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Myanmar Geography

Myanmar lies in the mainland of South-East Asia, between latitudes 09’, 32’ E and 28’, 31 N. and longitudes 92’, 10’ E and 101’,11 E. The tropic of Cancer passes through the country in the north of Mandalay, near Tagaung.

The maximum length from North to South is 2052 km and maximum width from East to West is 937 km. Total area of and inland water bodies of the country is 676,581 sq, km. It is the second largest nation, after Indonesia, in South-East Asia.

There are both land & sea boundaries. Land boundaries are formed by neighboring countries such as China (2226, 85 km), Laos (234, 91 km), and Thailand (2098, 14 km) in the East, and India (1452, 93 km) and Bangladesh (271, 92 km) in the west. Myanmar is bordered by the Bay of Bengal on the west, Gulf of Martaban and Andaman Sea on the south. Total length of coastal line is 2228.47 km.

There are four physical provinces forming Myanmar in elongated north-south trend regions; they are – (1) eastern highlands (Shan plateau region)
        (2) Central lowlands
        (3) Western ranges (fold mountain belts)
        (4) Rakhine coastal strip. Each unit has its own geological history.

Eastern Highlands
With average altitude of 1,000 meters, deep and spectacular gorges, clear fault-line in western margin of this unit, it is composed by the oldest rocks ranging in age from Precambrian to Cretaceous.

Central Lowlands
In the geologic time-scale, most of this part was once submerged under an ancient sea. Depositions due to subsequent drainages such as Ayeyarwady, Chindwin, and Sittaung Rivers are remarkable; for instance, 190 million tons per year caused by Ayeyarwady alone as present record. This makes the land richly fertile and suitable for several types of agriculture.

Western Ranges
These narrow folded ranges are considered as southward extension of the Himalaya. The general elevation is 1500 meters. It was assumed that western ranges are relatively very young with the presence of steep slopes with narrow V shaped valleys and high angled fault scarps. Major population is Chin tribe, with sub-minorities among them, Naga tribe, worriers, are famous for their traditions and costumes.

Rakhine Coastal Strip
Generally, tertiary age land forming can be seen. Natural gas seepages and mud volcanoes are common on some islands. Most attractive beaches are in this region. The main population is Rakhine, with their dominant Buddhist culture especially can be traced in ancient capital, Mrauk-U.


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