As a tourist destination, Myanmar is quite a new country. However, Myanmar is incredibly rich in culture and history. After being oppressed for decades by a military regime, the country has finally opened up to the world. It’s an inspiring country and it surprises every traveller. To give you an idea about why Myanmar is so special, I’ve compiled a list of several fun and interesting facts about Myanmar.
20 fun facts about Myanmar!
20 fun facts about Myanmar
1. The north and north-east of the country borders China, the east borders Laos and Thailand and the south borders the Andaman sea and the Gulf of Bengal and the west borders Bangladesh and India.
2. It’s the 39th biggest country in the world being 676.578 square kilometres.
3. Myanmar has a 1930 km coastline along the Gulf of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Myanmar is the home base of untouched beaches like the beaches of Thailand 30 years ago.
4. The fishermen of the Inle lake in Myanmar are world famous for fishing whilst standing on one leg. These fishermen developed a very unusual technique to be able to fish and row a boat at the same time.
5. In 1989, the country was finally called Myanmar. Before this, it was named Burma. The capital of Rangoon was changed to Yangon.
6. Aung San Suu Kyi is the most famous person in Myanmar. She is the daughter of the national hero Aung San and spend 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and 2011. In 1991, she won the noble price for peace for her “Non-violent battle for democracy and human rights”. Suu Kyi is the leader of the National League for Democracy Party which came to power after the democratic elections in 2015.
7. In Myanmar men and women wear sarongs which are known as longyi. The patterns are very different for men and women.
8. Myanmar is the home base of Bagan. This is the biggest and most concentrated place of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupa’s and ruins in the world. Bagan came to existence during the second century AD and was once a Kingdom with more than 10.000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries.
9. Bagan suffered from many earthquakes during the last centuries. The most recent earthquake was in 2016 and has destroyed over 400 buildings. Right now, you will “only” find the remains of 2000 temples and pagodas and many of these are being renovated and restored.
10. 89% of the Myanmar population is Buddhist.
11. Women (and in lesser amount, men) wear a yellow kind of paste on their cheeks, nose and neck. This paste is made out of the bark of the Thanakha tree. This paste cools the skin, prevents sun damage, lessens acne and has a positive effect on fever and headaches.
12. A typical meal in Myanmar is made up out of steamed rice, fish, meat, vegetables and soup and is all served at the same time. Locals use their fingertips to eat the rice and mix it with different kinds of dishes.
13. More than half of Myanmar’s GNP depends on agriculture and rice is the most important product.
14. Kissing sounds are normal in a Myanmar restaurant because this is the sound they make to get the attention of the waiter.
15. Myanmar is the home base of more than 135 different ethnic groups and because of it, it’s the 75th most diverse country in the world. The most important groups are: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7% en Rakhine Chinese 4%.
16. The U Bein Bridge close to Amarapura is 1.2-kilometers long and build in 1850. The oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.
17. Myanmar was colonised by the British in 1824 and was being ruled by them until the second world war. Then, the country was being invaded by the Japanese and Burma claimed independence in 1948.
18. Thingyan, the Burmese New Year Water Festival, is the most popular festival in Myanmar. This festival is mostly held in April and lasts 5 days. On the first day, people from all over the country, visit pagodas and bring offerings. On the second day, the water throwing starts which symbolizes the cleansing of the sins from the year.
19. It’s not a very well-known fact that wine is quite a popular industry in Myanmar.
20. Burmese people have days on which they do not cut their hair: on Monday, Friday and on their birthdays.
These are my fun facts about Myanmar! Do you have fun facts about Myanmar?
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