Info Myanmar

What is Myanmar & Where is Myanmar (Burma)???
EXPLORE THE GOLDEN LAND
Information for Visitors
BRIEF INTRODUCTION.

The Land

Myanmar is the word which has long been used by its people to describe their homeland while the British called Burma. It is also known as the golden Land for the wealth of Agriculture and minerals. Myanmar with the total area of 676,577 square kilometers is the largest mainland in South East Asia. It shares a total of 5858 km of international borders with Bangladesh and India on the Northwest, China on the Northeast, Laos on the East and Thailand on the Southeast. It has a total length of 2832 km of Coastlines. The Country stretches 2090 km from North to South and 925 Km from East to West at its widest points. The official name is Union of Myanmar.

map1

The official name is Union of Myanmar composing of Seven States and Seven Divisions.

MYANMAR
Ayeyawaddy Division Bago Division  Chin State Taninthayi Divison
Mandalay Division Kayin State Kaya State  Magway Division
  Sagaing Division Rakhine State Mon State  Yangon Division
  Kachin State Shan State  

Climate

Myanmar enjoys a tropical climate with three seasons in general. The rainy season from mid May to Mid October, the cool season (winter) from mid October to mid February and the hot season (Summer) from mid February to mid May before the rains begins. The best time to visit Myanmar is from mid October to mid May during open season.

Historical Background

alaung payaEarly history of Myanmar began with the founding of the first capital of Myanmar Kings at Tagaung, 160 Km up-river from Mandalay, reputed to have been thriving during 5th Centaury B.C. The Pyu Civilization that followed, flourished in the Ayeyawaddy valley from Tagaung to Pyway (formally Prome) in the 1st Centaury B.C and reached a high level of economic, social, and cultural development. Myanmar greatness in the History can be dating back to 11th Centaury. There were three golden periods in Myanmar history. King Anawyahta consolidated the whole country into the First Myanmar Empire in Bagan(1044 AD-1077 AD). The Bagan Empire encompassed the area of the present-day Myanmar and the entire Menan Valleyin Thailand that lasted two centuries. The Bagan Dynasty collapsed with the invasion of the Mongols under Kublai Khan in the 13th centaury. The Second Myanmar Empire of the Taungoo Period (1551 AD-1581 AD) was founded by King Bayin Naung and King Alaung Phaya founded the Third Myanmar Empire in 1752 AD. It was during the zenith of the Konbaung Dynasty that the British moved into Myanmar. It became British colony after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in 1825, 1852, 1885 AD.

During the Second World War, it was occupied by the Japanese from 1942 till the return of allied forces in 1945. Myanmar regained the status of a "Sovereign Independent State" on 4th January 1948, after 123 years of British Colonial administration.

Religion

thamekhtaw-nunsBagan, the first imperial capital of Myanmar, became a world center of Theravada Buddhism by the start of the 12th centaury AD. Successive kings and their subjects choosen to glorify their faith through the lavish and ambitious construction of monuments and Buddhist Culture.

Therabada Buddhism is the predominant religion embracing about 89.4 percent of the people. The said Buddhist percentage of the population-mainly is Bamars, Shans, Chin, Kachin, Karan, Kaya, Mons, and Rakhaines. There are also Christian, Muslims, Hindus and some animist. The Christian population is composed mainly of Kayins, Kachins and Chins. Islam and Hinduism are practiced mainly by people of Indian origin.

Myanmar's population, spread over seven States and seven Division , is over 50 million in 2002. It is a Union of nationalities composed of 135 ethnic groups, with their own languages and dialects. The term Myanmar embraces all nationalities, the Bamar, the Chin, the Kachin, the Kayah, the Kayin, the Mon, the Rakhine and the Shan. The Bamars make up about 69 per cent of the total population, and the population growth rate is 1.88 per cent.

Culture

Myanmar is sandwiched between two big cultures and civilizations - China and India - but its culture is neither that of India nor China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has great influence on daily life of the Myanmars.

Myanmar people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elder, reverence for Buddhism and wearing simple native dress. Myanmar people are fun lovers and celebrate festivals form the center of Myanmar social life and each month has its own festive occasion. Myanmars are known for their simple, honesty, generosity, hospitality and friendliness.

