Geography of Myanmar

Geography of Myanmar

General information about Myanmar

The official name is the Union of Myanmar (Pye Tawngsu Myanma Naingngan) (until 1988 – the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, Burma). It is located in Southeast Asia in the northwestern part of the Indochina peninsula and the adjacent part of the Asian mainland. The area is 677.6 thousand km2, the population is 49 million people. (2001). The official language is Burmese (Myanmar). The capital is Yangon (Rangoon) (5.7 million people, 2001). Public holiday – Independence Day January 4 (since 1948). The monetary unit is kyat (ja).

Member of the UN (since 1948), IMF (since 1952), IBRD (since 1952), IDA (since 1962), ADB (since 1973), ASEAN (since 1997), Bay of Bengal Economic Cooperation Organization (since 1997), WTO and others

Geography of Myanmar

Myanmar is located between 92° and 101° east longitude and 10° and 28° north latitude. In the south, its coast is washed by the waters of the Andaman Sea, in the west and southwest by the Bay of Bengal. The coastline of 1930 km is heavily indented, many islands and underwater reefs are scattered along the coast, but there are also convenient harbors for seaports. The largest islands are Yanbye, Manaun, Preparis, Kokosovye, Mye (Mergui) archipelago. The length of the land border is 5876 km. In the west, Myanmar borders on Bangladesh (193 km), in the west and northwest on India (1463 km), in the northeast on China (2185 km), in the east on Laos (235 km), in the east and southeast with Thailand (1800 km).

The relief of Myanmar is the Central Lowland, bordered by mountains. In the west, mountain ranges stretch from the Himalayas to the south. The total length of the meridional ridges is 1120 km, and the maximum width of the mountain system is 240 km, the average height of the ridges is 1800 m, the highest point in the west is Mount Victoria (3053 m). The mountains reach their highest height in the far north on the border with eastern Tibet, there is the highest peak not only in Myanmar, but also in the entire mainland of Southeast Asia – Khakaborazi Peak (5885 m), as well as a number of mountains covered with eternal snows. In the east is the vast Shan Highlands, the height above sea level is from 1000 to 2000 m, like the mountain ranges, it has a direction from north to south.

All the rivers of Myanmar belong to the Indian Ocean basin, the meridional ridges serve as watersheds, almost all of them originate in the highlands of the north of the country and flow to the south, they are fed by rain. The most abundant river, the Irrawaddy (length 2150 km, navigable for 1500 km), flows into the Andaman Sea in nine large branches, forming a huge delta with an area of 30 thousand km2. The Ayeyarwaddy River basin covers 64% of the country’s area, it is the main water artery of the country, rice fields are irrigated with its waters, it serves as a generous source of fish and an important transport artery. The mountainous character of most of its basin is provided by the Irrawaddy, the highest flow modulus on the globe is 360 l / s, the Chindwin is the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy (800 km). Parallel to the Irrawaddy, also in the meridional direction, the Seatown (500 km) flows; The Salween is the longest river in the country (3200 km), flows through the Shan Highlands, navigation is not developed, it is used mainly for timber rafting. There are few lakes in Myanmar, the most significant of them (belonging to the tectonic group) are Indouji (210 km2) and Indo (155 km2) in the central low-mountain region and Inle (100 km2) on the Shan Highlands.

The central lowland, formed by the valleys of the Ayeyarwaddy, Chindwin and Seatown rivers, is a hilly plain 50-150 m above sea level, which is disturbed by the Pegu Yoma mountain ranges 800 m high.

Due to the diversity of the country’s topography, soils are diverse: red-brown soils of rainforests, lateritic (Irrawaddy Delta), yellow-brown forest, brown, red-brown savanna, dark merged, red soils, soils of mangrove forests, etc.

60% of the country’s territory is covered with forests. On the territory of Myanmar, evergreen tropical forests are widespread, incl. “rain”, deciduous or monsoon-type forests, swampy jungle, savannahs are found. The flora of Myanmar has more than 700 species of rhododendrons (out of 1100 known), more than 700 species of orchids, approx. 70 types of palms and more than 70 types of bamboo, 8 types of conifers, more than 400 types of ferns. Myanmar is the birthplace of some cultivated plants: taro, banana, mango, yam, castor bean, Chinese date. The country has 75% of the world’s teak forests. Of the forest animals leading an arboreal lifestyle, monkeys, flying squirrels, leopards, semi-arboreal viverras, tree and semi-tree snakes are common. In the mountains in the north there are Himalayan bears, in the riverside thickets – tigers, on open plains and mountains – large ungulates, there are rhinos, elephants, black-backed tapir. There are more than 950 species of birds, more than 400 species of reptiles.

Myanmar has large reserves of polymetallic ores (zinc, lead, copper, silver), tin, and tungsten. Explored reserves of iron ore are estimated at 40 million tons, there are many large and small deposits of gold and precious stones. Uranium, thorium and beryllium ores, antimony, titanium, molybdenum, bismuth were found. Explored oil reserves are estimated at 50 million barrels, brown coal – 200 million tons, natural gas – 10 trillion cubic meters.

According to, Myanmar is a country with a tropical monsoon climate. There are three seasons: dry hot (March May), rainy (June-October) and dry cool (November-February). The average temperature in January in Yangon is +25°С, in April +31°С. In general, Myanmar belongs to areas of high humidity (2000-6000 mm of precipitation per year). OK. 90% of all annual precipitation is brought by the wet southwest monsoons during the rainy season.

Geography of Myanmar