Myanmar (formerly Burma) (Myanmar) is located at the crossroads of the great civilizations of China and India, and the Indian Ocean from the famous Thailand. One of the largest and most diverse countries in Southeast Asia, Myanmar stretches from the islands of the Andaman Sea in the south to the mountain ranges of the Eastern Himalayas in the north.
Prior to 1989, officially called Myanmar Myanmar (Burma). In the west it borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar and India in the north and north-east China, in the east - with Laos, in the south-east - with Thailand. The total length of the border - 5876 km, of which 2,185 km are on the border with China, 1,800 km - on the border with Thailand. From the south-west of the country bordering the Bay of Bengal to the south - the waters of the Andaman Sea. Coastline length is equal to 2832 km. The structure of an archipelago of Myanmar Myui (Mey, Myeik), located in the Andaman Sea. Country's total area 678.5 thousand. Sq. km.
Capital - Yangon (Rangoon). Since 2006, the administrative capital of the country moved to Pinmana (or rather - in a small town Naypyudo about this city, which lies 320 kilometers north of Yangon).
Myanmar is called "golden country" or "country of golden pagodas", which is really about 2500. In fact, the entire state is one huge archaeological reserve, which is well preserved traces of ancient civilizations. The thousand-year history of Myanmar here three times created the mighty empire. In their old capital still bears traces of its former grandeur - Hundreds of churches have been preserved, but even more in ruins. Type of collapsed walls and rubble giant statues trapped jungle, makes an indelible impression. A journey through the fairly well-preserved forests of the country, where in the crowns of hiding hundreds of testimonies of past epochs, or on the boat on the Irrawaddy River, on the bank of which sparkle with hundreds of golden pagodas - one of the best ways to know the country.
Yangon, the capital of the country - one of the most unusual cities in the region. Population of about 4 million people, a huge city, so replete with trees and lawns that almost merges with the surrounding jungle, radically differing thereby from the urban capitals of other Asian countries. Wide boulevards cut through green areas over which here and there towering spiers of numerous monasteries and pagodas ("unit"), here and there glimpses of ponds and lakes, also surrounded on all sides pagodas and mansions, thousands of outlets hidden in the shade of the same tree and the constant noise of the big city as if smeared in the sultry local air. The main attraction of the city - the famous Shwedagon Pagoda (built approximately in V. BC. E., In its present form has been known since the XVIII century.), Situated on a hill surrounded by a vast 82 pagodas, statues, temples, stupas and pavilions, decorated with florid thread. The height of the pagoda about 110 meters, on its decoration spent 8 thousand. Gold plates, 5 thousand. Diamond and two thousand. Precious and semiprecious stones. In the pagoda stored 4 hair of the Buddha. Also interested in the giant reclining Buddha statue in Chaukhatgi-Unit (established approximately in the IX. District. E.), Sule Pagoda (V c. BC. E.) Temple complexes pagodas Ein-Up Yar Botatung-Pai, Maha -Vizayya-Pye (1980), Shwe Pont Puin-Pai, Kaba-Aye-Unit ("world peace pagoda", built in the mid 50-ies of XX century. commemorating the 2500th anniversary of Buddhism), small island Pagoda Chauktan, Heng Hawk Kyoko ("Chinese church"), the Cathedral of St. Mary's Church and the Sikhs "army church" Salvation on Tenbyu Street, Martyrs, National Theatre, University Karaweik Palace, the legendary Strand hotel, Chinatown in the "downtown" areas of pagodas and beautiful mansions around the lakes and Kandogi Inya etc.. etc.. Noteworthy National Museum with an extensive historical collection, the famous golden throne Sihasana Lion 8 m high. regalia and all the Burmese kings, the Military Museum and the Museum of the Tatmadaw , which was built by the British zoo, park Pazundang, shopping district and the market Bokeyk Taing-Tsey (the biggest market of the capital), the old open-air market Bogyoke Aung San (Scott market) on the same street, as well as the famous floating hotel on the river Yangon (converted under high-class hotels old ships).
In the vicinity of the capital interest "river pagoda" Yale-Pye about Chauktana complex Mont Pai, pagodas Shvemodo ("Great Golden Pagoda", 1930), Hintha-Gon Chaik-Pun-Unit and 55-meter high statue of a reclining Buddha (994) in Pegu, pagodas and Shvemokto Settayya-Pye in Pathein (Pool), pagoda Pyagi (Big Unit) in Tayehitayya, pagodas Bobogi-Unit (Babaji, VII.) and Bebe-Pye in Hmoza and pagoda in Shvemetman Shvedonge. In the neighborhood of Prome (Pyay) the remains of the medieval city walls, temples and many pagodas, including the famous "golden pagoda" Shvensando, as well as with numerous hill Gautama Buddha images, stupas and Payam Payadzha.