Drama and Dance

traditional performanceDrama, the key to modern Myanmar Culture is accessible and enjoyable for visitors. This theatrical or musical work, considered as the development distinctly to the Burmese style, is well of inspiration of the art of the Indianized Southeast Asia. The word Burmese "Pwe" means a spectacular feast (theater, dance, music, marionette, etc..) which takes place to all opportunity of every day Burmese. Nearly all religious or popular events can become a good reason to organize a "Pwe", for example; a religious ceremony, a wedding ceremony, a funeral, a sporting event, a carnival... Once under way, a pwe can and generally does, goes on all night, which has no strain, if the audience gets bored at some point during the performance, then they simply fall asleep and wake up again when there is something more to their taste. The Pwes are of true entertainment. One immediately feels that the audience has fun. An astonishing thing is there or you will also benefit some social lesson because the comic passages are easy to understand without translation.

There various forms of "Pwe", A "zat-pwe" is live performance, which may be re-creation of an ancient legend or Buddhist epic mingled of dance, songs, dialogues, slap-sitcks, music, melodrama, short and long pieces. The Burmese word "Zat" is drived from the Pali word "Jataka", the narrations, and the birth stories of the Buddha's previous lives. One can say that, "the Zat" originated with the presentation of mute and immobilized characters illustrating Jatakas. Therefore, if one calls a dramatic entertainment in the past, then it means Zat, it is the piece of Jatakas. The Jatakas provide to the Burmese dramatic authors the episodes, the schemes, the characters of the climax, etc... With the development of dance and music, this presentation transformed into a theatrical spectacle reserved to the royal court. There were spectacles for the common people that took place on ground. The audience sat in the form of a circle around the dancers and musicians. This spectacle was called "Myey-Waing Zat". At the end XIX century, the traditional theatre took place on the stage. The back-round stories of the performance draw its topics from the Jatakas, the legends of a pagoda or a Nat, the big events of the Burmese history, the classic literature and the fables that give moral lessons. The most famous presentation of the traditional theater is the scene of dual dance which is the performance of the male-dancer and the female-dancers accompanied by clowns.

puppet3"Yoke-the-pwe" means the performance of strings puppet. It is a part of Myanmar theatrical art. This art has being inherited from the father puppeteer to his son. Its origin is fainted but the oldest evidence dated back to XV century and it reached to its zenith in the XVIII and XIX century. Because of the inspired culture is strongly Buddhist and of the social cleavages of the time, the dancers of two opposites sex didn't dare to perform together on the stage, in the same way it was not the right way to perform on the more elevated level of stage than the very superiors, the nobles and the older people. The Burmese artists created the puppet made of wood of which mobilized with the help of the strings attached to the different parts of the puppet. The Burmese artists created the puppet made of wood of which mobilized with the help of the strings attached to the different parts of the puppet. By that way, they replaced the puppets to the living dancers and which allowed the performance more convenient and more animated. The master of marionette is called puppeteer and he or she can be a singer or musician at the same time. There are about thirty marionettes. They are made of different woods according to the different characters. They measure less than one meter high. The manipulating of puppet is an art and skill of the puppeteer, and the puppet of Princess and that of "Zaw-gyi" (Alchemist) are the most difficult items to be manipulated. These spectacles of marionettes are destined to the court and the public, and back round history of the performance is borrowed from the Jatakases and the events of Myanmar histories as well as the legends of Nats.

"Anyein Pwe ", is a form of the spectacle of dances that similar nearly to the popular theater, but a few less imposing of programs. The highlight of Anyein Pwe is more based on the dances, on the comedy and on the slap-sticks of the clowns. Contrary to the theater, there is not a male-dancer. The female-dancers play the important role therefore her abilities and skills are the key factor for the success of those troops. They must really be pretty and attractive, and have a well-executed dance and have the talent for singing. Among the programs, the most important presentation is the solo-dance (single dance). The dancer in full of royal dress and accompanied by the clowns sings and dances in front of the musician troops. The song, the dance, the facial expression and the coquetry of the dancer and the dialogues, the commentaries and the slap-sticks of the clowns are two distinct elements that alternate one another. The program of an Anyein starts with one dramatic choir of the dancers, and appears the performance of solo-dance and finishes by a drama as in "Zat -Pew", the theatrical performance, but it is less serious and shorter.

