Myanmar is Southeast Asia's largest country. Sharing borders with China, Laos and Thailand in the east, and Bangladesh and India in the north, Myanmar has a 2,832 km seaboard with the Indian Ocean to the west and south.
The Ayeyarwady River, flows for more than 2,000 km through Myanmar, before fanning out in a delta on the south coast. Yangon stands beside one of its many mouths. Central Myanmar is dominated by the Ayeyarwady basin which is shielded by the Rakhine, Chin and Naga Mountains and the Patkai Hills to the west, the Kachin Hills to the north, and the Shan Plateau to the east - which include peaks rising to over 3,000m, and influencing climate. The river's valley and delta are considered one of the most fertile agricultural regions in Asia. Fruit, vegetables and citrus crops grow abundantly on the Shan Plateau. Forest covers more than 50% of Myanmar's land area.
Population: 51 million
Language: Myanmar (0fficial) English
Myanmar has three seasons; the monsoon
or rainy season from May to
October; the cool season from November
to February and the hot season from
March to May. The average temperature
ranges from 32°C in central and
lower areas to 21°C in the northern
GMT +6 1/2
Kyat (Kt) = 100 pyas. Kt. 100,000 is known as a lakh, and Kt 10 million as a crore. Kyat is pronounced like the English word 'chat'.
Kyat, made up
of 100 pyas. Currency notes come in
the following denominations: K 1,000,
K 500, K 200, K 100, K 90,
K 50, K 45, K 20, K 15, K 10, K 5,
K 1 and coins K 100, K 50, K
10, K 5, K 1 and Pya 50.
On arrival at Yangon International airport, individual tourists are required to exchange a minimum of US$200 into 200 FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates). Any unused certificates from this amount cannot be refunded. Visitors booked on an inclusive group tour package are not subject to this requirement, but if they wish, they can also purchase FECs with US Dollars or Sterling. FECs are Myanmar's second legal tender and are issued by the Bank of Myanmar specifically for visiting tourists. They come in denominations equivalent to US$20, 10, 5 and 1. Payment for FECs is only accepted in US Dollars or Sterling, in cash or travellers cheques. (credit cards sometimes accepted) One US Dollar equals one FEC (the Pound Sterling equivalent fluctuates according to the Pound-Dollar variance). FECs can be spent anywhere in the country, or exchanged into kyats at bureaux de change, hotels and Myanmar Travel and Tour offices. Cash payments can also be made in US Dollars, but only at establishments (eg, hotels, railway stations, and airlines) that have an official license allowing them to accept dollars.
Airlines, major hotels and supermarkets accept Visa, Diners Club, American Express. Check with your credit card company for details for merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Sterling only.
About Yangon City