Pagan (Bagan) - one of the most interesting historic cities in Asia. Founded in the IX century on the banks of the Irrawaddy as the capital of the Burmese Empire, "the city of pagodas and temples" was destroyed by the troops of Kublai Khan in 1287 and is never recovered. This is one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world - about 5 thousand. Well-preserved temples, pagodas stupas focus here on an area of about 42 square meters. km, testifying to the greatness of the city in the old days (in the heyday there were about 13 thousand. places of worship). The most famous building of the city - the "golden pagoda" Shvezigon, built in 1057 by King Anawrahta, founder of the royal dynasty of Myanmar. Also interesting pagoda Shvegugi (1311), the temple Godopalin Pato, the highest in the temple - Tatbini Pato (XI cent.), Ananda temple Pato (1091), stupa Mingalazedi (1277), pagodas Lokananda -Kyaung, Shvesando-Pai-Pai Manuha temple Htilominlo (1211), Mahabodhi pagoda-Unit, Indian style, and Pagansky Archaeological Museum with an extensive collection on medieval history.
At 60 km. south-east of Pagan is a sacred mountain Popa Daung-Kalat (1518 m.) - a place of worship and traditional pilgrimages locals. It is believed that on this mountain inhabited by spirits of nature "tension", so on top of an extinct volcano built a monastery, near which includes traditional April ceremony in honor of the spirits, and around the mountain stretches extensive Popa Mountain Park.
Mandalay - the second largest city of the country and its ancient capital of the latter. Here is one of the driest places in the country, which, coupled with the huge number of sites attracts thousands of tourists. The city was founded by King Mindon Min, in 1857, and all the old palace buildings were moved here from Amarapura. The "heart" of the city - Hill Mandalay Hill, which is a vast royal residence, surrounded by a wall and almost completely built pagodas and other places of worship. The main point of attraction in Mandalay are two shrines of Buddhism - or Mahamuni Paya-Arakan ("Great Pagoda") with four-meter Buddha statue of gilded metal (gold layer is constantly increasing, because countless pilgrims constantly rubbing the statue of the finest gold plates) and a huge gong weight 5 tons, as well as the famous pagoda Kuthodo "marble book" of 729 marble pavilions containing carved in stone page Tripitaka. No less interesting pagoda Sadamuni (here also contains stone slabs with Buddhist texts), parks and Nandoun Myanghoun inside the fortress wall, and the pagoda Chaktogi Yadanapon zoo in the northern walls of the fortress, Shvenando Chang - the only building remaining from the once great palace Mindon Mina Monastery Atumashi Chang south Kuthodo pagodas, monasteries elegant Shwe Ying-Bin Chang (1895) and Takoun Chang in the south-west, the "golden pagoda" Eindoya (1847) with its surrounding park pagoda Shvechimin with the Buddha-, Convent of Kin Woon Chang canal Ting-Yarzar, Hudson Baptist Church, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart-, three mosques, Hindu temple Sri Ganesha, Queen's Park, the Museum of Mandalay, wooden bridge in Amarapura, as well as good markets - Tseygo , Jade Buddha Market. In the vicinity of Mandalay are of great interest ancient capital Sagain, Ava and Amarapura and Mingun village with its famous bell (weight - 90 tons., Maybe it's the largest active bell on the planet), as well as the city of Monywa with its pagoda Tanbodhay (on its walls 582357 Buddha images), Pyin Oo Lwin-U-with a beautiful botanical garden, a converted church in a cave 500 meters long and numerous waterfalls, as well as Mogok (200 km. north of Mandalay) - a recognized center of mining and processing of precious stones.
Also worthy of attention lies at the Bangladeshi border town of Mrauk-U, with its "pagoda eighty thousand Buddhas", the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Mont - Tatun, caves and lake in Pindaya, the famous "lake floating gardens" Inle on the Shan Plateau and "Jumping Cat Monastery" in the midst this lake, with its excellent Taunggyi Shan State Museum, one of the shrines of Buddhism - small stupa on top of Mount Chatto Chaykto with the famous "golden stone" (South-Eastern part of the country), the city of Mawlamyine (Moulmein), with its pagoda-Mahamuni Paya and tens other religious buildings, the Museum of Buddhism in Sittwe, the ancient capital of Rakhine - Mrauk-U (it is believed that the city of more than 3 thousand. years), as well as areas of beach resorts in Ngapali, Lintha, Chikto, Chungtha, Setsu peninsula and extended coastline in Kant, Mang Ma Gan and Chang Ta.
