Myanmar is one of the biggest countries on mainland Southeast Asia. Covering more than 676,577 sq kilometers this is a country with everything from snow capped mountains on the north to white sand beaches where it touches the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The mountain ranges are also covered with valuable timber species as the cultivable land is used for growing of paddy and other cash crops.
As varied as the land itself there are more than 100 different ethnic groups that call Myanmar their home. While the majority is the Bamar group, there are also Shans, Kachin, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine groups plus other smaller nationalities. Most of the people are engaged in agriculture, especially growing paddy and other cash crops in the lowlands, others harvest tea and tropical fruits in the higher elevations.
Myanmar is also a good place for nature lovers. There is abundant endemic bird species as well as many migratory species that comes to Myanmar during the northern winter months. Butterflies, exotic flowers would delight any naturalists. The Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) is found in the middle reaches of the Ayeyarwady River. The unique characteristic of these dolphins, which can only be found in Myanmar, are that they interact with the native fishers and assist them in their fishing. Also the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry had set aside many nature parks and wildlife sanctuaries around the country for the nature lovers to explore and enjoy.
But the most prominent landmarks travellers will see are the pagodas. They are everywhere, on the hilltops and in the plains, in towns and villages, amongst the paddy fields or on seashores. Many will be sparkling in the sun giving the country the name Myanmar, the Golden Land!