traditional performance2The word Myanmar "Anyein" means the tenders, the softness, and the grace. This word describes correctly the presentation of dances because the Burmese ways dance is douse and flexible with gracious gestures. Then, it recalls its origin that carries up at the times of Burmese kings. To the leisure time of the royal family, a musical presentation very often accompanied by the singing took place. The music was to be melodious and fine tune, so that the musician played a traditional harp composed with thirteen strings , or a bamboo xylophone while the singer whispered a classic song with a fine voice. Later, a dancer has participated in that presentation. By that way, a troop of Anyein appeared. After the fall of the Burmese monarchy, the artists lived everywhere and strived to survive. At the end of XIX century, the small troops of called Anyein (musicians and singers accompanied by the dancers) appeared. The clowns necessarily take his alternative term on the stage in order to take relax for the dancer who sings at the same time. The entertainment composed of a melodrama or pieces of comedy or tragedy last for all night long, and then Anyein become live and spectacular. Besides, some dancers created the performance with their own skills, and talents by integrating the hops and jumps, the torsions and the acrobatic turns to the traditional dance. Over all, Anyein Pwe keeps still traditional dances that conform to his name.

The Myanmars dances are generally classified into two categories: the folk dance; the dance of "Bongyi" (Big drum), "Bom-shay" (long drum), "Ozi" (the long, and one side opened drum), portable Doebat (the drum with two faces), and dramatic dances; the ritual dance (the dance of paying homage to the Buddha or the spirits), the court dance (dance of Si-daw-gyi, the big and long hanged drum), dance of theatrical classic (dance of Ramayana) and dance of Anyein (solo dance). But the style of the Burmese dance is hardly different in the various amusements because the Burmese dance gives the preference in the posture rather than the movement. The same basic postures represent themselves; the body is slightly curve while the legs remain on the partially bent knees (rather to the Indian style), the gestures of hands and arms bent either unfolded, the movement of head and the look. There are three essential movements of the Burmese dance; the grace, the softness and the harmony. It is an interpretation of feeling and sensation by rhythmic movements of the body, notably in conformity to four parts; head, waist (hip), legs and hands or arms. These movements are strung to the musical rhythm, being executed sometimes of very slow or rapid turns with the jumps.

The Burmese Dance has its origin of inspiration of the scene of daily life. During the time of the ploughing rice fields, the transplantation of rice plants, the harvesting the crops, the peasants used to celebrate the feasts of amusement to encourage and to joy the participants who were involving in the farming. This type of dance was called the rural dance or the folk dance. The farmers were also celebrating the feast to pay respect to the God or Spirits to have a good harvest. These feasts would be accompanied by songs and dances that were inspired by the symbolic gestures and the particular nature of spirits. This type of dance was also known as ritual dance. With the reach of the Buddhism, the Buddhist art has been introduced in Burma. The Burmese organized the religious festivals of which would probable associate spectacles of varieties. The grand ceremonies of the court as well as the entertainment in the palace would take place with the song, music and the respective dances. These were the reasons to arise the different traditional and ritual dances.

The first historic evidence of dance is found in "Pyu" period; the ancient people dating back to V to IX century. According to the records of the Tang dynasty in China, a troop of musicians, dancers and singers from Pyu capital of Burma, performed in China. This art of performance was also generated in Mon kingdom, another ancient tributes whose culture was well developed by the commercial and cultural relations with Indians. In the XI century, a Burmese king has conquered the Mon Kingdom of Thahton (Thu-wanna-bumi), and unified the cultures of the Mon and Pyu. Then, the Burmese adopted Mon and Pyu arts and created a new one by integrating their culture to Burmese native culture and dances. The mural paintings of Bagan period illustrate the cultural dance and traditions of that period. The two conquests of Thailand in the XVI and XVIII century allowed the Burmese art to enrich with Siamese theatrical art. The successive kings and the royal family encouraged and tempted with their effort to progress this domain, the dance of court. In the XIX century, the foreigners settled in the service of Burmese Kings and their arts also assimilated to those of the Burmese. Thus, the theatrical art, the dance, the music became more prosperous at the court as well as to the public.

