Travel Alert Status
Level 4: Do Not Travel
UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Located in the Southeast Asian monsoon belt, Rangoon has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons: monsoon, cool, and hot. During the monsoon season, mid-May through mid-October, Rangoon receives most of its 100-inch plus average annual rainfall. Temperatures are moderate (75°F-90°F), but relative humidity is high. During the monsoon, dampness and mildew can cause serious damage to clothing, furniture, books, records, electrical appliances, and leather goods.
In mid-November, after a brief period of warm, humid weather, the cool season begins from then until March, weather is pleasant (60°F-90°F) with lower humidity and almost no rain. Days are sunny and clear; nights are cool. In March, temperatures and humidity rise until the monsoon begins in mid-May. During the March-May hot season, the weather is hot and humid, usually rising in the day to over 100°F. As at most tropical posts, insects and snakes are numerous year-round.
Burma is a nation of many races - some 135 ethnic groups, with their own languages and dialects, make up its population of nearly 45 million. It is impossible to mention more than a few of the races, for Burma is an anthropologist's paradise. The Burmese people call their own language Bamar or Myanmar and it is the main language spoken throughout the country. About 70 percent of the people of Burma speak one or other of the Burma Group of languages while the percentage of those speaking Burmese is estimated at ninety. Despite the diversity and geographic separation, the national groups share with each other a wide variety of social customs and cultures. The Burmese language vocabulary contains a large number of Pali and Sanskrit words. The earliest Burmese writing was the Myazedi Stone Inscription. which is a four-sided stone inscription constructed in 1113 A.D. during the Pagan Period. The inscription is written in Myanmar, Pyu, Mon, and Pali and was discovered in 1887.
Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%
Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)
22 00 N, 98 00 E
Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand