Myanmar Facts

myanmar headerMyanmar Facts for Kids: Tiger Pagoda, Stilt Fishermen, Golden Rock

Myanmar Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Myanmar Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

  • Population: 57.5 million people live in Myanmar (2023)
  • Capital: Yangon with 5.5 million inhabitants
  • Name: Republic of the Union of Myanmar
  • Government: Parliamentary republic with Military Junta (military leaders)
  • National Holiday: 4 January (Independence Day)
myanmar flagFlag of Myanmar
  • Language: Burmese
  • Literacy: 89% of the adult population can read and write
  • Religion: Buddhism (88%)
  • Currency: kyat 
  • National Symbols: chinthe (mythical lion), padauk (national flower/tree)
  • National colours: yellow, green red and white
  • History: Myanmar gained independence from British rule in 1948. The country was called Burma until the military junta changed the name to Myanmar in 1989.
myanmar independence monumentMyanmar's Independence Monument

Myanmar Facts | Geography 

Myanmar is located on the Asian continent, more exactly in Southeast Asia. 

Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia and borders Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand as well as the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea of the Indian Ocean. The longest border is shared with Thailand.

The capital city of Myanmar is Naypyidaw. 

myanmar mapMap of Myanmar

Myanmar has a coastline of about 1,930 km/ 1,200 miles length.

Myanmar is slightly smaller in size than the US state of Texas and about half as big as France. 

Myanmar Facts
Myanmar Geography

The largest country in Southeast Asia is mainly low-lying, but in the eastern region the rugged and steep highlands are among the highest in Southeast Asia. 

About half of Myanmar is covered by forests and low rolling hills. High mountain peaks are located in the northeastern parts of the country.

  • The highest point of Myanmar is Gamlang Razi, the second highest peak in Southeast Asia. The mountain is 5,870 m/ 19,258 ft high and is in the region bordering Tibet.
  • The longest river in Myanmar is the Irrawaddy River. The river flows over 2,170 km/ 1,348 miles from north to south and is the most important river in the country.
myanmar irrawaddy riverIrrawaddy River in Myanmar
  • Myanmar's largest city is Yangon. The country was the capital city before 2006. About 5.5 million people live in the city.
  • The largest lake in Myanmar is Indawgy Lake. The second largest lake is Inle Lake. The Burmese fishermen practise a unique way of one leg fishing.
myanmar isle lake fishermenFishermen at Inle Lake

Myanmar Facts
Myanmar Landmarks

myanmar shwedagan pagodaShewadagan Pagoda in Yangon
myanmar golden rockGolden Rock
mandalay palaceMandalay palace
myanmar baganTemples in the archeological zone of Bagan
myanmar temples twilightMandalay Temples at Twilight
myanmar hsimbyume pagodaHsinbyume Pagoda
myanmar cave at hpa anCaves at Hpa-An
myanmar four faces buddhaFour faces of Buddha monument

Myanmar Facts
People of Myanmar

Most of the people in Myanmar live in the coastal regions or close to the Irrawaddy River.

The biggest city of the country is Yangon, formerly called Rangon, where more than five million people live. Mandalay and Naypyidaw are big cities with less than one million inhabitants.

myanmar market by happystockWoman trader at market - image by Happystock

The largest ethnic group in Myanmar are the Barmar people with about 35 million people. The Barmar mainly settle in the Irrawaddy River basin.

The Myanmar government recognises 135 ethnic groups. The biggest minority group are the Shan and Karen people.

myanmar mingun monksYoung Buddhist monks in Mingun

Buddhism is the main religion in Myanmar. Only six percent of the Burmese people are Christians and about 3 percent are Muslims.

The Rohingya people who live in Rakhine state are Muslim and most of them are without citizenship as Myanmar passed a law in 1982 that denies the Rohingya national citizenship and so the Rohingya are a stateless people who are denied human rights and are persecuted. Many of the Rohingya live as refugees who fled to neighbouring countries after violent outbursts and constant discrimination in Myanmar.

Thingyan Lantern Festival

The Burmese people celebrate the Burmese Lunar New Year with hundreds of lanterns in October, the seventh month of the Burmese calendar.

The Thadingyut festival is also called Festival of Lights and will be celebrated on 19 October in 2023.

myanmar lantern festial

Caneball or Chinlone is the traditional national sport in Myanmar. This is a unique sport that is a mix of dance, martial arts and ball game.

Myanmar Facts | Myanmar Economy

The main agricultural products are rice, sugarcane, vegetables as well as maize, peanuts and plantains.

myanmar rice farmers Sai Kyan Mine sskRice farmers in Myanmar - image by Sai Kyan Mine

About 70% of the Burmese people work in the agricultural sector. The people in rural areas lead a simple life. Almost 1 in 4 people in Myanmar are very poor and live below the poverty line.

The main trading partners of Myanmar are China, Thailand and Singapore. Exports from Myanmar include clothes, rice, copper and natural gas. 

 Myanmar Animals

The national animal of Myanmar is the Indonesian tiger. Myanmar is a highly biodiverse country with over 1100 bird species, 293 reptile species and more than 330 mammal species.

The Sunda pangolin is a critically endangered species. Pangolins are also referred to as scaly ant eaters and live mainly in trees in forested areas. They are nocturnal animals and feed on ants, termites  and small insects. Pangolins live throughout Southeast Asia.

myanmar pangolinSunda Pangolin

Sadly pangolins are hunted for their scales and meat. Chinese traditional medicine claims special healing properties and due to poaching pangolins are considered one of the rarest mammals in the world and although pangolins are protected under Chinese law, illegal trade is happening.

Myanmar Food

Many dishes in Myanmar consist mainly of rice, tropical fruits and vegetables as well as fish and seafood especially along the coastline and waterways or chicken, pork or beef in the inland regions.

Rice, noodles, salads are often prepared with fermented fish or shrimp paste are the most common ingredients in Burmese dishes. Here are some typical dishes eaten in Myanmar:

myanmar food dishesTypical dishes in Myanmar
  • Samosas: The Burmese samosa are smaller than the Indian version and mild in taste. These samosas are prepared with potatoes and chickpea powder. 
  • Burmese tofu fritters: This tofu is made from chickpeas not soy and served in salad or simply with a tamarind dip
  • Mohinga: This traditional rice noodle soup dish is eaten for breakfast. Mohinga is made with herbs, coriander leaves, chilli flakes and served with duck eggs and a slice of lemon. 
myanmar mohinga foodMohinga is the national dish of Myanmar
  • Kway: The popular fritters or fried snacks are sold by street vendors and include usually fried lentil, onion or prawn fritters and spring rolls.
  • Khao soi: Chicken soup made with herbal broth and beansprouts
  • Laphet thoke: Typical Burmese salad made with cabbage, tomatoes, pickled tea leaves, dried shrimps as well as crunchy peanuts and a variety of spices

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Myanmar Facts - Resources

These are the resources that were used for this article about the most important Myanmar Facts:

  • "Top 10 Myanmar Tourist Attractions". RainforestCruises. 31 March 2017. Last accessed 20 January 2023
  • "Ten Unique Animals in Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago." BurmaBoating. 8 September 2015. Last accessed 20 January 2023
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Burma". World Fact Book. Last updated 19 January 2022. Last accessed 20 January 2023
  • "Myanmar Food". RainforestCruises. 28 April 2021. Last accessed 20 January 2023

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