Music

saing-waingAs mentioned above, there is a variety of dances that are performed according to the different music used to different opportunities. Since the music can not disassociate with the dance and the song, they always accompany in all spectacles, such as Pwe. As all South-East Asian music which is inspired on the basic concept of the Indian music, the Burmese music has a combination of several different musical instruments.

According to the Burmese musical system, there are five kinds of musical instruments; "Kyo"; the musical instrument of strings (the traditional harp composing of thirteen strings, "Kyay"; the musical instruments made of brass (a circle of gongs, cymbals), "Thayé", those of leather stretched instruments (one or two sides of drum of which hole are stretched with leather), "lay", those of air instruments (the flute, the oboe), "Letkhoke", those of a pair of bamboo or wood (small or big clappers).

The composition of different Burmese musical instruments may not be appreciated to the Westerns, because, to their apparition, the Burmese musicals instruments are created without taking account of the harmonic effect which is very important for the western music. The harmony is thus reduced to the minimum in Myanmar music where the melody and the rhythm are privileged. The Burmese music appears harsh, metallic and repetitive for them. These impressions are probably due to the fact that the Burmese scales are not tempered like in West since Bach's era. As in the western music, the Burmese diatonic scale has seven tones, but they are arranged equidistantly within the octave except the fourth and the seventh intervals.

In the Burmese traditional music, the rhythm and the melody constitute the musical structure that develops itself by means of the repetition, light changes of rhythm and tonality bring the modulation that is provided by the harmonic dimension in the western music. These techniques appeared in the western musical fashions with the Stevereiches minimalists, Philip Gloss and Brian Enos.

As the music is always associated to nearly all forms of distraction, it is part of the Burmese community that adores the "Pwes". For a Burmese, everything that he or she celebrates or what happens around him or she, since his or her birth until his or her death, can be accompanied with "Saing", either music of the Burmese traditional orchestra or rural music troop of amateurs. For the Burmese, the word "Saing" at first sight refers to the whole of music produced by different instruments that come with the spectacle of varieties, then secondly refers to a musical performance of the Burmese traditional orchestra.

The Burmese traditional orchestra (Saing-waing in Burmese) is a group of musicians composed of seven to ten participants who play different musical instruments. It is dominated largely not by the strings musical instruments as in western homologue but by the percussion-instruments. The most dominant instrument is the circle of drums (Patt-waing in Burmese) whose player is therefore the chief of orchestra. "Patt-waing" is the circular form of five meters of circumference in-which is hung about twenty different sizes of drums. The player who sits in the middle plays by hitting the drums with fingers. This circle of drums can cover an extent of more than three octaves and it permits to play some different melodies. The tuning of drums is got by filling more or less their surfaces with the paste of rice and ash. The player of drums-circle is the chief of orchestra but he doesn't assure the harmony that is less important in the Burmese music. During the musical performance, even though he stops playing for a moment to adjust the tuning of some drums, the rest of orchestra continues playing without disturbing the melody.

The Burmese traditional orchestra (Saing-waing in Burmese) is a group of musicians composed of seven to ten participants who play different musical instruments. It is dominated largely not by the strings musical instruments as in western homologue but by the percussion-instruments. The most dominant instrument is the circle of drums (Patt-waing in Burmese) whose player is therefore the chief of orchestra. "Patt-waing" is the circular form of five meters of circumference in-which is hung about twenty different sizes of drums. The player who sits in the middle plays by hitting the drums with fingers. This circle of drums can cover an extent of more than three octaves and it permits to play some different melodies. The tuning of drums is got by filling more or less their surfaces with the paste of rice and ash. The player of drums-circle is the chief of orchestra but he doesn't assure the harmony that is less important in the Burmese music. During the musical performance, even though he stops playing for a moment to adjust the tuning of some drums, the rest of orchestra continues playing without disturbing the melody.

