The country of Burma is bordered by Thailand, Laos, China, Bangladesh, India, the Bay of Bengal, and the Andaman Sea. Slightly larger than France, Burma is the second largest country in Southeast Asia. Some quick facts about Burma include:

  • It is believed that Burma’s history dates as far back as 3,500 years; archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a farming civilization in Burma’s Irawaddy Valley from the Iron Age.

  • In the sixteenth century, Burma was ruled by King Bayinnaung, a powerful leader who increased his empire by waging war on neighboring Thailand and Laos.

  • Burma is ruled by a military dictatorship that keeps strict control over its people. The country does not have freedom of the press, access to the Internet is heavily restricted, and political dissidents are often imprisoned or tortured, and sometimes executed.

  • In 1989, the military leadership changed the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar. The United Nations recognizes Myanmar as the official name, but those who opposed the brutal dictatorship still call it Burma.

  • Burma is one of the least visited countries in the world. Harsh military rule and the oppression of its people has caused the majority of the international community to boycott the country.

  • Rudyard Kipling, author of the ‘Jungle Book’, wrote a poem about Mandalay, the former capital of Burma.