Myanmar facts & history in
The ruling military government
changed 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 Myanmar.
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
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
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 Myanmar (Burma),
for which we were forewarned when
we applied for our visas.
After a few days in Yangoon (Rangoon)
we were going to be taken by a very
unreliable travel firm to Bagan
(Pagan), 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 travel firm, although we prepaid
the whole tour, left us there.
We had to arrange to fly to Mandalay
and back to Yangon 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 Myanmar
(Burma) to be very careful.
Links to my photo pages in this
Pagan or Bagan
Yangon or Rangoon
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