To the right side of "Patt-waing" is "Kyay-naung" or "Kyay-waing", a number of gongs made of brass in a various diameter is put in a well decorated circular setting nearly five meters of circumference. There are eighteen or nineteen of gongs. The player taps on the gongs with the help of small hammers. "Kyay-naung" goes together with the drums-circle and the player knows well the melodies played by the chief of orchestra.

The other side of "Patt-waing" is occupied by a big drum with two faces called "Patt-ma-gyi". This thick case hangs itself to a horizontal rod supported by two posts and surmounted by an artistic creature, "Pyin-sa-ru-pa". The player also plays another case on a support, "Sa-khont" and the other six medium drums called "Chauk-lonn-patt". The musician plays with "Patt-waing" according to the melody, especially intervenes when his intensity is needed.

"Hnè", a kind of oboe also participates at the orchestra. There are two musicians; one for a big oboe, and the other for a small. "Hnè" produces discerning notes and sketch the melody.

Besides these main instruments, "La-gwin" (a pair of big cymbal or small cymbal) and "Wa-let-khoke" (bamboo clappers) complete the orchestra. To announce the rhythm "Si" normally it is played by the singer, and "Wa-let-khoke" also marks the rhythm.

Once, the chief of orchestra (Percussionist) didn't address to the audience, the traditional orchestra need the helpers therefore to take part addressing of the commentaries and preliminaries at the intervals. They get up behind the "Patt-waing" and thus became known as "Naut-hta" (standing behind). By the time of the chief of orchestra addresses and sings, the "Nauk-hta"s role reduces to normal assistants, rather clowns.

So all musicians play together a melody by adding the improvisations and variations on the basic theme. The Burmese music is all dramatis before. As music comes with the art of the stage, there are numbers of different musical themes (that of folk song, the song of court and the classic theater) that associate to some specific contexts. These themes underlie the action or the feelings and give them sense and intensity. The spectator or the audience recognizes the kind of the scenic performance therefore by the particular music introduction. For example; " Myin-gin ", the musical composition of the royal time signals the dance of horsemanship; "Chut", for the hunt or for the scene of theft, "Bein-maung ", for the fight; "Lay-gin", for the dance of martial art or to show the skills or abilities, "Byaw", for the happy occasions or Buddhist festival or to mark the end of a performance, "Yé-gin" or " Si-daw", for the scene of court, "Ozi" and "Doe-bat", for the scene of the feast in the country, ; etc,...

Nat ( spirit god ) Pwe

nat5Nat (spirit god) is a kind of living existence, which has super natural power that makes them to transform from one shape into another, it can make invisible to the human being. They can fly in the air, dive unto the water and earth with their super natural power. Myanmar embraces Therabadha Buddhism and at the same time they believe the Nat (spirit) for Nat can invoke the bad fortune. The worship of Nat is purely native in origin and developed out of that form of Animism that still prevails among other hill people of the country. The term Nat originally meant a lord and involved an idea similar to feudal over lord ship. A Nat was a spirit who had some dominion over a group of people or over a certain object or objects, and the spirit who had dominion over a particular village or district. The suzerainty of a Nat was both territorial and personal. The guardian Nat of a village had power over all the people who are born in the village or born of a village family, wherever they might be, and also had power over all who came to his village during the time they remain there. He would inflict no harm, nay, he would even give his protects to those whose recognition could be expressed by an offering of rice or fruit, a few words of supplication or of posture of homage which stimulate to happen the Nat festivals. The Burmese are celebrating the Nat festival everywhere in the country with two purposes. One is to celebrate the Nat festival in order to recover the long-term patient for they think the Nat had invoked the patient. The other is to celebrate to express the gratitude for they become wealthy or win the business as they believed they were under the good favor of the Nats.

Economy

Since late 1998, Myanmar has replaced the centrally planned economy with a more liberalized economic policy based on market-oriented system. In moving towards a more market-oriented economy, Myanmar has liberalized domestic and external trade, promoting the role of private sector and opening up to foreign Investment. The Union of Myanmar Foreign Investment Commission has been set up. The Foreign Investment Law, the New Central Bank of Myanmar Law, the Financial Institutions of Myanmar Law and the Myanmar Tourism Law have been enacted and "the Chamber of Commerce and Industry" have been reactivated. Myanmar is richly endowed with renewable and non-renewable energy resources, which are being exploited by the State sector with the participation of local and foreign investors. Agriculture remains the main sector of the economy and the Government encourages to revitalize its agriculture exports.

