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Myanmar, or Burma, officially known as  the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia with a population of more than 53.7 million. Borders are shared with Bangladesh and India in the north-west, China in the north-east , and Laos and Thailand in the south-east. Towards the south and south-west are the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The total area of the country is 676,552 square km (261,218 square miles).

A horseshoe-shaped mountain complex and the valley of the Ayarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River system are the dominant topographical features of Myanmar. The mountains of the northern margin rise to 5881 meters (19,296 ft) atop Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The two other mountain systems have northern to southern axes. The Arakan Yoma range, with peaks reaching more than 2740 meters (about 9000 ft), forms a barrier between Myanmar and the subcontinent of India. The Bilauktaung range, the southern extension of the Shan Plateau, lies along the boundary between southwestern Thailand and southeastern Lower Myanmar. The Shan Plateau, originating in China, has an average elevation of about 910 meters (about 3000 ft).

Generally narrow and elongated in the interior, the central lowlands attain a width of about 320km (about 200 miles) across the Ayarwaddy-Sittaung delta. The delta plains, extremely fertile and economically the most important section of the country, cover an area of about 46,620 sq. km (18,000 sq. ml.). Both the Arakan (in the northwest) and the Tenasserim (in the southwest) coasts of myanmar are rocky and fringed with islands. The country has a number of excellent natural harbours.

The country offers a great variety of attractions such as breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, unique hill tribes and warm people. Travelers can explore rich cultural heritage, ancient Buddhist shrines and carved Buddha images across this mysterious land.


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