Basic Facts About the Geography of Myanmar
Myanmar is the northwestern-most country as well as the largest country of mainland Southeast Asia, sharing borders with China, Laos and Thailand in the east, and Bangladesh and India in the north. To its west is the Bay of Bengal and to its south is the Andaman Sea. It covers 676,578 square kilometers and is the second largest country in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.
Basically, the topography of Myanmar can be divided into three parts: the Western Hill Region, the Central Valley Region, and the Eastern Hill Region.
The Western Yoma which has a link from the Himalayan Range serves as a wall that separates Myanmar from India. The Arakan Range includes the Naga Hills, the Chin Hills, and the Patkai range which includes the Lushai Hills. The Central Valley Region consists of the broadest valley of the Ayeyarwaddy which is also known as the Central Burma Basin and The Eastern Hill Region is the Shan Plateau. These mountains and ranges soak up the monsoon rains and create a dry zone in the center of the country that includes Mandalay Region. As you move south, the basin becomes wetter and greener.
Hkakabo Razi, the country's highest point at 5,881 m (19,295 ft), is located at the northern edge of the country. The highest point of the Shan Hills in Eastern Myanmar is 2,563 m high Loi Pangnao, one of the ultra-prominent peaks of Southeast Asia. There are also a number of mountain peaks in the country.
Irrawaddy, the main river of Burma, flows for more than 2,000 km through the Central Burma Basin from north to south through before fanning out in a wide delta on the south coast. The river's valley and delta are considered one of the most fertile agricultural regions in Asia.
In the east, the Salween River and the Sittaung River run along the western side of the Shan Hills and the northern end of the Dawna Range respectively.
Myanmar has 2,832 kilometres of coastline. The coastline contains Rakhine coast faces the Bay of Bengal, and the Ayeyarwady Delta and Tanintharyi coast are on the Andaman Sea.
There are about 1,700 islands along the coastline, many in the Myeik Archipelago, and 229,000 square kilometers of continental shelf with an enormous variety of marine ecosystems.
Tropical rain forests fringe the southwestern coast. Forests cover about 45 percent of the land and most of the country’s woodlands are mixed deciduous forests, lush and green with thick broad leaf trees. Although it remains one of Southeast Asia’s most forested countries, Myanmar’s deforestation rate is the third worst in the world.
Myanmar has three seasons: the summer is March to May, the monsoon or rainy season is from May to October and the cool season from November to February. The climate is tropical monsoon in the lowlands below 1,000 m (3,281 ft) but climate varies in the highlands depending on elevation. The higher elevations are subject to heavy snowfall, especially in the north.
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