First of all, we would like to thank you for choosing B&F Travel Myanmar to organize your travel arrangements in the country. The Mother Land, Myanmar is also known as “The Golden Land” because of her glittering pagodas, Myanmar is rich in cultural heritage and natural scenic landscapes with abundant tourist attractions. With its harmonious combination of breathtaking and unspoiled natural landscapes, Myanmar is a unique destination for photographers.
Whatever your interest is, we assure you that traveling with B&F to explore Myanmar’s hidden treasures will surely be one of the most exciting trip.
Myanmar is the largest country in mainland South-East Asia. It is bound by China to the north and northeast, Laos to the east, Thailand to the east and southeast, India to the northwest, Bangladesh to the west and the Andaman Sea to the south. It is officially known as the Union of Myanmar. The coastal region is known as Lower Myanmar, while the interior region is known as Upper Myanmar(Real Myanmar).
Lower Myanmar is comprised of coastal areas with thick tropical forests that have valuable trees in them (teak forests, oil-bearing and timber trees). Moulmein was a center of teak and rice trade and the capital of Lower Burma from 1829 to 1862. Due to trade, Moulmein was prosperous, and hence wealthy merchants built Buddhist monasteries. The Architecture of Mon Buddhist Monasteries in Lower Myanmar is famous.
Upper Myanmar making up the interior parts of the country. The cultural and religious life is very active in Upper Myanmar with numerous Buddhist institutions. Collections of paintings, manuscripts, art objects and inscriptions are housed in various monasteries and museums. Traditional artifacts and handicrafts are produced in specialized streets in Amarapura and Mandalay which are well known tourist attraction places in Myanmar.
Myanmar is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas. Particularly famous for its Ruby, Jade, and Sapphire Stones that fetch record-breaking prices at international auctions.
Myanmar is the primary source for the most prized gem in the Far East, a stone exceeded in price only by diamond. Jadeite from Myanmar is the most expensive form of jade. Although jadeite deposits are found throughout the world, Myanmar remains the primary source of top-grade material. Myanmar is especially well known for “imperial jade,” a gem-quality jade that is valued highly for its deep green hue.
The Burmese originated in the hills of Tibet, and they speak a ‘Sino-Tibetan’ language called ‘Bama’ (Burmese). Today, Burmese are the political, economic and religious leaders of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
There are mainly 8 different ethnic groups in Myanmar although there are over hundreds of different groups in the country. The main people are Bama and other 7 main races are; Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. Some ethnic groups are listed as Akha, Palaung, Padaung, Naga, Taron. The religions of most Myanmar people are mainly Buddhist and major language is Burmese (Myanmar), but Myanmar minority ethnic groups have their own languages. In Myanmar, English is widely spoken and understood.
Myanmar is one the most culturally rich and diversified countries in the world. The culture of Myanmar has been heavily influenced by Buddhism and the Mon people. Burmese culture has also been influenced by its neighbours India, and Thailand. Some of the main cultures are mentioned below but when visiting the country you will see and experience more.
Tha-Na-ka paste is the most environmentally friendly and widely used skin lotion in Myanmar. No chemicals, no preservatives, the lotion that helps the skin retains its youthfulness. Myanmar people use Tha-Na-Ka to protect themselves from the strong sun rays. Everyone tends to use a thin layer of the paste which is fully absorbed by the skin. Women also make a ticker layer of it on their faces sometime they even shape with creative patterns.
The typical garment of the Burmese is the Indian lungi or longyi, a sarong worn by both men and women. This replaced the traditional ‘paso’ for men and ‘tamein’ for women by the 20th century. For business and formal occasions, Burmese men wear a Manchu Chinese jacket over an English collar shirt, while Burmese women wear a blouse buttoned at the front, called yinzi or to the side, called yinbon, and a shawl. In urban areas, skirts and pants are becoming more common, particularly among the young.
Burmese people like neat and respectful dress to be worn especially when they visit to religious monuments. It is not considered polite to visit such places in shorts, miniskirts or hot pants.
Gold leaf plays an important role in Buddhism. It is believed that attaching a small square of gold leaf to the Buddha image is a sign of respect and a way of gaining merit.
There are many gold leaf beating workshops in Myanmar where skilled craftsmen beat the gold. The making of the gold leaf is in itself somewhat of an art form and extremely hard work. The gold is hand beaten between layers of paper until it is a mere sliver. Each piece is said to take 5 hours to bash into shape. In several pagodas, you can buy squares of gold leaf to put them onto a Buddha statue and many stupas have been covered in gold leaf instead of gold paint, this is called ‘gilding’.