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Back to Burma

 

Myanmar's Geography

Located between Bangladesh and Thailand, with India and China to the north, Myanmar covers an area of about 675,000 sq km (over 260,000 sq mi).  The capital and largest city is Yangon, an important trade center is Mandalay located in central Myanmar.  

The country itself is divided into two classifications, Lower Myanmar and Upper 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) with Upper Myanmar making up the interior parts of the country.  

A major topographical feature of Myanmar is the Irrawaddy River system.  Since its deltaic plains are very fertile, it is considered to be the most important part of the country covering about 18,000 sq mi (47,000 sq km).  Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia at 19,295 ft (5,881 m), is located in Myanmar.  A barrier between India and Myanmar, the Arakan Yoma range has peaks that range between 915 m (3,000 ft) and 1,525 m (5,000 ft). 

Almost half of Myanmar is covered in forests that are comprised of teak, rubber, cinchona, acacia, bamboo, ironwood, mangrove, coconut, betel palm with northern highlands comprised of oak, pine and many varieties of rhododendron.  There are many tropical fruits to be found as well, citrus, bananas, mangoes, and guavas in the coastal region. 


Location:
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand
Geographic coordinates:
22 00 N, 98 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
Area:
total: 676,578 sq km
country comparison to the world: 40
land: 653,508 sq km
water: 23,070 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,876 km
border countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km
Coastline:
1,930 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April)
Terrain:
central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Andaman Sea 0 m
highest point: Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 14.92%
permanent crops: 1.31%
other: 83.77% (2005)
Irrigated land:
22,500 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
1,045.6 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 33.23 cu km/yr (1%/1%/98%)
per capita: 658 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes
 

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