1988.
The capital, largest city and seaport
is Rangoon, now called Yangon.
We arrived from Thailand and
were forced to exchange US$300 per
person to enter Burma (Myanmar),
for which we were forewarned when
we applied for our visas.
After a few days in Rangoon (Yangoon)
we were going to be taken by a very
unreliable travel firm to Pagan (Bagan),
Mandalay, Pyinmana, Toungoo and
back to Rangoon.
It did not work out that way though.
About hundred kilometres before
we got to Pagan our driver, hit
a pedestrian, he was a drunk a little
bit and wondered front of our car.
It was really unavoidable.
We had to spend a very unpleasant
couple of hours sitting in the middle
of the little village under police
guard, stared at by the passing
villagers, who already heard our
story on the 'bush telegraph' and
seen us as strangers anyway.
It was midnight, with my young
wife and 12 year old son.
It was rather unpleasant.
We did not go to bed until 3am.
The driver had to go back to sort
out his accident with the police.
That was the end of that trip with the car.
The travel firm, although we
prepaid the whole tour, left us there.
We had to arrange to fly to Mandalay
and back to Rangoon at our own expense.
We never managed to see Pyinmana
and Toungoo of course.
Our letters of complaints and asking
for compensation to the travel firm,
their directors, to the Minister
of Tourism and the Travel Association
etc are all unanswered to date.
I advise anybody travelling to
Burma (Myanmar) to be very careful.
Links to my photo pages in this series.
Bagan or Pagan
Rangoon or Yangon
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