Average temperatures in March and April (the hottest months) from 30 C to 32 C, in January - 13 C in the north, from 20 C to 25 C in the south. Year in Myanmar is divided, depending on the influence of the monsoon into three seasons: cool (November-February, 20-25 + C), hot (March-May, 30-32 + C) and rainy (June-October). Precipitation ranges from 500 mm. a year in the plains and up to 3500 mm. in the mountains. In the cool season are frequent dust storms.
Ahead of Moscow is 3 hours 30 minutes in winter and 2 hours and 30 minutes - in the summer.
Burmese (State 4 dialect), English, Chinese, local languages (Karen, Mon, Shan), and others.
Kyat (pronounced "cha" or "chat", the international designation - MMK or Kt), nominally equal to 100 pya. Banknotes in circulation are in denominations of 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kyat and 90 pya, and coins of 1 lakh and 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 pya. In the bank notes in circulation is present much confusion - can be found in the notes of 100 thousand. Lakh (so-called "Lah") and 10 million. Lakh ("crores") and notes "Bank of Burma" in different years release.
Visa regime. To obtain a visa must be submitted to the Consular Section of the Embassy of 2 profiles (issued in English), 3 photos and passport (valid for at least 6 months after the date of the expected departure from the country). To request an invitation attached (tour-voucher) or fax. Also need to pay the application fee of $ 20 and to provide paid and stamped envelope with a return address for mail (preferably with notice). Minimum term visa for 3 days. The visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue in the embassy residence on a tourist visa for a period limited to 28 days (may be extended at the site for another 14 days). Transit visa is valid for up to 24 hours.
Myanmar - one of the few countries in the world, offering a visa through the Internet. E-visa is issued in online mode in less than 24 hours. Approved visa applications sent by e-mail. Printout of this resolution be presented to the office of the Immigration Control on arrival in Myanmar (Yangon International airport or Mandalay).
Visa-free transit is not allowed (exception - transit passengers continuing the journey by the same or following the first flight, in the presence of tickets and not leaving the airport). Children older than 7 years old are required to have a visa even when traveling on the passport of the parents.
Religion in Myanmar - Buddhism (89%, mostly - "Theravada" and "Hinayana"), there are also Christians (4%), Sunni Muslims (4%), Hindus and followers of traditional indigenous beliefs.
Customs and traditions of Myanmar
Many Burmese good knowledge of English (language teaching was introduced into the school curriculum), so communication with the locals usually does not cause problems. Many inscriptions, signs and menus are duplicated in English. Burmese himself belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family, tonalite, has a set of rules of pronunciation, and therefore quite unusual for a European ear and difficult to master.
Religion plays a very important role in the public life of the country, numerous military regimes, successive in the nation, even had to include the religious tenets of their political program. In each locality, even in the tiny mountain villages, has its own temple or monastery, in which each Burmese boy spends a certain period, studying religious tenets and church language "fallen." The building of temples being everywhere, even in the poorest areas. Attitude to places of worship in the Burmese kind - on the one hand, traditional for all Buddhists awe and reverence, the other - quite a small number of conventions and taboos that restrict any part of worship.
In some distant residents of Myanmar are very similar to our compatriots. Firstly, the similarity is the fact that they have an irresistible passion for repair of roads, the roads are therefore mostly very bad, or simply missing. Secondly, on the basis of his own well-known reasons, the residents love to rename the names of cities and temples, where there is a well-known confusion in the guidebooks - even the name of the country is written in different places in different ways, then Burma, then Myanmar. But, despite some eccentricities, they are extremely friendly and hospitable towards tourists, which, unfortunately, is not often favor their visits to Myanmar.
Cry, noise, squabbling in the street - a rather rare phenomenon. Also a feature of local residents is cleanliness. Unlike some neighboring countries, and here the streets of their cities are trying to keep clean and abide by the hygiene standards. The only conspicuous violation of purity - the traditional betel chewing for Myanmar, the characteristic red spots that can be found on any bridge, even in the city center. With the general low level of life is also a little beggars, and beggars can not see at all.
Official holidays and weekends in Myanmar
January 4 - Independence Day.
February 12 - Day of the Union.
March 2 - Peasant Day (anniversary of the coup in 1962).
