MyanmarMyanmar, or Burma, officially the Union of Myanmar is a country in Southeast Asia. It lies on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea coast with Bangladesh and India to the west, China to the north, and Laos and Thailand to the east.
ClimateGenerally, Myanmar is considered to have 3 seasons. The hot season is usually from March-April, and temperatures would then cool off during the rainy season from May-October. The peak tourism season is the cool season from November-February. Temperatures can climb as high as 36 C in Yangon in the hot season while in the cool season, noontime temperatures are usually a more bearable 32 C, with night temperatures falling to around 19 C. Mandalay is slightly cooler in the cool season, with temperatures falling as low as 13 C, while temperatures in the hot season can go as high as 37 C. Generally, Lower Myanmar, the area around Yangon, receives more rainfall than the drier Upper Myanmar (around Mandalay).
In the highlands such as Inle Lake and Pyin U Lwin, winter temperatures can fall below 10 C at night, while daytime temperatures tend to be very pleasant. Even in the summer, temperatures rarely climb above 32 C. Near the Indian border in Kachin State, there are mountains which are permanently snow capped throughout the year.
Yangon (formerly Rangoon) - the commercial capital, known for its pagodas and colonial architecture.
Inle Lake a large shallow lake good for beautiful boat trips, visiting floating villages inhabited by the Intha people
Bagan an archaeological zone with thousands of pagodas near the banks of the Ayeyarwady River
Mandalay former capital of the Konbaung Dynasty built around the Mandalay Royal Palace and main commercial centre of Upper Myanmar.
Personal NoteMyanmar was a very big surprise. There was little I knew about the country except the military regime. This was a concern for me, I didn’t know what this means in the daily life. You read about it in the newspapers, but you can’t realize how it is to live in such a country. I was afraid that the people were not friendly and suspicious. But in fact the people are one of the most friendliest I met. When I discussed the political situation with a cyclodriver, I was shocked. One thing he told me that you can’t trust anybody in the country, because very one can ‘work’ for the government. So one silly joke or comment you make about the ‘government’ can get you in prison. I can't image how it’s like to live your life this way.
Despite the government, this was one of the best countries I have visited. It’s easy to travel around, people are extremely friendly and there is a lot of culture to see. One of the highlights was Bagan, here you can find thousands of temples in a couple of square kilometres. The best way to explore the temples was by bike. You could cycle for hours without seeing anyone.
Another highlight was Inle. In the mountains around Inle you can find small villages where hardly any tourist will come. In some villages I was probably the first European that little children saw accordingly their reactions. When the first child saw me he screamed and run away followed by his friends. I haven’t seen them since.
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