Tourism

The Industry of Hotels and Tourism is the most promising business in Myanmar these days. There are many hotels, inns, motels, guesthouses, restaurants, tour companies and several other related services are growing throughout the Country. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is making also all-out efforts to promote this sector while foreign investment in this field is earnestly invited too. At present, more than 350 hotels (local/overseas ownership) are operating. Some hotels are still under construction, and new tourist sites that has never been allowed the strangers are step by step opening.

Dress

The Myanmars accustomed to wear the light clothes nearly all year round except in the mountainous regions. The very light garment in cotton is the most pleasant in hot season. A cardigan or light sweater is indispensable during the cool season, particularly in upper Burma (Mandalay, Bagan) and in Shan State (higher elevation). An umbrella is a must for this tropical country, especially during the raining season and the hot season. The sandal or flip-flap is more convenient (less hot and easy to remove them).

The Burmese dressing is neat and befitting. The men wear a shirt (traditionally without collar), Burmese traditional over-coat and the "masculine longyi". The women wear a blouse that covers the shoulders and the "feminine longyi". The "Longyi" is a skirt sewn in cylindrical shape and measure two meter of width and one meter of length. Masculine Longyi "Pa-soe" has vertical or horizontal square or striped motives with different colors while "feminine longyi" (Hta-mi) is more colorful with floral motives or a unique color. A Burmese wears the "longyi" around the hips; the men tie a knot in the front and the women fold it and fix on the one side (right or left).

All two sexes wear the flip-flops or sandals, "Pha-nut ", made of leather and in velvet. The ethnic minorities especially in the mountainous and isolated regions still embrace their traditional costume.

The visitors are advised not to wear the shorts and tank tops during the visit of the pagodas and monasteries where the shoes must be taken off.

MYANMAR FOOD

myanmar foodThe basis of Myanmar food is mainly rice and the curry. Rice is generally cooked in water ("Hta-Min"). The Burmese curries ("hin" in Burmese) are a little spicy and fat. The manner of preparation of widely-known curry, called "si-pyan" is; a dish of meat, fish or shrimps that one cooks until oil comes back. A big number of varieties of beans offer several delicious dishes. And then, the Burmese consume a lot of fishes. As the country having numerous rivers and wide spread coast of the sea, the fresh water fishes as well as the sea water offer to the Burmese cuisine so many various curries in return. The presentation of "Nga-pie" (fish paste) under several forms with vegetables makes part to the Burmese basis menu. A soup of vegetables always comes with the meal.

"Moat-hin-ga", the rice noodle with the gravy of fishes enriched with ingredients, is appreciated by all Burmese as the breakfast. "Ohn-noke-khauk-swe", wheat noodle accompanied with an enriched soup of coconut milk and chicken, is another popular Burmese breakfast too.

"Sa-nwin-ma-kin" is a favorite desserts (Burmese sugary cake composed of semolina, sugar, egg, butter and coconut), the Burmese style pan-cake with banana, "Kyauk-kyaw" (jelly cake of seaweeds with coconut milk) and (the jiggery) brown sugar or candy of palm. The glutinous rice is indispensable for traditional cakes and also one eats streamed ("Kauk-hnyin-paung") like as snack.

"La-phet"; the leaf of tea plant, plays an important role in the Burmese traditions. The Myanmars consume tea under several preparations; the fermented tea leaves, the green tea and the sweet tea. "Laphet-thoke", the salad of fermented tea leaves enriched with the ingredients as fried beans, the grains of roasted sesames, the fried garlic, the powder of dried shrimps and the grains of roasted peanut, soaked in the peanut oil is favorite desert and snack for common Burmese, and it serves to offer the guests as the gesture of hospitality. The green tea, "Ye-nway-gyan", the boiling water with dried tea leaves is used to relieve the thirst. The sweet tea, the boiling black tea sweetened with sugary and condensed milk is consumed in the day time by some modern Burmese.