March 27 - Day of the Armed Forces.
April 13-17 - Celebration of Water "Mach Tindzhin" and New Year.
May 1 - Labor Day.
July 19 - Day of the Martyrs (Martyr's Day).
November 18 - National holiday.
December 25 - Christmas Day.
In Burmese week 8 days, the medium is divided into two days. Therefore, with the dates of any events should be read carefully.
Movement in the country is limited. For foreigners, there is a special card, which marked the areas and towns, in which entry is prohibited. A number of places you can visit only under the supervision of the national firms and at a certain mode of transport.
Crime in the country is very low, the police strictly prohibits any attempt to go begging or speculation. Theft and pickpocketing are also rare, but recent performance on these types of crimes is slowly but surely growing.
In Burmese week 8 days, the medium is divided into two days. Therefore, with the dates of any events should be read carefully.
It is forbidden to photograph military (and military) and strategic targets. Pictures in churches and museums is prohibited or is taking an extra charge. Sami locals usually happy to pose, but do not like when they are being filmed on the sly. At the entrance of Buddhist temples should be removed not only shoes, but often wear.
Entrance to most sights and museums in the country for an extra charge. At the entrance to the temple complex, not to pay separately for each temple, you can buy a ticket to visit the whole territory (usually costs about $ 10).
In most retail outlets can and should be traded.
Natural hazards in Myanmar
The territory of Myanmar is unfavorable for many diseases that should be taken into account when planning a trip. Certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required from all travelers entering the country from an infected area. Recommended prophylaxis against malaria, the risk of infection that exists in areas located below 1,000 m. Above sea level (Karen, Chin, Kachin, Kaya, Mon, Shan and Rakhine, in the district of Pegu and the capital). Everywhere there are ascariasis, hookworm disease, trachoma, etc.. Etc.. Recommended vaccinations against hepatitis A, B and E, cholera, tetanus and polio. Registered foci spread of plague, rabies, dysentery, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases, so certain preventive methods when visiting the interior regions simply required. You can not drink water from the tap and from natural sources. Ice cream, prepared on the street, is also considered potentially dangerous. Should eat only boiled or bottled water (industrial packaging), thoroughly washed and peeled vegetables and fruits. Dairy products are not pasteurized and are considered potentially hazardous to health. Meat, fish and seafood should only be used carefully roasted or heat-treated. Consumption of pork, green salads and products based on vegetable oil mayonnaise can be risky.
Traditional cuisine Myanmar
National Burmese cuisine is similar to Chinese and Indian at the same time - the same abundance of spicy food and lots of spices, the same intense heat treatment of the majority of products, the same abundance of rice and soybeans. But at the same time in Burmese cooking visible and centuries-old traditions of indigenous peoples - the meat is widely used (here prefer lamb), subjected to less intensive treatment in neighboring China, traditional for the region is preparing noodles a little bit easier, but not necessarily accompanied by various condiments and sauces, seasonings, many are prepared using local ingredients and therefore not similar to "neighbors", and even the traditional Southeast Asian rice is not only used as a main course, but also a part of the salads and desserts.
Sauces are less acute than, for example, in India, but no less diverse. Their preparation are pepper, turmeric, dates, ginger, garlic, onions, bamboo shoots and soy, coconut milk, fried peas, various local herbs and roots, a lot of peanut butter and even pasta specially processed shrimp (including cooked extremely popular here, "Ngapo chow" and "balachan"). To many dishes served pasta "Ngapo" manufactured from salt, oil and dried (and specially prepared, most of all - fermented) fish or shrimp, a variety of such product "Ngapo-yay" is often used instead of salt.
Rice ("t`amin") - the foundation of any Burmese cuisine. Because it makes the side dishes, flour for baking, a variety of sweets, certainly added to meat and fish dishes, used for stuffing meat products and vegetables, fried, boiled and treated with 357 more ways (so say the Burmese themselves). Popular spicy vegetable salad with rice "notches dream", boiled rice with spices ("Chin"), meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, pepper and garlic, fish soup with noodles and curry "moinka" ("mun-Hink") rice noodles with chicken meat and spices - "hawk-sve" and it kind of "shang-hoc sve" - a soup with noodles and chicken meat, rice noodles "Mga shay" and rice salad made of colored rice (usually just boiled with turmeric) "t`amin rank of" soup of bamboo shoots with shrimp "hmit rank hin" and so on. d.
