Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and commonly shortened to Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One-third of Burma’s total perimeter of 1,930 km (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Myanmar or Burma has a population of 51 million people.Burma is 676,578 square kilometres (261,227 sq mi) in size. Burma’s capital city is Naypyidaw and its largest city is Yangon.
Early civilizations in Burma included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu in Upper Burma and the Mon in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country. The Pagan Empire fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia.The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Burma and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. While Burma is regarded as a Buddhist nation, many religions have peacefully co-existed throughout the centuries. The British conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Burma became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup in 1962, a military dictatorship. While the military dictatorship formally ended in 2011, most of the party leaders are former military officers.
Burma is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.7 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.5 billion.The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government.As of 2013, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Burma had a low level of human development, ranking 150 out of 187 countries.
Myanmar is a new and emerging tourist destination in South East Asia. Known to most travelers as the Golden land, Myanmar is rich in cultures and natural attractions. There are numerous pagodas, temples, beauty spots, archaeological sites, snow-peaked mountains, deep forests with abundant flora and fauna, rivers and natural lakes, unspoiled beaches and archipelagoes, 135 national races with their colorful costumes and customs, traditional arts and crafts all make up Myanmar the most exotic and fascinating destination in Asia. Visitors will find Myanmar a beautiful and peaceful place with the most hospitable people in the world.
Myanmar Travel Information
Known as the Golden land, Myanmar is a new and emerging tourist destination in South East Asia and is rich in cultures and natural attractions. There are several pagodas, temples, beauty spots, archaeological sites, snow-peaked mountains, deep forests with abundant flora and fauna, rivers and natural lakes, unspoiled beaches and archipelagos, 135 national races with their colorful costumes and customs, traditional arts and crafts all make up Myanmar the most exotic and fascinating destination in Asia. The visitors will find Myanmar a beautiful and peaceful place.
The Union of Myanmar has a population of over 49 million. Myanmar is a union of 135 ethnic groups but the major races are Kachin, Kayah, Karan, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine and Shan. 90 percent of Myanmar practice Buddhism. The rest practice Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and animism. Myanmar lies on the cross-road of two of the world’s great civilizations China and India – but its culture is neither that of India nor that of China exclusively, but a blend of both interspersed with Myanmar native traits and characteristics. Buddhism has greatly influence on the daily lives of Myanmar. The people have preserved the tradition of close family ties, respect for elders, reverence for Buddhism and simple native dress. Myanmars are contended and cheerful even in the face of adversities and known for their simple hospitality and friendliness.
The official language is Myanmar but English is widely spoken and understood too. It is a transitional economy moving from 26 years of centrally planned socialist economy to market-oriented economy. Private sector has been encouraged and developed in both domestic and external trade. Foreign investment is allowed in almost all sector of the economy. Agriculture remains the main sector of the economy. In industry, small and medium enterprises are given priority in agro-based industries. Myanmar has enormous potentials for long-term economic development.
Health Precaution and Medication
Travelers’ diarrhea is the most common travel-related infection. It may be caused by many different organisms, including bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Aeromonas, Plesiomonas, and vibrios; parasites such as Giardia, Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium, and Cyclospora; and viruses. In addition to diarrhea, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, sweats, chills, headache, and malaise. The chief complication is dehydration, which may become severe, especially in warmer climes.
The best means of prevention is to avoid any questionable foods or beverages. Do not drink tap water unless it has been boiled, filtered, or chemically disinfected. Do not drink unbottled beverages or drinks with ice. Do not eat fruits or vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked. Avoid cooked foods that are no longer piping hot. Cooked foods that have been left at room temperature are particularly hazardous. Avoid unpasteurized milk and any products that might have been made from unpasteurized milk, such as ice cream. Avoid food and beverages obtained from street vendors. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or fish, including ceviche. Some types of fish may contain poisonous biotoxins even when cooked. Barracuda in particular should never be eaten. Other fish that may contain toxins include red snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, and a large number of tropical reef fish.
Although antibiotics may be taken prophylactically to prevent travelers’ diarrhea (i.e. taken on a daily basis before symptoms have a chance to occur), this isn’t generally recommended because starting antibiotics after diarrhea begins works well and because increased antibiotic use might lead to a greater incidence of side-effects and the selection of resistant organisms. Prophylactic antibiotics might be appropriate for situations in which diarrhea might prove unusually troublesome (i.e. business trip, diplomatic mission, athletic event) or for travelers who are immunocompromised or who have a history of intestinal disorders, such as those with inflammatory bowel disease. Appropriate regimens include ciprofloxacin (Cipro)(PDF) or levofloxacin (Levaquin)(PDF) 500 mg once daily or (less effectively) trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim; Septra) one double-strength tablet daily. Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) (two tablets or two ounces four times daily) will reduce the likelihood of travelers’ diarrhea, but few take this because it is inconvenient. Side-effects may include black tongue, black stools, nausea, constipation, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Bismuth subsalicylate should not be taken by those with aspirin allergy, kidney disease, or gout, and should not be taken for more than three weeks. Quinolone antibiotics may bind to metallic cations such as bismuth; they should not be taken concurrently.
The standard recommendation is for travelers at risk to bring along an antibiotic and an antidiarrheal drug to be started promptly if significant diarrhea occurs, defined as three or more loose stools in an 8-hour period or five or more loose stools in a 24-hour period, especially if associated with nausea, vomiting, cramps, fever or blood in the stool. A quinolone antibiotic is usually prescribed: either ciprofloxacin (Cipro)(PDF) 500 mg twice daily or levofloxacin (Levaquin)(PDF) 500 mg once daily for a total of three days. Quinolones should not be given to children, pregnant women, or anyone with a history of quinolone allergy. Alternative regimens include a three day course of rifaximin (Xifaxan) 200 mg three times daily or azithromycin (Zithromax) 500 mg once daily. Rifaximin should not be used by those with fever or bloody stools and is not approved for pregnant women or those under age 12. Azithromycin should be avoided in those allergic to erythromycin or related antibiotics. For children, the dosage of azithromycin is 10 mg/kg on day 1, up to 500 mg, and 5 mg/kg on days 2 and 3, up to 250 mg. Another option is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), which is used less often today because of increasing bacterial resistance but may be appropriate for children or those unable to tolerate other antibiotics. The dosage is one double-strenth tablet twice daily for adults and 5 mg/kg trimethoprim/25 mg/kg sulfa twice daily for children. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole should not be given to pregnant women or those with a history of sulfa allergy. An antidiarrheal drug such as loperamide (Imodium) or diphenoxylate (Lomotil) should be taken as needed to slow the frequency of stools, but not enough to stop the bowel movements completely. Diphenoxylate (Lomotil) and loperamide (Imodium) should not be given to children under age two.
Most cases of travelers’ diarrhea are mild and do not require either antibiotics or antidiarrheal drugs.
Adequate fluid intake is essential. Oral rehydration solutions, which are rich in salt and sugar, are widely available and highly effective. If fluids that do not contain salt are used, plain salted foods, such as crackers, are recommended. Dairy products should be avoided until diarrhea has subsided, as these are often difficult to digest while the intestine is inflamed.
If diarrhea is severe or bloody, or if fever occurs with shaking chills, or if abdominal pain becomes marked or if diarrhea persists for more than 72 hours, medical attention should be obtained, if possible.