Seafood

More visitors to the Myanmar discover their delight to the seafood, not only to the fruits and to the fresh vegetables. Anyone who has experienced Myanmar seafood will readily agree to its great variety and its savory taste and sweet well. Well-preserved crabs, prawns, lobsters squids lobsters and other shellfish are prepared and seasoned with various sorts of flavor and spices, in this way, all dinners will be found the most palatable. Because of the abundance of fishes and marine crustaceans, some seafoods are everywhere available in Myanmar.

Other Food

The Chinese cuisine as well as Cantonese and Fukunnese is well known in the Myanmar and almost all the towns possess at least a Chinese restaurants. The Indian cuisine as Kababs, Beryani is as popular for the Burmese palate. Only big hotels and specialized restaurants propose the exotic foreign cuisines; the European, the Thaï, the Japanese, the Korean and Singaporean.

Currency

currencyThe Myanmar monetary unit is "Kyat" which consists of 100 " pyas ". As monetary notes, one finds the banknotes of 10000 kyats, 5000 kyats, 1000 kyats, 500 kyats, 200 Kyats, 100 Kyats, 90 Kyats, 50 Kyats, 45 Kyats, 20 Kyats, 15 Kyats, 10 Kyats, 5 Kyats, 1 kyat, 50 Pyases.

Like monetary coins in kyat, one finds the coin of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 kyats,.

The monetary coins in pya also exist (1, 5, 10, 25, 50 pyas).

The visitors are not allowed to take in or bring out Myanmar Local currencies.

Foreign Exchange

In the circulation, a tourist will find two currencies: "Kyat" (local currencies), the foreign currency especially American dollas.

Besides American dollars, the euro, the German mark, the pound sterling, the Thai bath and the Chinese Yuan are acceptable. It would better to bring the foreign currency in cash; in small notes to purchase the souvenirs and in big notes for the transportations and the lodging. Today, the Government is under ways of preparing the new foreign currency regulations.

The visitors can be exchanged Myanmar Kyat at money changers.

The visitors can pay in Kyats or US $ for the lodging, the domestic air tickets, the train tickets, the entrance fees for the museums and the pagodas, as well as that of the tourist sites. In the tourist restaurants, the visitor can pay either in Kyats or in $US.

Mail

mailIt takes two weeks for the receipt of the mail sent from Burma to Europe. One can buy the stamps and can send the mail at the Post-offices. The central Post office of Yangon situates at 39, Bo Aung Kyaw road. All post offices in Myanmar operate between 9:30 the morning and 4:30 of afternoon during the days of the week. Mail-boxes are found in front of post office, at the airports, at the railway stations, in the big hotels, and some corners of the streets. The post cards and also some stamps are available at the reception of some hotels, at the tourist sites and at the boutiques of big markets.

Some courier services and moving service in Yangon area are;

DPE International

103 ( 1st Fl ) 39th St., Kyauktada Tsp.,
Tel: 287595, 661431, and 299278

Express Courier Services

91 ( G-Fl), 39th St., Kyauktada Tsp.,
Tel: 280153, 275424

DHL

223, Sule Pagoda Road
7 (A ), Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd., Mayangon Tsp.
Tel 251752, 664434, 664423, Fax 664430

Overseas Courier Service

58, 62nd Fl., Maha Bandoola Garden St., Kyauktada Tsp.
Tel: 245967, 282706 Fax 245931

Myanmar International Moving Services Co., Ltd.

No. 14, A1 Lane, 9th Mile, Pyay Rd., Mayangon Tsp.
Tel: 667057, 665788

ASAP Express

82, 8th Street, Lamadaw Tsp
Tel: 228468, 228259 Fax 228468

Sage Express

185, Seikkantha St., Kyauktada Tsp.,
Tel: 271977

TST Groups Ltd.

63-65, 14th St., Lammadaw Tsp.,
Tel: 224578

United Parcel Service

337 Boaungkyaw Street, Kyauktada Tsp
Tel: 245481 Fax 242734

Time

Myanmar Time is 6:30 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime (one and half hour difference with Singapore and 30 minutes with Thailand.)