In traditional Burmese meal meat - not a frequent visitor. The country is very poor, so the locals can afford meat products only on holidays, mainly poultry and lamb as well as the rules of Buddhism does not allow to eat beef, and Islam - pork. But in the course are all parts of the carcass - from meat and fat, to pluck, ears and tails. A variety of meat dishes quite European species listed in the menu of restaurants, but the local exotic considered "fried sparrows," "pig ears" roast pork "age-tha" with avocado, or other fruits and vegetables, smoked ox tails, germinated soybeans with pork liver, snake meat on the coals, and others. Lack of protein in the diet is made up legumes, especially soybeans, as well as fish and seafood prepared here are truly luxurious, with lots of spices ("sak-Dieu"), pepper, vegetables and fruits. Also commonly consume a wide variety of dishes from insects - fried spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, worms, wood and so on. D. Drinks are served cakes made from rice flour "us-bya" and "House."
Everywhere drink tea, often flavored with its milk, lots of sugar, and often - spices. Popular and Chinese green tea. Local drinks are low quality and quite expensive, but not so on the diverse juices prepared here are often right in front of the customer. Sugar cane juice with ice and lemon - is also very popular local drink.
The coffee is not very popular, and the quality of its pretty mediocre. Beer ("Tiger", "Bintang", "Mandalay", "Myanmar-Draut," "Dagon", "ABC-Stout", "Singh" and "San Miguel" are among the best varieties), punch from palm juice "CTA s ", palm liquor" HTA-Ajeti ", gin, whiskey and local rum sold everywhere. Alcoholic drinks are quite expensive, but is also sold in most retail outlets.
Political system Myanmar
Polity of Myanmar - the military regime. Head of state and government - the chairman of the State Council to restore law and order. The constitution is suspended.
About 42.7 million, Mostly Burmese (mamma, mranma or menma) - 68%, Karen - 7%, Shan - 9%, Mon (talain) - 2%, ranks - 2%, Kachin - 2% as well as the Chinese, Indians and others (there are about 150 nationalities). Each ethnic group living in its territory: the Karen in Lower Burma (Karen), Shan along the Thai border, the Mon in the delta region, ranks in the northwestern mountainous region, Kachin State in northern Myanmar along the Chinese border.
Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is not limited (the amount above $ 2,000 are to be declared). Term export of imported foreign currency is limited to 6 months. When checking out a reverse exchange of the national currency on the foreign is allowed only within 25% of the original amount.
The import of cigarettes - 200 pcs., Cigars - up to 100 pieces., Tobacco - up to 250 gr., Alcoholic beverages - up to 1 liter. (regardless of the fortress), cologne (perfume) - up to 500 gr., food items and household items - within the limits of personal needs. Household appliances, film, video and photographic equipment (cameras may require be deposited in the airport, in which case they will be returned when leaving the country).
Banned the import and export of arms, ammunition, narcotics and psychotropic substances, anti-government literature orientation, pornography, satellite television aerials and receivers to them, cell phones, laptop computers, video tapes and CDs (when importing retained and stored at the airport prior to departure), precious and semi-precious stones without proper authorization, jewelery, souvenirs and products with the image of Buddha, antiques and historical values. On the export of gems and jewelery from the country must be taken in an international certificate store, which is also the permission (private shops and markets such certificates are not issued).
Medical aid Myanmar
International medical insurance is mandatory. The country has a fairly extensive network of public hospitals and clinics (private institutions nationalized), medical care is free. Level of health care is relatively low, health care are only in major cities and towns. In rural areas, there is an apparent lack of health centers. The country is experiencing a certain lack of most medications. Recommended to have individual first aid kit containing remedies for digestive disorders, antiseptics and antibiotics.
Working hours Myanmar
Banks are open from 10.00 to 14.00 Monday to Friday. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels, travel agencies and official exchange offices ("bureaux de change"), but the exchange rate is unfavorable to them enough. On the real exchange rate of currency exchange is possible only on the black market, but it is illegal.
Mains voltage 110-230 V, 50 Hz.
Tipping is not mandatory, but the "gifts" take virtually anywhere. Minor bribe facilitates a lot of problems in the event of a collision with the Burmese bureaucracy. And the money in this case are completely optional, most often in the course are imported cigarettes, pens, T-shirts, caps.
Helpful information Myanmar
Hotels Tourism Ministry m - 275-328, 278-386 (Yangon), 70-217 (Bagan), 22-540 (Mandalay).
Yangon International Airport - 62-811.
Airline Air Mandalay - 525-344, 527-619.
Police - 199.
Fire service - 191.
Ambulance - 192.